When exploring a new town and it’s time for a coffee shop ‘pit-stop’, many of us are tempted to play it safe and opt for a chain we know well. A certain level of quality is guaranteed, the prices are predictable and we don’t even need to spend any time browsing the menu.
But when you come down to a unique South Devon town like Dartmouth, you’ll find national coffee shop chains are few and far between. Is this a bad thing? Quite the opposite – you’ll find our Dartmouth cafes have infinitely more character, usually tastier food, and most likely better prices than you’ll find at a typical high street chain.
Think Devon-roasted Owens Coffee rather than mass-produced blends. Think bread baked on the day rather than reheated, shrinkwrapped toasties. Think cup and saucer over cardboard.
Let’s have a look at some of the best Dartmouth cafes and where to find them.
Bayard’s Cove Inn, Bayard’s Cove, Dartmouth
The café-bar at Bayard’s Cove Inn is located close to the lower ferry on the edge of Bayard’s Cove. With chunky wooden furniture, crooked oak beams and quirky works of art adorning the walls, it’s a stylish mix of old and new, and a great place to unwind just slightly off the tourist trail. The staff are well-known for their friendliness and enthusiasm. The breakfasts in particular are worth missing out on a lie in for – even during a holiday!
Does Bayard’s Cove Inn get your vote? Go to our poll.
Café Alf Resco, Lower Street, Dartmouth
Speaking of breakfasts, Café Alf Resco are Dartmouth’s specialists in morning meals. This popular café, which is roughly half indoor, half outdoor, is open from 7 am to 2 pm. Standard practice appears to be to peruse the menu for several minutes before ordering ‘Alf’s Full Breakfast’ like everyone else! There are, however, plenty of other delicious options in case you’re looking for something lighter.
Does Café Alf Resco top your list of Dartmouth cafes? Vote in our poll.
Saveurs, Victoria Road, Dartmouth
Saveurs is a French café and restaurant, or more specifically a boulangerie, chocolaterie and patisserie. It was set up in 2008 by Julien and Guylaine Picamil to provide a truly authentic taste of the continent. A favourite among “ladies who lunch”, Saveurs is busy all-year round thanks mainly for its commitment to quality. Pop in for breakfast or lunch, to pick up some cakes or bread, or just for a leisurely drink. Their delightfully rich hot chocolate is highly recommended.
Is Saveurs your favourite coffee shop in this historic harbour town? Vote in our poll.
Smith Street Deli, Smith Street, Dartmouth
Like the other Dartmouth cafes in our list, Smith Street Deli is an establishment where fresh, local ingredients are all important, as are a warm welcome and a friendly, efficient service. As its name suggests, Smith Street Deli is mainly a delicatessen, but there’s a small café area where you can enjoy a coffee along with a sandwich or something a little more indulgent like a home-made cake or tart.
Is Smith Street Deli simply the best among Dartmouth coffee shops? Vote in our poll.
Woodroast, Smith Street, Dartmouth
Having recently taken over the neighbouring property, Woodroast has been transformed from an artisan takeaway outlet to a fully-fledged cafe, as famous as ever for its delicious blends. Being less than 100 metres from the harbour as well as Royal Avenue Gardens, it’s still an ideal place to stop off before finding a bench and enjoying your drink in the sunshine.
Would you like to spread the word about the wonders of Woodroast? Vote in our poll.
Coffee Couture, The Flavel Arts Centre, Dartmouth
The Flavel Arts Centre is home to a community library and arts venue which hosts live music, theatre, comedy, art exhibitions, exercise classes and more. It’s also a popular local cinema, showing a combination of big blockbuster movies and independent films. In addition, the Flavel is also home to Coffee Couture, a small local chain of cafes founded in Paignton in 2015. Being a coffee wholesaler to other cafes and vendors means the quality of coffee here is second to none.
The Dart Cafe, Church Street
Tucked away on a pretty side street off Fairfax Place, the Dart Cafe is a ‘secret’ haunt enjoyed by lots of local residents. Cooked breakfasts at the Dart Cafe are especially popular, and the coffee tends to receive rave reviews. Visitors to Dartmouth who do discover this friendly eatery often make multiple visits during their stay, keen to make the most of the tempting menu of home-made light bites and meals.
Are you a fan of the Dart Cafe? Cast your vote in our poll.
A little walk away…
A short walk from the centre of Dartmouth, on the edge of Coronation Park, you’ll find an Anchorstone Cafe, one of a local chain of al fresco eateries with covered areas, where delicious, locally-sourced dishes are the order of the day. Or why not opt for a scenic one-mile walk from the harbour to Dartmouth Castle, where you’ll find the Castle Tea Rooms, which has recently been renovated and relaunched under new management. The freshly prepared light bites and meals alone are worth the effort, but it’s the coastal views that will really take your breath away.
If you don’t mind a short car journey, the Venus Cafe and Takeaway Cafe at Blue Flag-awarded Blackpool Sands is another excellent option, with indoor and outdoor seating areas offering fantastic beach views. The locally-focused, freshly sourced dishes attract visitors all year round.
Have your say in our Dartmouth cafes poll
Visitors keep coming back year after year to enjoy frequenting their favourite cafes, pubs and restaurants. Ensure you have the perfect base next time you’re taking a holiday in the town by booking a Dartmouth holiday home with Coast and Country Cottages.
With around 120 luxurious holiday homes in Dartmouth to choose from, you’re bound to find the ideal one for you.