Looking for places to eat in and around Folkestone, Kent? Read our review of Custom (where food meets community and art in a quirky shipping container restaurant), our review of the Folkestone Wine Company (a charming seafood-focused restaurant), and our review of the Hide and Fox in nearby Saltwood, described by our writer as “a flash of culinary brilliance”.
Market Square in a nutshell
Market Square is a bright, modern space in Folkestone offering fresh, zesty food that you can feel good about eating.
Who’s cooking at Market Square?
James Pearce has been feeding the people of Folkestone – and feeding them well – for a while now. This is the latest of four great pubs and restaurants opened by L&B Restaurants, and James has cooked across the group’s sites. Market Square is offering food from a mindful and good-for-you angle, but without sacrificing any imagination, execution or flavour.
What’s the vibe?
There are quiet nooks for intimate evenings, a family-friendly coffee area at the front alongside floor-to-ceiling windows, a quirky bar for a quick espresso or after-work drink, and canteen-style seating up by the kitchen where you can grab a quick bite or make an evening of it with a group of friends. The space is buzzy and offers something for every time of day.
What’s the food like at Market Square?
Well-conceived, broad ranging and excellently cooked. The menu stays away from refined sugars and is brimming with vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options, such as the shichimi togarashi fried tofu, which are crispy on the outside and silky on the inside, or the vegetable bhajis, which are fluffy, earthy, spicy and sweet.
The mains are substantial, usually served with grains or rice, and embrace a range of cuisines. The satay chicken is succulent and the sauce robust and full of umami. The gochujang butternut squash is a joy, bringing together the earthy sweetness of the squash and the depth and spice of the chilli paste. The tacos come piled high on proper corn tortillas, with fillings including roasted cauliflower, sticky sesame salmon and pulled chicken with smashed avocado.
And the drinks?
The drinks include an interesting cocktail list, local beers, a very approachable wine list, great coffee and a selection of refined-sugar-free soft drinks. Put it this way, you won’t struggle to find something delicious to sup.
The kitchen is open all day and serves a range of breakfast and brunch options, so head here first thing for a full English or vegan and gluten-free pancakes with toppings such as strawberry and raw cacao sauce or sticky charred pineapple, coconut yogurt and red chilli.
Words by Pami Hoggatt