As you would expect, the food scene in Dover is heavily weighted towards British classics and sea-fresh catches of the day. But if you look hard enough, there is tons of variety to be found. From innovative Indian cuisine to authentic Chinese dishes, you don’t have to worry about going hungry in Dover.
Our video guide to Dover restaurants
A beautifully intricate restaurant over the road from Dover Town Hall, The Allotment serves lunch, light bites, afternoon tea and dinner. With a menu packed full of distinctive British flavours, you can choose from the likes of sirloin steak, belly pork and duck in plum brandy. If you want something to line your stomach before a night out they also serve a cracking burger menu with some unusual topping combinations – check out the Greek burger served with red onion, olives and feta for a real treat. Open until 9.30pm this is a great place to grab a bite before hitting the pubs in Dover.
If exotic tastes are more to your liking, walk 10 minutes towards the coast to Cinnamon Island, an Indian restaurant that specialises in breaking culinary boundaries. Everything here is freshly cooked using beautiful locally sourced produce. If you’re health conscious, you’re in for a real treat as all the curries are made using as little oil as possible. The menu at Cinnamon Island is always changing to reflect the latest culinary trends so you can be sure that you’ll be eating innovative, creative and tasty food here.
If you want to experience a taste of Italy then you won’t go wrong with La Scala, Dover’s most popular Italian restaurant. The head chef Francesco Pasquino was born in Sardinia, so the menu here is authentic with Italian delicacies such as polpetti alla diavola – a very hot dish of octopus cooked in wine, garlic and chillies – risotto and fresh pasta. The wine is typically good here too and they do a lunchtime specials menu if you want to pop in during the day. Located on Dover High Street, La Scala is open until 10pm.
If you prefer pizza and more British pasta dishes then Il Rustico might be more to your liking. La Scala’s sister restaurant – also headed up by Francesco Pasquino – the food here is a little more budget friendly and perfect for the entire family. Think carbonara, lasagne and margherita pizzas. You can find Il Rustico a one-minute walk away from the Dover Information Centre.
Also located on Dover High Street is New Moonflower, a traditional Chinese restaurant that has tons of variety. Everything is cooked to order here, and they do a bargain all-you-can-eat menu for around £15. There is nothing fancy about the interior, but you can’t say it isn’t authentic and the food is tasty, cheap and hits the spot. Another great choice if you’re looking for somewhere to line your stomach before a few beers round town.
With sweeping views of Shakespeare Cliff and the ocean, Hythe Bay Seafood Restaurant is a modern eatery located by Dover Marina. The food served exactly reflects where it is – right from the sea. Mussels, prawns, hake and halibut are just a few of the delicious fish dishes on offer, and there are also non-fish options if that isn’t your thing. The fish is farmed sustainably from the south coast, and there are new deliveries daily so everything is extremely fresh.
If you’re arriving by ferry, The Happy Chef is a great place to grab your first meal in Dover. Situated next to the grand shaft and a four-minute walk from Dover Marina, you’ll find good old hearty British food here. From a fry-up to a BLT, they have everything you need to sate your appetite after a long journey. The decor inside is nice too, putting a modern spin on a typical dockside café.
When you approach VIRSA “The Heritage” you’d be forgiven for thinking you are entering a traditional English pub. What was once one of the town’s watering holes is now a tasty Indian restaurant serving some of the best curries in the region. From traditional mains like balti and korma to chicken tikka rolls – chicken tikka, salad and mint yoghurt all wrapped in a naan bread of your choice – you won’t struggle to find something to suit your tastes here. Open Tuesday–Sunday 5–11pm, you can find it on the same street as Dover Town Hall.