Restaurants, cafés and pubs within driving distance of Sidmouth

Here are a few of the restaurants, cafés and pubs that we’ve sampled on our days out from Sidmouth.

The Anchor Inn | High St, Burton Bradstock DT6 4QF tel: 01308 897228

Recommended by Mieke S from Holland in May 2019 – “to us the best restaurant”. A traditional pub known for it’s fresh seafood.

The Blue Ball Inn | Steven’s Cross, Sidford, tel: 01395 514062.

The car park is across a busy road with no zebra crossing so getting to the Inn can be a little hairy. Once inside, it’s big with several different areas to eat including a cosy child-free bar area with a log fire. We enjoyed the food when we last paid a visit in September 2022 – there was something to suit everyone on the menu. There’s plenty of room to sit outside on warm days. It’s on one of the main routes into Sidmouth so makes a useful stop-off if you’ve been out for the day exploring South Devon and West Dorset.

  • “Good food, large car park and close by car” Ken P from Southampton, October 2019.
  • “We loved the Blue Ball Inn” Amy H from London, September 2016
  • “We love the Blue Ball at Sidford” LC from Bristol, September 2016.

The Bowd Inn | Bowd Cross, Sidmouth, EX10 0ND, tel: 01395 513328

The Bowd is a traditional Inn just outside Sidmouth on the main Exeter road. It’s popular with locals and visitors alike so it’s worth booking a table if you want to eat there at a weekend.

  • Recommended for “great meals” by Gemma B from Worcester, October 2018.
  • “The Bowd has a super carvery” Chris J from Halstead, September 2018.

The Cleave Inn | Lustleigh, Dartmoor, TQ13 9TJ, Tel. 01647 277223

It was a challenge to find this pub – tucked away in the hills on the North East edge of Dartmoor, but it was well worth the effort. We sat in the lovely pub garden and enjoyed a well earned freshly cooked meal after a day’s walking on the moor.

Photo: The Cleave at Lustleigh

The Cleave at Lustleigh

Fingle Bridge Inn | Drewsteignton, Dartmoor, EX6 6PW. tel. 01647 281 287

The food may be standard pub grub and parking is very limited but that’s not the main attraction at the Fingle Bridge Inn. For us it was the perfect stop off on a circular walk from Castle Drogo and along the banks of the river Teign. The garden is right on the river so it was a wonderful place to rest and recharge our batteries before tackling the rest of the walk. Note that it’s closed most evenings apart from Friday and Saturday.

Photo: the Fingle Bridge Inn

The Fingle Bridge Inn riverside garden

Frydays fish restaurant and take away | 2 The Burrow, Seaton, Devon, EX12 2LW. Tel. 01297 23911.

One of the best fish and chip shops in the area, Frydays has a small restaurant and a take away service so in the summer you can enjoy fish and chips as they should be – on the pebble beach just a couple of minutes walk away. It gets very busy so get there early or ring ahead to pre-order your take away.

  • Tim J from Manchester liked the fish and chips from Frydays when they visited in September 2018.

    Hare and Hounds | Putts Corner, Sidbury, EX10 0QQ. Tel. 01404 41760.

    A country pub between Sidmouth and Honiton with a large garden and a traditional pub menu and carvery.

    The Hideaway | The Chine, Seaton, tel: 01297 24292

    You can only reach this beach-side café on foot and it’s worth the stroll along to the far Western end of Seaton Esplanade for the freshly cooked food and stunning views across the bay.

    > Read more about it in our review.

    Photo: sea side tables at the Hideaway in Seaton

    Seaside tables at the Hideaway in Seaton

    Hive beach café | Burton Bradstock, Dorset, DT6 4RF, tel: 01308 897 070.

    The combination of a perfect location and award winning food is definitely worth the above average price tag. The focus is on fresh fish and seafood, and they also have their own micro bakery so you can enjoy pastries, cakes and biscuits. If you’re exploring the Dorset coastline then we’d recommend stopping off here for lunch, a snack or even just an ice-cream. Parking is available in the nearby National Trust car park (free for members). Allow some time for a stroll along the beach or up to the coast path with stunning views towards Chesil Beach in the East and Lyme Regis to the West.

    Photo: The Hive beach cafe at Burton Bradstock

    The Hive beach cafe at Burton Bradstock

    The Kingfisher Inn

    Dolphin Street, Colyton, EX24 6NA tel: 01297 552476.

    A traditional village pub with a pleasant courtyard for eating out on sunny days. The menu is fairly standard pub grub. We had a lovely day one sunny Easter – we took the tram from Seaton along the Axe Valley, strolled into Colyton for lunch at the Kingfisher followed by a return tram ride back to Seaton. If you’re visiting Colyton by car there’s a car park in the town centre not far from the pub.

    Margaret H from Rochester wrote “we loved our day at Seaton Tramway and had a lovely meal at the Kingfisher pub at Colyton” (August 2018).

    Photo: The Kingfisher Inn at Colyton

    The sunny courtyard at the Kingfisher Inn, Colyton

    Otterton Mill restaurant | Otterton, near Budleigh Salterton, Devon, EX9 7HG. Tel. 01395 567041.

    This award winning licensed restaurant is open from 10 to 5 for fresh baked snacks, lunches and cream teas. The working mill, gallery and craft shop are worth a visit and there is a lovely walk down the river Otter to Budleigh Salterton to help work off that slice of home made cake that could be hard to resist. They feature locally sourced ingredients and have their own on-site bakery where you can see the flour that is stone ground in the mill being turned into a wide variety of breads. Note that it gets very busy on warm summer lunch times.

    • “We had a lovely meal at Otter Mill” Rachel G from Bridgewater, April 2019.

    Photo: The cafe courtyard at Otterton Mill

    The cafe courtyard at Otterton Mill

    The Puffing Billy | Station RD, Exeter, EX3 0PR, tel. 01392 877888

    We stopped here while walking the Exe Estuary trail. It’s actually in Exton (not Exeter) and is a lovely pub with a very pleasant garden. Although we didn’t have a full meal the food looks very good and I’m sure we’ll be back for a lunch at some point.

    The Ship Inn | Church Street, Axmouth, EX12 4AF. Tel. 01297 21838.

    This gastro pub offers good quality food in pleasant surroundings with a large garden for sunny days.

    The Shed Steakhouse | 4 Harbour Road, Seaton, Devon, EX12 2LS. Tel. 01297 625 926

    This restaurant is a pleasant surprise – the owners have obviously put a lot of thought into creating an attractive environment where you can enjoy good quality food. There is a children’s menu and tasty fish and vegetarian options if you have a non-meat eater with you. It’s popularity is growing rapidly so I recommend that you book in advance if you are planning a meal there on a Saturday night.

    Smuggler’s Kitchen | Fore Street, Beer, EX12 3JF Tel. 01297 22104 

    We had a great family meal here in June 2022 and it was also recommended by Barbara W after her visit in June 2021. They have a varied and interesting menu so most people should find something they like. The atmosphere is friendly and there’s a lively buzz in the evening – worth booking ahead if you want to visit on a Friday or Saturday.


    Farm shops and eating in

    If you want to eat in for a change then how about calling in at one of the many farm shops in the area on the way back from a day out? You’ll find fresh locally grown produce sold by people who know all about where it comes from and can suggest ways to cook it (and sometimes you can count the food miles in single figures!).

    If you’re in the Exe valley anywhere near Topsham then call in to Darts Farm, open until 7pm every day except Sunday when it closes at 430pm. As well as local produce, butchers and wet fish shop there’s a café and take away fish and chip shed. Robin & Jenny G also recommended the Greendale Farm shop, after their stay in October 2014. It’s on the main road from Exeter (A3052), is open every day and also has its own café.


    Photo: The Hive beach cafe at Burton Bradstock

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