Restaurants and Cafes

Best Restaurants and Cafes in Cornwall

Over the past couple of decades Cornwall has propelled itself to being one of the UK's go-to foodie destinations. It stands to reason when you think about how much fish and seafood is landed here, and this is what tends to dominate the menu.

Along with fantastic coastal locations and plenty of quality local produce, the allure of super-fresh fish has led to a host of celebrity chefs following Rick Stein down to Cornwall. The likes of Paul Ainsworth and Michael Caines have both set up shop here over recent years - but it's not only Michelin Stars and fine dining. Think chilled out beach cafes, country pubs with a roaring open fire and fish doesn't have to be haute cuisine - we've got plenty of good chippys too!


  • No. 6 // Padstow

    Paul Ainsworth - No.6 - Padstow

    This elegant Michelin-star restaurant in Padstow is part of the Paul Ainsworth family of restaurants. If you're looking for a restaurant for a special occasion, No6 is the place to come.

    Chef Chris McClurg and his team have created a menu of modern British classics: think wild turbot, fillets of beef and pigeon. The food is locally sourced where possible, adding a coastal Cornish feel to the dishes.

    The main restaurant is an inviting space, housed in a Georgian townhouse in the centre of Padstow. And if you fancy a cocktail, book a table at exclusive Ci Ci's Bar upstairs. For a small, more intimate celebration, ask about No6's private dining room.

  • The Seafood Restaurant // Padstow

    Rick Stein Seafood Restaurant - Padstow

    This is the place where it all began… The Seafood Restaurant was launched in 1975, and its co-founder Rick Stein went on to become a household name, transform Padstow's foodie scene, and create an empire of eateries.

    The original Stein's is a restaurant of two halves: the family-friendly Seafood Restaurant,and the more grown-up Seafood Bar, where chefs prepare spectacular platters of exquisite fish and shellfish. Upstairs, the Terrace has lovely views of the Camel Estuary.

    The dress code tends to be smart casual. Children over three are welcome in the restaurant (but not the bar), and although Stein places in general tend to be dog-friendly (remember Chalky!), this one isn't.

  • The Idle Rocks // St Mawes

    Idle Rocks - St Mawes

    Pitched in the centre of St Mawes, overlooking its harbour, this award-winning restaurant's al fresco dining terrace takes eating out right to the water's edge.

    Executive head chef Dorian Janmatt fuses French-style cooking techniques and classic British dishes. And while meat and fish dishes are The Idle Rocks' bread and butter, veggies get a fair choice of options too.

    Beyond its dinner menu, the restaurant serves up traditional Cornish tea each day of the week – jam first, of course. It's served with a glass of Knightor Classic Cuvee, a crisp sparkling wine that's produced in Cornwall.

  • 2 Fore Street // Mousehole

    Come to this pleasing little bistro for fresh fish with fantastic views. 2 Fore Street is in the centre of the village, looking out towards the busy little harbour.

    It's a lovely place to enjoy seafood and a glass of something chilled in the evening; however, it's equally good simply to stop here for a coffee in the morning. On a sunny day, try to get a table in the pretty courtyard.

    If you're heading out for the day, 2 Fore Street has also opened a deli recently (a bit further up the road in Millpool Courtyard. Stock up on delicious local bread, cheese and fruit for your picnic.

  • The Pig @ Harlyn Bay // Padstow

    The Pig at Harlyn Bay

    The Pig at Harlyn is just ten minutes' drive (or taxi. Treat yourself - the wine list's worth it) from Padstow. The 15th-century house makes a perfect hotel and restaurant, and a lot of their food is grown on site.

    At The Pig, the kitchen and gardening team work together to create fresh and lively dishes. They also have their own forager, who finds the best ingredients from the natural larder. As for other producers, well, The Pig has a 25-mile rule: nothing must come from further than that, including the beers, wines and spirits.

    Book a table in the characterful old house, or try their new Lobster Shed in the garden, which serves wood-cooked local seafood. For a real treat, book a weekend here in the hotel or one of the romantic "Garden Wagons".

  • The Shore Restaurant // Penzance

    The Shore - Penzance

    There’s nothing overly fancy about the location of the Shore. Set on a crossroads on the edge of Penzance town centre this restaurant is all about the food. 

    Probably the best seafood in town, this bistro is run by Bruce Rennie, a chef with a wealth of experience from the Michelin starred kitchens of some of the biggest names in food. Now working alone in the kitchen, food is crafted around whatever is fresh and in season.
    Ingredients are collected daily and sourced as locally as possible, including the chef’s own garden. The rest from local farms and Newlyn Fish Market with fish and shellfish dominating the menu. 

    Along with Mediterranean, the other main influence on the Shore’s menu is Japanese.

    The Shore is reservation-only, and you pay for a set menu in advance. The restaurant seats only 14 and in the words of the chef “Your evening should be relaxed and laid back with little pomp or presumption.”

  • Kota // Porthleven

    Kota Restaurant - Porthleven

    If you're looking for dining with a difference, Kota's your calling. The restaurant's located overlooking Porthleven's picturesque harbour and run by critically acclaimed chef Jude Kereama, whose Chinese-Maori roots are showcased in his cooking.

    Super fresh local seafood is meticulously crafted into Asian-influenced cuisine. Dishes such as panko-coated hake and prawns with wasabi tartar have gained a mention in the Good Food Guide in 2019, which was followed up by a place on Harden's Top 100 restaurants the next year. Kota is also a regular recipient of the Michelin Bib Gourmand award.

    Good to know: The six-course tasting menu comes with a match made-in-heaven wine pairing, well worth a look at for an extra special date night.

  • Porthminster Cafe // St Ives

    Walk along the sandy shore or boardwalk on Porthminster Beach, and you'll come to a gleaming white Art Deco building. This is the home of Porthminster Cafe, and some of the most coveted tables in town.

    Right on the beach, the cafe feels relaxed but its menu is always on point. It serves impeccable Asian and Mediterranean-inspired dishes, served with some of the best sea views in Britain. 

    Like many St Ives restaurants, it specialises in seafood; however, the team here also grow their own veg in the adjacent kitchen garden, and the desserts are (chef's kiss). Don't just save it for the summer: enjoy the windswept, winter Atlantic from the warmth of a window seat.

  • St Petrocs Bistro // Padstow

    St Petroc's Bistro - Padstow

    St Petroc's is another restaurant from Rick Stein's stables, and this one is an informal delight. It's set away from Padstow harbour, which gives it a more chilled-out feel.

    The relaxed bistro serves French-inspired dishes, made from fine Cornish produce - naturally, there's always a choice of freshly landed fish. There's a children's menu, and your dog is welcome to join you at St Pet's - well in the outdoors areas anyway.

    Start or end the evening with a cocktail at Ruby's Bar. You could always plan ahead, and book one of St Petroc's ten elegant en-suite guest rooms… Planning a party? The private dining room caters for up to 14 people.

  • The Sardine Factory // Looe

    Sardine Factory Looe

    Food doesn't come much fresher than the dishes served up at the Sardine Factory - fresh fish is delivered from Looe Market, located right opposite the restaurant. Set in a converted sardine factory, right on the West Looe quayside, the restaurant boasts fantastic views across the river to East Looe.

    Award-winning chef Benjamin Palmer heads things up here, you might recognise his name from his quarter-final placing on MasterChef: The Professionals back in 2011. Given this pedigree it will come as no surprise that the Sardine Factory has secured itself a Bib Gourmand from the Michelin Guide.

    The menu swings with the seasons, but Cornwall classics are a frequent feature. You can kick things off with a Cornish blue cheese starter, take locally caught crab linguine for main, then finish it up with a rice pudding.

  • Zacry's @ Watergate Bay // Newquay

    Zacry's Restaurant - Watergate Bay

    Zacry's shares the dining scene with a handful of other restaurants at the Watergate Bay Hotel.

    The restaurant's dressed in stylish monochrome and huge pull back windows offer wall to wall views of the coastline that runs right alongside it.

    Meat and seafood dishes are served with a twist here. Head chef, Neil Haydock's outside-of-the-box creations include tandoori-spiced octopus, miso-glazed black cod and crispy coated monkfish with a katsu curry. Fear not plant-based friends, there's a full menu with your name on it so you can still get in on the action.

  • New Yard Restaurant @ Trelowarren // The Lizard

    New Yard Restaurant - Trelowarren

    The New Yard serves a set supper menu from Wednesday through to Saturday from a stable yard in Trelowarren – it's all part of a private estate that's been owned by the same family for more than 600 years.

    This stylish plot was awarded Green Michelin Star back in 2021 – which not only recognises its high-quality food but its sustainable practices too. You'll need to pre-book to try out the flavours and all diners need to show up at 6.30 in time for the first plate which is served promptly at 7pm.

    The menu changes each night the restaurant's open, with each of its courses made from produce that has grown from the estate's well-groomed gardens, or sourced locally.

  • The Old Sail Loft // Looe

    Old Sail Loft - Looe

    The Old Sail Loft is one of the oldest buildings still standing in Looe. It sits right on the town's harbour front, and its history dates back well over 450 years, when its thought to have been used by smugglers and sea faring men.

    Flash forward to today and the largely unchanged building is home to one of the seaside town's best-rated restaurants. Fresh fish comes straight from Simply fish – the restaurants quay-side sister company.

    Favourites include whole Looe Bay lobster, paired with Cornish new potatoes in garlic and parsley butter. There are plenty of meat options, too. Or, if you can't decide between the two surf and turf has got you covered.

  • Porthminster Kitchen // St Ives

    Porthminster Kitchen - St Ives

    As far as locations go, Porthminster Kitchen really has blagged one of the best. It's not actually on Porthminster Beach (it's named after its big sis, Porthminster Cafe) but is upstairs in a Wharf Road building, overlooking St Ives harbour. It's worth a visit for the view alone.

    The food itself is lively and has a range of influences, from Asian to Mediterranean. Local fish features a lot on the menu - look out for their spicy fish dishes and Asian-style salads.

    Porthminster Kitchen serves lunch and dinner. Please book ahead, and if you're dining with kids, please book for before 7pm. Looking for luxe accommodation in central St Ives? The restaurant owns two apartments, also with harbour views.

  • The Plume of Feathers // Truro

    The Plume of Feathers - Mitchell

    Head out of town to the village of Mitchell, home to dining pun The Plume of Feathers. This former coaching inn dates back to the 16th century, and still has a welcoming old-world feel. Choose from the cosy bar with its log fire, the airy conservatory, and The Plume's pretty gardens.

    Chef Andrew Dudley creates modern British menus using fresh Cornish ingredients. Look out for favourite local suppliers like Baker Tom's Bread, Callestick Farm ice cream and Fish For Thought seafood. The Plume's well-known for its steak, while veggies are well catered for with dishes like Homity Pie and hedgerow risotto.

    You can also stay at The Plume, which has a selection of luxurious suites just access the courtyard from the restaurant building. Some of the rooms are dog friendly, many have free-standing baths, and all come with the chance to have a fabulous Plume breakfast in the morning.

  • Potters // Bude

    Potters - Bude

    With a postcode that puts it in Bude's town centre, Potters is a big hit with both holidaymakers and locals alike. And with a menu that works in sync with the changing seasons, it's well worth a visit for fresh flavours all year round. 

    Bude-born flavours are on the cards at dinner, on both its seasonal tasting menus and a la carte options. And, with a spot on the Michelin Guide, you know you're in for a good meal. 

    Good to know: The tasting menu can be adjusted for vegetarian diets, just be sure to let the restaurant know before you book. And well behaved dogs are permitted in the drinks and cocktail lounge.

  • The Wig & Pen // Truro

    The Wig & Pen - Truro

    The Wig & Pen gets its name from the nearby County Court. The Grade 2-listed building has been an inn for much of its life, and has recently reopened following a change of hands and a thorough refurbishment.

    Like a lot of city centre places, it's both a dining gastropub and a bar. Relax outside with a bellini after work/shopping in town, or enjoy a sumptuous Sunday lunch in front of the fire. The food is modern British, and makes the most of the fantastic local larder. Try the Wig Burger or the catch of the day.

    The pub is family and dog friendly. If you're dining at The Wig & Pen, reserve your table in advance, or phone ahead if you're hoping to eat there that day.

  • The Honey Pot // Penzance

    Food - Honey Pot - Penzance

    This much-loved little cafe is tucked away down a side street in the centre of Penzance. It's a favourite spot for breakfast, lunch, or simply catching up over a coffee, and in the summer, it's open Friday and Saturday evenings, too.

    The food is homemade and local, with a great emphasis on sustainable and seasonal. During the lockdown in 2020, The Honey Pot started to serve gorgeous, homemade ready meals, which were so popular that they still sell them.

    But let's be honest. Many of the locals come here for the cakes, which are amazing. The cake menu changes daily; however, there are always vegan and gluten-free options.

  • Tremenheere Kitchen // Penzance

    Tremenheere Kitchen

    This splendid cafe is just east of Penzance, near Gulval. Tremenheere Kitchen sits in a beautiful new building at the entrance to Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens (a Penzance must-visit), and is open every day from ten until three. 

    The food is made from local ingredients, and beautifully cooked. The lively outside area is a favourite brunch and coffee stop among locals (and their pups). If you'd prefer to sprawl on the lawn, there's also a takeaway hut serving hot drinks, ice cream and delicious baked things. 

    Come here on a Sunday for a laid-back roast lunch in a beautiful setting. The roast potatoes are a highlight…

  • Lula Shack // Hayle

    Lula Shack - Hayle

    Lula,set on Hayle harbour's North Quay, has given the hip St Ives cafes a run for their money. This laid-back place blends Cornish and Creole food, with a dash of Floridian crab shack magic.

    It's open all day, starting with a brilliant breakfast menu that seems to draw inspiration from everywhere, then serves classics like po'boys, steam pots, and wings until right into the evening. Food service finishes at eight thirty, but the bar stays open.

    The Lula Shack offers a takeout service - but why would you want to? Its unique, very Cornish location, combined with its spicy Creole menu, makes this a truly memorable spot for a meal out.