…Tea rooms and coffee shops in Ilfracombe

There has always been a clutch of great tea rooms and coffee shops in Ilfracombe. Spread between the High Street and towards the harbour you have a choice in administering your essential caffeine fix. And as many coffee traders have done, most of the outlets have extended their range into sweets and savouries, snacks, lunch, and supper. If you are in town now or planning ahead, take a look at our mini guide.

Along and around the High Street

Let us start with that well known, international brand, Costa Coffee. This one is operated by a local franchise, so we allowed the listing here! No seriously it is one of the few national chains in town, and we don’t mind the intrusion. It’s opening hours are a little longer than some of the independent outlets. Address: 118 High St, Ilfracombe EX34 9EY. Speaking of which, and directly opposite you’ll find the Swiss Cottage Café. A more traditional, vintage interior, with tablecloths and a robust menu. Take a look above the door for the active workers toiling away. Trading hours are focussed on the mid-morning and lunchtime. Address: Royal Clarence Apartments, 33 High St, Ilfracombe EX34 9DA Web: http://www.swisscottagecafe.com.

Remaining on the High Street, just a few doors along is Annie and The Flint. Now Annie has long gone, and moved back home to New Zealand, but we think that her antipodean knowledge remains. A great range of beverages and a broad breakfast to lunch food offer is available. Space to sit down and watch the towns burghers and mortals go by. 126 High St, Ilfracombe EX34 9EY. Web: https://www.facebook.com/annieandtheflint.

Getting to our High Street. If you’re leaving the hotel front door, veer right, across the lights and up the short hill to the High Street. Look left and you’ll see Costa and a little way along Annie & TF.

High Street (west end)

Kim used to operate her shop on the seafront. But this year she has moved her Naked Cake shop to the west end of the High Street. You can find this in the Lantern Centre Address: High St, Ilfracombe, EX34 9NH. Web: https://thenakedcake.business.site. If you want another vintage experience, call in to Nelly Mays Tearoom. Address: 63 High St, Ilfracombe EX34 9QE. Web:  https://www.nellymays.co.uk.

Along the Seafront

In an opposite direction, head towards the harbour, you’ll pass the truncated conical theatre towers. There’s a café inside, with views over the channel. Address: Ilfracombe EX34 9BZ. But carry on along the front, and you’ll find a pretty shop called Staac. It is on the end of the parade, before Tims beer palace. Bright pink and pastel yellows indicate this shop. The coffee is excellent, but do find time for a pastry, or two. Contemporary cakes and a lot more. They’re open into the evening for cocktails and more. Address: 13-14 The Promenade, Ilfracombe EX34 9BD.

From Staac, head past the church (keeping the tower to the right hand side). Slow down as you’ve some choices to behold. On the right No 28 The Cookery. Perfect for a sheltered rest and in addition to the great coffee, a superb range of lunchtime meals, including a strong vegan offering. Address: 28 St James Place, Ilfracombe EX34 9BJ.

Opposite is your traditional tea-room, so for a break from caffeine, stop off for a Devon cream tea, and more at the Curiosity Cottage. A sheltered garden with vines to provide welcome shade in the height of summer, or indeed a snow shower. Address: 9 St James Pl, Ilfracombe EX34 9BH.

Fore Street

From the top of the High Street, go into Fore Street, and on your left you’ll find Fix. A small shop, with seating inside and out, independently run, with great bagels and more to accompany your coffee. Address: The Lanes, Ilfracombe EX34 9DG.


Part of the family friendly Aquarium visitor attraction, the Pier Café, has a street side terrace and upper deck. The latter for great views of the pier and harbour. Watch the kids crabbing, or the MS Oldenberg on her way to Lundy. Address: The Quay, Ilfracombe EX34 9EQ Web: https://ilfracombeaquarium.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Ilfracombe-Aquarium-Pier-Cafe-Menu-online.pdf.

Going out

Head out of town on the coast road and you will soon find the Hele Corn Mill and Tea Room. Here the miller and his wife turn out classic bakes and cakes, whilst serving tea and coffee in a delightful courtyard. Of course, once here, you should take in the mill and its workings as part of your visit.  Address: Corn Mill Close, Hele, Ilfracombe EX34 9QY. Web: http://www.helecornmill.com.

A little further along the coast road is Watermouth harbour, and a here you will find the quirky Storm In A Tea Cup boat cafe. Beached on the harbour quayside.  Address: Watermouth Harbour, Berrynarbor, Ilfracombe EX34 9SJ Web address: https://www.boatcafeilfracombenorthdevon.co.uk.