A Foodies Guide to Ilfracombe: Where to Eat & Drink This Summer

Over the last few years, Ilfracombe has quickly established itself as one of the top food destinations in the area. From locally caught fish and produce sourced directly from the surrounding countryside, to some of the top local chefs, Ilfracombe has become a destination for foodies and casual diners alike. Whether you love your seafood, prefer red meat or are hunting for some vegan friendly options, there are so many fantastic places to eat in Ilfracombe that you can enjoy during your next visit.

Within the town you’ll find restaurants, cafes, tea rooms and takeaways, giving you plenty of options when you’re thinking about where to head next. We’ve put together a list of some of our favourite spots, including family-friendly places as well as some more intimate settings for a romantic experience, that you can enjoy during your next visit to Ilfracombe!

Fresh Fish & Sea Food!

If you love your seafood, Ilfracombe is the spot for you. This small fishing harbour may not look much from afar, but you’ll find it’s actually a hub for local fishing boats that catch some of the best fish in the area. For the best locally caught fresh fish, crab & lobster, look no further than S&P Fish Shop. Just 10 meters from the picturesque sea, this is an unbeatable experience for seafood lovers. Take a seat overlooking the charming harbour as you enjoy the freshest catches of the day, including crab, lobster, or a seafood lunch platter. You can choose to indulge on-site or opt to take it home & turn it into something delicious!

For those who prefer dining out, Take Thyme Fish Restaurant is situated right on the harbour & serves locally caught fish along with beef reared on nearby Exmoor. This informal spot is perfect for a romantic lunch for two or for small groups looking to taste some of the best locally sourced produce around.  

The Dolphin takeaway & restaurant is another good option. With lovely views right across the harbour, this is a great place to enjoy traditional fish & chips from inside the restaurant, or to takeaway & enjoy on the beach! 

You might be wondering about takeaway options if you’ve got a fish & chip craving. Well, luckily for you, there are plenty to choose from thanks to the fantastic range of places to eat in Ilfracombe. Lynbay Fish & Chip Shop is one of the best fish & chip shops in North Devon, offering locally caught fish along with other amazing produce.

If you’re a fan of seafood, you’ll be a fan of Ilfracombe thanks to some amazing restaurants & incredible locally caught fish right on your doorstep.

Intimate Bistros & Dining Spots

For a more romantic setting, there are plenty of options to choose from. There are some lovely bistros & places to eat in Ilfracombe, particularly if you are visiting for a romantic weekend. Boasting the same great local produce as you’ll find throughout the town, along with some of the best chefs in the area, Ilfracombe plays host to many great eateries that you can enjoy during your stay.

Seventy One Bistro, situated on historical Fore Street, offers great food in an intimate setting whilst only being a stone’s throw from the picturesque harbour. You’ll find dishes that feature locally caught fish & produce from the surrounding North Devon area, all cooked by expert chefs to give you an unforgettable dining experience.

The Brasserie at The Carlton is another fantastic option for dining out in Ilfracombe! Their commitment to using the best local produce ensures that every meal is a fresh & flavourful. Open year-round, their menus adapt to the seasons, showcasing the best of local produce, no matter if you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free, the Brasserie caters to diverse dietary preferences. With an inviting atmosphere, a well-stocked bar, & a focus on scratch-made dishes, The Brasserie offers a delightful dining experience that celebrates the flavours of North Devon.

If you’re looking for that Spanish vibe, you should check out The Terrace Tapas & Wine Bar! With authentic food, extensive drinks & cocktail selection mixed in with local ingredients & a beautiful setting, this restaurant really has it all. With outside seating, you’ll be able to enjoy a delicious meal surrounded by historical buildings…what more could you ask for!

The newest place to eat in town is the Lime Kiln Cafe Bar, situated above the new Watersports Hub at Larkstone Cove where you will be rewarded with the most stunning views across the harbour towards Verity and St Nicholas Chapel.  

There are so many great places to eat in Ilfracombe, no matter what cuisine you are looking for. For those of you hunting for an authentic pizza or delicious pasta dish, look no further than Giovanni & Luca. They’ve been serving the best Italian food for over 13 years & have become a staple in the town for authentic Italian food!

Enjoy Perfect Coffee & Cake

Sometimes you just need that perfect coffee in the morning accompanied with a delicious slice of cake. For adventurers on the go & need a quick pit stop, or for a family breakfast before heading to the beach, a coffee shop or cafe is perfect for everyone. If you’re looking for places to eat in Ilfracombe where you can grab coffee & cake, we have some highlights just for you. 

If you’re looking for the best cake in town, look no further than Swiss Cottage Cafe. With a wide selection of homemade cakes made fresh every single day, you won’t find a better slice for miles around. The cafe can be found nicely located on the high street within a beautiful 16th-century building, creating the perfect environment to sit & relax in. They also do a fantastic range of s&wiches & other savoury snacks if you fancy something a little different.

Little Mamas Bakery is another must-visit destination for anyone with a sweet tooth! Indulge in an array of cakes, brownies, cookies, & other irresistible sweet treats. They’ve got your breakfast cravings covered, too, with options to build your own breakfast, delicious pancakes, breakfast sandwiches, & a delightful selection of pastries that will keep you satisfied. From themed afternoon teas, thirst-quenching thick shakes, & speciality hot chocolates Little Mamas Bakery is the ultimate destination for those seeking delightful treats!

For one of the best views in Ilfracombe, you have to head to the harbour. The beautiful turquoise water against the rugged coastline backdrop, mixed in with the local fishing activity & you’ll have a picture postcard setting to enjoy.

Right in the heart of the harbour, you’ll find The Pier Cafe at the aquarium With stunning views over the harbour, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious food & ice-cold drinks from their incredible terrace that offers one of the best views in the town.

Hele Corn Mill in Ilfracombe is a must-visit culinary destination. As the four-time winner of Devon Life’s Best Tearoom award, it offers an exceptional dining experience. Indulge in their renowned traditional Devonshire cream tea, featuring homemade scones & a tempting selection of mill-made cakes, baked with stoneground flour from their water mill. With ample seating, including a covered outdoor area & a tea garden, there’s room for everyone to enjoy their meal. Whether it’s a leisurely lunch, delightful afternoon tea, or simply savouring their daily-changing cake selection, Hele Corn Mill promises a memorable dining experience.

Ilfracombe has plenty of family-friendly things to do for visitors. Whether it’s activities or places to eat, there is so much to do during a family holiday. One of the highlights is Bicclescombe Park, which is where you’ll find the Bicclescombe Mill Tea Room. This delightful cafe is situated within a recently renovated 18th-century mill, creating the perfect setting to grab a bite to eat during the summer. The cafe also hosts numerous events throughout the year, making this family-friendly spot an absolute gem & one of the best places to eat in Ilfracombe.

You’ll find some amazing spots to enjoy throughout the town, no matter what cuisine or setting you are looking for. Be sure to explore all the other fantastic places to eat in Ilfracombe!

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