The best places to eat and drink in Folkestone

Former ferry port turned foodie destination, Folkestone's harbour revival has led the way to the town's renaissance as a great place to eat and drink. Having had the most splendid couple of days eating and drinking our way around the Kentish town, here are our picks:

The best of Folkestone

where to eat and drink in FolkestoneJohn Dory

Where: 102 Sandgate High St, Sandgate, Folkestone CT20 3BY

A short 10-minute bus journey out of Folkestone will take you to Sandgate, a town previously most famous for being home to HG Wells. Now it's garnering attention for this independent wine shop and bar, run by the duo behind Space Bar, as well as wine experts Louisa Walls and Zeren Wilson. Enjoy great rillettes, superlative snackage and a selection of amazing wines to take home to your Airbnb or, better still, drink here in convivial surroundings.

Follow them on Instagram: @johndorywine

More about John Dory


where to eat and drink in FolkestoneThe Lighthouse Champagne Bar

Where: Folkestone Harbour Arm, Harbour Approach Rd, Folkestone CT20 1QH

One of the openings on Folkestone's Harbour Arm that first helped raise Folkestone's food scene profile, this seafront bar couldn't have a better view. It's great for a cold glass of Champagne and a platter of oysters on a summer's day, but just as lovely wrapped up warm on a wintry day when the sun's out. The duo behind this have also just opened the Tasting Rooms further along the Harbour Arm.

Follow them on Instagram: @thelighthousechampagnebar

More about The Lighthouse Champagne Bar


where to eat and drink in FolkestoneThe Potting Shed

Where: 34 Rendezvous St, Folkestone CT20 1EZ

Tucked behind a false wall at the back of this antique store you'll find quite the loveliest little speakeasy on the south coast. This is where owner David Holden serves up old-school classic cocktails including an excellent martini mixed at your table and a proper Sidecar among other treats. Book well ahead as it's teeny.

Follow them on Instagram: @tps_speakeasy

More about The Potting Shed


where to eat and drink in FolkestoneThe Folkestone Wine Company

Where: 5 Church St, Folkestone CT20 1SE

Of all the places in Folkestone, this is probably the one you should book well ahead if you want to enjoy chef David Hart's (ex-The Sportsman) food. Here you'll find excellent local produce alongside the best of European food. We didn't manage a booking, but they did let us have dessert at their table out on the pavement after we'd had mains elsewhere, and on the basis of those dishes alone we'd say this is well worth a visit.

Follow them on Instagram: @thefolkestonewinecompany

The Folkestone Wine Company


where to eat and drink in FolkestoneThe Pilot Beach Bar

Where: Harbour, Folkestone CT20 1QH

When this beach bar opened during the heatwave it was mobbed immediately by locals who loved the idea of Pimms right on the beach. In colder times they offer pimped-up hot chocolates and espresso martinis. There are a few tables available inside, but this is mostly an alfresco spot.

Follow them on Instagram: @thepilotfolkestone

More about The Pilot Beach Bar


where to eat and drink in FolkestoneRocksalt

Where: 4-5 Fish Market, Folkestone CT19 6AA

It's impossible to miss this imposing restaurant with its terrace jutting out over the harbour. Local food is big on the menu here, whether it's seafood from south coast day boats or produce from nearby Kent farms. So for baked mussels with Kent cider this is the place to go.

Follow them on Instagram: @rocksaltfolkestone

More about Rocksalt


where to eat and drink in FolkestoneLucky Chip

Where: 2 Church St, Folkestone CT20 1SE

If you're wondering why there's a random branch of Lucky Chip down here, it's because owner Ben Denner lives here in Folkestone. That's good news for burger fans who can enjoy one of their Kevin Bacon burgers alongside a wine list that Zeren Wilson (from John Dory, above) helped curate.

Follow them on Instagram: @lucky_chip

More about Lucky Chip


where to eat and drink in FolkestonePick Up Pinxtos

Where: 2-4 South Street, Folkestone CT20 1RW

Chef patron Gianni Modena spent a year working at the world-class Arzak in San Sebastian before heading back to Folkestone to open his own Basque pintxos joint in the heart of Folkestone's creative quarter. This is where you'll find sobrasada tortilla on the counter to enjoy while you wait for your order of croquetas, or maybe some tempura violet artichokes, to arrive.

Follow them on Instagram: @pickuppintxos

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where to eat and drink in FolkestoneChummys

Where: 18 Beach St, Folkestone CT20 1QW

If you'd prefer not to do battle with seagulls over your freshy cooked cod and chips, then maybe give Chummys a swerve. But we hid under one of the covered tables overlooking the sea with our cold beer and perfect chips and were quite happy with our lot. They also do fresh (and cheap) shellfish too from dressed lobster to jellied eels.

Follow them on Instagram: @chummys_folkestone

More about Chummys


where to eat and drink in FolkestoneAnnapurna Nepalese Restaurant

Where: 15 Cheriton Pl, Folkestone CT20 2AY

Given the location of the Gurkha barracks in nearby Sandgate, it's not surprising that the area also boasts a number of great Nepalese restaurants, the best known of which is Annapurna. You'll come for the momos - Nepalese dumplings - and stay for the Kathmandu Daal Gosht.

More about Annapurna Nepalese Restaurant


where to eat and drink in FolkestoneThe Goods Yard

Where: Harbour Approach Rd, Folkestone CT20 1QH

With a big screen at its heart for the major sporting events, this outside eating and drinking space is ringed by food vendors. Among them is Go Dutch who serve up moules frites alongside pancakes and Wild Box cocktails who do great Aperol sours along with good and strong G&Ts.

Follow them on Instagram: @fstonehbourarm

More about The Goods Yard



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