Tuck in: our top six restaurants in Devon

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Carmen McCormack

Guest Expert

5 min read

One of the best things about travelling is going out for a meal and sampling local delicacies and tasty treats. Plus you don’t have to bother with the washing up. Devon’s bountiful fields and thriving coastline offer up plenty of homegrown produce, from organic vegetables and grass-fed livestock to just-caught seafood. If you pick right, you’re in for a delight. So, to make things easy for you, we’ve rustled up a few of the best restaurants in Devon, including a thatched-roof pub with a Michelin star, a bright and breezy eatery on the site of the country’s leading veg box producer, a couple of places doing superb things with seafood and an exciting Chef’s Table experience in Dartmouth. Bon appetit!

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Riverford Field Kitchen, Buckfastleigh

In the heart of Riverford farm, Riverford Field Kitchen is an institution. In their words: ‘we’ve been leading the veg revolution since 1986’ and a meal in their airy purpose-built restaurant  sings the praises of homegrown organic veg picked directly from the surrounding farmland. By making veg the star of the show, Guy and his team hope to revolutionise the way you cook at home, showing that it’s not only possible but delicious and nutritious to champion humble but mighty vegetables with smaller amounts of meat and fish gracing your plate. Come for brunch, lunch or supper and tuck into a multi-dish set menu, inside or out on the terrace, before taking a wander through the fields. 

Stay nearby at Wildflower Cottage >

Andria, Dartmouth

Andria’s in Dartmouth pays homage to modern European dining: quality local ingredients, a flair for flavours and an expert blend of simplicity and complexity. Head chef Luca, born in Paris, raised on Italian home cooking and trained in the UK, has used his skills to receive a third Bib Gourmand in this year’s Michelin Guide. You eat in a cosy, wood-panelled room surrounded by the gentle hubbub of other guests, tucking into a short but excellent à la carte or set menu. Newly launched, the Chef’s Table experience, upstairs in a purpose built kitchen/diner with one off dishes prepared directly in front of you, is the perfect spot for special celebrations. 

Stay nearby at Bowden Wood >

Crab Shed, Salcombe

Crab lovers, this is the place for you. The Crab Shed has been hand-picking Salcombe brown crab since 2008 and launched the restaurant in 2014. Working with and sourcing directly from the fisherfolk who land their sustainable catches on the quay in Salcombe results in a menu bursting with the freshest, most delicious crab you’ll find in Devon. Other dishes include their signature bisque, scallops, moules, fruit de mer, catch of the day, dressed crab, crab sandwiches and more. You dine in the bright, airy restaurant, outside on the deck above Batson Creek on warm days, or you can order a takeaway online. 

Stay nearby at No.2 Buckley Cottage >

River Exe Café, Exmouth

Hop on a Puffin Water Taxi from Exmouth Marina, or charter your own boat to River Exe Café, a purpose-built barge calmly floating in the glittering Exe Estuary with gorgeous views all around. Covered outdoor seating means you can make the most of your watery surroundings whatever the weather. Menus lean towards the sea: start with oysters or mussels, scallops or squid, before tucking into hearty mains that include good options for meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Enjoy the jolly holiday vibe where families are made very welcome. For a more grown up experience, book the upper deck. 

Stay nearby at 11 The Green >

The Masons Arms, Exmoor

On the edge of rolling Exmoor, this charming thatched pub is home to a superb Michelin-star restaurant. Chef patron Mark Dodson has an impeccable pedigree and offers a sophisticated seasonal menu that might surprise you if you thought you were calling in for some simple pub grub after a stomp on the moors. Arrive hungry for lunch or supper and choose from the à la carte or set menu inspired by British and French classics. Perhaps blue cheese arancini with poached pear and pine nuts followed by pork belly with black pudding bon-bon and smoked mash and a pistachio soufflé to finish. Take your coffee or digestif by the fire after your meal. 

Stay nearby at The Stables at Coombe Farm >

The Seahorse, Dartmouth

Co-founded by chef and restaurateur Mitch Tonks, The Seahorse is a smart fish restaurant that cossets you with proper linen tablecloths, shining glassware and impeccable service. They expertly champion top-notch ingredients and the ever-changing menus feature fresh local seafood, delivered twice daily from nearby Brixham market. You get a proper taste of coastal Italy here with Mediterranean dishes paired with an excellent wine list made up of crisp Italian whites. Spill onto the terrace in summer, book the cantina for a special event or prop up Joe’s Bar for a nightcap. 

Stay nearby at Bowden Wood >

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Carmen McCormack

Guest Expert

Carmen is a freelance writer specialising in travel. She once lived in a bus in north Wales, skipped off to study in Barcelona, and now calls Bristol home. When she’s not tapping away on her laptop, she can be found reading (a lot), lake swimming (a little), and pottering on the allotment with husband and two kiddos. She’s currently dreaming about cold cerveza and torta in Mexico.

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