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
Avon Mill Cafe, Avon Mill Garden Centre, Loddiswell
Aune Valley Cafe & Farm Shop, Loddiswell
Cottage Hotel, Hope Cove
Stokeley Farm Shop & Cafe, Stokenham
Mange Tout Coffee Shop, Kingsbridge
Gara Rock Restaurant, nr East Portlemouth
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 all range of tastes and budgets. We, and our guests, recommend many of them including both our local pubs located in the centre Slapton The Tower Inn and The Queens Arms, The Fortescue Arms at East Allington and The Cricket Inn at Beesands, all 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, or at The Tradesmans Arms overlooking the Parish green in Stokenham village. 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.
Or a little further afield try Gara Rock Restaurant, near East Portlemouth and on the South West Coast Path between Salcombe and East Prawle. Fabulous views and it’s family and dog friendly too.
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 into a walk around Torcross. Other recommendations for big breakfasts are The Avon Mill Cafe and Aune Valley View Cafe, both near Loddiswell, 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; and the Gara Rock Restaurant at East Portlemouth all offer gluten free options. Most of the delicatessens in Kingsbridge also offer gluten free cakes and savoury snacks.
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: the Dartmouth Crab Festival, is held in August; the Dartmouth Food Festival in October; and Abbfest in Newton Abbot 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.
We recommend the Tower Inn & Queen’s Arms in Slapton (both dog-friendly),
Lovely dinner at Tradesmans Arms in Stokenham.
Torcross has a great dog friendly take away and eat in super fish and chips and coffee and cake (The Boathouse).
The Tower Inn, found in Slapton, is simply the best for food, beer and local conversations 🙂
The Start Bay Inn at Totnes on Slapton Sands and the little shack (The Beach Hut) at South Milton Beach both provided excellent food.
The Queens Arms at Slapton does delicious food and the beer garden is lovely, especially on a nice sunny day! Fish and chips from Torcross – nice to sit and watch the sea whilst eating them!
Stokeley farm shop very good. Sunday night pizza evening recommended. Church House Inn at Stokeham does great food at good prices.
Good take away fish and chips from Rockfish, Dartmouth with lovely homemade tartare sauce.
This year we visited The Tower Inn in Slapton and we’re pleased with their tasty, varied menu and excellent, cheerful, prompt service.
We would recommend The Cricket Inn at Beesands for their food and dogs are welcome.