If there’s one thing that we’re absolutely spoilt for choice with in Costa del Margate, outside of the abundance of sand that is, it’s food. From Italian to South African to alternative fish and chips, there’s seriously good food to be had all around town. And now as the world starts to open again and restaurants gets back to business, I wanted to highlight some of my favourite places to chow down. I’ll try to keep it up to date with COVID regulations, but please do check in with places beforehand and remember that most are small and will need to be pre-booked to avoid disappointment.
Here’s your ultimate guide of where to eat in Margate.
For Coffee & Breakfast:
The social hub of Margate; this place literally has everything. Good coffee, food by The Bus Cafe, records and space for a yoga studio and hair salon. You’re most likely to find me here grabbing my morning brew. Browse the record selection as your grub is being prepared or enjoy a delicious coffee and a chat while your hair is being treated to a trim. If Carlsberg did multi-hyphenate restaurants…
COVID Operations: Card payments only. Tables and takeaway options available.
172 Northdown Rd, Margate CT9 2QN | Visit the website.
New kid on the block Forts is a must-visit for the passionate coffee enthusiasts amongst you. Imagine coffee that’s creamy, sweet and a little fruity, and you’ll have the house espresso TASTYBOI (also available to take home with ya)! As well as damn good coffee, Forts also offer unique and innovative sandwiches (particularly grand vegan options) as well as some of the best homemade cookies I’ve ever gobbled up.
COVID Operations: Limited outdoor seating and takeaway service. Card payments only.
8 Cliff Terrace, Margate , CT9 1RU | Check out the instagram.
Store Room by Curve
Coffee is considered an art at Storeroom and they roast their own coffee here in Margate. The coffee menu changes regularly and always includes two different choices of single origin espresso, one batch brew filter and two options of brewed-to-order filter coffees. Alongside all that delicious caffeine, Storeroom offers a tasty brunch menu with open sandwiches and scrumptious cakes. Get on it. Now.
COVID Operations: Open as normal with indoor seating and takeaway available.
1D Print Works, Union Row, Margate CT9 1PP | Visit the website.
The Grain Grocer
The Grain Grocer is a natural food store and cafe in the middle of Margate’s Northdown Road. Vegans can once again rejoice, as this is your one stop shop for everything you could possibly need. All of the products and produce are thoughtfully sourced, supporting farms with organic and local principles. The aim? To make healthy organic food available and accessible to cook with, but the coffee is pretty damn tasty soon. Check in on their Instagram for the latest menu offering from vegan catering company ‘Wild’.
COVID Operations: Takeaway available alongside the normal grocery store offering.
95-97 Northdown Rd, Margate CT9 2QY | Visit the website.
If you’re after a proper greasy spoon, Dalby Cafe is your go-to venue for a full English with some proper seaside charm. The avid Libertines fans amongst you might already know it for the breakfast challenge that was successfully completed by a certain Pete Doherty. Seriously, this is the place to soak up all the booze from the night before and get to grips with a Margate business that’s been around for a very long time… *Chef’s greasy kiss*
COVID Operations: Dining in and takeaway options available. Very good social distancing options!
4-6 Dalby Rd, Cliftonville, Margate CT9 2EX | Check out the Instagram.
For Lunch and Dinner:
Ciao Bella! The moment you taste the lovingly designed menu at Bottega Caruso, you’re instantly transported from Margate to Southern Italy. This family run restaurant specialises in Italian recipes that have been passed down through the generations. No wonder foot critic Grace Dent gave them top marks and caused a six week waiting list in the process. I assure you – the hype is real – these guys can make pasta and tomato sauce taste like the most layered dish ever. My absolute favourite place to dine in Margate, no doubt.
COVID operations: open for takeaway with some tables available for reservations. Check social media for the latest info. Ingredients can also be purchased to enjoy at home including cheese, salumi, nduja, wine, pickles, olive oil, chocolates, herbs, truffle, and the legendary tomato sauces.
2-4 Broad St, Margate CT9 1EW | Visit the website.
New Street Bistro
Another of my absolute favourites in Margate. Yes, there is more than one. New Street Bistro is run by a cracking father and son team who specialise in seasonal dishes. The focus is very much on quality over quantity here, with only three starters, three mains and two desserts on the menu on a typical day. If you eat fish, I always recommend the smoked trout, but vegans and vegetarians can get ready for a taste sensation as the team really put special effort into making delicious and exciting non-meat dishes. Oh, and I might be slightly biased (because a certain JJP might be front of house), but the service here is absolutely top notch and like none other you’ll experience in Margate.
COVID operations: New Street Bistro have opened a garden just across the road from their normal site. Enjoy lunch and dinner al fresco, but make sure you check their Instagram page for the latest opening times. .
23 New St, Margate CT9 1EG | Check out the Instagram.
If you’re a fan of seafood, Dory’s is your best bet for fresh sharing style food that feels fancy, but not too much so. Little sister to fish restaurant Angela’s (which is also worth a visit), the seafood bar overlooks Margate Main Sands and is most perfect when accompanied by a glass of red. I’m a huge advocate for their crab bagels, so be sure to give it a go if it’s on the menu.
COVID Operations: Dory’s offers a takeaway service as well as an option to pre-order your food. There are currently tables set up outside on the seafront. They’re currently selling very tasty looking platters which would be perfect to take to the beach!
24 High Street. Margate. Kent. CT9 1DS | Visit the website.
If you’re looking for space or a place for a bigger party, Barletta have taken over the rooftop space at Ziggy’s for the summer, and the view couldn’t be more beautiful! These guys know how to create tasty dishes a little on the fancier side, and can also make a mean negroni to boot. The menu is small and changes daily, and is perhaps not the most amazing selection for vegetarians compared to other places, but they’ve always been super accommodating when we’ve been in a group with dietary requirements. Plus, I’ve never known anyone to do carrots better!
COVID Operations: Check social for latest but should be open Thursday – Sunday. These guys probably have the biggest space in Margate so socially distancing is easy peasy lemon squeezy.
on the Roof, 49 Marine Terrace, Barletta, Margate CT9 1XJ | Visit the website.
Peter’s Fish Factory
The only plaice (you get me?) to fulfill your traditional seaside supper needs. Honestly one the best fish and chips I’ve ever tried and most certainly better than any London offering. Everyone loves a bag of chips by the seaside, don’t they? Expect hour long queues on a sunny day, but don’t be too disheartened – it still looks out onto the harbour arm and Margate’s beautiful sands.
COVID Operations: Business as usual – just make sure you give others space when queuing.
12 The Parade, Margate CT9 1EZ | Check out the Facebook page.
Po’ Boy Creole
As an alternative to traditional fish and chips. Po’ Boy is the creme de la creme of Margate’s street food offerings. Honestly, I think I could live on their seaweed chips – so bloody tasty. As well as Cajun fish, breaded prawns and their famous Po’ Boy sandwiches, the team also offer panko tofu options which are a truly dreamy treat. We always bring our vegan pals for an evening on the beach, and it never EVER disappoints.
COVID Operations: Slightly reduced menu, but open Friday-Sunday for takeaway.
The Sun Deck, Royal Cresent Promenade, Margate CT9 5AJ | Check out Instagram.
Got kids? Or just fussy friends and family? Roost should 100% be your go-to restaurant for family friendly grub. While it may sound like a place that’s just for fried chicken, this local favourite actually has a pretty big menu of diner food and some very tasty vegetarian/vegan options too. I always grab the mac and cheese (it’s delicious with avocado) as well as the sweet potato fries. Clucking good, if you ask me.
COVID Operations: It looks likes its opening August 1st but it’s not yet entirely clear so check social media / ring ahead!
19 Cliff Terrace, Cliftonville, Margate CT9 1RU | Visit the website.
Another great option for vegans. Oh boy is Margate good for you vegans! Beet Bar has got all of your light lunch requirements covered. Buddha bowls, wraps and vegan brekkie with a difference, this is the place to grab clean and healthy food to kick your seaside hangover back into the sea. It’s also THE place to get a smoothie in Margate which we all know is extremely welcome on a hot day!
COVID Operations: Open as usual with takeaway and outdoor seating.
Car Park, Sidney Pl, Market St, Margate CT9 1FF | Visit the website.
Margate was totally falling short with the Mexican cuisine and Dive came to the rescue in the midst of lockdown, offering takeaway quesadilla and tacos straight from their tiny pink taco shack. Forget your standard Mexican chain offerings and think crab tostadas and BBQ prawns. Absolutely delicious and situated right in the harbour arm with a view onto the big blue. Grab your senor or senorita and make it a spicy night to remember.
COVID Operations: Pre-book your table online.
Unit 6, Margate Harbour Arm, Margate CT9 1AP | Visit the website.
You might know that JJP and I are huge fans of a righteous radius and Ralph’s is our go to place when we’re lusting after a sourdough number. In fact, I’ve just checked the menu again and have decided it’s our next takeaway. Did I mention that all the pizzas are vegetarian? That’s right. A full mention dedicated to us herbivores which means exciting veggie combinations!
COVID Operations: Pre-order online for collection or delivery Thursday through to Sunday.
7a Market Place, Margate CT9 1EN | Visit the website to order.
Fancy something a little different from your normal food offerings? Ouma’s Kitchen ticks the box with an ode to South Africa. Born and bred in South Africa, founder Brenda is bringing Durban hearty flavours to the Northdown Road, alongside an offering of teas and plants. Think dishes such as aubergine & green banana curry as well as fresh takes on Mac and cheese. The restaurant is a little off the beaten Margate tracks, so head here and you’ll likely experience something that not many other visitors will.
COVID Operations: Open as normal with sanitisation and social distancing in place.
189 Northdown Road, Margate, CT9 2PA | Visit the website.
Street food at Old Kent Road Market
If you’re looking for a quick snack or something to take to the beach, the big red building on the seafront is the answer. From the biggest and best hot cross buns at Gina’s Old Kent Bakery to the mouth watering falafel wraps at Foody Moody’s, there’s plenty of selection here and the majority are open seven days a week. Plus, the building itself is pretty cool!
COVID Operations: Most places open as normal for takeaway.
8 Fort Hill, Margate CT9 1HD| Check out the Instagram.