Whitstable's Best Restaurants
Wheelers Oyster Bar
Love them, loathe them or never ever tried them, while in Whitstable it would be a crying shame not to visit Wheelers Oyster Bar, arguably the most famous (and one of the smallest) restaurant in town. You can't miss it with its baby pink and powder blue façade right there on the High Street.
The restaurant dates back over a hundred and fifty years and even boasts its own recipe book. Of course you should try the oysters but if you really aren't partial then there are plenty more sea food delicacies on the menu to tempt even the most steadfast foodie. Skate cheeks are accompanied by black pudding, oysters find their way into steak pies and haddock comes three ways!
Perhaps due to its location sandwiched between two pubs, but Wheeler's does not have a licence to serve alcohol but you are free to bring your own wine. This popular restaurant is always full so it's highly recommended that you book in advance.
Whistle Stop Restaurant
For friendly service and a menu to suit all tastes, even the little ones', try the Whitstable's Whistle Stop Restaurant. Located under a railway arch, this unusual restaurant has a great atmosphere that's warm and welcoming to diners of all ages and the quirky building oozes charm and individuality. The menu is simple, hearty British fayre but cooked with flair using quality, mostly locally sourced, ingredients.
Who doesn't fancy a good curry every now and again. Some people would say that chicken tikka massala is a national dish! If you do hanker after a bit of spice on your trip to Whitstable then head for the restaurant that's been voted Whitstable's best curry house, the Shapla Tandoori. As well as the die hard favourites the Shapla has a reputation for innovation. House specials include a starter of crab cooked with mangoes and white wine served with cheese and a main course of duck roasted with star anise, fenugreek, red Goan chillies and coconut.
- A set meal for two will set you back £25.95
- For more information, visit: www.shaplawhitstable.co.uk
The Sportsman, Seasalter
The Sportsman in the Seasalter area just a touch outside Whitstable can proudly boast gaining the area's first ever Michelin star. From the outside it looks like any other well maintained, traditional English pub or inn but the fayre that awaits the diner within is anything but ordinary or run of the mill pub grub. Chef Steve Harris' runs two menus each day. One is the ever changing chalk board full of daily, seasonal specials of locally grown, caught and hunted produce. The second is the fixed, tasting menu “designed to be a showcase for the local environment,” as chef Harris puts it. The emphasis is on all things local – even the salt for the seasoning is Seasalter sea salt. For starters one might enjoy native Whitstable oysters or Slip Sole grilled in seaweed butter. To follow the options are varied and delicious and include a choice of duck, pork or fish in various sauces. Desserts, if you can manage one are inspired with Dark chocolate mousse, salted caramel and milk sorbet and Cream Cheese ice cream, pear puree, meringue and ginger cake crumbs to name but two.
- This sample menu would set you back roughly £38
- For more information visit: www.thesportsmanseasalter.co.uk and click on one of the beach huts
Williams & Brown Tapas
Christopher Williams and David Brown opened their tapas bar in the Spring of 2004. Since then it has become a favourite among locals and visitors to Whitstable alike earning countless rave reviews and recommendations.
The menu is jam packed with tapas favourites made, wherever possible, from locally sourced ingredients which is reflected in how the menu changes with the seasons. This is the ideal stop for the tourist in a hurry with, as they call them, “quick fire” tapas dishes served in the blink of an eye or, for a more sedate and leisurely meal. The Which? Good Food Guide 2012 heaps praise upon this venue stating that chef Christopher Williams has, “real understanding of the Spanish way of cooking.”
Expect patatas bravas and manchego cheese but also honeyed free range chicken, tiger prawns with chilli jam and goats' cheese grilled with orange blossom honey.
- A pretty good feed will cost an average of £22 per head excluding wine
- For more information, visit: www.thetapas.co.uk