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Published February 6th 2020
It's not easy to find this eatery but the oysters are superb
Whitstable is a seaside town well known for its oysters. The shellfish are harvested just metres off the beach. There is a choice of places where you can eat fresh oysters here, but one of my favourites is The Lobster Shack. It's a bit of a hidden treasure, but once you find it, you won't forget it!
The Lobster Shack, East Quay, Whitstable
Lobster, Oysters, Fish & Chips and Beer
The Lobster Shack is on the edge of the beach next to an oyster processing warehouse. It's an informal eatery where there's lots of noise and shared tables. You have to order at the bar and your food might come out at different times. The meals are served on tin plates and wooden chopping boards and you're lucky if you get a knife and fork. Outside there are deck chairs and wooden tables for eating al fresco. You cannot book either, and will often have to queue for a table. Most of the clientele have just come in from a long walk on the beach and are wearing wellies, jeans and bobble hats. All of these things are what make this place utterly charming.
The shack lives up to its name, it's rustic and informal
The menu isn't huge at The Lobster Shack and most of the dishes aren't really complete meals. Oysters come by the dozen or half-dozen, prawns are served in a little cup and the taster plate is a large platter of seafood that you simply dig into. I'm not a fan of the chips here, they are not as good as the chip-shop ones! Eating here is more about tucking into local food on the edge of the beach while getting away from the city.
The view looking out from the Lobster Shack to the beach at Whitstable
Finding the Lobster Shack isn't easy. It's on the edge of the beach at East Quay, but Whitstable Harbour kind of gets in the way. To find it, you need to go down the road between the Harbour toilet building and the car dealership. This small road feels like you shouldn't walk down it and it has an industrial feel. It's not a long road, but keep walking, past the back of the beach huts.
The best suggestion is to park in the large Gorrell Tank car park next to Harbour Street. Cross the road at the pelican crossing, opposite the public toilet building. Walk to the right a few steps and you'll see the unnamed road.
Follow the road to the beach, the Lobster Shack is right on the edge of the beach