A historic town with plenty of activities nearby, it’s no wonder Barnstaple is a popular place to visit. Head over to Exmoor Zoo for a fantastic day out, or visit Arlington Court which is a National Trust Museum that features a beautiful Victorian garden. And if you like to explore, then nearby Heddon Valley is bound to provide you with stunning views.

Point is, this place has plenty of things going on and lots of ways to work up an appetite. Luckily there’s many great restaurants in Barnstaple to try out when you do get hungry!

As we know this town so well, we have compiled a list of what we think are the ten best restaurants in Barnstaple. So whether you’re after a fine dining experience to write home about, or some classic pub grub and somewhere to take your dog, we’ve got something here for you. Bon appetit!  

The Ten Best Restaurants in Barnstaple

1. Boutport Cafe

There’s no place like home – although Boutport Café comes close.  

We love a café where dogs are welcome, and your 4-legged friend is more than welcome here.

This place has extremely comfy sofas beside the windows, perfect for sinking into and having a meal with friends. There’s also cosy tables set against dark walls and delicate lighting – it feels homely, warm and inviting.

They are an independent cafe with a lovely selection of coffees, teas and traditional breakfasts, sandwiches and light lunches. And if you are a fan of cream tea then be sure to try their Devon cream tea with homemade scones.

Waffles, milkshakes and handmade cakes complete what’s on offer and we couldn’t recommend them more. Boutport Cafe’s ethos is to buy local and cook fresh so there may be a small wait for your food, but you’ll be so content with your surroundings you won’t mind. 

Without a doubt one of our favourite places for brunch and lunch in Barnstaple.

Address: 58 Boutport Street, Barnstaple, EX31 1SH

2. Latitude 48

Spacious. Stylish. Friendly. That’s Latitude 48, one of the best alehouses & restaurants we’ve been to.

Considered by many locals as being the original home of craft beer and steak in Barnstaple, you can expect great classic pub food and an exceptional ale selection here.

The decor is pretty unique, with a table made from a refurbished cart dominating the dining area, a bar created from reclaimed cargo containers, along with comfy large booths. Sofas that sit nearby a stove provide a lovely place to relax and enjoy a drink once you’ve finished your meal too.

The menu is bursting with flavour, and there are plenty of burgers to choose from alongside their famous Steak and Cheese Fondue Platter. Of course there are vegetarian and vegan options available too.

We recommend visiting for dinner in particular, as in the evenings there are often live bands and acoustic performers! Plus, in the evening it’s a little more acceptable to try a few of their ales on tap!

Dogs are welcome as well, and they’ve even got a beer garden if you want to sample everything on offer while enjoying some fresh air.

Not only is Latitude 48 one of the best restaurants in Barnstaple, it’s also has one of the best ale selections in Devon. A must visit.

Address: 96 High St, Barnstaple EX31 1HR

3. Lilico’s

You may have been to Rock Park and enjoyed a lovely walk along the river, working up a bit of an appetite in the process. If so, then why not make it tapas time!

Lilico’s, a tapas restaurant located in the centre of Barnstaple, is a cosy place popular in town for it’s conversation-inducing atmosphere, laid-back vibe, and authentic tapas menu.

So what about the food? It’s authentic, full of flavour, and there’s a fantastic selection. We recommend trying the Smoked Pork or Puff Pastry with Goats Cheese. However if you’re looking for something more filling you can’t go wrong with the Chicken Breast in a White Wine Sauce.

There will often be live bands playing in the evening too, so you can dig into tapas, chat to friends, and be entertained. If you’re like us and love watching the world go by, make sure you reserve seats by the window or sit outside and dine al fresco.

Address: 3 Bridge Buildings The Square, Barnstaple EX32 8LW

4. Broomhill Estate

Want some fine dining in Barnstaple? Then Broomhill Estate, which is just a 10 minute drive out of the town centre, is a great place to dine in style.

This grand building nestled amongst trees is a four-star hotel and popular spot. The dining rooms are open with ambient lighting and worth a photo or two once you’ve placed your order!

As for the food, there’s a focus on European seafood alongside British & Mediterranean classics, and all dietary requirements are catered to. Expect beautifully presented dishes and a menu that is seasonal. That’s because the chefs use fresh local ingredients, so you will find that the menu changes frequently. Which for us, is always a good reason to return.

Once you’ve finished your meal be sure to head through to the lounge and relax with a drink, this isn’t a place you shouldn’t rush to leave.

While we do think this is one of the best restaurants in Barnstaple for dinner, if it’s just a cake and coffee you fancy, be sure to check out the lovely Terrace Café during the day! And if you want to make a day of it, book a tour of the incredible sculpture gardens here. There’s 150 pieces of art to view, featuring contemporary and traditional art.  

Address: Broomhill Estate Muddiford Road, Barnstaple EX31 4EX

5. The Castle Inn

We all love a hearty, honest meal and that’s exactly what you’ll get at The Castle Inn, one of our favourite gastropubs and restaurants in Barnstaple. Close to the famous Tarka Trail and a few other local attractions, this is the ideal place to come and take a load off your feet.

Wooden beams dominate the ceiling which gives that classic British pub look, while the dim lighting and sofas will make you feel extra cosy. Like most gastropubs, the food served is classic British pub grub – but done exceptionally well.

The menu is built using fresh, local ingredients, and with the good sized portions and decent pricing, The Castle Inn is a definite winner in our eyes!

So what do we recommend? The Old Smokey Burger or Slow Cooked Lamb Shank will be sure to satisfy those tastebuds, and if you’re still hungry after that, then the Blood Orange Cheesecake should hit the spot.

Grab a local ale or some fine wine and relax in the friendly atmosphere. There will often be live music on popular evenings, and if you’re lucky you’ll visit for one of their famous quiz nights!  

Address: Blakeshill Road Landkey, Barnstaple EX32 0NF

6. Giovanni’s

With the Queen Theatre just across the road from Giovanni’s, you are sorted if you’ve got tickets for the evening and want some quality Italian food right before your show starts.  

With the tiled floor, dark wood features and decorative plates on the wall, it’s easy to think you’ve escaped to a corner of Italy here. The wonderful staff make you feel welcome on arrival, and clearly pay special attention to each customer without being intrusive.

Start with the bread or soup before you order your favourite pasta dish. Or if you’re like us you may just skip a starter and get straight to ordering pizza! The food tastes fresh and authentic and there’s plenty of Italian classics – some you will know and others you may not.

And why not treat yourself to something from the carefully selected wine list. Italian food and wine, how can you not have a good time?

Address: 35 Boutport Street, Barnstaple, North Devon, EX31 1RX

baked pizza on pizza peel in oven

7. Lunchbox

Time for something we don’t find often but are glad that we did, a fully vegetarian and vegan café! Lunchbox serves dishes inspired from around the world (particularly lots of Asian and Indian influences), and serves up healthy and wholesome food.

This place is a little hidden away but now we’ve found it you can too! And it’s definitely worth your time seeking out. There’s so much on the menu here and you’re welcome to sit in or takeaway (cardboard containers of course, we all need to cut down on plastic).

The Japanese Mushroom Curry, Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad, and Korean stew are just some of the fantastic options. Their use of spice is perfectly balanced, the portions are generous, and we’re sure you will be fully satisfied if you visit.

In our mind Lunchbox isn’t just one of the best restaurants in Barnstaple, it’s one of the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Devon too.

Address: 3 Church Lane, Barnstaple EX31 1BH

8. Cedars Inn

If you take a five minute drive, or 20 minute walk, from the centre of Barnstaple you’ll find a beautiful former country house, now turned pub and hotel called Cedars Inn

The bar and restaurant offers a traditional British menu which is perfectly accompanied by one of the many real ales on offer. The lovely big beer garden is also ideal for those sunny days, and of course dogs are welcome there too.

Recently refurbished, everything has a new feel to it. The dining room feels very grand, and the big windows and conservatory ceiling let in lots of natural light making this an airy place to dine – it almost feels like al fresco dining. Except you are protected from the elements!

We kicked things off with the Spicy Cauliflower Wings, but why not share some nachos before trying one of their delicious burgers. They also have classics like Hunters Chicken, Mac ‘n Cheese and steaks.

Finish things off with something from the dessert menu. Then you’ll be asking a member of staff afterwards to see if they have any rooms available because you’ll be wanting to nap!  

Address: Bickington Road, Sticklepath, Barnstaple EX31 2HE

man and woman holding drinking glasses toasting

9. Maiden Arch

Fusion without confusion.  

Grab your camera, take your time, and settle in for a fine dining experience at Maiden Arch. Located close by the River Taw, chef-owner Robert Bryant has constructed a wonderful menu with a focus on European and British cuisine.

The dining room is bright with very comfortable seating, lit candles sit on tables, and an old fireplace complete with brick wall gives this place that photogenic feel you tend to only get at fine dining establishments.

As with every fine dining experience, we highly recommend asking for a bottle of wine to accompany your meal – the staff can guide you on what will suit your food choices best.

Expect to try food and dishes you’ve never had before. The flavours and ideas are bold, presentation is perfect, and the staff ensure you enjoy every moment of your visit. 

We tried out the Cheese and Onion Veloute which was a wonderful way to start things off, then recommend trying the Exmoor Beef or Partridge as a main. Finish off with the Trio of Chocolates, then top up your glasses and reflect on the wonderful time you’ve just had.  

Address: 14 Maiden Street, Barnstaple EX31 1HA

10. The Ganges

When food isn’t overcomplicated, flavour has a chance to shine and The Ganges understand that perfectly.

The chefs have mastered honest, authentic Indian food and the result is one of the best places to dine in Barnstaple. There’s a real focus on producing fresh food with a homecooked feel.

There’s a whole range of dishes available for vegan, vegetarian and gluten free customers too, and the large menu is kindly laid out explaining each dish.

You can’t go wrong with Sticky Wings or Pakoras to start, then choose something from the Tandoor range, or one of the many delicious curries. If you’ve been a bit too brave with your spice choices, then don’t worry – there’s ice cream available for dessert to put the fire out!

Address: 87 Newport Road, Barnstaple EX32 9BE

Restaurants in Barnstaple

Restaurants in Barnstaple: A Couple of Special Mentions

These two restaurants in Barnstaple we’ve heard a lot of good things about, but are yet to visit. We hope that will change in the future, but until then, they could be worth visiting too!

BLOCK 

We’ve heard many great things about BLOCK and their globally inspired menu.

That menu is filled with curries, burrito bowls, ramen and burgers, and there looks to be plenty of vegan/vegetarian options available too. BLOCK appears ideal for sitting in or takeaway! 

Address: Butchers Row, Barnstaple EX31 1BW

Claytons and The Glasshouse 

This gastropub has a contemporary European menu that also caters for vegans and vegetarians.

From what we’ve seen the dining room looks gorgeous with its high wooden beams and glass roof! Honestly we can’t wait to visit so we can dine under the stars.

There’s also a terrace with comfy furniture which sounds perfect for those warm summer nights. Burgers, Fish & Chips, Surf & Turf,  Venison Steaks – all brilliant main course options that we are sure will fill you up before heading down to their lounge and letting the cocktails flow. 

Address: 2 Cross Street, Barnstaple EX31 1BA