Alfresco dining in Devon

Devon’s known for its top-notch food, drink – and fantastic alfresco restaurants and dining spots. Here you can enjoy a meal on a stunning terrace with a sea view, in an extensive garden with space for kids to run around in or at a great in-town spot for people-watching. Read about some of our favourite places for alfresco dining in Devon – and discover some great foodie places to visit nearby too.

alfresco dining devon cary arms 3

The Cary Arms, Babbacombe
Known as the Inn on the Beach, The Cary Arms (pictured above and feature image) has a quite spectacular view over Babbacombe Bay, and its terrace certainly makes a great place to sit and enjoy it. Perhaps the best alfresco spots in (or out of) the house are the Captain’s Table which sits on its own on a little promontory, or the quirky ‘pod’ – an undercover, totally private clear sphere in the garden. Food-wise, its menu ranges from upmarket pub favourites to fine-dining. More
Sample dish  Pan fried fillet of Brixham seabass, sauté potatoes, chilli and lime butter, samphire, £14.95

One World Cafe and Bistro, Torquay
This licensed cafe serves terrific coffee, cream teas, cakes, breakfasts and light lunches in the setting of Torquay’s award-winning Abbey Gardens. Known as being particularly family-friendly, sitting here on a balmy evening, surrounded by the cafe’s artwork from around the world can make you feel like you’re on an exotic holiday … which is fitting for the English Riviera. More
Sample dish  Gourmet steak and stilton burger with chunky chips and salad, £8.25

Cockington Court Tea Rooms, Cockington
Cockington Court is a lovely Saxon Manor house and estate crossed with an arts centre, and its tea rooms of course share the same beautiful setting. Visitors can enjoy homemade cakes, cream teas and lunches whilst sitting in the lovely gardens, then take a stroll round its exhibitions after. This is another great family setting, and dogs are welcome inside and out too. More
Sample dish  Jacket potato with smoked salmon and cream cheese served with salad and coleslaw, £6.95

Foodie place to visit nearby: Brixham Fish Market
Take a guided tour of famous Brixham Fish Market, one of the busiest in the UK, and see over 40 different types of fish being auctioned to some of the South West’s top restaurants and fishmongers. Groups are led by fascinating and experienced fish traders, and as each tour starts at 6am they end with a hearty English breakfast. Numbers are limited so it’s advisable to book (no children under 14). More

alfresco dining devon the pier house westward ho 2

The Pier House, Westward Ho!
Perched on the water’s edge on a piece of land jutting out into the ocean, the two-tier, glass-fronted terrace at The Pier House (pictured above) means everyone gets a sea view. This whole building has recently been renovated to make the most of its stunning location, and there’s no such thing as a table without a view here – even if you’re indoors the huge windows make you feel like you’re outside. The menu’s full of crowd-pleasing dishes, and it’s as good for a celebration evening meal as a casual sandwich and chips with the family. More
Sample dish  Cod cooked in beer batter served with chunky chips, peas and homemade tartare sauce, £9.95

The Pig On The Hill, Pusehill 
This brilliant countryside pub-come-restaurant has also has a recent refurb, and now has a more modern, open-plan feel – which extends to the lovely alfresco dining area and garden outside. Kids can hurtle about on the big lawn and clamber all over the slide and swings – or visit the resident farm animals – whilst the adults relax with a nice meal and a glass of something cold. More
Sample dish  Heal Farm pork tenderloin, braised cabbage, apple marmalade, scratchings, English carrots, cider jus & twice cooked chips, £14.75

alfresco dining devon saunton sands hotel

Saunton Sands Hotel, Saunton
An iconic landmark on the North Devon coast, Saunton Sands Hotel (pictured above) can be seen from miles around – and of course, that means it has stunning views itself. Sitting on its terrace, enjoying a meal from a choice of menus – fine-dining, bistro-style or cream tea – you absolutely wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. It’s smart but friendly, but for a more sand-between your toes feel try Sands On The Beach, its sister restaurant at the foot of the cliff. More
Sample dish  Smoked chicken risotto – Farmer Bob’s crispy egg – almonds – parmesan – watercress, £12.95

Foodie place to visit nearby: Barnstaple Pannier Market
This historic undercover market is open 6-7 days a week, and has a great range of excellent local produce, arts and crafts, antiques and collectables. It’s also right across the road from Butcher’s Row, a Victorian-era road of shops selling fantatic local meat, fish cheese, sweets … and lots more. The best day for foodies to visit is Fridays, when great grub is the focus of the market, or for one of the Real Food Markets, held once a month on a Sunday. More

alfresco dining south sands hotel beachside restaurant

Beachside Restaurant at South Sands Hotel, Salcombe
With one of the best views in Salcombe overlooking the sea, Beachside Restaurant at South Sands Hotel (pictured above) quite rightly specialises in seafood, and sources lots of it from the local waters (nearly) lapping at its doorstep. Its dining terrace is as near to on the beach as you can get without actually spreading out a beachmat and sitting on the sand itself, and it’s a fabulous spot for a lazy lunch that could quite possibly extend into the evening … More
ample dish  Dressed Salcombe crab, £14.95

The Beachcomber Cafe, Teignmouth
This great family cafe is right on Teignmouth seafront, just yards from the beach and amusements – so it’s just the spot to sit outside and watch the world go by. The cafe’s well-loved for its all-day breakfasts, but it also offers full meals, sandwiches, cakes, fajitas, burgers, coffee, cream teas, takeaway food … and  an amazing view, of course. More
Sample dish  Westcountry bangers and mash with peas and onion gravy, £7.45

Foodie place to visit nearby: Sharpham Vineyard and Cheese Dairy
This vineyard, dairy and cafe produces award-winning wine and cheese, and you can visit to see it all being made – plus try and buy too of course. Located in a beautiful spot by the side of the River Dart, you must also make time to wander the vineyards and stop for a bite in the cafe (with alfresco area!) too. More

alfresco dining devon michael caines cafe bar grill abode exeter

Michael Caines Cafe Bar and Grill, Exeter
Food made under the guidance of a two Michelin star chef, and eaten at the foot of the awe-inspiring, thousand-year-old Exeter Cathedral? Don’t mind if we do. The cafe is the more relaxed dining option at Michael Caines’ ABode Exeter hotel (pictured above), and it spills out, continental-style, onto the cobbles of Cathedral Yard with that historic view. And though Michael’s not actually cooking here every day you can be sure that, under his name, the food is pretty good. More
Sample dish  Brixham fish platter of smoked mackerel rillettes, whitebait, crispy calamari, tartare sauce and lemon, toasted Levain bread, £10.95

Foodie place to visit nearby: Darts Farm Shopping Village
Calling Darts Farm a ‘farm shop’ just doesn’t do justice to the big foodie experience to be had here – but we promise you that if you can spare a quick 10 minute drive off the M5 when you’re passing Exeter then it’s well worth it. You’ll find a huge, deli-style space dedicated to absolutely every top and award-winning local food you can think of; a fantastic fish and chip shop (eat in or out), cafe and restaurant; totally aspirational kitchen and homeware … and lots, lots more. More

The Royal Oak Inn, Meavy
Dreaming of coming to Devon and just sitting outside a cosy pub with a good pint and a hearty meal? Well, here you go. The Royal Oak is opposite the village green in Meavy, and if you bag one of its’ outside tables your view across the green is of St Peter’s Church and the 800-year-old tree that the pub gets its name from. Devon Bliss. More
Sample dish  Sunday roast of Dartmoor beef or loin of local pork with homemade Yorkshire pudding and fresh seasonal vegetables


River Cottage Canteen and Deli, Plymouth
There’s no need to introduce the food you’ll get here; being from Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall, you can expect his brand of absolutely seasonal, local produce cooked simply and deliciously. What you can’t imagine until you get there is the spectacular waterside location and view of the Tamar and Sound from the outdoor terrace. There are lots of Royal William Yard eateries with similar terraces and views, so fans of alfresco dining should make a bee-line for it. More
ample dish  Whole baked mackerel, pickled rhubarb salad, almond aioli and green sauce, £13.25

Foodie place to visit nearby: Plymouth Gin Distillery
Take a tour tour and learn about the history of the distillery and how Plymouth Gin is made – then relax with a cold G&T, of course. More

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