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Home to England’s world-famous white cliffs, Dover has everything needed to bring a crowd. Incredible seaside views, vibrant local history, and festivals every year. Despite its convenient ferry to France, you’ll want to spend time soaking up Dover’s local culture, starting with its growing food scene. Choose one from this list of Dover’s 10 best local restaurants to get started.
For impressive views of the English Channel (and possibly a glimpse of France on a clear day), dine at the Dover Marina Hotel’s Waterfront Restaurant. The sophisticated venue is located in a four-star Best Western, and floor-to-ceiling windows facing the Port of Dover give it an open atmosphere. A resident pianist gives Sunday lunch a refined feel. The menu is British with a twist, special events in the restaurant include a Sunday carvery lunch and a Bombay night, a three-course buffet of authentic Asian cuisine, every Thursday.
Dover Waterfront Restaurant,Waterloo Crescent, Dover, UK, +44 1304 203633
This European-style coffee house brings a bit of the continent to the UK, and it is great for a quick coffee or a leisurely, low-cost lunch. A variety of hot meals, like toasted sandwiches, homemade soups, and jacket potatoes will warm you up on a chilly day, and ready-to-eat cold salads and sandwiches are available to grab in between sightseeing. Situated near the market square, La Salle Verte is a cozy, quirky place to relax after a long day of exploring Dover.
La Salle Verte, 14-15 Cannon Street, Dover, UK, +44 1304 201547
The Allotment has been impressing customers for years. The bright interior and open kitchen give the bistro a bustling, urban feel. The Allotment gets its name from its owner’s close relationship with allotment owners in Dover who supply the restaurant’s produce. Don’t expect to see many familiar dishes here. The small menu changes daily to include new, innovative fish, meat, and vegetarian specials.
The Allotment, 9 High Street, Dover, UK, +44 1304 214467
If it’s authentic Italian food you’re craving during your Dover visit, make your way to Dino’s Restaurant, a local hot spot since 1977. A family of Italian immigrants opened Dino’s after moving from busy London to raise a family on Dover’s calmer coast. Fresh and seasonal vegetables paired with English meats and seafood create high quality, localized Italian dishes. Dino’s is conveniently located close to Dover’s city center where you can unwind after a long day with a glass of wine and a carb-packed meal.
Dino’s Italian Restaurant,58 Castle Street,Dover, UK, +44 1304 204678
Another restaurant that shows off Dover’s stunning seaside views is Hythe Bay Seafood. The restaurant’s balcony has panoramic windows to give the ultimate harbor-dining experience. Look for local landmarks like Dover Castle, the white cliffs, and the channel port. Spend a sunny afternoon here before a walk along the beach or light up your Saturday night with Hythe Bay’s live music. The menu is filled with seafood dishes featuring fresh, locally sourced ingredients, you can’t go wrong with any of them.
Hythe Bay Seafood Restaurant,The Esplanade, Dover, UK, +44 1304 207740
This maritime favorite sits inside an old, renovated shipyard in the Dover Harbor just off the coast. In addition to its array of fresh seafood dishes, Cullins Yard has a wide selection of whiskey from Scotland and an onsite brewery producing fine ales and porters. Come to Cullins Yard on a Sunday afternoon to hear live music with a two-course roast dinner or see the resident jazz band play every Friday. A collection of quirky antiques and nautical treasures decorate the restaurant.
Cullins Yard, 11 Cambridge Road, Dover, UK, +44 1304 211666
Eat an authentic Indian meal at Namaste, located in The Swingate Inn just outside of Dover. The menu includes dishes from all over India that are made with locally sourced ingredients. In addition to all of the favorites, the vast menu offers experimental Indo-Chinese options for anyone looking to try a twist on a favorite dish.
Swingate Inn and Hotel, Deal Road, Dover, UK, +44 1304 204043
Try a traditional cream tea after a light lunch at the Pines Garden Tea Room. A daily menu offers selections like homemade soup or quiche made from ingredients grown in the Pines Garden, a six-acre, organically managed garden. The garden, which has a lake, sustainability trail, grass labyrinth, and more, is open to explore. Across the street is St. Margaret’s Museum, a local history museum with changing displays on environmental and historical themes. Opening hours are limited in the winter, so call ahead to book your spot.
The Pines Garden Tea Room & Museum, Beach Road, Dover, UK, +44 1304 853173
The Smugglers Bar and Restaurant, located just outside of Dover in the village St. Margarets-At-Cliffe, has a historic connection to illegal rum smuggling in the 18th and 19th centuries. Previously known as The Carriers Arms, it was renamed as an ode to its dark and boozy history. The windowed, peaked ceiling gives The Smugglers an open, airy feel, and the menu features many options beyond typical British favorites, including a Mexican menu and other European dishes.
If you’ve had enough of Dover’s seaside dining and you’re looking to escape the dinnertime rush of tourists, head over to The Archer for the quintessential pub experience. Here you’ll find traditional pub favorites plus pizzas, burgers, BBQ, and more. Watch live sporting events, enter a team in the monthly pub quiz, or sit back and watch the regularly scheduled live entertainment with a pint in hand.
The Archer Pub, 2 Sandwich Road, Whitfield, UK, +44 1304 825890