19 October 2020
After scaling soaring peaks, rambling through rolling fields, and swimming beneath roaring waterfalls, nothing beats the feeling of discovering somewhere welcoming and cosy with homecooked food and real ales to quench your thirst. Ancient coaching inns, chic country gastropubs and top-notch restaurants can be found all over the Brecon Beacons National Park, many with extraordinary views, real log fires, a warm Welsh croeso, and the best locally produced food and drink.
From characterful Brecon Beacons pubs serving local Welsh lamb for Sunday lunch to the finest Brecon Beacons restaurants with tantalising à la carte menus, we have chosen some of our favourite places to eat in this beautiful national park. If you see somewhere you like, why not make a trip of it, and browse our collection of holiday cottages near a pub in the Brecon Beacons?
The Bear, Crickhowell
Dating back to 1432, this historic watering hole is packed to its wooden rafters with charm. Widely regarded as one of the best pubs in the Brecon Beacons, The Bear in Crickhowell is noted for its honest pub classics as well as more elaborate specials. In winter, cosy up beside the open fire in the bar, before taking a seat in the candlelit restaurant where you can peruse a menu bursting with locally sourced ingredients, such as Welsh lamb, Gorwydd Caerphilly cheese, and Black Mountain smoked salmon. In the summer months, after an invigorating hike in the surrounding hills, you can dine alfresco in the floral garden shaded by trees.
The Walnut Tree, Llanddewi Skirrid
For special occasions, it doesn’t get much better than The Walnut Tree in Llanddewi Skirrid. This Michelin-starred eatery is regularly voted one of the best restaurants in the Brecon Beacons, with a daily changing à la carte menu. Exquisite seasonal dishes are complemented by a concise wine list, and the impeccable service is always relaxed and friendly. Imagine the likes of loin of Usk Vale saddleback pork, halibut with white crab and sweetcorn, or duck breast with leg pastilla and tabbouleh. Be sure to leave room for dessert too as they are just as indulgent as the main courses; think Czech plum tart, blackberry and apple vol-au-vent, and mango parfait with passionfruit sorbet.
Pen y Cae Inn, Pen-y-cae
Big leather sofas, exposed stone walls, timbered ceilings and an atmospheric wood burner make Pen y Cae Inn one of the cosiest Brecon Beacons gastropubs on our list. Dine with a view of the mountains and most unusually, explore the pub’s very own zoo! It’s not every day that you can visit a pub in Wales with wallabies, monkeys, meerkats and pygmy goats in the beer garden. The menus are festooned with top-notch Welsh produce: the lamb comes from Breconshire, the beef from Llandovery, fresh fish and smoked salmon from Swansea Fish, and home-grown veg from the Gower. Why not try the Penclawdd cockles with laverbread, or a Welsh Black minute steak, followed by a selection of Welsh cheeses and chutney?
The Dragon’s Back, Pengenffordd
The highest pub in the Brecon Beacons National Park, standing at more than 1,000ft above sea level, The Dragon’s Back in Pengenffordd guarantees epic views as well as good food. Wholesome Welsh fayre is on the menu here, perfect after long treks in the Black Mountains. Rest your walking boots, get cosy by the log fire, and refuel with something hearty like steak and ale pie, a venison burger, or vegetable chilli. Portions are incredibly generous, and the 300-year-old pub’s speciality is a selection of locally sourced steaks, cooked on a hot lava stone at your table.
The Bell at Skenfrith, Abergavenny
If you’re looking for dog-friendly Brecon Beacons pubs where your canine companions can accompany you for dinner, then The Bell at Skenfrith in Abergavenny is a superb choice. Enveloped by hills and woodland, this 17th-century riverside inn offers an atmospheric place to dine, with roaring open fires, plump-cushioned armchairs, and wonky oak beams. There’s even a Pooch Parlour in the rear garden featuring a shower, metal bath and dog towels if your four-legged family members are sporting a bit more muck on their paws than usual. Boasting a sterling culinary reputation, you will be treated to starters like Perl Las blue cheese brulée with pear and walnut followed by mouthwatering mains such as the duo of Brecon beef, fillet and ox cheek with roast fondant potato, asparagus and red wine jus.
The Felin Fach Griffin, Brecon
After a brisk walk in the Black Mountains, The Felin Fach Griffin in Brecon is a welcoming place to retreat for a hearty homecooked meal. This laidback country gastropub in the Brecon Beacons is adorned with chunky country-cottage tables, squidgy leather sofas and a crackling open fire, and food is sourced locally and seasonally. Comforting dishes are cooked to order with much of the fruit and veg picked fresh from the pub’s kitchen gardens. Tempt your tastebuds with the likes of Black Mountains Smokery smoked salmon followed by Huntsham Farm sausages with mash and greens.
The Hardwick, Abergavenny
Sitting amidst glorious verdant hills, The Hardwick in Abergavenny regularly tops the list of the best Brecon Beacons restaurants. Championing local produce with both the familiar and the exotic, the large lunch and dinner menu here is impressive and varied. As well as hearty platefuls like chargrilled Herefordshire-bred Johnny Morris ribeye or slow-cooked shoulder and ragout of Brecon lamb, there is a great selection of vegetable-loving dishes, such as roast beetroot and heritage carrots with Neal's Yard Creamery fresh goats cheese, pine nuts, grilled Castelfranco and tardivo. Fancy something sweet afterwards? Scrumptious desserts include vanilla panna cotta with Sicilian blood orange in honey and Aperol, and chocolate mousse with honeycomb and salted caramel sauce.
Three Horseshoes Inn, Groesffordd near Brecon
This lovely country inn is located in the small village of Groesffordd near Brecon and features lots of seasonal produce on the gastro-pub style menu. There are glorious views from outdoor seating areas at the front and back of the pub with heated beach huts that can be booked for al fresco dining. Dogs are welcome to join you in both the beer gardens and the pub’s cosy bar where you can enjoy some food and drink while warmed by a wood-burner. There’s also a more formal restaurant at The Three Horseshoes where you can enjoy an excellent meal with dishes available including Welsh lamb rack, classic fish and chips and a rather good Sunday lunch.
Plan your getaway to the Brecon Beacons
You'll find lots of lovely Brecon Beacons cottages where you can rest your head after scenic walks, refreshing drinks and a hearty meal in one of these wonderful pubs or restaurants. For even more great things to do during your Welsh getaway, have a read of our ultimate guide to the best places to visit in the Brecon Beacons.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.