Exploring the Culinary Delights of Rye: A Food Lover’s Guide

Rye, a picturesque town located on the coast of East Sussex, England, is a treasure trove for food enthusiasts. Known for its historic charm, Rye also boasts a vibrant culinary scene that offers a diverse array of dining experiences. From traditional British fare to innovative contemporary cuisine, here are some of the best food in Rye that you shouldn’t miss.

Traditional British Fare

The Mermaid Inn

Steeped in history, The Mermaid Inn offers a quintessentially British dining experience. The inn’s restaurant, with its medieval ambiance, serves classic British dishes with a modern twist. Highlights include the Sussex lamb, locally sourced and perfectly cooked, and the sticky toffee pudding, a decadent end to any meal. The ambiance, complete with roaring fires and beamed ceilings, makes dining here a unique experience.

The George in Rye

Another historic gem, The George in Rye, offers a refined take on British classics. The hotel’s restaurant, The Grill, is renowned for its high-quality steaks and fresh seafood. The Sunday roast, featuring succulent meats and all the trimmings, is a must-try. Pair your meal with a selection from their extensive wine list for a truly memorable dining experience.

Contemporary Cuisine

Webbe’s at The Fish Cafe

For those seeking modern British cuisine with a focus on seafood, Webbe’s at The Fish Cafe is a top choice. Chef Paul Webbe’s restaurant emphasizes fresh, local ingredients and innovative cooking techniques. The menu changes seasonally, but you can always expect dishes like pan-seared scallops, Rye Bay plaice, and a variety of shellfish. The relaxed, airy atmosphere complements the high-quality food, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

The Standard Inn

Combining the charm of a traditional pub with contemporary culinary flair, The Standard Inn is a must-visit. The menu features a variety of dishes that celebrate local produce, such as Dungeness crab, Romney Marsh lamb, and homemade pies. The pub’s cozy setting, with its open fires and friendly staff, adds to the overall appeal. Don’t forget to try their selection of local ales and ciders.

International Flavors


For something sweet, Knoops offers a unique chocolate drink experience. This chocolate bar specializes in bespoke hot chocolates made from a variety of high-quality chocolates sourced from around the world. You can choose from different cocoa percentages to create your perfect drink. Knoops also serves cold chocolate drinks, making it a great stop any time of the year.

Simply Italian

For a taste of Italy in the heart of Rye, Simply Italian delivers authentic Italian dishes in a lively, family-friendly atmosphere. The menu includes classic pizzas, pastas, and antipasti, all made with fresh ingredients. The rustic decor and warm service add to the restaurant’s charm, making it a great spot for a casual meal with friends or family.

Cafes and Light Bites

The Fig

A popular spot for breakfast and brunch, The Fig offers a range of healthy and delicious options. The menu includes dishes like avocado toast, shakshuka, and a variety of freshly baked pastries. The Fig is known for its excellent coffee and friendly service, making it a perfect place to start your day in Rye.

Cobbles Tea Room

For a traditional English tea experience, Cobbles Tea Room is a delightful choice. Located in a charming, historic building, this tea room serves a selection of teas, homemade cakes, and scones with clotted cream and jam. The quaint, cozy atmosphere makes it an ideal spot for a relaxing afternoon break.

Specialty Food Shops

Rye Delicatessen

For those who prefer to enjoy gourmet delights at home, Rye Delicatessen offers a fantastic selection of local and international delicacies. From artisanal cheeses and charcuterie to freshly baked bread and fine wines, this deli has everything you need for a perfect picnic or a gourmet meal at home.

The Rye Bakery

No visit to Rye is complete without stopping by The Rye Bakery. Known for its artisanal breads and pastries, this bakery uses traditional methods and high-quality ingredients. Whether you’re picking up a loaf of sourdough or indulging in a sweet treat, The Rye Bakery is sure to impress.


Rye’s culinary scene is as rich and diverse as its history. Whether you’re in the mood for traditional British dishes, contemporary cuisine, or international flavors, this charming town has something to satisfy every palate. With its combination of excellent food, warm hospitality, and unique settings, Rye is a true haven for food lovers. So, take a gastronomic journey through Rye and discover the best food this beautiful town has to offer.