23 Devon restaurants with views to dine for
PUBLISHED: 12:16 25 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:09 25 May 2018
With views of the coast, the countryside and our towns and cities, Devon’s eateries are home to some of the best views the county has to offer. Here are 23 places that are a treat for the tongue and the eyes
1. The Guardhouse Cafe, Brixham
The Guardhouse Café is located within the Northern Fort of Berry Head National Nature Reserve. On Torbay’s southern tip, there are stunning views north to Torquay and Paignton while looking east and south over the sea you’ll get frequent sightings of porpoise, dolphins and sea birds.
The guardhouse, completed in 1802, was used by the troops defending the fortress. Inside the café you can still see part of the tunnel system which was built inside the fort all those years ago.
2. The Breakwater Cafe, Brixham
The Breakwater in Brixham is just a stone’s throw away from Berry Head. The cafe has long been there supplying ice creams and the like but in recent years has developed into a fine eatery with a cafe feel in the day but more intimate dinners by night.
This family run bistro offers stunning vistas of the half-mile long Breakwater with Torquay and Paignton looking enviously over from the other side.
3. Rockfish, Brixham
A pleasant stroll from Berry Head into town and you’ll stumble upon the newest addition to the Mitch Tonks empire.
His other restaurants in Dartmouth & Torquay have great views too but this latest addition in the historic fish port of Brixham offers the chance to spy on the very people that catch that little fishy ending up very soon on your little dishy! A take-away, a chef training academy and a first floor dining room means there is something for everyone.
4. Living Coasts Cafe, Torquay
A quick boat ride across the bay from Brixham and you’ll come ashore at Living Coasts. Whether you want to see the penguins or not don’t miss the café at Torquay’s coastal zoo.
The sweeping vista of sheltered, shining water takes in everything from Berry Head round to Torre Abbey Sands; cormorants dry themselves on the rocks below the terrace and you could even see dolphins.
5. The Grand Hotel, Torquay
If you fancy something a bit more grown up whilst in Torquay or perhaps an indulgent cream tea then The Grand Hotel bar offers a different perspective of glistening views over Torre Abbey Sands and the Victorian seaside town.
The elegant, award winning AA Rosette “Restaurant 1881” offers a daily changing Table d’Hote menu whilst the Compass Lounge and Brasserie offers more informal dining with brasserie style food, together with a range of sandwiches and lighter fare, all of which you can enjoy whilst admiring the view.
You will never get tee’d off with the view from this restaurant! Arguably the finest view over Teignmouth, Shaldon and beyond and you don’t even have to play golf.
Just become a social member and you too can have your breath taken away by the sheer beauty of the landscape whilst tucking into a light lunch or try their Sunday carvery but booking is essential as it’s a popular haunt for carvery fans. Some 800 feet above sea level, the bar, terrace and dining room are understandably popular with golfers and non-golfers alike and it makes a great venue for wedding receptions and parties.
7. The Clipper, Shaldon
Hop across the estuary from Teignmouth and you’ll get a different view again this time from the upstairs of The Clipper Cafe in Shaldon.
This relaxed bistro style café on the Shaldon waterfront boasts uninterrupted views across the Teign Estuary: as the view changes regularly with the weather and different levels of marine activity, it’ll be different every time you visit.
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8. Cafe ODE, Shaldon & Gara Rock, South Hams
A bit of a double whammy here as Cafe Ode in Shaldon, run by renowned chef Tim Bouget, has just opened another Cafe Ode at Gara Rock. Guided by their motto of “family friendly food that doesn’t cost the earth”, both have the same ethical and sustainable principles that made the original café an award-winning favourite in the area.
Whilst the Shaldon cafe also has amazing views of Teignmouth and beyond, Tim has chosen another breathtaking site for his new venture. Located close to the beach on the spectacular south west coastal foot path in the South Hams, Cafe-ODE, Gara Rock is a modern cafe with glass walls which has unrivalled panoramic views of the South Devon coast and the Atlantic beyond.
9. Tea On The Green, Exeter
Not all great views have to be of the sea. In the heart of Exeter you may think that a great view whilst you eat isn’t possible but don’t forget about this little gem.
With locally sourced produce – both the tea and coffee are made in Somerset - Tea on the Green is a busy restaurant serving lunch, tea and splendid Sunday roasts. All of this can be enjoyed whilst taking in the splendour of Exeter Cathedral from inside or al fresco with no traffic.
10. Ilsington Hotel, Newton Abbot
Gaze up towards Haytor Rock and sample the delights of this 2 AA rosette restaurant that serves fresh, local produce.
Meat and fish is smoked on the premises and eggs come from their own flock of hens, meaning you really can taste a bit of the good life whilst your eyes take in the wild moorland.
11. Occombe Farm, Paignton
The Occombe Farm Café is all about delicious, fresh, local food sourcing as much of the menu as possible from Occombe Farm itself and it’s this view you can take in whilst munching.
Luscious farmland and rolling hills allow you to see and taste Devon at it’s best.
12. Winking Prawn, Salcombe
Back to the beach again but worth it for an outside seat at this little local secret. In front lies the sparkling sea and a sandy beach, behind a rolling valley, lush and green.
Sample breakfast, brunch, lunch, BBQ’s in the summer and evening meals. There is even a dressing up box where kids (or even big kids!) can dress up and have fun by the sea!
13. The Waterfront, Plymouth
The historic Waterfront bar and restaurant in Plymouth re-opened with a well-deserved fanfare a couple of years ago after being almost completely destroyed in devastating storms.
A one million pound refurbishment and two of the finest landlords in the West Country guarantee this high-end establishment will have food, clientele, drinks and ambience as classy as the view it has of Plymouth Sound from the water’s edge.
14. The Dome, Plymouth
Look up from the waterfront and you’ll spy another great Plymouth venue.
Perched on Plymouth’s historic Hoe and looking across and beyond Plymouth Sound, the food and the view make the perfect combination.
There’s so much food & drink to choose from in Devon!
15. The Dock, Plymouth
We stay in the Ocean city for a relative newcomer on the block - The Dock - which burst on to the Devon dining scene a few summers ago.
Based at King Point Marina, Millbay, its contemporary, nautical styling and two outdoor balcony dining areas offer great coastal views.
16. Venus Cafe, Blackpool Sands
At The Venus Café you can sit gazing out over a seascape that is often named as one of the most beautiful in the world. Whether you’re visiting the region or live locally, a trip to the secluded ‘Blue Flag’ awarded Blackpool Sands with its clear turquoise waters is an absolute must.
Open daily, The Venus Company’s beach café and takeaway serves the best, organically made, locally sourced ingredients with many of its dishes coming from the nearby land or sea. The company’s philosophy is best summed up by their strapline ‘Loving the Beach’ as co-owners Michael and Louisa are keen to support and help develop sustainability in the regional economy through enterprise and innovation.
17. Cary Arms, Torquay
With plenty of coastal character and echoes of New England, The Cary Arms captures the essence of effortless seaside living.
With a terrace providing beautiful views - on a clear day you can see across to Portland Bill - the Inn is already well known for its friendly style and a gastro-pub dining menu offering superb Devon beef, Lyme Bay lobster and line caught seafood.
18. The Beach House, South Milton Sands
Describing this venue as a shack may be doing it a slight disservice but with delicious seaside food and a view overlooking Thurlestone Rock, it sure is a mighty fine shack.
A great pit stop on a salty air walk, compare notes with fellow walkers about the food, the view and how many dolphins you’ve spotted.
19. The Pier House, Westward Ho!
Once you have sampled the delights of the south coast head north and discover a unique seafront location overlooking Bideford Bay, Lundy Island and Saunton Sands in the distance.
There’s an extensive menu to satisfy all tastes with stunning views whether inside or out on the two decked terraces.
20. The Red Lion, Clovelly
As you come down into the village look out over the entrance to the Bristol Channel and Lundy Island: looking down on beaches and small inlets, it’s an impeccable site matched by few places in the county.
The coastline is so untouched that you almost expect a pirate ship to roll in from one of the headlands. These days, however, you’re more likely to see one of the many restored tall ships or a fishing vessel heading out on the water.
21. The Beaver Inn, Appledore
Located on the shore of the estuary where the rivers Taw & Torridge meet, you can gaze across towards the yachts at Instow, the Marine Amphibious training centre, Chivenor on the shore of the Taw, Braunton Burrows, Saunton and the Bristol Channel – not bad for one view!
Merchant, pleasure and naval ships will sail past while you can also spy on wildlife including wading birds, gulls, otters, seals and the occasional dolphin. You can even witness the picking of mussels which will later appear on the menu.
22. Saunton Sands, NR Braunton
This hotel boasts unrivalled views across the miles of golden sands that make up the Braunton Burrows - a World Heritage site – and of the beautiful sparkling sea.
The AA rosette award-winning Art Deco restaurant overlooks this stunning view where visitors can enjoy contemporary European fine dining. The terrace in the warmer months enjoys the same vista and also the fabulous North Devon sea air.
23. The Warren House Inn, Dartmoor
At 1,425ft above sea level, this pub certainly wins the highest venue award! It sits isolated in the very centre of Dartmoor and on clear days the views are sensational.
As well as views of the ancient Bronze Age settlement Grimspound, the gullies of Birch Tor and Vitifer Tin Mines remind you that this was once a very industrious busy area. The colours and lights of Dartmoor are ever-changing and the mist rolling in and out can be both captivating and treacherous. Enjoy all this whilst sampling hearty home-made food and a selection of local real ales and ciders.