The Pelican Fish and Chip Restaurant and Takeaway offers delicious fish and chips in a welcoming setting, one of North Devon’s best.
Why it’s on my list
I love fish and chips, and there are definitely some top restaurants and takeaways in North Devon that do a superb version of this national treasure. The Pelican has been going for over 20 years and I drive past it every day. It was refurbished a couple years ago and looks extremely inviting, so it’s about time we sat down for a plate of the nation’s favourite.
Location: Oakland Park, Barnstaple
Opening times: Restaurant open 12 noon – 9pm, Takeaway – 12 noon – 9.45pm, closed on Sundays
To book: call 01271 345605
Dog friendly? Dogs are not allowed, except for guide dogs.
The Pelican is one of my new favourite restaurants in North Devon, let alone fish and chips in North Devon. The food is fantastic, and at a reasonable price. The atmosphere puts me completely at ease straight away. And if you’re concerned about the world’s stock of fish, you’ll be pleased to know that The Pelican get their wild-caught or farmed fish from sustainably and responsibly managed fisheries. Most of their ingredients are fairly local too. Cod and chips with a conscience!
What I had
Someone had to have the traditional meal, so my husband went for the Pelican Cod Special – battered cod, chips, mushy or garden peas (mushy of course) and a cup of tea, coffee or a soft drink (cup of tea).
I wanted to try something a bit different, so I went for the Splash Burger. This was a smaller battered cod fillet in a floury white bun with lettuce and a little pot of tartar sauce on the side to add as you like (the entire thing went in mine!). It also came with chips and a little side salad. And I thought I would push the boat out and went for a pot of curry sauce too.
There was so much to love about this meal!
The burger – the cod was soft, flaky and perfectly cooked, encased in a wonderfully light crispy batter. Combined with a super soft floured bun, a bit of crispy lettuce and some tangy tartar sauce – each bite was truly wonderful. I dislike McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish with a passion, but this has restored my faith in fish burgers.
The chips were magnificent, chunky and a little bit floppy with lashings of salt and vinegar. Add some curry sauce and you’ve got the crème de la crème of comfort food.
And of course my husband’s cod and chips were delicious too, and his piece of cod was about twice the size, if not more, so I would have been very happy with that too.
Not the best
The only thing I would love to happen would be for The Pelican to open on a Sunday. It’s the only day of the week they are closed, but it’s also one of my regular fish and chip craving days for some reason.
The Pelican was refurbished in 2015, prior to this it looked a bit dark inside, with tables and seating that were a bit retro. It wasn’t overly inviting.
The refurbishment was done incredibly well – it is now light and airy, relaxing and inviting.
The space looks bigger thanks to the clever use of mirrors, lighting and a very cool fish tank. The colour scheme of yellow, peach and teal is very modern and fresh, and the pictures of local scenes are a nice touch.
For a really classic fish and chip dinner, go for the Pelican Cod Special. Plus, they do an amazing bottomless chips deal if chips come with your meal. And the same goes for tea and coffee that come with your meal, so the special is excellent value for money. You won’t leave hungry!