North Devon restaurants, pubs and cafes
Where's best to go? Read our eating out guide
One of the greatest pleasures of being on holiday is finding excellent new places to eat, and trying the best local produce that the area has to offer. But most people could do with a few pointers in the right direction to help you find those real hidden gems - and that's where we come in!
North Devon restaurants
We're very lucky to have some top-notch restaurants in North Devon. A little inland at Kentisbury is Kentisbury Grange, which has recently joined up with two-Michelin starred chef Michael Caines. Again, it's smart, and on the special occasion, fine-dining side, but isn't stuffy and does great-value relaxed lunches. Also on the smart side, and very nice with great views, is the restaurant at Saunton Sands Hotel, and its sister cafe-bistro, Beachside Grill. Still on the relaxed front is the French themed Le Bistro Du Coin. For excellent old-fashioned fish-and-chips it has to be the award-winning Squire's in Braunton - which has also recently opened a new, slightly smarter but still family-friendly upmarket restaurant across the road, with a lovely terrace. And if it's curry you fancy, then the amazing Barricane Beach Cafe (summer weekends only) in Woolacombe is a very special experience, The Gurkha in Barnstaple is nice, and for good, up-market Chinese food (and takeaway), it has to be Fullam restaurant, also in Barnstaple.
North Devon food pubs
This list has to start with one of Devon's culinary stars - The Mason's Arms, a fantastic traditional pub which also happens to hold a Michelin star. You'll find on Exmoor it en-route to North Devon, just off the A361 and 20 miles from Barnstaple, and it's well-worth the journey for its cosy feel and top-notch food. The Grove Inn is another one worth the half hour or so trip inland (or another stopoff on your way to your cottage) - it's tiny and quaint, and serves brilliantly traditional hearty dishes such as Devon hog's pudding, and excellent wine and brews too. Closer to the coast north of Barnstaple then are some really nice family pubs, such as the thatched Williams Arms in Wrafton near Braunton and The Grampus Inn at Lee Bay, and of course The Kings Arms and The Rock Inn at Georgeham, and famous The Thatch in Croyde. If you're exploring along the north coast then The Hunters Inn on the edge of Exmoor and the Ship Aground in Morthoe are all full of character and good choices. And if you're heading further south to explore the area between Westward Ho! and Clovelly do pop in to The Pig on the Hill or the thatched Hoops Inn.
North Devon cafes
As you might imagine, there are lovely cafes serving Devon cream teas and amazing (and very naughty) homemade cakes scattered across North Devon - and it's hard to narrow our list down just a few ... but if we must ... Our first tip is to plan in a walk out to Baggy Point near Croyde, not least because it gives you a reason to stop by National Trust's Sandleigh Tea Room - there's no NT entrance fee to pay, and its cream teas are excellent. In Ilfracombe it has to be The Manor House Cafe - especially for breakfast or a homemade pasty, and in Combe Martin try The Castaway Cafe,which is also great for breakfast or lunch. If you're shopping in Barnstaple, Boston Tea Party has great coffee and a modern menu, whilst for something more traditional head for Ballantynes on Butchers Row or the Cream Tea Cafe. And if you're headed down towards the Bideford area, make time to stop at Fremington Quay Cafe for great food in a lovely waterside setting, Tea on The Green in Westward Ho! (amazing cakes), or John's in pretty Appledore for the best, gooiest brownies we've ever tasted.