Hidden Cafes in Devon

Hidden Cafes in Devon

It’s no secret that Devon is home to incredible places to eat, from beachside bistros to atmospheric eateries to Michelin star restaurants. That said, resting within its leafy valleys and coastal corners is a wonderful array of hidden cafés in Devon that sometimes slip past the gaze of those who don’t yet know where to look. Set within gorgeous landscapes and serving mouth-watering fare, they promise dreamy moments to be savoured.

From off-the-beaten-track cafés to little-known gems, we’ve curated a guide to some of the best hidden cafés in Devon to visit after walks and wanders in the county.

The Woodland Café, Newton Abbot

Diners sat in the fairy light-strung garden of The Woodland Cafe near Newton Abbot

The Woodland Café is a smokehouse, bar and café hidden within a tangle of trees outside of Newton Abbot in Devon. Combining a quintessential English feel and a Mediterranean ambience with cosy interiors and outdoor seating, this family and dog-friendly gem is the perfect place to enjoy delicious feasts. Sit outside under wide Devonshire skies or take a seat inside and choose from a menu of hearty breakfasts, wood-fired pizzas, and slices of cake - all composed of the finest local produce wherever possible. Later, if you feel like lingering a little longer, this café stays open into the evening for cocktails and music nights lit by fairy lights.

River Exe Café, Exmouth

The River Exe Cafe in the middle of the River Exe near Exmouth

An award-winning café and restaurant, the River Exe Café boasts one of the most unusual and unforgettable locations in the South West. A floating haven, it resides within a custom-built barge in the middle of the glassy Exe Estuary and is accessed via boat (take your own or book a water taxi from Exmouth Marina). Open from April to September each year, this hidden café in Devon offers both inside and outside seating to make the most of the jaw-dropping location. With cocktails, local wine, shade, and ice cream for warm days, and heaters, blankets, and hot drinks for crisp afternoons, it’s an experience not to be missed.

The Lost Kitchen, Tiverton

The flower-speckled gardens of The Lost Kitchen near Tiverton

The Lost Kitchen is a café, restaurant and feasting barn surrounded by picturesque countryside and rolling hills in the hamlet of Chettiscombe in Mid Devon. A secluded gem, its peaceful setting, gorgeous views, kitchen gardens and glass-fronted venue combine to create a one-of-a-kind attraction. Head over to enjoy romantic brunches and laidback lunches inside or on the garden terrace. With an appetising array of meals and wood-fired delicacies to choose from, you can expect the freshest tastes Devon has to offer. Once you have dined, you can extend your discovery with a trip to nearby Knightshayes Court. Less than half a mile from The Lost Kitchen as the crow flies, this National Trust-run site stars a Victorian country house, gardens, and parklands.

The Café on the Green, Widecombe-in-the-Moor

An outside view of The Cafe on The Green in Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Dartmoor

Hidden amongst the wild moorland of Dartmoor lies Widecombe-in-the-Moor and the idyllic Café on the Green. Welcoming visitors for over a century, this inviting café in the heart of the National Park is a firm favourite amongst locals, yet can be easily overlooked by those passing through the moors. Perfect for those pre or post-walk fuels, it promises a full menu of breakfast offerings, lunch specials, and an assortment of snacks and treats. Indulge in a flavoursome feast of your choosing, either relaxing inside under its high ceilings and open beams or outside in its sun-trap garden under a beaming sun.

Cottage Tea Rooms, Clovelly

A view of the sunny, sea-view terrace garden of Cottage Tea Rooms in Clovelly

Clovelly village is one of the most enchanting villages in Devon, famed for its historic, cobbled streets that wind steeply downhill towards a working harbour. Rich in maritime history and home to a resident drove of donkeys, it encourages hours of leisurely exploration throughout the year. Making it all the more tempting is Cottage Tea Rooms, a quaint, family-run café hidden within its network of streets. Home to a dog-friendly secret garden that affords pretty views over the village and sea beyond, it is a lovely place to visit for alfresco lunches. Find a seat in the garden and choose from Devonshire classics, including Devon cream teas (cream first) and local crab sandwiches.

Tamar Lake Café, Holsworthy

The stylish wood-clad exterior of Tamar Lake Cafe by Upper Tamar Lake

Just above the Cornwall and Devon border lies the Tamar Lake Café. Residing next to Upper Tamar Lake, it enjoys a remote aspect overlooking the glistening shores of the reservoir and calls to those looking to step off the beaten track for a while. Combine your trip to the café with a leisurely stroll or fun-filled activity on the lake, or simply save your energy and look forward to sampling something delicious. On the menu, savoury offerings sit alongside sweet temptations to satiate every appetite and occasion. The breakfasts here are particularly appealing, presenting everything from vegetarian full English breakfasts to stacked American pancakes.

The Old Mill Café, Wembury Beach

The Old Mill Cafe on Wembury Beach with sand and sea beyond

One of the best hidden cafés in Devon, the Old Mill Café sits pretty as a picture on Wembury beach in the South Hams. Tucked within a National Trust-run building, this lovingly maintained café is open every day in summer and on select days during the cooler months. For those looking to sit down, an array of seating and a crackling wood fire create the opportunity to linger over wholesome fare. Meanwhile, the option of food-to-go allows for delicious shoreside picnics in the fresh sea air. Known for its hearty menu, breakfast rolls, pasties, sandwiches, cakes, and bakes are all favourites here - just perfect for filling hungry stomachs and rejuvenating energy supplies.

Roadford Lake Café, Broadwoodwidger

A view of Roadfoard Lake Cafe from the water on a sunny day

Roadford Lake Café is perched next to one of the largest lakes in the South West close to the sweeping moorland of Dartmoor National Park. Somewhere that’s easy to miss by those passing by, it proposes a tranquil spot in which to draw out carefree moments in a stunning lakeside setting. Making its lovingly crafted dishes taste even better, the café is committed to eco-friendly policies and focuses on low food miles wherever possible. Browse the collection of wholesome plates and sides and treat your tastebuds to feel-good flavours. For ease, the café is open seven days a week and there is also a little gift shop to peruse.

The Ring Feeder Café, Ivybridge

Cakes on display inside The Ringer Feeder Cafe near Ivybridge

If you would like to visit one of Devon’s best-kept secrets, then head over to The Ring Feeder café and farm shop in Modbury near Ivybridge. Encompassed by verdant fields in the middle of a working farm in the South Hams, this delightful destination is a real feast for the senses. Inside, a cleverly styled café sports rustic-luxe interiors with wood cladding, open beams and corrugated metal details, all warmed with dainty strings of lights, organic inflections, and wooden tables. Outside, picnic benches and pews topped with cushions await to take the weight off and benefit from a beautiful backdrop of criss-cross fields. Venture over to try their homemade breakfasts, lunches, and cakes - all made from the finest farm-to-fork produce wherever possible.

Yarde Orchard Café, Peters Marland

A pretty view of Yarde Orchard Cafe in Peters Marland surrounded by trees and bathed in sunshine

One of the best things to do in North Devon, the Tarka Trail is a long-distance walking and cycling figure of eight that loops through country and coast. Running past countless beauty spots and a number of North Devon towns and villages, it provides an abundance of opportunities for absorbing adventures and pitstops in cute cafés. Hidden along the way, Yarde Orchard Café is a former sailors’ retreat transformed into a welcoming eatery. Found within Peters Marland just four miles from Great Torrington, it is an ideal place for ramblers and cyclists to visit for well-deserved rest and replenishment. Choose from hot and cold repasts and relish the inviting atmosphere of this family, dog and horse-friendly café.

Café Rio, Maidencombe Beach

An aerial view of Cafe Rio on the red sand cliffs above Maidencombe Beach in Devon

Wend your way through bucolic countryside and follow the blue horizon to meet the sea at Maidencombe beach near Torquay. Almost hidden from view, this sensational sandy beach is surrounded by steep, red sandstone cliffs and showcases heavenly aesthetics. Making it even more special, the oh-so-charming Café Rio sits within a sheltered nook above the beach and provides a welcome sanctuary after long walks and ocean dips. A fabulous beach café and paddleboard and kayak rental, this jewel in the South Devon coastal crown promises everything you could need and more for an unforgettable day by the shore. Treat yourself to menu favourites and daily specials and enjoy this secret corner of paradise.

Feeling inspired to find your favourite hidden café in Devon? Take a look at our luxury cottages.

A view of Cafe Rio and the sea at Wembury Beach in Devon

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