Where to Eat in Margate, Kent

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Manning’s Seafood

Is there anything more quintessentially British than batting away the seagulls as you eat a cup of cockles with a toothpick? Manning’s takes this good old seaside tradition to new heights, selling freshly caught seafood from a small white hut opposite the harbour. Along with all of the classics – whelks, crayfish, prawns and the dreaded jellied eel, Manning’s also serves hot, garlicky green-lip mussels, squid, fishcakes and plump oysters with lemon and tabasco, served with cold glasses of prosecco.

Address

The Parade, Margate CT9 1DD

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Roost

Perched (thank you) on the edge of the former lido (now nothing more than a basin of concrete) overlooking the sprawling sea, Roost offers dramatic views alongside good old fashioned comfort food. This simple, modern space – all wooden floors and long sharing tables – offers succulent, locally-sourced rotisserie chicken in quarters, halves and wholes. Sides include Asian slaw, seaweed salt and pepper squid and mac ‘n’ cheese with a crispy sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top, while two wooden barrels of “help yourself” house wine will keep you well and truly quenched.

Address

19 Cliff Terrace, Margate, CT9 1RU

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Fort’s

This local hotspot revives an old seaside cafe, while retaining its no-frills charm. Out on the chequered front deck, which overlooks the sea, multi-coloured ribbons flutter in the doorway. Behind it, battered novels are hung up with bulldog clips on a seaweed green wall, while young creatives sit at linoleum tables sipping bloody marys and playing board games, nibbling on eggs benedict, ‘proper’ Welsh rarebit, smoked mackerel with bubble and squeak or avocado with smoked almonds on toast.

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Mala Kaffe

There is one thing that no gentrifying town can be without these days – a Scandi coffee shop. The creators of Mala have happily obliged, bringing a taste of Swedish ‘fika’ culture to Margate’s harbour. Looking out over the bobbing boats and the beach beyond, this hole-in-the-wall coffee shop has a scattering of tables and chairs outside. The interior includes a tiny kitchen, coffee machine, chalk-board menus and plenty of greenery. As well as speciality coffee, there is a wholesome menu featuring things like a Copenhagen brunch board, open sandwiches filled with herring and pickles, gravlax and granola.

Address

Unit 3 Harbour Arm, CT9 1JD

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Hantverk & Found

Blending local art and local catches, this gallery and ‘seafood café’ offers the freshest fish imaginable in the knotted lanes of the old town. Along with interesting natural wines, the menu changes every day, scribbled on a chalk board at the entrance to the small kitchen. There are dishes like pan-roasted hake with chorizo and mussels, scallops with seaweed butter and rock oysters. Locals and visitors alike go mad for this place, so booking for dinner is definitely a good move.

Address

18 King Street, CT9 1DA

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The Grain Grocer

This cafe stands slap bang in the middle of Northdown Road, a formerly rundown area of Margate which is now home to an increasing number of bars, cafes and antique shops. Floor to ceiling windows wrap around a bright, rustic dining room, which is stocked with the kind of books that tell you that bread will gouge out your eyes and pasta will run off with your husband. The creators started off selling whole foods at Crystal Palace Farmer’s Market and this first permanent space still offers preserves, nut mixes, flours, oils and grains for visitors to take home. The menu includes wholesome breakfast and lunch dishes, Monmouth organic coffee, loose-leaf teas and filling smoothies.

Address

95-97 Northdown Road, CT9 2QY

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The Ambrette

In this cottage-y little space in the old town, head chef Dev Biswal reinvents the average Anglo-Indian menu with influences from France and south-east Asia. Guests are treated to spicy cocktails and tangy amuse bouches before launching into a tasting menu of innovative dishes like soft-shell crab with foraged rock samphire, locally caught fish with mung lentil kedgeree and pickled fennel, wood pigeon with cloves and a platter of dark chocolate desserts with nectarine ice cream.

Address

44 King Street, CT9 1QE

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Buoy and Oyster

A coastal view coupled with a salty ocean breeze that flutters through the door feels apt when tucking into a starter of Broadstairs crab with lemony mayo at this buzzy family-run seafood restaurant. Just-caught fish is served fuss-free from an open kitchen. A strong order here would read: Kent beer-battered rock oysters followed by halibut with charred leeks and a “Bloody Buoy Mary” cocktail topped with an oyster and bacon. A vegan menu is also available.

Address

44 High Street, CT9 1DS

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The Bus Café

While Manning’s Seafood is a staple when it comes to ordering cups of cockles and jellied eels, The Sun Deck is where Margate’s more global street-food scene unfolds. The Creole-style sandwiches from Po’Boy are good, but the locally sourced brunches served in the eco-friendly, vintage double-decker Bus Café are great – these guys have won the National Breakfast and Brunch Awards for two years running.

Address

Royal Cres Promenade, CT9 5AJ

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Angela’s

This sustainable seafood restaurant produces minimal waste thanks to a fixed menu which pleases most diners. While Angela’s only has around 20 covers, its reputation extends nationwide – its uncomplicated approach to ethically sourced fish has earned it top spot among the UK’s best seafood restaurants. Any food waste is added to its own composting machine, closing the food-production loop. Like this? Nip around the corner to little sister Dory’s, where you can buy the raw ingredients used in Angela’s or perch at its seafood bar.

Address

21 The Parade, CT8 8NZ

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Peter’s Fish Factory

Have you really been to the seaside if you haven’t sunk your teeth into a vinegar-soaked box of fish and chips? Family-run Peter’s Fish Factory has been serving Margate’s best since 1984. Don’t be surprised if you encounter a queue forming on the pavement outside.

Address

12 Royal York Mansions, CT9 1EZ

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GB Pizza Co.

Crisp, wood-fired, thin-based pizzas are topped with produce from small, independent British producers at the sea-facing GB Pizza Co. Alongside the Margate-rita, you’ll find a Bath Pig chorizo and chilli iteration as well as one with pear and Shropshire blue cheese. For a more authentic taste of Italy, enjoy a Neapolitan-style slice overlooking Viking Bay at Posillipo or head to Bottega Caruso for fresh pasta in the old town.

Address

14a Marine Drive, CT9 1DH

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The Lifeboat

It’s hard to miss this beloved pub on summer evenings, when live music drifts out onto the street and locals fill the benches outside sipping craft beer. This place is a bit of an institution, with many of its original features still intact – brick walls, beer barrels and wood finishes. Yet its specialty brews, young staff and location in the heart of the old town draw in a wonderfully diverse mix of people.

Address

1 Market Street, Margate, CT9 1EU

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Fez

Plant yourself on a bench and quaff a glass of red as you gawp at Fez’s mismatched furniture and retro knick-knacks. The welcome here is always warm and the music often played live. If you’re more of a real-ale type, the Harbour Arms will likely be your jam – this micropub is set within a former fisherman’s hut facing south across (you guessed it) the harbour. A side order of sea with your IPA goes down well, as do the pub’s pickled eggs.

Address

40 High Street, CT9 1DS