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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  • Port Gaverne Hotel // Port Isaac

    Port Gaverne Hotel restuarant

    Tiny Port Gaverne was once a busy trading port with an inn at its centre. The trade departed, but the inn stayed, and it's now the rather luxe Port Gaverne Restaurant & Hotel.

    The restaurant serves fantastic Cornish produce, including freshly caught fish. The meat, dairy and veg are all Cornish wherever possible, and there are even local libations on the wine list. As well as the fabulous food, the location is lovely, set in this little cove just a few minutes' walk from busy Port Isaac.

    If you want to make a real weekend of it, the Port Gaverne has 15 individually designed, ensuite rooms. Your dog is welcome to stay, too, and you'll get the benefit of the excellent full Cornish breakfast in the morning…

  • Old Quay House // Fowey

    Old Quay House Fowey

    The Fowey Restaurant at the Old Quay House offers a dining terrace that practically floats on the Fowey Estuary. Things are light and airy inside and wide-open doors make sure you won't miss out on the water scene if you're dining indoors.

    True to its waterside setting you can expect plenty of fresh seafood dishes on the menu, both at lunch and dinner time. Head Chef Richard Massey's modern British style has earned the restaurant a mention in this year's Michelin Guide.

    Unsurprisingly, afternoon tea is popular here right through the weekend and includes a selection of homemade cakes, sandwiches, and freshly-baked scones – jam first of course!

  • Beer & Bird // St Ives

    Beer and Bird - St Ives

    Fried chicken, chips and craft beer: perfection. Head to this laid-back, rustic restaurant above Fore Street for a meal that hits the spot every time. 

    We're not sure which came first (the chicken or the beer), but the B&B was established to bring together exciting artisan beers with home-style comfort food. The chicken is sourced locally and the beer from all over the world. Vegetarian? That's fine - the menu is wide-ranging.

    You can't book to eat at the Beer & Bird. However, during peak times, they'll take your number and call you when your table's free. Go hang out on the beach for a while, and work up even more of an appetite.

  • The Alverton // Truro

    Alverton Restaurant - Truro

    If you enjoy both modern and traditional dining, come to The Alverton for a contemporary take on classic food. Their Sunday lunches are a sophisticated version of this much-loved ritual, while their elegant afternoon teas are a must.

    You don't need to be staying at The Alverton to tuck into their generous brunches (although the rooms in this country house style hotel are lovely). Take lunch on the sunny terrace, or book a table in the AA rosette-awarded restaurant, which overlooks the gardens. Dogs are welcome to join you in the terrace or in the bar. 

    The cosy bar has fireside seats for the winter and plenty of outdoor tables for those sunshiny evenings (yes,those are a thing). The beautiful manor house was once a convent: what would the nuns make of Thursday's Cocktail Club or the special gin brunches?

  • Fowey Hall Restaurant // Fowey

    Fowey Hall Hotel restaurant

    A child-friendly buffet breakfast and Matilda-themed afternoon tea keeps families flocking to The Fowey Hall Restaurant.

    And come dinnertime, you can forget all about shop-bought seasoning, the kitchen makes use of Cornish samphire from its beaches, and herbs foraged from its gardens. While seafood is caught by local fishermen and steaks sourced from nearby farms.

    Drinks come from their doorstep too, with Fowey Brewery ales on tap and a stock of Camel Valley wines. If gin's more your thing try out Tarquin's, it's distilled right here in the southwest.

  • Mr B's Ice Cream // Hayle

    Mr B's Ice cream

    Mr B's was launched in 2004, and has since become a real Hayle institution. The current owners run two ice cream parlours, one at either end of town, and both are incredibly popular.

    The ices combine classic Italian gelato flavourings with local Cornish ingredients, and some really bold combinations. Come here if you like your ice cream to zing with flavours and cheerfully bright colours; and if you love toppings and sprinkles, this is the place to be.

    As well as ice creams, Mr B's serves sorbets, cakes, and gloriously retro sundaes. They also have dairy-free options. Planning an event? Mr B's will rock up in their vintage ice cream van and make all your guests very happy indeed.

  • The Bean Inn // St Ives

    In the heart of seafood country, veggie restaurants are a bit thin on the ground near St Ives. So, The Bean Inn in Carbis Bay is a real welcome sight. 

    Because the food is seasonal, the menu changes all the time. Look out for spicy Moroccan-inspired dishes, or comfort food involving fluffy mash and rich red wine gravy. All the food is either vegan or can be adapted to be vegan - just ask.

    To make sure your food is available and as fresh as can be, you need to pre-book your meal as well as your table. This applies to The Bean Inn's takeaway service, too.

  • Scoff Troff Cafe // St Ives

    Scoff Troff Cafe

    If you want to start the day with a good breakfast, Scoff Troff is the place to come. There’s always a great buzz here in the mornings, as it’s a popular breakfast, brunch and coffee stop for both locals and visitors. 

    The owners have travelled widely, and even the breakfast menu reflects that, with Aussie toast, Turkish eggs and Belgian waffle stacks (and of course, a full English). Look out for local produce on the lunch menu, such as crab nachos or bangers and mash.

    Scoff Troff occasionally opens in the evening: keep an eye on their socials and website for dates and times. Kids and dogs are made very welcome. If you fancy brunch on the beach, they can make up a takeaway box (please phone to order).

  • Trevaskis Farm // Hayle

    Trevaskis Farm - cakes

    If you like your food home-cooked and your portions hearty, this is the restaurant for you. The kitchen at Trevaskis near Hayle is part of a family-friendly farm, which also includes a farm shop, a pleasant walk and pick-your-own fruits.

    The meat served in the restaurant is raised on the farm, and a lot of the fruit and veg is grown here, too. Anything that isn't grown here is sourced locally, such as their Newlyn fish. Highlights include Sunday lunch (book well ahead) and the famous home-made cakes. 

    Food is served from 8:30 until late in the evening. Inside, there's a choice of dining areas, although in the summer, many diners choose the large outside terrace. Walk off your (massive) meal with a stroll through the farm, admiring Apache the pony, the piglets and the fancy chickens.

  • Mannings // Truro

    Mannings Restaurant - Truro

    Chic Mannings is an elegant restaurant, bar and hotel in the centre of Truro. The food is modern British and Mediterranean, with a focus on seasonal ingredients. 

    Close to the Hall for Cornwall, Mannings is an excellent place for pre-theatre dinner or drinks (take a look at their cocktail menu). Just make sure that you book well in advance. It's also a popular place for a coffee in the morning - although if you want to sample their breakfast, you'll need to be a resident.

    Mannings has 30 en-suite guest rooms and nine open-plan apartments. Yes, the building is bigger than it looks from the street, stretching back into a pretty courtyard, where the old stable block has been converted.

  • Moomaid Parlour // St Ives

    Moomaid Ice Cream - St Ives

    Moomaid's many fans were devastated when the much-loved harbourside parlour closed; however, happily, Moomaid St Ives has now relocated, to a larger site on the corner of St Andrew's Street and Street-an-Pol.

    The new parlour is comfortable and welcoming, serving Moomaid's local ice cream and sorbets as well as home-made cakes and excellent coffee. Find a cosy table, or take your cone onto the beach (watching out for gulls).

    Moomaid shares the shop with Zennor Wild, a florist that also sells gifts. The combination of fresh flowers, coffee and cakes makes this one of the best-smelling (and relaxing) places in town.

  • Caffe Pasta // St Ives

    Caffe Pasta - St Ives

    Caffe Pasta is towards the east end of The Wharf in St Ives. The traffic eases here, helping to make the cafe's outside tables a pleasant spot on a sunny day (perfect for a St Ives gin and tonic before your meal). 

    The restaurant serves stone-baked sourdough pizzas along with pasta dishes and other Italian favourites. The ingredients are Cornish wherever possible, and of course, there's a good choice of seafood. Look out for the daily specials.

    The modern Italian restaurant is a popular choice among families, and has a kids' menu. It's open every day, from ten in the morning for your al fresco coffee, until late in the evening. Dogs are welcome at the outside tables (although these go very quickly). Fancy staying at home? Phone Caffe Pasta and order a takeaway.

  • Seafood Café // St Ives

    Seafood Cafe - St Ives

    This light and airy restaurant is in the centre of St Ives, on bustling Fore Street. As its name suggests, it's a great place to come if you fancy fresh fish or shellfish.

    The Seafood Cafe serves all sorts of classic dishes, from comforting fish pie to vast bowls of moules marinière. If you like your seafood simple, opt for a generous plate of fish and chips, made with a crispy beer batter and served with mushy peas.

    You could also go for their tapas-style small plates option, and share whitebait, sardines and squid with your friends. And check out that irresistible gin cocktail menu…

  • Cafe Uneeka // Truro

    Cafe Uneeka - Truro

    This welcoming and lively cafe is upstairs in Uneeka, in bustling Boscawen Street. The dining room is airy and modern, with all the lovely decorative touches you'd expect from its lifestyle store location.

    The food is locally sourced, and dishes are freshly made on the premises. Choose from sharing plates, sandwiches and salads, and remember to look at the daily specials board. Although not 100% veggie, this is one of the best spots in Truro for an imaginative vegetarian or vegan breakfast or lunch.

    It's also a good place to meet a friend for a cup of coffee and a pastry or a piece of cake. Enjoy an iced cooler or a lemonade on a warmer day.

  • Bodega18 // Truro

    Bodega18 - Tapas

    Bodega 18 on Old Bridge Street is everything you want a tapas place to be: friendly, lively, and packed with an amazing choice of dishes. The food is authentically Spanish, drawing on family recipes as well as everyone's tapas favourites (yes, they do serve patatas bravas).

    Look out for the daily specials, and if you've any room left, don't miss the puddings. Combine the delicious dishes with the excellent wine list, and this really is a great place for an evening out. They're also open for lunch - look out for the three dishes for £15 offer. 

    If you've tickets at the theatre, Bodega 18 offers a pre-theatre service with a special menu. The restaurant closes on Sunday; however, if you really need your tapas fix, their sister restaurant in Falmouth is open all weekend.

  • The Mex // St Ives

    The Mex - St Ives

    The Mex is proof that small is mighty. This compact restaurant is a real St Ives favourite, loved for its Mexican-inspired menu and warm welcome.

    Look out for popular dishes like fajitas and burritos, with a good selection of starters, sauces and sides. Food tends to be served spicy rather than hot; however, if you want a bit more kick to your chilli, just let the team know, as the chef cooks everything to order. Finish off with a sticky pile of churros.

    For the full Mex experience, check out their tequila menu or go for a refreshing Margarita. The restaurant is open for dining and takeaway every evening from 5:30 pm. Please telephone to book a table or order your takeout.

  • The Mote // Port Isaac

    The Mote Bar & Restaurant - Port Isaac

    The Mote is an elegantly rustic restaurant in Port Isaac's central Fore Street. Like most places around here, it specialises in freshly caught fish dishes, with the seafood coming straight off the boats in the morning.

    The meat, charcuterie, cheese, vegetables and bread served at The Mote all come from this part of Cornwall. However, if you're fancying seafood, try their fish pie or Korev-battered fish.

    Its location near the harbour couldn't be better, and the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. There's also a good choice of dishes for kids, and dogs are welcome. Look out for barbecues in the outside bar area.

  • The Watering Hole // Perranporth

    Watering Hole Beach Bar - Perranporth

    Bar/restaurant quite literally on the beach - Indian, Mediterranean, Mexican and English cuisine available.

    Live Music

  • Restaurant MINE // Falmouth

    Restaurant MINE - Falmouth

    Restaurant MINE is pitched just off Falmouth High Street in the Old Brewery Yard. Things are pretty small scale inside here, but fear not there's more seating on the cobbles on the restaurant's doorstep.

    The menu's typically Cornish with pan-roasted trout and crab fritters both firm favourites. The intimate dining settings just about a laidback as going for dinner around an old pal's house. While an open kitchen means you can watch as your dish is prepared right in front of you.

    Another perk to this place's size means the chef might even spare a couple of minutes to deliver your dish to your table themselves!

  • The Golden Lion // Port Isaac

    Golden Lion Port Isaac

    This old Fore Street pub has become a famous film set. It stars as the local in ITV's Doc Martin and plays itself in the film about the Fisherman's Friends. It's also a good place to enjoy a pint of St Austell's finest, overlooking Port Isaac harbour. 

    Inside, the 18th-century rooms are traditional and cosy - just the place for a hearty meal on a cooler evening. However, when the sun's out, try to grab a spot on the balcony terrace, which has those coveted sea views.

    The food is classic pub food, cooked well. Tuck into fish and chips, pie or a burger, accompanied by a good choice of local ales and ciders. The Golden Lion is dog-friendly, although the busier sports and live music evenings may be a bit much for shyer pups.

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