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16 great coastal cafes to try in North Devon

PUBLISHED: 12:22 08 February 2019 | UPDATED: 12:30 08 February 2019

Ilfracombe (c) Mark Robinson, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Ilfracombe (c) Mark Robinson, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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After a long day on North Devon’s coast, a coffee, sandwich or a cream tea will be much needed to refuel. Here are 16 of the best coastal cafes in North Devon

1) Beachcomber Cafe, Woolacombe

If you’re on Woolacombe’s iconic beach and realise you have left the picnic at home there’s no need to worry - the Beachcomber Cafe will never be too far away to serve a range of breakfasts, lunches, snacks and more.

If you’re lucky you’ll be able to grab an outside table where you can enjoy your food and drink while enjoying the views of the sand stretching on far down the coast.

2) Johns of Instow

Along with its sister shop over the Torridge in Appledore, Johns is a mainstay of this particular part of coastal North Devon.

The store first opened more than 90 years ago as a grocery shop and over time they have added a delicatessen and cafe. Throughout its existence the business has managed to stay in the family and owners Anthony and Sue are the fourth generation to be in charge.

3) Miss Fea’s Cafe, Mortehoe

Attached to The Smugglers Rest bed and breakfast, Miss Fea’s is well positioned in the village if you’re taking a stroll out to find stunning views at Morte Point.

All food is homemade and is best accompanied by an artisan coffee made using beans from Olfactory Coffee Roasters just over the border in Cornwall. If you fancy something a little cooler than a coffee, beers from the Madrigal Craft Brewery in Lynmouth are also served at Miss Fea’s.

4) The Glorious Oyster, Instow

This small seafood-focused shack is sometimes referred to as the Sandhills Beach Cafe as it’s located just behind the Sandhills at Instow Beach.

They also run a branch out of a horsebox in Westward Ho! which recently featured on BBC1’s One Show and many of the same items can be ordered at the Instow location. With no alcohol licence, they are happy for you to BYO and enjoy some seafood delights al fresco.

5) Saunton Break Cafe

There aren’t a great deal of eating and drinking options in the immediate vicinity of Saunton Beach so a visit to the Saunton Break will be vital if you’re visiting the area without supplies.

The three-mile beach has a close connection to our military heritage and there’s a chance your visit will coincide with special remembrance events such as the D-Day commemorations featuring mock landings, skirmishes and warbird demonstrations.

6) Sandleigh Tea Room & Gardens, Croyde

Located next to the National Trust car park on the route up towards Baggy Point, this tea room uses ingredients harvested from the on-site garden in many of their food items, guaranteeing fresh dishes.

Owners Sarah and Brendan also run The Oyster Catcher store from within the grounds of the tea room where you can browse a variety of gifts, homeware and items for your garden.

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Some other places to eat in Devon:

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7) Barricane Beach Cafe, Woolacombe

Just along from the stretching golden sands of Woolacombe Beach, Barricane Beach is full of rock pools hiding sea life and shells that have been washed thousands of miles from the Caribbean.

While most cafes on this list will be known for their range of sandwiches, paninis or other baked goods, this cafe is renowned for its Sri Lankan curry. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a plate of that curry with a few poppadoms as the sun sets on this secluded coastal gem.

8) The Manor House Cafe, Ilfracombe

This traditional cafe on Ilfracombe’s High Street is not just friendly to humans - dozens of TripAdvisor reviews mention staff’s commitment to creating a welcoming atmosphere - it is also dog-friendly so your pooch can join you while you enjoy an afternoon tea or an all-day breakfast.

Whether you’re a regular coming in for a daily coffee or a visitor popping in during a short break in North Devon, you’ll receive precisely the same level of caring and attentive service.

9) Nelly May’s Parlour, Ilfracombe

A few doors down from The Manor House is Nelly May’s, a traditional tearoom with a quaint Tudor interior. As you take a walk down the High Street you’ll smell the artisan sourdough that’s made daily on site.

That bread is the basis for a variety of simple yet hearty sandwiches or as part of a number of different breakfast options like smoked salmon and scrambled egg or their vegetarian breakfast.

10) Snacking Kraken, Hele Bay Beach

A visit to this cafe will stay with you for a number of reasons: as well as having one of the most distinctive names in the business, the Snacking Kraken has breathtaking views out over Hele Bay and also serves some delicious homemade pizzas.

After the relative hustle and bustle of Ilfracombe and Woolacombe, a visit to this little village accompanied by a Snacking Kraken pizza will provide some welcome respite and replenishment.

11) Storm In A Teacup, Watermouth Harbour

While the Snacking Kraken probably has the most memorable name of any cafe on this list, Storm In A Teacup would undoubtedly take the award for the most memorable location.

Operating out of a refurbished boat cabin, the cafe has magnificent views out over Watermouth Bay and offers delicious food at very reasonable prices considering its incredibly enviable waterside position.

12) Harbour Deli, Combe Martin

Based just a minute’s walk away from Combe Martin’s popular cove, the Harbour Deli offers you the option to take away their variety of baked items or you can alternatively devour them in-store.

The deli’s cakes, quiches or sandwiches make the perfect fuel to enjoy a day of crabbing in the rock pools that can be found by walking out around the bottom of the cliffs surrounding the cove.

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A few places to visit:

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13) Adele’s Cafe, Ilfracombe

If you head away from the crowds admiring the boats being escorted safely into the harbour by Verity, you’ll find Adele’s nestled on Hiern’s Lane.

They are proud to cater for both local fishermen and families taking a break from beach-based activities and it won’t be uncommon to see a nice big breakfast - which at £4 is possibly one of the best value breakfasts in the county - come out alongside a traditional Devonshire cream tea.

14) Lynmouth Bay Cafe

Despite only opening up in 2016 this cafe - owned by two good friends - has already gained quite the reputation in this village on the northern edge of Exmoor.

They strive to make as much of their own cakes, scones, soups and savouries as possible using ingredients sourced from either North Devon or from other South West producers. To see which Devon producers they use, visit this link.

15) The Cliff Top Cafe, Lynton

As the name of this cafe suggests, you’ll have the pleasure of enjoying your tea and scones from an elevated position looking out to Lynmouth Bay.

The cafe is located at the summit of the Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway and so there really is nowhere better to refresh yourself before hopping on board the funicular down the steepest water-powered railway in the world.

16) The Picnic Box, Lynton

If you head back into town from the cliff railway you’ll eventually spot the distinctive white exterior of this cafe on Castle Hill.

If you don’t have time to sit in and enjoy what they have to offer, they put together convenient takeaway boxes that will keep you well fed during a long walk around the surrounding cliffs or along the South West Coast Path.

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