For unrivalled ocean views and top-notch seafood, it doesn’t get much better than Salcombe. Below, we’ve rounded up our favourite restaurants in the area, perfect for your next summer staycation. Read our shortened reviews below, and click through to the listing to learn more and book a table.
Best for lunch
The Crab Shed
What: Like its sibling in Bigbury, Salcombe’s oyster shed still reels in the punters. We’d recommend bagging a table on the deck area overlooking the creek, before tucking into oysters every which way, or mussels in garlic, smoked bacon, vermouth and cream.
Where: The Fish Quay, Gould Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8DU
Island Street Bar and Grill
What: This modish sister restaurant to The Winking Prawn adds a pinch of urbane sophistication to trendy Island Street, delivering the same easy-going fare of tiger prawns, barbecue ribs and burgers. Don’t miss the serene deck either, complete with creek-hugging view.
Where: Unit 4, Hannaford's Landing, Island Street, Salcombe, TQ8 8FE
Best for dinner
What: What this small characterful brasserie, tucked down a side alley, lacks in estuary views, it more than makes up for in terms of seriously good seafood and fish, cooked simply by a capable team – think crab cakes, crunchy prawns and beautiful seabass. Cheery staff too.
Where: 6-7 Russell Court Fore Street, Salcombe, TQ8 8BS
What: Drop-dead estuary views and a breezy New Hampshire look ticks the box for this hotel’s smart clientele, while a well-stocked crustacean bar – with oysters, scallops, shrimps and lobster – keeps stomachs full. Afternoon tea is also available.
Where: Salcombe Harbour Hotel, Cliff Road, Salcombe, TQ8 8JH
What: This dinner-only family-run restaurant does what it says on the tin – a mix of Italian and European classics all at a good price, and it delivers on its promises. Our favourites include beef carpaccio or mussels followed by sirloin steak and dressed Salcombe crab.
Where: 55 Fore Street, Salcombe, TQ8 8JE
South Sands Hotel
What: The interiors at this super-cool boutique hotel fuse New England styling with coastal references. The enviable sea view is complemented by a seafood-heavy brasserie menu built around the abundant local larder, with some sunny Mediterranean flourishes for good measure.
Where: South Sands Hotel, Salcombe, TQ8 8LL
Best for an early evening supper
Dick & Wills Brasserie
What: This waterside bar and brasserie is a tightly packed space, so we’d recommend setting up camp on its decked terrace, which boasts jaw-dropping views. Go early evening for a bottle of Bolly, and some simple plates of battered octopus, prawn cocktail or steak-frites.
Where: Fore Street, Salcombe, TQ8 8JG
The Winking Prawn
What: This idiosyncratic place ticks the boxes for summer family fun with a light and spacious dining room, beach-hugging location and a kids’ dressing-up box that, after all these years, still works its magic. Feast on the likes of tiger prawns, barbecue ribs, or Jamaican fish curry.
Where: North Sands, Salcombe, TQ8 8LD
Best for drinks
The Ferry Inn
What: A supreme position on the estuary gives this iconic Salcombe watering hole its USP and it never fails to deliver with its dreamy estuary outlook. Local ales, Sauvignon and a menu of scampi, burgers and fish & chips complete the pretty package.
Where: Fore Street, Salcombe, TQ8 8JE
Salcombe Gin Bar
What: The balcony of the artisanal Salcombe Gin Bar and Distillery is a great place to enjoy sunset views. Signature Salcombe and Tonic is the modus operandi, made to the distiller’s exacting standards, while slouchy leather sofas and bar stools add comfort and an on-trend vibe.
Where: The Boathouse, 28 Island Street, Salcombe, TQ8 8DP
And some which are slightly further afield…
What: A walk to this quirky beach shack on a spectacular stretch of coastline rewards with fresh-as-can-be seafood from a blackboard menu. Specials include garlic-and-chilli-spiked seafood linguine, but the pièce de résistance is the seafood platter. Booking essential.
Where: South Milton, Kingsbridge, TQ7 3JY
Burgh Island Hotel
What: Situated on a private island only accessible by sea-tractor when the tide’s in, this hotel exudes quintessential art-deco romance. Black-tie and glam frocks are de rigueur for dinner, which might feature chicken breast with sweetcorn panna cotta and truffle popcorn.
Where: Burgh Island, Bigbury-on-Sea, Kingsbridge, TQ7 4BG
The Crabshell Inn
What: This stunningly located Kingsbridge pub on the sunny side of the picturesque estuary makes this the stand-out local boozer by a country mile. You’ll find well-priced wines and cocktails alongside pub grub such as calamari, crab salad and hamburgers – well worth the drive.
Where: The Quay, Embankment Road, Kingsbridge, TQ7 1JZ
The Sloop Inn
What: This 14th century pub has a simple design, which breathes natural warmth and bibulous bonhomie. Steaks, Devon ham or platters-to-share rub shoulders with scampi, mussels, prawns and baskets of chips, all washed down with local ales or crowd-pleasing wines.
Where: Bantham, Kingsbridge, TQ7 3AJ
Restaurant at Soar Mill Cove Hotel
What: If you care about where your food comes from, Soar Mill Cove is for you. It turns out tasty seafood dishes that include locally-grown fruit and vegetables, fresh fish from Salcombe and Brixham, as well as lobster and scallops from the restaurant's personal diving trips.
Where: Soar Mill Cove Hotel, Salcombe, TQ7 3DS
For more waterside dining inspiration, check out our feature on the 10 best beachside cafes in the UK.