The Best Restaurants in Tunbridge Wells, UK

The picturesque town of Tunbridge Wells, UK, has a fantastic selection of restaurants for you to try
The picturesque town of Tunbridge Wells, UK, has a fantastic selection of restaurants for you to try | © Realimage / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Nicholas Grantham
30 October 2020

The picturesque town of Tunbridge Wells, or Royal Tunbridge Wells as it’s been known since 1909, has a lot going for it. From beautiful parks, an idyllic town centre and friendly locals, there’s plenty of reasons to visit this quaint location in Kent. Among the highlights are the fantastic eateries on offer, ranging from traditional British pub lunches to French haute cuisine. To help you choose, we’ve put together some of the best restaurants for you to try on your next night out in Tunbridge Wells.

The Beacon

Restaurant, British, $$$
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Overlooking the nearby Happy Valley and recently taken over by the I’ll Be Mother group, The Beacon is a quaint restaurant and tea house featuring an exceptional outdoor terrace space. A popular venue for weddings and private hires but open as a functioning restaurant during the week, the seasonal menu is composed of traditional British favourites with locally sourced ingredients. If you have the chance, be sure to visit on a Sunday to try their exceptional roast dinners.

Rendez Vous

Brasserie, French, $$$
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Combining the elements of a classic brasserie with a casual charming style, Rendez Vous is a perfect visit for a romantic date night or a dinner out with friends. Its menu mostly takes on French influence but with a special focus on game, all sourced locally from the Kent countryside. Started by professional chef Mark Harper, after he had decided he wanted to open his own venue, the restaurant has a lovely warm atmosphere that will make you feel like a regular in no time.

The Mount Edgcumbe

Gastropub, British, $$$
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First opened as a pub and restaurant in 2012, the Mount Edgcumbe has a history almost as exceptional as its welcoming interior and delicious menu. Found inside a Grade II-listed building dating back nearly 300 years, today, this endearing gastropub serves a huge variety of options, from a Sussex rib-eye steak to a Thai green curry with tofu. If you are after an extra special dining experience, the pub has a genuine sandstone cave available to book.

Zorba Meze

Restaurant, Mediterranean, $$$
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Opened after converting a former cafe in 2017, Zorba is a casual-yet-comfortable Turkish restaurant, serving some of the best Mediterranean dishes in the city. Opened by local Sedat Zorba, the restaurant has been a popular choice since its inception, thanks to its great selection of mezes, kebabs and vegetarian options. With a fabulous beer-and-wine menu and extensive cocktail list, Zorba is also an excellent place to grab a drink.

Vittle and Swig

Restaurant, British, $$$
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A firm local favourite, Vittle and Swig is frequently considered to offer some of the best food in Tunbridge Wells. After taking over the spot previously run by the Camden Quarter a couple of years ago, Vittle and Swig has cemented itself as one of the top restaurants in town, thanks to its excellent menu, attentive staff and chic ambience. Serving a mix of British and European dishes, it’s the steaks that are the true speciality, with the dry-aged scotch rib eye being a personal favourite. The restaurant is open throughout the week, apart from Mondays, and it also serves a fantastic brunch menu during the day.

Thackeray's

Restaurant, French, $$$
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Found in the former house of famed Victorian novelist William Makepeace Thackeray, from whom the restaurant takes its name, Thackeray’s offers guests a delicious selection of traditional French cuisine. The menu was put together by the head chef Patrick Hill and features a variety of submenus, including their casual lunch menu, a five-course set menu and the extravagant chef’s tasting menu. If you’re a fan of seafood, you have to try the scallops.

These recommendations were updated on October 30, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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