Eating out in Sidmouth
An informal guide to Sidmouth’s cafés, pubs and restaurants
The Anchor Inn
Old Fore Street. Tel. 01395 514129
Some of our guests opinions on the Anchor Inn:
- “The food at the Anchor was pretty good – friendly staff there, but lighting a bit bright!” KP (October 2015).
- “Great food” CR (October 2015).
- From July 2015 “Good food at good prices” PN.
- MPS wrote “We loved the Anchor Inn, very child friendly, excellent food, reasonable prices & excellent service.” after their visit in April 2015.
- Recommended by KH (March 2014).
- J&CD found it “plastic” (September 2014).
- “The Anchor serves very good food.” wrote D & E C (June 2014).
- “Food at the Anchor excellent.” S T (April 2014).
- Food also rated as ‘superb’ by K. R. (January 2013).
67 High St, tel. 01395 515853.
Open year round for breakfast and lunch; and for evening meals in the summer.
- “We would recommend the Chattery – a warm welcome and lovely home-made food” CW (May 2014).
2 Radway Place, Vicarage Road (near to the cinema), Tel. 01395 514190
A popular Indian restaurant and take away within an easy walk of Chandler’s Cottage. We visited in December 2012 and found the food was fairly typical Indian fare in a bright modern setting.
- “Good curry and generous portions.” DA (August 2012).
Connaught Gardens. Tel. 01395 515319
A small café serving big cakes in the beautiful surroundings of the Connaught Gardens. Great for a not-so-light snack or a traditional Devon cream tea. They also serve breakfasts and lunches and, if it’s not warm enough to sit outside, there is seating indoors with views over the beach. In our opinion a visit to the Clock Tower Café is an essential part of any holiday in Sidmouth!
- J&LA said they “enjoyed eating at the Clock Tower Gardens Café, which we did every day” after their stay in May 2016.
- Also recommended by JA after their visit in September 2015.
- “Cake selection amazing” wrote JP (September 2014).
- “We would highly recommend the Clock Tower tea rooms at Jacobs Ladder. The cream teas are exceptional and not ridiculously over priced. Worth booking a table in advance though as it was heaving in there!” NL (August 2014).
Church Street (off the Market Place). Tel. 01395 513018
This café and deli is set in a quirky curved building and the welcoming interior is bursting with character. Service is friendly with a tempting menu offering morning coffee and cake, light lunches and afternoon teas. It’s popular and if you can’t get a table at busy times you can get food to take away for a picnic on the beach, only 5 minutes away.
Dukes restaurant and bar
The Esplanade, tel: 01395 513320
A popular bar and restaurant opposite the seafront. On warm dry days you can take advantage of their pleasant courtyard where you can enjoy a meal or just a drink and watch the world go by. The quality of the food is above average and it gets very busy during the peak holiday season. We recommend that you book ahead if you’re planning a Friday or Saturday evening meal.
- CR simply wrote “Eat at Dukes” after their visit (October 2015).
- “Good food at good prices” PN (July 2015).
- “Dukes restaurant has very good quality food, but you need to book!” P&N G, May 2015.
- “We enjoyed meals at Dukes, highly recommend.” NL, August 2014.
- Recommended for their fish and chips by PB (February 2013).
Field’s of Sidmouth, Market Place, Tel. 01395 515124
Sidmouth’s unique independent family run department store has it’s own coffee shop open Monday to Saturday until 430pm. They serve tasty light meals, breakfasts and afternoon tea and take pride in the quality of service which was excellent when we visited in December 2012. The interior is a little dated and they could make more of the sea view that we could just see through the net curtains, but on the whole we’d recommend it for a snack or light lunch.
- Recommended by S & JR after their stay in March 2014 and C & AS in January 2016.
The Filling Station
Cross Lane (a narrow passageway between Fore Street and Old Fore Street), tel. 01395 577345
It’s easy to miss this small café and takeaway sandwich shop which is much loved by the locals. We recommend it not only for the freshly made sandwiches, baguettes and paninis, but also their wide range of pasties, pies and unusual specials including Egyptian street food.
6, High Street, Tel. 01395 578998.
A popular café with the locals which receives lots of positive reviews. We had lunch here in October 2015. The service was a little chaotic (we weren’t acknowledged when we arrived) and the décor was looking a bit tired, but our food was freshly made to order and was delicious. There is a much larger menu than it appears from the outside, with an extensive specials board and a children’s menu. There’s also a small outside space at the back for sunny days. Graze is open most days for breakfast, lunch and afternoon teas.
- “There seemed to be a good awareness of gluten-free diet everywhere we went which was refreshing and you can even get GF scones and sandwiches from Graze.” KP (October 2015).
The Loft restaurant
Upper Floor, 3/5 Old Fore Street, Tel. 01395 489 681.
In September 2013 we had a delicious lunch at this restaurant and we’ve been back several times since. We think that the food is very reasonably priced given the high quality. Their menu is based around freshly prepared seasonal dishes and they use locally sourced ingredients wherever possible. The environment is light and pleasant with a natural rustic feel. Definitely worth a visit whether for coffee and cake or a full meal (note that at busy times they may not serve drinks without a meal). On sunny days you can eat outside on their sheltered roof terrace. At the time of writing the Loft is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 930am to 330pm.
- “Good service and food at reasonable prices” PN (July 2015).
- D & E C recommended the Loft (June 2014).
This modern café benefits from a prime location on the Esplanade, with some tables having sea views, although there is very little seating outside. When we visited on a Sunday in January 2013 the service was very slow but we enjoyed the food when it eventually arrived.
- Recommended for their full breakfast by CR (October 2015).
- “Avoid Mocha – bad service” P B (February 2013)
- “Avoid Mocha café – very expensive, rude staff” K C (November 2012).
Radway Place, Vicarage Road, EX10 8TLTel. 01395 519494.
A fish restaurant that takes full advantage of local suppliers with a changing menu that reflects both the seasons and the catch of the day.
- “Book Neil’s Restaurant far in advance!” recommended MH (June 2016).
- “Neill’s fish restaurant was excellent we booked a table from home for the Saturday night, which was definitely worth it. It looks unprepossessing from the outside but actually has a lovely atmosphere and is great for a special meal.” KP (October 2015).
- Neil’s is also recommended by P O’R (April 2014).
Osbornes coffee shop and restaurant
Fore Street, tel. 01395 512564
A traditional coffee shop with a retro feel including potted plants and walls covered in black and white photos of legendary movie stars. The light lunches that we had were unremarkable and, we thought, a little over priced.
Phoenix Chinese restaurant and take away
30, High Street, Tel. 01395 514720.
A Chinese restaurant and take away squeezed in between the shops on the High Street. It’s bigger than it looks from the outside and great for groups. We haven’t tried it since it changed hands last year and it has had mixed on-line reviews.
The Esplanade, tel: 0
Pyne’s bar and restaurant is in the Bedford Hotel on Sidmouth seafront. It has a pleasant, friendly atmosphere along with a menu based around fresh West Country produce, much of it locally sourced. We had a tasty evening meal here in December 2015 and we’ll definitely be back to try their lunch menu. Because of its hotel location Pyne’s is open 7 days a week from morning coffee through lunch to dinner.
The Esplanade, Tel. 01395 514152
This little café is sandwiched in amongst the hotels on the sea front. There are tables outside for sunny days and it’s a great place to have a coffee and people watch. They also have an interesting and reasonably priced menu. We had a very pleasant lunch outside on a sunny Sunday and we can recommend the sharing platter for a light meal.
- The Pea Green Boat is recommended by JP (September 2014).
- “Pea Green Boat was good for kids too.” JB (August 2014).
- “The Pea Green Boat is excellent – friendly staff and great atmosphere.” JS (August 2014).
- “We enjoyed Pea Green café – but essential to book.” D. A. (August 2012).
- Also recommended by E H (February 2013).
- “Good for light bites” R K (October 2013).
Access from Fore Street (behind Fatface).
Tucked away behind Fore Street is Libra Court, a sheltered sun trap with local jewellers, quirky craft shops and Selley’s Coffee shop. It’s a charming location, easily overlooked, and well worth seeking out. The coffee shop changed hands a while ago and we went back in September 2015 to try it out. The current owners have made the most of the tiny space with some tables indoors and a large awning outside so that the courtyard can be used whatever the weather. We had a light lunch and the food was delicious, generous portions and obviously freshly made. We’ll definitely be back for more.
The Sidmouth Tandoori unlicensed restaurant and take away
2 Radway Place, Vicarage Road (opposite the cinema), Tel. 01395 579944
This tiny and very friendly restaurant offers a fairly typical Indian menu. It fills up quickly so if you want to eat in it’s a good idea to phone ahead and book a table and remember to bring your own beer or wine as it doesn’t have a license. They also have a take away service which is very popular so phone your order through in plenty of time as on busy nights it could be up to an hour before it’s ready to collect.
- “Tandoori take away is lovely” I & M D (February 2014).
The Swan Inn
37 York Street. Tel. 01395 512849
This is a traditional English pub crammed with character and offering good beer and above average unpretentious pub grub in a relaxed atmosphere. It’s slightly off the beaten track (on the road that leads to the ford) and is popular with locals. Note that they don’t allow children inside.
- “Excellent” GS (May 2016),
- “The Swan was OK” KP (October 2015).
- “Very friendly and good food” J&CD (September 2014).
- “The Swan Inn was particularly good” wrote KH (March 2014).
- Also recommended by KR (January 2013)
- “Very good food” KC (November 2012).
The Esplanade. Tel. 01395 512651
The Victoria is a luxury 4 star hotel on the sea front with a restaurant and lounge bar that is open to non-residents. There is often a pianist or orchestra in the evenings and dinner dances on Saturdays. They take pride in their high quality service and refined atmosphere (gentlemen are required to wear a Jacket and tie in the dining room).
- “Dinner at the Victoria was great, 5 star. Sit down at 7.30 to 7.45 pm to get live band.” writes PB (February 2013).
The White Horse
Old Fore Street. Tel. 01395 514271.
Formerly a pub, this is now a café serving fish and chips, baked potatoes and burgers to eat in or take away. It’s cheap and cheerful with counter service if you eat in or, for the full sea side experience, you can get take away fish and chips to eat on the sea front. This is the best take away fish and chips that we’ve found in Sidmouth so far.
Some ideas for eating in
If you prefer to eat at your holiday cottage then we’d recommend a visit to the Cheeseboard delicatessen in the High Street. As well as a wide range of cheese they also offer home made savoury pies and pasties. We always check out the freezers at the back of the shop for delicious ready meals made by Cook’s Kitchen in Sittingbourne which look and taste home made and are easy to cook in the oven or microwave.
We also recommend hunting out Sidmouth Trawlers fishmonger, run by a local fishing family near the river mouth. JW writes: “If you love fresh fish… the fish hut near the end of the Byes, just past the swimming pool, 930-4pm every day except Monday. We have grown gills!”
There’s also a handy takeaway in Temple Street just a couple of minute’s walk from the house, Amy H wrote “The fish and chips from the takeaway across the road from the cottage were great!” (September 2016).
More Devon and Dorset restaurants