Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Kent
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best Kent restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 319 restaurants in Kent and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Kent restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Kent Restaurants
1. The Wife of Bath Restaurant with Rooms British, Modern restaurant in Wye 4 Upper Bridge St - TN25
“The attractive village of Wye is not where you’d expect Spanish food”, but that’s precisely what’s on the cards at Rock Salt chef Mark Sargeant’s “light and airy” hotel-restaurant – in action since 1962, but turning out something “different” (tapas but also a “wonderful breakfast”) since he acquired it in 2016.
2. The Dog at Wingham British, Modern restaurant in Wingham Canterbury Road - CT3
The Bridgen family’s “pleasant, well-decorated inn” opened three years ago, and sits just outside Canterbury, opposite the church of a cute village. All reports suggest it’s a “wonderful place to wine and dine” with “pleasant” service and “well-executed” cooking.
3. Samphire British, Modern restaurant in Whitstable 4 High Street - CT5
“Always very busy”, this “cosy little café/bistro” on Whitstable’s main drag has a “friendly owner and staff” and an “interesting menu using locally sourced products”. It’s “especially good – and good value – for lunch or brunch”.
4. The Ringlestone Inn British, Modern restaurant in Ringlestone Ringlestone Road - ME17
This pub, dating back to 1533, has been recently taken over and renovated, with the lofty aim of creating a 'food-led destination pub and country restaurant'; there's an onsite butchery and outside asado grill to help the dream come true.
5. The Bridge Arms British, Modern restaurant in Bridge 53 High Street - CT4
A new village pub from the team behind the uber-successful Fordwich Arms. Formerly known as The White Horse Inn.
6. Pumproom Restaurant at Copper Rivet Distillery restaurant in Chatham
An April 2021 newcomer – an 80 seat restaurant housed in a Victorian Pumphouse beside the Medway river. Initially it is just open under the arches and on the wood decking overlooking the River Medway, with views of Queen Elizabeth 1st’ gunpowder store, the grey stone castle of Upnor on the opposite shore. As well as the ability to sample the distillery’s cocktails, the Pumproom will present a fine-dining experience and its riverside windows offer great views. A meal might start with Bone marrow, chicken crackling, smoked eel, cockles, radish & toast; followed by Ash rolled 40day aged fillet, beef shin ragout, with Granny Smith tart, toffee popcorn, and Masthouse Whisky custard to finish.
7. Sussex Pass British, Modern restaurant in Wadhurst The White Hart, High Street - TN5
Sam Maynard, who previously worked at Hotel Du Vin, Gallivant and The Beacon, along with local chef Adam Sear, have opened this pub restaurant that aims to showcase the finest produce in Sussex and Kent.
8. The Sportsman Fish & seafood restaurant in Seasalter Faversham Road - CT5
“It seems wrong just to call it a pub… it’s so much more”. Stephen Harris’s epic inn – the UK’s best – is “well worth the trip from London” (or beyond), and “is an adventure to reach, along a virtually deserted road and through the salt marshes beside the Thames Estuary near Whitstable”. “The exterior is a bit of a shock: it looks like what it is – a weather-beaten, old building on the coast”. And there’s little hint of anything special from the “shabby chic” interior either; it’s “lovely and casual” but “not plush”; with “an authentic, scrubbed-table pub atmosphere”. But when it comes to the cuisine, “for once the hype is justified”: “it deserves all its plaudits” for the “clever” and “distinctive” but “no-nonsense” food “with a very local touch”. There’s a “fantastic tasting menu which has to be pre-ordered, although they now do a daily tasting option that doesn't need to be pre-ordered”. Or you can just choose from “the most dynamic chalkboard menu ever, regularly updated during service as they sell out of items, but always seemingly with ‘reserve’ to add in”. The fish in particular is “wonderful and fresh” (Top Tips are “local native oysters in season” and “those slip soles. Oh my!”). “Also, there’s no searching for sides (at extra cost) as the course is complete – a refreshing change, and to be applauded”. Service is “sensitive, positive and inclusive” and “first class” in a “low key” kind of way. In fact, through and through, “for such excellence, prices are very reasonable, and the wine prices even more so, thus it’s hardly surprising that even a mid-week, out-of-season lunch needs booking several weeks ahead!”
9. The Fordwich Arms British, Modern restaurant in Fordwich King Street - CT2
“Not the easiest place to find in what is apparently Britain’s smallest town” – Dan Smith (ex Clove Club), Tash Norton and Guy Palmer’s venture is barely two years old and “has really hit its stride” as one of the UK’s best dining destinations: “high end, but not poncy”. Picturesquely located on the river, “when you enter it feels initially more like a pub with food, but my goodness you are soon disavowed of that!”. “Every dish is beautifully crafted and presented” – “superbly intelligent combinations, prepared with skill and ambition” – and with “flavours that just hit you”. What’s more “staff are so attentive and polite and seem genuinely to care!”
10. Rocksalt Fish & seafood restaurant in Folkestone 4-5 Fishmarket - CT19
“Amazing food overlooking the harbour” with “a view to die for!” – Mark Sargeant’s “elegant” waterside venture is nowadays one of the survey’s most popular dining destinations, drawing fans from across Kent and on days out from the capital (“wish we lived closer!”). Particularly prized (as you might expect, given its proximity to the sea) for its “terrific, locally sourced” fish and seafood – it’s “ideal for a special occasion, although it is somewhat pricey”.
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Broadstairs British, Modern
Pumproom Restaurant at Copper Rivet Distillery