Top 7 traditional Devon foods you have to try
The South Devon coast offers some delicious regional treats made by local producers that quite simply can’t be beaten!
When you visit us, it would be a shame not to try some of the best food in Devon; here are some of our favourites…
We know, we know – everyone thinks that pasties are a Cornish thing, and you’d be right.
What you may not know is that the pasty is as popular in Devon as it is in Cornwall and records say that the earliest known recipe was recorded as coming from the city of Plymouth in 1510 (that is just on the Devon side of the Devon Cornwall border!).
Arguing aside, a pasty is made of roughly diced or minced beef, sliced or diced potato, swede (turnip), onion and seasoned to taste.
It had to be hardy – these were meals that were taken down the mines and out to sea so they didn’t benefit from any flaking or being unable to withstand transportation.
Apparently, the crimped edge of a pasty was originally designed to be discarded as it was often eaten by miners in lead and arsenic mines and this was where they could hold the pasty.
Now, you can enjoy a pasty just about anywhere and any pasty that is sold using the Cornish pasty name must be produced west of the Tamar, in Cornwall.
Don’t worry, even though the Cornish pasty has Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status, Devon gets plenty sent over to us so visitors and locals alike can tuck in!
2. Fish and chips
Fish and chips are always popular to locals and visitors alike in South Devon, mainly because of the locality of the fish – usually caught within 24 hours of you taking your first bite!
Nothing says a trip to the seaside like a bag of fish and chips or sitting down in a cosy environment with a pint after a day spent exploring and having fun.
We particularly recommend fish and chips from the quaint seaside fishing town of Brixham in Torbay – you’ll certainly be spoilt for choice!
3. Crab sandwiches
Here’s a local delicacy that not many outside of South Devon know: crab sandwich.
Caught locally, you can’t beat the fresh taste of wild crab on granary bread with plenty of butter.
If you haven’t already tried it (crab is very delicate and a lot sweeter in flavour than people expect) its sweet aroma, naturally flaky texture and comfort food qualities mean you’ll want it for dinner every night of the week.
4. Sunday roast
A Sunday roast is a staple across the country and a true family affair in South Devon.
The origins of a Sunday Roast is that it was a meal to be eaten after church on Sunday – all the ingredients would cook during the service, ready for the family to enjoy afterwards.
A plate loaded with roasted meat, roast potato, Yorkshire pudding, stuffing, appropriate sauce, vegetables and gravy can’t be beaten.
At the Langstone Cliff Hotel in Dawlish, our traditional style Sunday lunch with our popular carvery option is available every week and is the perfect way to top off your Devon holiday.
5. Cream tea
At the Langstone Cliff Hotel, we also serve our much-loved afternoon tea with scones whilst others offer Devonshire Splits, a fluffier version of crumbly scones.
While jam and clotted cream as a treat is thought to have originated in Devon (again, no arguments here), we won’t be drawn into whether jam or cream comes first.
For impartiality, Devon-dwellers typically spread the clotted cream first followed by the jam, but you can do it whichever way you like!
Paired with a lovely warming cup of tea you can’t beat this treat – especially if the weather takes a turn.
Of course, you can add a touch of sparkle with a glass of pink sparkling wine to make your trip to Devon extra special.
6. Ice cream
There are plenty of Devon creameries that make ice cream, and this Devon treat is known for its rich full cream taste.
Ice cream is a must-have for a seaside holiday and can make the drizzliest weather feel like a balmy, sunny day.
If you don’t like your desserts by the beach to be ice-cold, then there is always a holiday staple like fudge to enjoy!
While it may be hard to believe that fudge doesn’t originally come from Devon (the recipe originated in the US during the late 19th century), you’ll be forgiven for believing that it does, given the number of exceptional shops creating delicious versions of fudge all around the region.
You can’t rival traditional methods and fudge makes the perfect gift to take home for loved ones.
Your visit wouldn’t be complete without trying a pint (or two) of cider, a classic West Country staple!
Whether you prefer a dry cider, sweet cider, or something in-between, everyone’s bound to find a cider they love.
At our family hotel in Devon, we have a few ciders available on tap, with a range of local and national favourites
Why not try the best food in Devon for yourself?