UPDATE - I'm no longer here but the restaurant is still going strong, under new ownership, and I hear good things about it - still well worth a visit then!
The formal restaurant at 9 The Quay also has a downstairs coffee shop which is open during the day serving coffee, light lunches, cakes, cream teas and its famous breakfasts. As well being a coffee shop the place doubles up as a gallery space featuring works by local artists as well as a selection of local artisanal foods such as Devon Chilli Farms Jam and Heron Valley Organic Cider.
All the coffees and teas offered are "Fair Trade" products and pretty much everything else is locally sourced. The Gallery has a breakfast menu from 10-12 noon which includes pretty much anything you could want for a proper Devon breakfast (including vegetarian options) plus has a couple of more upscale dishes such as Eggs Benedict and Smoked Salmon Scrambled Eggs. At lunch there is a range of filled panini plus a small selection of hot home-cooked dished such as Meatballs with Pasta, Smoked Haddock and Spring Onion Fishcakes and local Taw Mussels "Mariniere".
As well as coffee etc. The Gallery is fully licensed with a decent range of wines, beers, spirits and of course local cider!
Service is informal with no table booking and so you may have to be prepared to wait at busy times. Staff are generally friendly and fun and the place welcomes both locals and visitors alike.
Favorite Dish: Whilst all the food is great, the meatballs being amongst the best I've eaten, I personally would get here for breakfast for the Eggs Benedict - toasted brioche with crispy smoked bacon, a brace of perfectly cooked soft-poached, local free-range eggs and finished with a zingy Hollandaise sauce: Yep, my favourite breakfast!
UPDATE - I'm no longer here BTW but the restaurant is still going, under new ownership, and is getting some rave reviews such as this one - Journal "Quay" Review
OK Before I start just let me say that I used to work here, and in fact did the cooking, and so I do have a slight bias ;p Bias aside though, I do reckon that 9 The Quay is the best restaurant, not only in Appledore but in the area generally. It's not just the superb, exquisitely presented, fresh local produce which is cooked here that makes it so but also the excellent and professional service. As a bonus the view over the Torridge Estuary from the windows of the elegantly laid restaurant is simply stunning and another major plus is the diverse wine list carefully selected for both quality and price.
The menu offers six choices for each course and features pretty much nothing but local seasonal produce with a slight slant towards fish and seafood, much of which is landed on the quay right outside the restaurant's front door. The restaurant itself is simply but elegantly furnished with blond wood seating, decorated in cool blue and cream colours and hung with works by local artists. While it is set up as a formal dining area the service is not at all stuffy but rather is laid-back and friendly in the uniquely North Devon manner.
Favorite Dish: Well obviously ALL the dishes here are excellent from the tasty little canapies served on arrival to the freshly ground "Fair Trade" coffee served post-prandially. However if I were to eat here I would definitely go for the fish dishes. As a starter the local Taw mussels are sweet, juicy and plump and cooked in the "Mariniere" fashion with white wine, shallots, garlic and herbs. For a main course I would recommend the lobster when available, grilled classically with Thermidor sauce and Parmesan cheese. The lobsters actually arrive straight off the boat and I pop out and have first option on the catch. And of course I select the biggest and meatiest!
If you are not a fish person then try the Exmoor Rib of Beef, chargrilled and served "Pub-style" with chips, peas, tomato, mushrooms and onion rings. Of course this isn't a pub and so the presentation is just a little different - the chips being thick cut and stacked "Jenga"-style, the mushrooms are local wild ones, the tomatoes sun-touched, the peas are in fact sugar snaps and the onion rings cooked in my personal-recipe trademark beer batter (see pic).
For dessert you could do worse that go for the Warm Chocolate Brownie which comes with a tuille basket filled with our village's own Hockings' vanilla ice-cream and we also stock a selection of Westcountry cheeses.
OK 9 The Quay isn't the cheapest place in town but it is the best!