To make your stay a bit more fun, here are our food and coffee tips from the area near the Gallery Lodges, including some gluten free options.
We have started with our most local food places in Braunton, then some recommendations at Saunton, Croyde, and Georgeham. Keep reading to find out what’s instore on the beaches, and finally some ideas for eats if you are heading further afield around the North Coast to Exmoor.
Braunton top picks:
Siam Bistro if you like Thai try this local gem. Increasing in popularity year on year you may need to call ahead to book a table or a take out. The lunchtime specials are incredibly good value and in the evening, mixed starter is recommended. Will do gluten free if you ask (check the soy sauce). http://www.thesiambistro.co.uk/
The Riverside Restaurant A favourite allrounder for breakfast, lunch and evening meals. Very reliable chef and service with some really tasty, locally sourced food. Outside the peak season this place does the most amazing restaurant style Sunday Lunch. Cater for Gluten Free and a new vegan menu in 2020. http://www.theriversidebraunton.co.uk/
Wild Thyme Café fun and trendy surf café for coffee, cakes, breakfast and lunch. Our favourite for atmosphere although can be a little busy with mothers & toddlers sometimes! Has gluten-free options, sometimes including GF scones. http://wildthymecafe.co.uk/
Squires Fish & Chips is a complete all rounder – filling and perfectly cooked Fish & Chips. At peak times you have to queue for the restaurant, but it is great value. For the take out, we recommend using their CLICK & COLLECT option. Can’t beat their chips; they are perfect! The gluten-free among us should try Poached Cod. The chips are always fried separately too. http://www.squiresfishrestaurant.co.uk/
SQ a relatively new pub and restaurant in Braunton, has become a firm evening favourite for pub food in a modern setting, and also offers a good breakfast. The live music on certain nights makes this a popular venue. http://sqdining.uk/bar/sq_bar_restaurant_braunton_devon.php
Tambapanni, Sri Lankan Food takeaway van. Our favourite food choice in 2021. Simply heaven. We eat here every week! Authentic Sri Lankan Food cooked with a passion. Served from their food van at Braunton Tesco and Croyde on certain days of the week (usually Friday and Saturday respectively). Delicate flavours, meat, veg, gluten and dairy free and Vegan options. Heaven on a plate. Check out their facebook page for times and days. https://www.facebook.com/tambapannicurry/
Thongsay Thai Take-away – tasty, good portions and very authentic – an ever growing business – we were enjoying pre-ordered take-out from their front door during lockdown and now they are on the road with a catering van currently Saturday at Tesco, but find their latest where-abouts on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Tthaicatering/
Gaining popularity for evening dishes with fresh seafood, and also a good place for a sandwich and cake at lunchtime. https://atonedining.co.uk/
The Williams Arms is the thatched pub in Wrafton – the Barnstaple side of Braunton, so about 2 miles away from The Gallery Lodges, they offer a traditional Sunday lunch carvery. http://www.williamsarms.co.uk/
The Aggi Inn nearer the village centre also does great, reasonably priced pub food and is a favourite with the locals. http://www.theaggibraunton.co.uk/
St John’s Garden Centre at Ashford, is on the main road to Barnstaple. Now a locally run garden centre, they have a great formula for breakfast and lunches as well as a nice selection of cake as well. A good range of gluten free and vegan cakes, as well as gf fish and chips. There is also a delhi and re-fill shop located at St John’s. https://www.stjohnsgardencentre.co.uk/st-johns-lane-barnstaple/
Coffee coffee coffee…
51 degrees North – a take out coffee stop can be found outside Tesco Braunton most mornings. Justin is a perfectionist and you will be delighted by his coffees. Eco conscious, happy to serve you in your reusable cup. They now also have a comfortable cafe in the gym behind Tesco. https://51degreesnorthcoffee.com/
Heart Break Hotel on Saunton Road – coffee and doughnuts are their speciality. https://www.heartbreakhotelcoffee.com/
Saunton and Croyde
Another top recommendation is:
The Beachside Grill at Saunton Beach. You can enjoy al fresco dining on the terrace with a range of food from burgers to vegan that is sure to please. The management is alert and the waiters will look after you well even if you just want a tea or a glass of wine. https://www.beachsidegrill.co.uk/
The Thatch is a bit of a local landmark. The place for surfers and visitors to enjoy good food and beer. It’s a little pricey due to it’s reputation, but the atmosphere is lively and food ticks all the pub food boxes from steak to nachos and classic puds. Live music nights. https://www.thethatchcroyde.co.uk/
Blue Groove in Croyde is open from breakfast to dinner and has some popular favourites such as moules marinere and Caribbean lamb curry: their mains menu is called from Pakora to Pies… It’s a creatively decorated place with a fresh and bright atmosphere in their sunrooms. http://www.blue-groove.co.uk/
New Coast Kitchen has now opened in Croyde village center – https://newkitchen.co.uk/
Georgeham If you want more of the country pub experience and some great food try either of the two pubs in Georgeham. A bit of a drive so best to call and book ahead, about 10 to 20 mins but well worth it for that cosy country pub vibe.
The Kings Arms – http://kingsarmsgeorgeham.co.uk/ live music nights
and The Rock Inn –http://therockinn.biz/.
In peak season when Georgeham is a bit too busy, then for a more local pub experience you could try The Ebrington Arms at Knowle, or The Crown Inn at West Down.
Beach Food at the Car Parks
Beachside Grill (see above) and Saunton Break takeaway which is a cheaper option https://www.facebook.com/sauntonbreak/
Down End Cafe, on Down End near the Croyde Bay. Check out the surf and get a tea and toasted sandwich .http://parkingcroyde.com/the-drop-in
Baggy Point Croyde
Sandleigh National Trust café & Baggys Café are both at the start of the Baggy Headland near the National Trust Car Park. Nice headland walk and some good cake and coffee options. Great afternoon tea option too. Sandleigh always has a gluten free pasty, cake and scones. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/baggy-point/features/eating-and-shopping-at-baggy-point
Putsborough beach operate their own food take-out with a small beach shop. You can get drinks and a bacon butty or cheesy nachos but the down-side is that all come in take-away containers. https://www.putsborough.com/
Woolacombe – Marine Drive
The Porthole is a new and welcome addition to Marine Drive. Located about 1/2 way between Putsborogh and Woolacombe, the Porthole is a small cafe with a creative and tastey lunch and cake offering. With tin cups and plates to keep it beach friendly it’s worth a visit on a walk along Woolacombe beach or dunes. If you like to cycle then this could be a destination for you. https://www.facebook.com/theportholewoolacombe/
Woolacombe – Barricane Beach Café
As if one Sri Lankan Food option wasn’t enough here is another. A bit of a holiday tradition for many families, especially if you get a sunny day with low winds, take your own drinks and eat your curry on the beach as the sun starts to go down. A plated meal with one Meat or Veg option. 20 min drive away at Woolacombe. Seasonal and weather dependent so do check on facebook https://www.facebook.com/Barricane-Beach-Woolacombe-163881457003060/
Places to Eat on your North Devon and Exmoor Days Out
OK the choices are vast and personal so it’s hard to know where to start! Ilfracombe and Lynmouth both have a lot of different cafes and snack bars and part of the fun will be in the discovery, I am sure. Here’s just one of two more remote places that you might like to consider:
Between Ilfracombe and Combe Martin, Storm in a Teacup is a tiny cafe in a converted lifeboat and they serve great lunches. A little tricky to find (enter through the holiday park entrance). Worth calling by if you are exploring out that way. https://www.boatcafeilfracombenorthdevon.co.uk/local-area/#directions
Harbour Deli at Combe Martin Pete’s favourite traditional breakfast for a very reasonable price and a counter of superb home made cakes for afters. Then take a walk up to hangman hill and back to work it off! See maps in the Lodge. https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g551660-d4178654-Reviews-Harbour_Deli-Combe_Martin_Exmoor_National_Park_England.html
National Trust Café, Watersmeet at Lymouth. Great woodland valley location and some nice food. Accessed by a scenic walk along the river or by a steep 1/2 mile path from a roadside car park. See maps in the Lodge.
Hunters Inn at Heddon Valley. The pub is in a stunning location and a you can couple this drive with a beautiful woodland walk to the beach or up around the headland. Now also a National Trust takeout coffee and cake shop. See maps in Lodge. Narrow scenic roads to access the car parking. National Trust members park for free.
Marwood Hill Gardens and Cafe. If you want to get away from it all, here is the place about 20 min drive, peaceful valley and gardens with an old fashioned, traditional cafe run by volunteers. https://www.marwoodhillgarden.co.uk/