Landgate Bistro

The menus are of a locavore persuasion at Landgate Bistro – the only Sussex restaurant to appear in the Where Chefs Eat compendium. Set across interconnecting Georgian cottages, it treats produce sourced or foraged from nearby fields, woodlands and waters with a respectful, modern hand. Expect to tuck into local marsh lamb and gurnard from Rye Bay. 

 

The Fig

Expect minimal-fuss, wholesome food at this indie café famed for its fabulous brunches. Low-slung Edison bulbs illuminate chipboard tabletops laden with herby avocado toast, smoked-haddock fishcakes and flatbreads primed for dipping in runny yolks – best washed down with a locally roasted coffee before the day’s explorations. Like this? Breakfast on halloumi hash or chai-spiced porridge at Whitehouse Rye or, for more old-world coffeehouse vibes (and delightfully sticky pastries), head to The Apothecary on East Street.

The Ship Inn

Nestled among warehouses reborn as antiques shops, this 16th-century inn was once the site where contraband goods seized from smugglers were stashed. If you’re after a taste of local life, head here; you’ll knock elbows with Rye regulars who gather on battered sofas and mismatched chairs for Sussex ales, hearty fare and a good stash of board games and newspapers. We order the fish and chips here, without fail. 

 

Webbe’s at the Fish Cafe

While much of Rye is characterised by gnarly beams and crooked staircases, Webbe’s is an altogether more elegant affair, set in an Arts-and-Crafts-era warehouse where light filters in through large arched windows. Order market-fresh fish and seafood, including Hastings crab and Rye Bay flounder. Come February, it’s one of a handful of Rye restaurants that puts on celebrations for the much-loved Scallop Week.

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