5 of the Best Restaurants in Torquay

Published on 2022-11-29 / By Oliver Pyper

Coming up with a list of the best restaurants in Torquay was always going to be a challenge.

Not for lack of choice, you understand. Quite the opposite. The English Riviera hosts a diverse and plentiful selection of restaurants – some of which rank among the best in the country.

No. The hard part was picking just five restaurants. Honestly, we could have written a novel.

But we did it. We put our culinary minds together and came up with the cream of the crop.

Visiting Torquay? Put these restaurants at the top of your 'to-do' list.


Best overall: Lincombe Hall

Are you surprised we named ourselves 'the best restaurant in Torquay'? Probably not.

Are we trying to pull the wool over your eyes? Not a chance. We truly believe we're the best – and we're going to prove it to you.

Exhibit one: the food. Here at Lincombe, we're blessed with top-quality local ingredients and a head chef who knows how to make the most of them. Jon Pearce has worked his way up through some of the South West's finest restaurants, developing a keen palate and a taste for top-notch presentation.

Take one look at our dining room menu to see his talents in action – fresher-than-fresh seafood paired with crisp seasonal veg; hearty homemade soups that 'wow' like mains; creative flavour combinations that are primed to surprise, delight and satisfy. Hungry yet?


Exhibit two: the setting. Whether you're visiting for a quick bite in The Brasserie or an intimate meal in The Dining Room, you're in for a treat. Each is carefully decorated to deliver a dining experience quite unlike anywhere else in Torquay.

The Brasserie is all sleek blues and greys – relaxed, stylish and urbane, with a touch of seaside charm. The Dining Room is altogether more romantic – a palatial hideaway of soft light and plush textures, courtesy of renowned design studio Ashton House Design.

Oh, and did we mention we've been awarded a prestigious AA Rosette for culinary excellence? And we snagged a not-too-shabby Silver Award at Taste of the West 2022? Just throwing that out there…

Where is it?: Meadfoot Road, TQ1 2JX.

How's parking?: We have a large car park on-site. Street parking is also available.


Best tasting menu: The Elephant

Are you the kind of person who looks at a menu and thinks, 'I want to try everything'?

Well, say hello to your new best friend – The Elephant. This bright and cheerful eatery serves one of the finest (and most affordable) tasting menus in the country.

What's in store? The dishes change with the seasons, but variety is guaranteed. Expect to enjoy plenty of fresh seafood, a little locally sourced meat and a delicate dessert or two.

Need something to wash it all down? Go for the matching wine menu and you'll give your taste buds even more to talk about.

Honestly, it's worth a visit for its location alone – The Elephant is one of the best restaurants in Torquay for pure seaside ambience. It's just a stone's throw from Torquay Harbour, so you can cap off your meal with a lungful of healthy sea air. Ahh…

Where is it?: 3 & 4 Beacon Terrace, TQ1 2BH.

How's parking?: There are disabled parking bays on the street outside. For general parking, use Beacon Quay car park – the entrance is directly opposite the restaurant.


Best small plates: Small World Tapas

Here's one for the sharers. The nibblers. The 'can-I-try-a-bit-of-yours?' brigade.

Yes, if you're into small plates – and lots of them – then Small World Tapas has your back. This charming little eatery is our pick for the best restaurant in Torquay – at least when it comes to Spanish-inspired cuisine.

It's not all chorizo and manchego, though. Head chef Kevin Roberton-Wells takes inspiration from every corner of the globe, serving up Thai curries alongside Argentinian shrimp and Lebanese-style baba ganoush.

Feeling adventurous? Try the Spanish Pepper Roulette, which mixes up sweet, sour and hot peppers on a real miniature roulette wheel. Ooh, dangerous…

Be warned, though – it's best to come with a healthy appetite. Diners report that Small World's portions are larger than the average tapas joint. (We're not complaining.)

Where is it?: 11-13 Abbey Road, TQ2 5NF.

How's parking?: Street parking is available on Abbey Road.


Best seaside grub: Saltwater Fish Restaurant & Takeaway

We can't talk about the best restaurants in Torquay without mentioning fish and chips, can we?

Now, look. We serve fish and chips in our Brasserie. They're very good fish and chips – excellent, some say. Ale batter. Double-cooked chips. Divine.

But we have to hand it to Saltwater Fish Restaurant & Takeaway. Not only do they serve top-notch, traditional seaside fare, but they've snagged one of the best fish-and-chip spots in the world.

See, Saltwater is right next to the seafront. So the moment you receive your grub, you can hop on over to the sea wall and enjoy it in the company of bobbing boats and swooping seagulls. Does it get any better than that?

There's plenty of seating inside too, in case the weather's miserable.

Our advice: stop by Saltwater for a spot of lunch, then head to Lincombe Hall for an evening of exquisite food and fine, hand-picked wine. Perfect.

Where is it?: 2 Victoria Parade, TQ1 2BB.

How's parking?: There's limited (and metered) street parking on some of the nearby roads.


Best curry: Richies South

Can't decide what to eat? Make it a curry. You can't go wrong with a tasty tikka masala and a side of  soft, fluffy rice.

As for where to grab a curry… that's a cinch. Richies South easily ranks among the best restaurants in Torquay for dosas, dhansaks and dahl.

It might look small, but Richies is big on flavour. This unassuming eatery serves authentic Tamil cuisine from the Kanyakumari district – including hard-to-find local favourites like idli rice cakes.

Online reviewers have praised the restaurant's 'tasty food', 'big portions' and 'outstanding service' – as well as its wide selection of 'nice cold beers'.

The only problem? Once you try Richies, your local curry house might seem a little, well… middling. Sorry, but it's just that good.

Where is it?: 4 Braddons Hill Road West, TQ1 1BG.

How's parking?: Street parking is available on nearby Abbey Road.

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