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Best beach cafés in Devon

Sunshine, sand and waterfront dining combine so well in Devon, making eating out one of the pleasures of any self-catering holiday in the West Country. For great locations, an informal atmosphere and affordable prices, check out these wonderful beach cafés and waterfront eateries in Devon.
Sunshine, sand and waterfront dining combine so well in Devon, making eating out one of the pleasures of any self-catering holiday in the West Country. For great locations, an informal atmosphere and affordable prices, check out these wonderful beach cafés and waterfront eateries in Devon.

Pier House Seafront Bar and Bistro, Westward Ho!

Westward Ho! has certainly sharpened its image in more recent times. Consider Pier House, for example, which offers exceptional dining overlooking the long stretch of flat sands. Take a table inside or enjoy the west-facing sunset terrace on a summer’s evening with views across Bideford Bay to the faint outline of Lundy Island.

Pier House dates back to 1885 when, as Merley House, it was home to George Molesworth and later to the 9th Duchess of Manchester, Helena Montagu. The beachfront bistro is now open daily for lunch and dinner and the simple décor combines uncluttered lines with plenty of beach wood in a very pleasing effect. The menu includes well-priced favourites such as homemade 100% beefburgers or caesar salad to panfried breast of duck or moules mariniere.

Sands on the Beach, Saunton

Just across the estuary from Westward Ho!, Sands on the Beach is in a breathtaking beachfront location where you can almost feel the sand under your bare toes as you eat. By day, the café serves the beach crowd with full English breakfast, coffee or lunch on the terrace while watching the surfers honing their skill. In the evening, it becomes a tasteful bistro with a wide choice of pastas and grilled meat options. The café offers a good choice of wines making it the perfect place to go to watch the sun go down on another perfect day in Devon.

Venus Café, Bigbury on Sea

On the south coast, the award-winning Venus Beach Café can be found at various locations, including on the beach at Bigbury. Working hard to maintain its sustainable development policy, the café serves local organic food. When you’re done with dining it also provides watersports tuition and all you need to enjoy a relaxing day on the beach. The exquisite food is equally matched by impeccable service – not perhaps what you would expect from a typical beach café.

Other Venus Café locations are at Blackpool Sands, Watergate Bay, East Portlemouth, Tolcarne Beach and in the café at the Shops at Dartington.

Winking Prawn, Salcombe

Located right on the North Sands in Salcombe, the Winking Prawn Café and BBQ is open daily from 8am, cooking eggs to order to accompany the buffet breakfast. A vast choice of fillings is on offer for lunchtime sandwiches and baguettes while dinner ups the ante with crab thermidor or monkfish wrapped in smokey bacon.

If you are staying in a holiday cottage in the Salcombe area, this wonderful café is well worth making a special trip to visit. It has a large fenced patio area for outdoor dining overlooking the beach and plenty more tables inside.

Well, that’s our list of best beach cafés in Devon, but I’m sure there are plenty more. Have you had a memorably good (or bad) meal at a beach café in Devon? We’d love you to share your experiences.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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