Food & Drink
Delicious Food from Land and Sea in South Devon
Our patchwork of fields and great seascapes are not just pretty to look at, they provide plenty of local produce that is simply delicious. Rare breed beef and lamb, vineyards and orchards, chilli farms and bakeries, and of course the freshest seafood from local fishermen, are all on our doorstep. This abundance of locally sourced food is prepared with pride by artisans, acclaimed chefs and bakers. We have bustling market towns with independent food retailers, farmers’ markets, food and drink festivals, farm shops and fish shops.
Our cafes, pubs and restaurants cater for all tastes and budgets, and our visitors comment on how friendly the locals are. Most cafes and pubs are dog friendly too.
Your first port of call might be a coffee shop, hotel, pub or cafe serving a Devon Cream Tea, with the jam on top of course. Here is a list of places (we’ve done our research and tried them all!):
Seabreeze Cafe, Torcross (Dog Friendly outside)
Avon Mill Cafe, Avon Mill Garden Centre, Loddiswell (All Dog Friendly)
Aune Valley Cafe & Farm Shop, Loddiswell (Dog Friendly outside)
Cottage Hotel, Hope Cove (All Dog Friendly)
Stokeley Farm Shop & Cafe, Stokenham (Dog Friendly outside)
Mange Tout Coffee Shop, Kingsbridge
Ocean’s Reach restaurant, Bolberry (All Dog Friendly)
Fresh fish and shellfish are a speciality of this area and Britannia Shellfish not only have a shop next to the beach at Beesands selling fresh catch daily, they now have a super little cafe, serving coffees, locally produced cakes and cream teas, huge platters of wonderful fresh fish and shellfish. The ‘shack’ as it is known is technically outdoors, but under a cover with patio heaters. There’s a takeaway too – large soft baps with bacon or sausage, or fresh fish and chips. It’s a great place to eat fish pulled from the water just a stone’s throw away.
The Oyster Shack is a quirky seafood restaurant located near Bigbury beach offering a great selection of oyster and mussel dishes, plus a ‘daily catch’ menu, and something to choose for those not so keen on fish! Eating indoor or out, it’s very informal and friendly and the cocktails are great too!
We have several excellent pubs in nearby villages serving local food and drink for a wide range of tastes and budgets. We and our guests recommend:
The Tower Inn, Slapton (Dog Friendly)
The Queens Arms, Slapton (Dog Friendly)
Tradesmans Arms, Stokenham (Dog Friendly)
Church House Inn, Stokenham (Dog Friendly)
The Cricket Inn at Beesands (Dog Friendly)
For Sunday lunch you can’t go wrong with a visit to The Church House Inn at Churchstow, The Sloop Inn at Bantham, at The Tradesmans Arms and Stokeley Farm Shop Cafe, both at Stokenham, or The Village Inn at Thurlestone. Booking is advisable in all these pubs.
If it’s a restaurant with views you are after then situated right on the quayside in Kingsbridge, with mooring and parking is The Crabshell Inn. This is a popular place for families and groups with an easy menu for all tastes. There is a pizza oven; they serve thin and tasty pizzas with a range of toppings. You could combine lunch or dinner with a Stand Up Paddleboard lesson on the calm waters in front of the restaurant.
If you’d like to fill your fridge with locally produced ready-made meals and snacks try Kingsbridge based businesses such as Mangetout Deli who supply gourmet salads and sandwiches, ideal for a special picnic on the beach; and The Bakery for quiches and award-winning cakes. Both shops are located in Fore Street.
Our nearest farm shop Stokeley Farm Shop supplies locally sourced meat and fish, fresh fruit and vegetables. And there is a pizza oven and cafe serving traditional cream teas and big breakfasts. It’s about a 15 minute drive from Dittiscombe or you could incorporate a visit there into a walk around Torcross. Other recommendations for big breakfasts are The Avon Mill Cafe and Aune Valley View Cafe, both near Loddiswell and dog-friendly outside, and Alf Resco in Dartmouth which is dog friendly inside.
Do you have special food requirements on holiday? Fortunately there are many places that offer vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options on their menus: The Fortescue Arms in East Allington have an extensive vegan and vegetarian menu, The Seabreeze Cafe and the Start Bay Inn at Torcross; the Crabshell Inn and Cafe Asia in Kingsbridge; the Sloop Inn and the Gastrobus at Bantham and the Oyster Shack Bigbury; the Cove Cafe Bar and The Cottage Hotel in Hope Cove. Most of the delicatessens in Kingsbridge also offer gluten free cakes and savoury snacks.
Jane Baxter, TV chef on Saturday Kitchen, has her own restaurant in Kingsbridge, serving up delicious menus with a local flavour. Wild Artichokes has pop-up events running throughout the year, served in a communal style and byo wines and beers with a small corkage charge. Visit her website www.wildartichokes.co.uk for more information.
We enjoy regular farmer’s markets twice a month in both Kingsbridge and Dartmouth with luscious cakes and locally tended and reared meat for sale. The Totnes Good Food Sunday Market is held once a month, apparently the largest monthly food market in the West Country.
To discover more about the food and drink from our area there are several well established food festivals during the year: CrabFest, is held in Salcombe in May; the Dartmouth Food Festival in October; and Nourish in Bovey Tracey in September. The market towns of Kingsbridge, Ashburton and Totnes all have food festivals during the season. Visit the Love the Flavour website for more information about what’s on in foodie circles in South Devon throughout the year.
The Bear & Blacksmith pub (Chillington) – delicious food and dog friendly. Kingsbridge and Dartmouth for cafes, shopping, local produce etc.
Slapton Village within very easy reach 5/10 minutes, the pub (The Queens Arms) gave good service, and our meals were excellent in fact we ate there three days following!
The Cricket was excellent, the Start Bay Inn takeout fish and chips was stellar on our first night. Many other fantastic restaurants around and about. Totnes has the Blue 55 Gin menu and fabulous burgers in a trendy setting, lunch at the Beach House Cafe in South Milton. I could go on and on.
The Winking Prawn beach cafe. You have to have the Super Hot Chocolate – it was amazing.
Oyster Shack Bigbury, great food and great service.
Best fresh fish and chips at Brittania@the beach in Beesands, byo drink.