Lynsey Taylor from One More Slice shares her favourite places to eat in North Devon.
With sixty miles of coastline and breath-taking scenery, North Devon is vast and varied, from picturesque fishing villages, sweeping moorlands and large stretches of golden beaches. North Devon has excellent restaurants dotted all around the landscape, so it’s important to know where the best of the county’s eateries are. Here’s my picks for the best places to grab a bite:
A family run Italian restaurant, this restaurant cooks everything from scratch, using, where possible, fresh local ingredients (even the bread is made in house and makes a delicious aperitive). The menu is extensive, where you will find the Italian classics such as Carbonara and Lasagna, but I urge you to step outside of the beloved Italian comforts and try unfamiliar dishes such as the Farfalle Al Salmone, a creamy pasta dish adorned with smoked salmon, asparagus, peas and spinach or perhaps the Pollo Con Funghi, a pan-fried chicken breast with creamy mushroom sauce atop sauteed garlic and rosemary new potatoes.
The desserts are all made in house too, so urge you to save some room as the Tiramisu is a thing of beauty. If you can’t decide what to go for they have a ‘Dolci con Amici’, a sharing platter of all their desserts (why don’t more restaurants do this!?). Embrace the Italian way and go for four of five courses! It will be worth it.
For special occasions, Moran’s Thai Restaurant & Bar in the heart of Westward Ho!, needs to be on your radar. From the friendly staff, upmarket interior and exquisite menu, Moran’s creates the perfect balance of ambiance and chic.
Serving Thai classics with an English twist, dishes on the menu include Appledore Mussels in a Thai broth, Stir Fried Duck with Ginger, Garlic & Mushrooms and the staple Thai Red and Yellow Curry. All are served on their own, giving you the choice to order rice or noodles alongside.
To get the best out of your Moran’s dining experience, visit when you are in a group so you can order everything on the menu and share it between you. That way, you can try a little ‘something something’ of everything and immerse yourself in all of their wonderful offerings. They also do great cocktails too!
The Royal George
For phenomenal food with views to match, The Royal George offers a unique dining experience within North Devon’s chocolate box village of Appledore. Only two years old, but popular with both locals and grockles (that’s tourists to non-Devon folk!), The Royal George in Appledore was refurbished in 2018 to an upmarket hotel and restaurant, which offers phenomenal views overlooking the estuary.
The Royal George is food centered, with the chefs using fresh and locally sourced food, changing the menu regularly to represent seasonality and what produce is available. You’ll find innovative dishes on the menu such as Monkfish Curry as well as hearty pub-grub style meals using Exmoor beef in their mighty Beef Burger.
Another new restaurant to the North Devon Food scene, Lush has only been open since February 2019 but is one of the most popular restaurants in Barnstaple, North Devon’s main hub.
With a large menu, Lush offers something for everyone, from tapas and sharing plates, hearty pub grub meals and bistro style dishes such as Caribbean Jerk Chicken or Lush Katsu Curry. The portions are generous, but the quality remains spot on within every dish. In addition, Lush offers a fantastic selection of vegetarian and vegan options that aren’t just an afterthought of the chef. Everyone can be catered for here at Lush, ensuring everyone, no matter the dietary requirement, will have an enjoyable meal.
With trendy, modern decor and an open kitchen, the ambiance in Lush makes for a perfect night out in North Devon.
Hockings Ice Cream
A must on any North Devon bucket list, it’s imperative you try a Hockings Ice-Cream when visiting North Devon. From May-October, you will find the iconic red, white and yellow Hockings vans located in popular seaside spots of Appledore, Instow, Westward Ho! and Ilfracombe.
Founded in Appledore, the Hockings family have been making ice-cream since 1936 and it has remained a locals favourite ever since. Forget Mr Whippy, this ice-cream is utterly divine, churned with clotted cream making it rich and velvety. It would be criminal not to try a Hockings if you haven’t already (and yes, vanilla is the only flavour you’ll need!).