8 Restaurants In Ilfracombe That Locals Love For Food, Views & Vibes!

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Last updated on February 14, 2023 by Wandering our World

Ilfracombe is a charming coastal town located in North Devon, England. With dramatic cliffs, pristine sandy beaches, and rolling hills, it’s a perfect destination for those seeking peace and relaxation.

But luckily it’s not just the natural beauty of Ilfracombe that makes it appealing to tourists. With a rich heritage and a vibrant cultural scene, Ilfracombe is a foodie’s paradise, offering a wide range of international cuisines and creative fusion, showcasing the best of local produce and culinary talent.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner for two or a family-friendly dining experience, Ilfracombe has plenty of restaurants that will fit the bill.

But to help you out, we’ll share some of our favourite restaurants in Ilfracombe – places that make the town a great destination for a gastronomic getaway.

A waitress serving customers food at a restaurant

The Best Restaurants In Ilfracombe: Food Worth Waiting For!

1. The Terrace Tapas & Wine Bar

An urban tapas and wine bar, specialising in Spanish cuisine and imported wines, alongside a list of sultry cocktails.

This swanky little tapas bar in Ilfracombe provides diners with a one-way trip to the gorgeous coasts of the Spanish Mediterranean without the hassles of passports and visas.

After all, the benefit of restaurants is being able to explore different countries and cultures without leaving the comforts of your home town.

The Terrace perfectly represents this, right down to the Tudor-style lanterns.

Of course, visitors first notice the outdoor dining section, enclosed in a little courtyard where guests can enjoy al fresco dining with their family dog at their feet. The staff, courteous as ever, will offer Fido a soft blanket and water.

The cosy interior is awash with beautiful colours and decorated with gorgeous feature pieces. The Terrace is fancy without the fuss, and you might as well dress up for the fun of it!

Large bay windows drench the dining areas in sunlight, which is exceptionally beautiful to see in summer when your dinners can be accompanied by an Instagram-worthy golden glow.

Grab a menu and peruse the refreshing options for tapas platters and charcuterie. There’s something for everyone, even Vegans (although their options are limited).

A fan-favourite is the Morcilla de Bourgos which makes the cut with each seasonal rendition of the menu. But you can also indulge in succulent lamb, spicy chorizo and churros if you crave something sweet.

The menu changes throughout the year, out with the old and in with the new, to keep their offerings interesting. Also, note that the dishes are for sharing, so we suggest bringing a dining buddy or a hot date with you!

As for the wine portion of the evening, they have everything, from sweet roses to sparking proseccos and everyone’s favourite Sangria; you’ll easily understand why we recommended the taxi. Not to mention their unbelievable selection of cocktails.

No wonder the locals of Ilfracombe love The Terrace so much. From the incredible atmosphere to the mouth-watering tapas; what’s not the like?

  • Opening Hours: 6 pm to 9:30 pm Thurs; 6 pm to 10 pm Fri & Sat; Closed Sun to Wed
  • Location: 62 Fore St, Ilfracombe
Offering concept with many kinds of tapas
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Gulcin Ragiboglu

2. Settantanove

Ilfracombe’s top destination for pizza and pasta, with a knack for decedent Mediterranean cuisine in a family-friendly environment.

Settantanove is more than just a typical Italian restaurant; it’s an experience! As soon as you step inside, you are transported to a little corner of Italy, surrounded by charming décor and warm hospitality.

The owners, who hail from a long line of Italian chefs, are passionate about their food and dedicated to sharing their love for authentic Italian cuisine with their guests.

Their menu is a love letter to traditional Italian dishes, with a focus on fresh, handmade pasta and, of course, their signature wood-fired pizzas.

Every pizza is a work of art, crafted with care and attention to detail, using only the freshest ingredients. The bases are made fresh daily, ensuring the perfect balance of chewiness and crunch with every bite. Offering authenticity and flavour, unlike anything you’ve tried before.

But if you’re craving something slightly different, don’t hesitate to stock up on platefuls of their Tapas or perhaps a Mezze Platter to share.

And should you require arrangements for vegan and vegetarian options, simply ask your server for a substitution so that you can enjoy any number of their options with a meat substitute.

Having been around since 2006, this restaurant has long since become an inherent part of the Ilfracombe community. They’re known and loved amongst locals and regular tourists who just can’t get enough of their food.

But their atmosphere also acts as an attractive feature too, which guests often mark as a notable factor that made their experience worthwhile. Settantanove is, by design, a family-friendly restaurant that welcomes guests of all ages to indulge in their delicious cuisine.

The small restaurant is cosy and, without being overbearing, has captured the essence of small Italian villages, right down to the twisting vines hanging from the ceiling that is reminiscent of the ivy on Tuscan Villas.

Seriously though, if you’re looking for one of the best restaurants in Ilfracombe, you won’t have to look much further than Settantanove.

  • Opening Hours: 6 pm to 9 pm Wed to Sat; Closed Sun to Tues
  • Location: 79 High St, Ilfracombe
Italian pastas with different kinds of sauce
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Roxiller

3. The Antidote

A quaint eatery with big personality, serving contemporary British cuisine that has earned them a spot on Michelin’s radar.

The Antidote is the perfect dining destination for discerning travellers searching for a truly elevated food experience.

This contemporary British restaurant is nestled in the heart of town and is a vibrant experience that introduces you to local Ilfracombe in a unique way.

But what makes The Antidote such a beacon of Ilfracombe life? Well, for one, the restaurant doubles as boutique accommodation, so you can spend a night exploring the town and living amongst the locals. Secondly is their elaborate use of locally sourced ingredients that bring light to the vibrant countryside off Ilfracombe’s shores.

After all, paying tribute to their town of origin doesn’t get better than celebrating cuisine inspired by the coastal town itself.

The tasting menus are a seasonal treat and often change, sometimes even weekly, to accommodate something refreshingly new. This only bodes well for the kitchen’s creativity and technique, as not many chefs can create new and exciting dishes so often whilst maintaining such excellent quality.

Each menu is served in 3-courses, with your choice of starter, entree and dessert. The dishes come decadently presented and give off an atmosphere of fine dining. Of course, at The Antidote, the food might be fancy, but there’s no need for sequins and a suit and tie.

The couple who own this little slice of paradise are passionate foodies with plenty of industry experience between the two of them. They’ve thought everything through meticulously, down to the wine selections to create the most incredible experience for the guests.

And to say the crowd is wowed would be an understatement. Their little restaurant stirred up enough of a buzz to earn them a prestigious space in the Michelin Guide, and if that doesn’t qualify them as one of the best restaurants in Ilfracombe, then we don’t know what does.

  • Opening Hours: 6 to 10 pm Thurs; 6 pm to 10:30 pm Fri & Sat; Closed Sun to Wed
  • Location: 20 St James Pl, Ilfracombe
Chef adding drizzle to fine dining plate
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Kuzmin

4. Giovanni & Luca

An authentic Italian adventure that your tastebuds will thank you for, you’ll fall in love with this family-friendly old-style Italian joint on Wilder Road.

The passion project of Italian locals Giovanni and Donatella, Giovanni & Luca has been an inherent part of the Ilfracombe community since 2010.

They pride themselves on being the only fully authentic Italian restaurant in town, and while they have some competition, they’ve continued to prove why they’re one of the most popular restaurants in Ilfracombe.

This is a restaurant of home comforts, and while it might not be the home we’re used to, you certainly get a sense of passionate, home-grown cooking just like Nona used to make.

That is, after all, the premise for their entire menu. Honest-to-goodness, old-style Italian dishes made using traditional techniques to provide the most authentic meal possible.

And, of course, they deliver with flying colours. The menu, like most traditional Italian restaurants, might as well be a tome of delicacies for you to pick from, but if you think they leave any stone unturned, you’d be wrong.

Pizza, pasta, seafood, chicken, glorious steak, and gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options! What more can we say? Giovanni & Luca caters for just about every taste.

Guests are thrilled at the incredible selection, and while overwhelming at first, we can only tell you to do one thing.

Try the veal.

And on top of that, regulars often favour two of their dishes, their incredible risottos, which they’ve managed to nail despite being a nightmare dish on cooking shows. Every. Time.

And the tiramisu, which we definitely saw coming.

Regardless of your tastes, they have something to cater to your needs, and that’s one reason they make such an incredible family restaurant.

The spacious layout, cosy interior and flow of warm colours offer them all the charm of your usual neighbourhood Italian joint, and that’s what they are. Humble, homely, and a great place to enjoy a memorable evening.

  • Opening Hours: 12pm to 2 pm, 5:30 pm to 9 pm Tues – Sun; Closed Mon
  • Location: Searock Apartments, Wilder Rd, Ilfracombe
wood fired pizza on table
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/JulyProkopiv

5. Ward’s Bar & Bistro

A treat for fine-dining enthusiasts, this limited space bar and bistro is bound to knock the socks off any critic that dares to try their contemporary menu of global delicacies.

Welcome to the epitome of fine dining restaurants in Ilfracombe – Ward’s Bar & Bistro. Nestled in the charming St James Place, this little gem is a must-visit for foodies and those seeking an extraordinary dining experience.

With its warm and inviting ambience, guests are transported to a world of culinary delights from the moment they step through the doors. The cosy dining venue offers limited seating for around 22 people, offering a more intimate setting for dates and private parties than most.

The indoor area blossoms out to include a scenic garden, where the waves of the nearby harbour can be heard on quieter days. Summer days never looked better than enjoying meals with friends in the coastal sunshine.

From the sound of clinking glasses at the bar to the tantalising aroma of their tempting delicacies, Ward’s Bar and Bistro sets the stage for an unforgettable dining experience.

They pride themselves in their sustainable kitchen, using and sourcing only the best local ingredients to bring fresh, wholesome flavours to every dish.

Their chef, a genius by any count, has created a menu that’s sure to indulge every sense. From their starters of baked camembert and duck liver to the ribeye and Devon lamb entrees, the limited options speak nothing of the intense flavour experience guests will receive.

Not to mention, they’re one of the best restaurants in Ilfracombe to find an excellent ol’ traditional Sunday Roast, and “come rain or shine” is their promise!

As we’ve mentioned, with limited seating, the restaurant can get busy reasonably quickly, and the best way to avoid disappointment is to contact them for a booking.

We’re sure they’ll be eager to serve you!

  • Opening Hours: 6 pm to 10 pm Thurs – Sat; 12 pm to 6 pm Sun; Closed Mon – Wed.
  • Location: 6 St James Pl, Ilfracombe
Sunday roast display
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/CBCK-Christine

6. Seventy One

Located in one of Ilfracombe’s historic districts, this restaurant is anything but old-fashioned, from the unique and interesting wall art, to the contemporary global menu and scenic views, Seventy One is a must-visit experience for anyone visiting town.

Seventy One is the place to go if you’re seeking scenic views, divine food and an all-around good experience. Situated on the historic and charming Fore Street, this restaurant is a mere stone’s throw away from Ilfracombe’s picturesque harbour.

So after a tiring afternoon of touring this gorgeous coastal town, it only makes sense to settle down and enjoy a bite to eat in a cosy and welcoming restaurant nearby.

Visitors to the town are often enamoured by this restaurant, with many spending a fair share of their holiday enjoying the atmosphere and food. They’ve been described as one of the best restaurants in Ilfracombe by many, and judging by their reputation, we wholly agree.

The restaurant oozes vibrant charm and character, from the dark oak to the moody lighting and even the original decorative artwork that adorns the walls. The owners have managed to breathe new life into what would generally be considered just another restaurant.

But the best is yet to come. Seventy One is renowned for their food, which both locals and tourists can’t seem to get enough of.

Choose between 2 or 3 courses from their concise but creative global menu. Depending on your mood for the day, you might be able to indulge in something of Asian inspiration or perhaps just settle for a dish that highlights the beautiful local ingredients.

It’s hard to recommend a favourite, as the menu often changes to accommodate seasonal ingredients. Something we could recommend might not be on the menu by the time you get there.

But that’s okay; they promise quality and an excellent dining experience, which from what we can gather, they deliver every time!

So whether you’re just popping by for a day visit, or planning on spending a week in Ilfracombe, put Seventy One on your to-do list.

  • Opening Hours: 6:30 pm to 10 pm Tues – Sat; Closed Sun & Mon
  • Location: 71 Fore St, Ilfracombe
Chef cooking in kitchen
Photo for illustrative purposes only: Unsplash+

7. Annie and the Flint

A cafe perfectly suited to provide early risers, brunch buddies and late lunchers with an escape from the bustle of busy Ilfracombe. Plus they make a mean cup of coffee.

If you’re an early riser and sniffing out the best place in town to find a decent cup of coffee, let us introduce you to Annie and the Flint, where café culture and dining meet.

Located in the heart of Ilfracombe, this charming eatery is the epitome of relaxed dining with a touch of sophistication. Rustic wood panels, farmhouse-style furnishings and big bay windows give them an eye for detail that creates a welcoming and inviting space.

The menu is designed to delight and satisfy, focusing on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. Whether you are in the mood for a light bite or a full meal, the café has something for everyone, although we hope they introduce more vegetarian options in the future.

Breakfast options offer a range of sweet and savoury, from Full English to fruit and cream-topped pancakes.

For lunch, you can indulge in a range of craft sandwiches, toasties and salad bowls, including the highly recommended brie, cranberry, and avocado sandwich.

And if you simply want to enjoy a light snack with your cup of coffee or tea, you surely can’t resist their freshly baked array of daily cakes and pastries. 

Visitors to the cafe are quick to comment about their obsession with the hot beverage options, and judging by the looks of their whipped cream-topped Hot Chocolate, we’d be obsessed too! Plus, if you’re looking to score a free drink, keep your eyes peeled for their hidden Toby Mug or simply fill a loyalty card upon each visit.

The staff are friendly and perfectly embody the cafe’s character and charm, serving each cup of coffee and meal with a smile. Their warm and welcoming spirit is a tribute to why people flock here and definitely helps make Annie and the Flint one of the best restaurants in Ilfracombe for breakfast and brunch.

  • Opening Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Mon – Fri; 8:30 am to 3:30 pm Sat & Sun
  • Location: 125-126, High St, Ilfracombe
group drinking coffee
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Rawpixel

8. The Depot Eatery

A historical restaurant that’s become a popular destination to enjoy classic American cuisine and a day packed with family-friendly fun.

We rarely get the treat of mentioning a restaurant with as rich a history as The Depot Eatery in Ilfracombe. The historical landmark was an attractive rest stop nestled in a junction of roads, frequented by weary travellers throughout the years; and it had a reputation for being quite the popular hangout.

In 1949, Mr Knill created a new cafe and rest stop that underwent plenty of evolutions as the years went on before finally settling on this newest rendition.

They have tradition and years on their side, which means they still have a die-hard crowd of regulars who wouldn’t miss out on a Sunday Roast here, even if they were paid!

And this just speaks wonders for the charming atmosphere and incredible food, that despite undergoing so many new changes, that this place has maintained an attractive quality that can’t keep the crowds away.

The old building has some new fixings, including an outdoor area equipped with a play area for kids. There’s ample parking and large indoor dining space. And despite the history, there’s nothing old school about the new look, which has modern and chic fixings and a laid-back, casual atmosphere.

Their menu is inherently American, which seems fitting considering a crossroads rest-stop sounds like something out of a western film. But they make for a unique dining experience, at least in Ilfracombe.

Nachos, loaded fries, pizzas and burgers are your choice of comfort food. And trust us when we say guests LOVE the experience. The most popular dish to date is the BBQ Pulled Pork Tacos and, of course, their ever-favourite Sunday Roast.

They’re a touch of history that’s been a pitstop for travellers for generations, and they show no signs of tossing away the tradition! So saddle up and pay them a visit; you won’t regret it.

  • Opening Hours: 10 am to 8 pm Mon-Sat; 10 am to 6 pm Sun
  • Location: Depot, Mullacott Cross, Ilfracombe


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