It’s hard to resist a weekend in Whitstable, which is why so many people return year after year. There are many independent shops in the town centre to explore, alongside the popular pebble-filled coast complete with beach huts and that great British institution – the seaside café.
There’s another British institution that this coastal town has in abundance too – pubs!
So regardless of how you choose to spend your time in Whitstable – be that braving the cold water or strolling around Duncan Down – if you’re like us then after a day of adventuring you’ll want some fantastic food and a refreshing pint.
Luckily, we know this picturesque town well. So below you’ll find what we believe are the best pubs in Whitstable.
As you’ll soon see, there’s plenty of places to sit in the sun, fireplaces to huddle around on colder days, live music to enjoy, as well as several dog friendly pubs in Whitstable too.
So sit back and relax as we guide you through the best pubs in Whitstable!
The Best Pubs in Whitstable For Food, Beer & Fun!
1. The Twelve Taps
Make yourself comfy. We are about to cover a lot of information!
You want somewhere cosy and friendly with a sun trapping beer garden in the summer? Somewhere where your dog is so welcome that they could win the ‘Dog of the Day’ award on the pub’s Twitter? A place with so much beer and gin on offer that you’re going to need to give yourself plenty of time to visit as there’s so much to try?
Well if that’s the sort of establishment you’re looking for, then you’ve just struck gold.
The Twelve Taps located on the High Street in Whitstable is a must visit for fans of beer or gin. The staff are very knowledgeable about the drinks they sell, and if you aren’t too sure where to start, they’ll recommend the flight of three beers to gauge what your tastebuds prefer so that they can then offer different beers to you.
And if you would like to take a look at all the options they have, those can be found on their website which is always kept up to date.
If gin is your thing, Whitstable Gin is actually made by Twelve Taps and served exclusively here! There’s many gins available, and tonic is even free on Tuesdays! Their own gin is also used as part of a seasonal cocktail menu. No wonder this place is so well liked by gin lovers.
Along with all that, there is a rotation of real ales and a decent wine selection and cider. Whilst the last Wednesday of each month also features a popular quiz night.
But we’ve saved one of our favourite parts about this Whitstable pub until last. Once it’s time to leave and you’ve found that special beer – you can buy some to take away with you!
With so much on offer here, as well as being one of the best places for beer and gin in town, it’s little surprise this is not only only one of the best pubs in Whitstable, but also one of the best pubs in the region.
Address: 102 High Street, Whitstable, CT5 1AZ
A triumph of taste when it comes to both food and drink, it’s understandable why Quayside is one of the most popular pubs in Whitstable to relax after a busy day.
Wooden flooring, modern decor and comfortable seating in an open laid-back space creates a comforting atmosphere to enjoy any day of the week here.
The dog-friendly Quayside also has outside seating to the side of the building where you can enjoy sunny days, and even has occasional live entertainment – from drag acts to local bands!
However the real focus here is on the food.
The menu has some great hearty British meals and comfort food classics to choose from that will be sure to satisfy. Beer Battered Cod and the Steak & Guiness Pie are two of our favourites, but there’s also a selection of burgers, pizzas and some vegetarian/vegan options too.
And if you visit on a Sunday then traditional Roast Dinners are available, whilst on Wednesdays from 5pm to 8:30pm there is the Little Katsu Kitchen takeover where they change the menu weekly. That means there’s always a reason to come back!
Drinks wise there’s lots on offer, from ales, lager and craft beers to a fine selection of spirits from local suppliers. If you are planning on grabbing some food, be sure to check out the well curated wine list which really has something for everyone.
With the Quayside located so close to the harbour, this is a fantastic place to go for a meal and drinks after a relaxing coastal walk.
As this is one of the most popular pubs in Whitstable for food, you’d be best booking in advance if you’re coming for dinner on weekend nights or holidays.
Address: 67 Harbour Street, Whitstable, CT5 1AG
3. The Handsome Sam
Named after the owner’s late cat, The Handsome Sam is the newest micropub in Whitstable. It’s small but packed with character.
Inside feels a bit cosy, yet there’s still plenty of room to move about thanks to the layout. The gorgeous wooden beams you will see on the high ceiling are original, and despite the age difference, we think they pair nicely with the modern art on the walls.
There is a fine selection of ale available here which is stored in a temperature controlled room and dispensed by gravity – they really do take care of what they serve.
You’ll find beer from many of the 16 Kent breweries here; with Angels and Demons, Four Candles and Pig & Porter often available. For draught cider it’s usually Biddenden being served and there are some great snacks too. Grab yourself a Pork Pie or Scotch Egg then make some new friends – the people here are a friendly bunch!
Address: 3 Canterbury Road, Whitstable, CT5 4HJ
4. The Pearson’s Arms
What was once a battered looking pub is now one of the most stylish pubs in Whitstable. Now everything at The Pearson’s Arms is of the highest quality from the pints through to the food.
The open fire, old school seating and hardwood floors set within a spacious room also gives this place a traditional feel, but it’s the glorious views out of the window towards the sea that we really love.
The local area is well known for producing ale so there is plenty of offer here which you can enjoy in the laid-back atmosphere, perhaps from one of the comfortable sofas. Sharp’s Doom Bar and Timothy Taylor Landlord are often on tap and are well worth trying, or maybe you would prefer one of the many craft beers they have.
The cocktail menu is well worth a look at too as it’s filled with flair, and luckily it’s 2 for 1 every Wednesday and Friday early evening!
If it’s food you’re stopping in for then you won’t be disappointed. In fact we think it’s well worth staying for three courses.
Have a look at the wine list, grab a bottle then start making your selection. The Pearson’s Arms use the best of local produce so why not start with Soup or Scallops. Have a classic British main such as Fish & Chips, Fish Pie or Steak and finish things off with a delicious éclair or a selection of cheese if a savoury desert is more your thing.
If you make it here for the sunset you’ll be well rewarded, as the views from the Pearson’s Arms out towards the sea at this time are just spectacular.
Stay a little later than that and every Tuesday and Sunday you will be entertained with live music from talented local musicians, while on Fridays the resident DJ will be there to liven the mood.
If you want to see who is playing in advance of your visit then you can take a look at their events page. This is not just one of the most upmarket pubs in Whitstable, its one of the best for entertainment too!
Address: Horsebridge Road, Whitstable, CT5 1BT
5. The New Inn
The New Inn – is actually pretty old.
Dating back to 1860, this family run pub is unpretentious and the kind of friendly place where staff will learn your name as the night goes on.
If you’re looking for somewhere to kick back with a pint and watch football then this could be the place for you too. You’ll find live sports on the big screens while towards the back of the room there are well lit pool tables and darts to play which are always fun after a few drinks.
The first Tuesday of every month is also quiz night, whilst there’s a jazz jam session the last Thursday of each month – that’s always worth going to!
There’s some seating outside for those sunny days as well, and thanks to their fully stocked bar you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to what to drink while basking in the sunshine.
If it’s ale you’re after then The New Inn tends to have some good choices, with Shepherd Neame Master Brew and Shepherd Neame Spitfire Gold often available. Should you get peckish while you’re here they’ve recently started serving pizzas and burgers – the ideal food to line your stomach before digging into those tasty pints.
While exploring the area you may come across a pub called ‘The Smack Inn’ – this is actually The New Inn’s sister pub! They too have delicious pints and live music.
Address: 30 Woodlawn Street, Whitstable, CT5 1H
6. The Monument
Time for an all-rounder, a pub with a bit of everything on offer.
The Monument is set a little further back in Whitstable, whereas most pubs tend to be in a cluster near the water.
For us, that location actually gives this place a cosy, village pub feel, only enhanced by the friendly atmosphere you get here and the fact families and dogs are welcome too.
There is a big beer garden to enjoy for warmer days with tables in the sun, plus there’s even a play area for kids! As beer gardens go, this is right up there as one of the best in town.
Inside there are two bar areas to enjoy. One is for a more relaxing drink in a calm atmosphere, while the other is where you can play pool (on Fridays it’s free), darts and watch live sports.
If you’re looking to dine in you’ll notice the menu doesn’t follow a set cuisine; this is due to the chefs using the best local produce available at the time to create amazing dishes. So expect the dishes to change depending on the seasons.
However if you get the chance, look out for the Pork & Chorizo Croquettes which are a fine way to start. As a main, we enjoyed the Thai Green Curry. But if you’re looking for something a little lighter there are a selection of sandwiches available and children have their own menu too.
As an added bonus, through the week promotions are run on various foods such as ‘Steak Saturday’ as well as kids meals for just £2 from Monday to Friday between 3:30pm to 6pm.
With a mix of quiz nights, poker nights, live music and even some outdoor activities, this really is a great place that we can’t recommend highly enough.
Address: 32 Church Street, Whitstable, CT5 1PH
7. The East Kent
You don’t need to head too far east to find one of the best places in Whitstable for a great drink and some classic British dishes with a modern twist.
Located just down the road from many of the other pubs in the area, The East Kent has a photogenic interior thanks to the exposed red brick walls and natural light flooding through the big window.
Outside there is a fantastic covered beer garden where you can also get the only wood-fired pizzas in Whitstable!
Of course we recommend trying those pizzas, but if you fancy something different the menu has a wide variety. You’ll find dishes like Steak Pie, Burgers, Fish & Chips to Tacos and Tempura! There’s a good range of vegetarian and vegan options too, and there is a selection of deserts if you’re still hungry after your meal.
To wash all of that down there’s a good choice of Shepherd Neame ale available, and a nicely curated wine list.
But if you are eating outside on a warm day, it will be hard to resist something from their new cocktail bar.
To top things off, The East Kent hosts occasional live music. Plus if your dog is on a lead feel free to bring them to the beer garden too. All in all, this is easily one of our favourite pubs in Whitstable.
Address: 72 Oxford Street, Whitstable, CT5 1DA