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!

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  • Feed // Hayle

    Feed - Hayle

    Feed serves fabulous street food and excellent coffee from its small unit in the Old Foundry Chapel in the middle of town. There's usually a queue (this place is loved), but it's always worth the wait.

    Start your day by picking up a breakfast box to eat on the beach, or roll up a bit later for coffee and pastries. For lunch, try a bagel or a taco, and Feed must be one of the only places in West Cornwall to serve an authentic Philly Steak.

    Feed has a sister eaterie, The Secret Kitchen on East Quay. This is the one to visit if you fancy a chilled beer with your food.

  • The Cornish Arms // Padstow

    The Cornish Arms - Rick Stein

    This traditional pub in nearby St Merryn brings together two giants of the Cornish hospitality world: St Austell Brewery and Rick Stein. It serves pub favourites - but with Mr Stein overseeing the menu, you can imagine the quality of the traditional fish & chips, burgers and curries.

    A top tip is to book in for a weekend breakfast. This is served between 8 and 9am  Saturdays and Sundays only. If you’re planning a day walking or on the water, come here first to build up your energy. Bring the whole family, as kids and dogs will be made very welcome.

    Like many country pubs, The Cornish Arms also offers limited accommodation. In this case, the rooms are a selection of brand new shepherds’ huts in the grounds. Yep, this is no ordinary village pub…

  • The Square // Porthleven

    The Square - Porthleven

    A harbourside address, and a place in the Michelin guide have both given The Square a solid spot on Porthleven's dining scene.

    An ever-changing menu makes sure that only the freshest of dishes are plated up at this place. If Cornish crab's on the menu, we suggest you snap it up. Dessert is covered by the Square Deli which sits on the restaurant's sidelines, its homemade ice creams and sweet treats are the talk of the town. 

    Good to know: Dogs are welcomed here with open arms, and while they're not permitted indoors there's plenty of space for your pup to rest their paws on the terrace.

  • The Rum & Crab Shack // St Ives

    Rum & Crab Shack - St Ives

    That name… There's nowhere quite like the Rum & Crab Shack near the harbour in St Ives. It was established in 2012 by four friends who loved, naturally, drinking rum and eating crab; and 100 types of rum later, it's one of the town's best-loved venues.

    Yes, a love of cracking claws and drinking grog helps, but there's also a good choice of chicken, veggie and vegan dishes. Not a rum drinker? Check out the cocktail menu. However, visiting pirates should grab a tot of the house rums, Dead Man's Fingers and Stargazy.

    The old shack is in a great location in Wharf Road, with views out towards the harbour. It's open midday until midnight, and there's no need to book.

  • 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.

  • Hotel Tresanton // St Mawes

    Hotel Tresanton restaurant

    With a collection of Mediterranean-style whitewashed buildings and seaward terraces you could be fooled into thinking this hotel's been plucked from the shores of Ibiza.

    The restaurant is housed in a separate building, and paired with an al fresco terrace offering stunning views of St Mawes Bay.

    The menu takes inspiration from its seaside setting, with fresh fish dishes in plentiful supply. Meat-eaters and veggies are taken care of, too, with beef filet and meat-free pasta dishes also sharing the spotlight on the menu. That's not all though, a lengthy list of wines covers perfect pairings, whatever you choose to eat.

  • The Cove @ Maenporth // Falmouth

    The Cove - Maenporth

    The Cove Restaurant is a stone's throw from Maenporth Beach and dinner here's served with postcard-perfect views right across Falmouth Bay.

    A stylish fairy-light lit terrace offers cosy al fresco dining, while floor-to-ceiling windows make sure you don't miss out on the view if you're seated indoors.

    The southwest's star chef Michael Caines is at the helm here, and in typical Cornish style the meat and fish dishes change in sync with the seasons. If you're stuck for choice, a sharing platter's just the ticket.

  • Box & Barber // Newquay

    Box & Barber - Newquay

    A keen favourite with locals and visitors alike, Box & Barber sits a stone's throw from Newquay Harbour. Healthy breakfast bowls come with fresh fruits that burst with colour, they make for a great way to kick start your day before heading to the nearby beach.

    Breakfast burritos rate highly here, too, plus there's plenty of choice for veggies and vegans. Or if you're after something light, coffee and cake to go is a great option. If you're sticking around though, the front terrace comes with space for al fresco dining, perfect for taking in the sea air all while enjoying a tasty breakfast

  • Lifeboat Inn // St Ives

    Lifeboat Inn - St Ives

    In a great location near the (what else?) lifeboat station, this lively pub is an excellent place for an off-the-beach breakfast, lunch or dinner. It's a proper pub, so you can call in for a refreshing pint of St Austell brewery's finest.

    Its cool and dark interior is welcome on a hot day, while it transforms into one of the cosiest spots in town during the winter. Try and get a window seat for some of the best people watching in town.

    The menu is made up from classic pub dishes, like burgers, steak and hunter's chicken. This being St Ives, there's also a choice of seafood dishes. The Lifeboat also has five guest rooms (some are dog-friendly) and two holiday apartments, with impressive views across the harbour.

  • Sukothai // Penzance

    Sukothai - Penzance

    For real Thai food (as opposed to the usual British imitation dishes), choose this friendly little restaurant in Penzance. The intimate space makes the experience even more fun, as diners and staff chat together, enjoying the authentic Thai cuisine. 

    The dishes are delicate and full of intricate textures and flavours. Share a selection with your dining companion(s) to make sure you try as many different dishes as possible. It's a good spot for veggie and vegan diners. Wash it down with an ice-cold Thai beer.

    Sukothai is on Queen Street in the middle of Penzance, and is open every evening except Monday. You'll miss out on the friendly service and the cosy atmosphere, but you can also order takeout from Sukothai.

  • The Beach Hut @ Watergate Bay // Newquay

    The Beach Hut - interior - Watergate Bay

    As the name might suggest, the Beach Hut has bagged a prime position on the water's edge at Watergate Bay. It's part of a collection of dining spots at the Watergate Bay Hotel.

    Huge windows make the most of its water's edge location. While a plant based menu takes care of planet-friendly meals. That's not all though, healthy post-surf picks include salads, tapas-style plates and freshly caught fish from the grill.

    Sustainability sits high on the agenda here, and it doesn't just stop at its dishes. You can order and pay from your phone, reducing the restaurant's paper usage.

  • The Yellow Canary // St Ives

    The Yellow Canary cafe

    This neat little cafe has been feeding the folk of St Ives for fifty years. Located in bustling Fore Street, The Yellow Canary’s small but airy seating area provides a welcome haven from the busy town. Tables all full? Take your latte and pastry to a bench by the beach.

    The Yellow Canary serves sandwiches, pastries, cakes and of course, Cornish pasties. There are also gluten-free options. It’s a good choice if you like your coffee, and there’s a wide choice of other drinks.

    And the name? The cafe is actually named after the caged canaries that were taken down mines to test for toxic gases: as the cafe’s website says, small but impactful.

  • Prawn on the Lawn // Padstow

    Prawn on the Lawn seafood

    For delicious small plates of fabulous fish, visit Padstow's award-winning Prawn on the Lawn.The fish at POTL is so fresh, the team sometimes changes the menu several times a day!

    The restaurant also changes venues twice a year. In the summer, the operation decamps to nearby Trerethern Farm, becoming Prawn on the Farm until the autumn. This began out of necessity during the pandemic in 2020, but was such a success that the second venue stuck. Please be aware that dogs aren’t allowed on the farm.

    Whichever location you visit (and this includes its London restaurant), the seafood is boat-fresh and perfectly cooked, and served alongside other delicious local ingredients.

  • Salt Kitchen/Bar // Hayle

    Salt - Hayle

    This relaxed cafe bar serves food all day, and is a popular place to hang out. It's housed in a converted old building in Foundry Square, just next to Hayle's landmark viaduct. The atmosphere is chilled, and the menu is full of delicious Cornish produce. 

    Salt is best-known for its sophisticated burgers, but if you prefer fish, try something like the Cajun popcorn prawns. Salt's meat and fish are locally sourced, and you'll spot other favourite Cornish suppliers like Moomaid of Zennor ice creams.

    Breakfast is served from nine thirty, which is earlier than many cafes in the area. So, if you want a great start to your day out, come to Salt.

  • The Old Custom House // Padstow

    The Old Custom House - Padstow

    This smart building stands on South Quay in Padstow. The food is mostly classic British, made from the best Cornish ingredients. The combination of good food and a standout location makes The Old Custom House a popular spot.

    It's also much-loved for its range of beers and wines, which includes some gorgeous choices from local vineyard, Camel Valley. The Old Custom House is also a top spot for a coffee, from 11 am onwards.

    If you're looking for a place to stay in the heart of Padstow, check out the rooms at The Old Custom House. They have 23 en-suite guest rooms, many with the most spectacular harbour views.

    Dogs are allowed in the bar area.

  • Duke Street Sandwich Deli // Truro

    Duke Street Sandwich Deli

    Set on the corner of St Mary's and Duke Street this little cafe is the best spot in town for paninis, sandwiches and salad boxes. There's a great choice of fillings to eat in or takeaway.

    The Deli is the ideal place to grab a window seat and watch the world go by. There is also an outside area which makes a great option in the summer.

  • The Coddy Shack // Looe

    Coddy Shack Fish and Chips

    The Coddy Shack is perched on the edge of Looe and locks in world-class views across the valley that surround it.

    You can expect to see a usual chippy line up, battered cod and jumbo sausages are top notch from here. However, things are stepped up a touch here though, with the likes of Pil Pil prawns and deep-fried brie – the kind of options you won't find on an average chippy's menu board.

    You can opt to take out, or eat in the restaurant. There are even nights out on the agenda here, The Shack Sessions are well worth a look at, live musicians take to the stage most Saturday nights throughout the summer.

  • Pedn Olva Hotel // St Ives

    Pedn Olva restaurant view

    A drink on the roof terrace at the Pedn Olva is simply one of the best things to do while you're in St Ives. The views over the bay are astonishing, and the wine list (including Cornish Polgoon) is pretty fine, too…

    Back inside, you can dine in the contemporary-style restaurant. You're not missing out on the views, thanks to large windows and a balcony overlooking Porthminster Beach. The menu is modern and elegant, with some great local fish dishes.

    The service in this St Austell-run hotel is slick and friendly, and kids and dogs are made to feel very welcome. If you really want to relax, book one of the sea-view guest rooms…

  • Sam's // Fowey

    Sam's Fowey

    Sam's has had a spot on Fowey's foodie map since the late 80s, and it's still as popular today as it was back then. The restaurant-cum-cocktail bar is housed inside a 13th-century building right on Fowey's centre spot. It covers both food and drink, with a warm and inviting restaurant complimented by a stylish cocktail bar and lounge.

    Food-wise, you can guarantee fresh picks as the restaurant's boat catches the fish that's dished up the same day. While lobster, crabs and scallops come from local fishermen who have been working for the restaurant since its doors first opened.  

  • The Cornish Vegan // Truro

    The Cornish Vegan - Truro

    Most of Truro's restaurants have pretty good veggie and vegan options these days; however (at the time of writing!) The Cornish Vegan is the city's only 100% vegan restaurant. Owners Rob and Graham (like the restaurant, Cornish vegans) have a passion for travel, and this shows in the choice of lively world foods on offer.

    The dishes may be global, but the food is local. The chefs make the most of Cornwall's great larder to choose fresh, seasonal ingredients. The menu ranges from spicy Asian-inspired curries to vegan versions of British classics like fish and chips. If you're hungry, try the burger.

    You'll find The Cornish Vegan in Kenwyn Street in the centre of town. Fancy eating at home? The restaurant also offers a takeaway service (collection only).

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