2021 (as was 2020) will be the year of the staycation. Last year, due to the Covid clampdown on international travel, we decided to do a seaside trip to Margate, Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Deal. We wanted to get some fresh sea air, beach walks and some fish and chips but also managed to visit some outstanding restaurants during our stay.
It turns out that there is a huge food and drinks scene in Margate. The following places should be on your radar if you are planning a visit to Margate.
Sun, Sea, Sand and Seafood! All our favourite things came together in one happy confluence at Buoy and Oyster for our first lunch in Margate. We had the Calamari; Whipped Cod’s Roe and Pint of Prawns for starters. This was followed by Scottish Mussels (white wine, shallot, garlic & parsley, skinny fries & sourdough) and Buoy Bowl (King prawns, deep fried squid & beer battered daily catch served with skinny fries & aioli – recommend). Buoy and Oyster also have fresh lobsters, crab and oysters on their menu. If you are a seafood lover and in the mood to splurge, this is the place to be. A key feature of this restaurant was their outside terrace which was bookable. If it is a warm day, I would thoroughly recommend booking an outside table if you can, as it offers some great views of Margate beach.
Cafe, record shop, studio and hair salon all rolled into one venue, Cliffs is the place to brunch and browse with a beverage. We stopped here for a quick breakfast bite one morning and hungrily demolished some creamy Scrambled Eggs on Toasted Bagel, drizzled with homemade salsa verde & toasted seeds on a bed of leafy greens. It definitely hit the spot. They have an extensive brunch menu and it’s a good place to perch and plan your stay in Margate with one of their specialty coffees amidst their quirky interiors.
Angela’s of Margate was recommended to us by literally everyone we asked. Expectedly, it was fully booked on the days of our visit but we lucked out with one of their outside tables for walk-ins. We dived into Plaice, Clams, Samphire and Monkfish, Sweetcorn, Paprika Butter and finished off with a Chocolate Cake, Caramel, Creme FraÎche. They have a daily rotating menu and the food really lived up to our expectations. Both the hake and the plaice were divine. Lee and his team were absolutely lovely; service was warm & personable with real attention to detail! It definitely gets my stamp of approval as well! They have a sister restaurant called Dory’s which we missed out on but can’t wait to check out next time.
The award for the best meal we had in Margate goes to New Street Bistro. We were seriously impressed with the food that was served here. Their main restaurant is currently closed for Covid reasons but they have a fabulous courtyard, complete with outdoor kitchen and live cooking, which is perfect for alfresco dining on summery days. The short but sweet menu was a classic starter-main-dessert set up. The food was flavoursome, brilliant cooking and each course dazzled. Some of the dishes we tried were the Sirloin Steak & Red Chimichurri Sauce; Roasted Free-range Chicken Breast, Aioli; Merguez Sausage, Flat Bread, Mint Yoghurt & Pickled Red Onions and Cured Sea trout, Lemon Creme Fraiche; Dill Pickled Cucumber.
They are doing some great stuff with vegetables too like Cauliflower Steak and Roasted Aubergine! I would suggest going in a group and order everything from the menu! Tomos and his team will look after you well.
Ramsay and Williams is a quirky antiques shop in Margate Old Town that also happens to be a delightful ice cream parlour selling Kentish ice cream. A visit here is a must when in Margate. Nothing beats the joy of walking on a beach in the peak of British summer with a melting ice cream cone in one’s hand.
Is it even a British seaside holiday if you haven’t had fish and chips by the sea? Peter’s Fish Factory is the perfect place to get your seaside F&C fix at unbelievably low prices and good quality; just prepare to queue a little during peak times. They also have branches in nearby Ramsgate.
Storeroom was a bright and cheerful little cafe selling coffee and other merchandise from Curve Coffee Roasters. They also do a selection of cakes, pastries, savoury quiches, tarts, eggy brunches and light lunches. One for coffee connoisseurs!
Barletta is a unique concept restaurant that rotates from venue to venue. During our visit, they were based on the site of the former Ziggy’s bar at Marine Terrace, which offered spectacular views of Margate beach and seafront on one side and a little peak into Margate’s famous vintage theme park – Dreamland. Currently, they have a residency going in the Rose in June pub.
The following places provided the perfect watering hole to quench our thirst for beers during our stay in Margate.
Family run micro pub, perfect for beers and sea views.
Another micro pub with an impressive selection of beers from small local breweries and an amazing spot to watch the sunset over Margate beach.
A microbrewery and taproom bar located on the seafront in Margate. This is yet another great place to watch the golden hour over Margate beach. They also have a ‘bring your own food’ policy, which we made use of when we got our fish and chips from nearby (and aforementioned) Peter’s Fish Factory and matched it with some locally produced craft beers!
Some of the other places recommended to us which we couldn’t make were Roost, Sargasso, Bottega Caruso; Hantverk & Found; The George and Heart; Forts Cafe, Scissortail Coffee; Casa Pizzeria; Ralph’s Pizza and GB Pizza.
N.B. Please check with the individual restaurants and bars for their current Covid compliance procedures before booking/visiting.