It’s a hot topic for both locals and visitors to the duchy… Where oh where can you find the best pasties in Cornwall? Those who regularly eat Cornish pasties will likely have some strong opinions about where to go, and for those visiting, we urge you to do your own taste-testing - after all, when in Cornwall!
Here at Classic Cottages, we’ve shared some of our favourite pasty makers and pasty shops across the county. From traditional steaks to vegan pasties that ensure everyone can enjoy an oggy when the craving hits, there are plenty of pasties in Cornwall to choose from…
Top tip: Oggy, crib, and croust are all acceptable terms for a Cornish pasty.
The history of the Cornish pasty
Before we get to the meat of the matter, here’s a little bit of history surrounding the pasty. The word pasty comes from the 14th century medieval French ‘pie without a dish’ – a very accurate name, we have to say.
Pasties are well known for being the main food that Cornish miners used to eat while working. Filled with potato, onion, and swede, they were affordable for families, but also calorific to give the miners energy. Occasionally there would be some meat in them, though this was uncommon at the time and usually only scraps. The pasty was shaped as a ‘D’ to make transporting and eating easier for the miners, with the crimp running along the side (the Cornish way). They would hold the crust with their hands (which were exposed to arsenic in the mines) and only eat the rest – thankfully we get to enjoy the crust nowadays!
Believe it or not, there are superstitions surrounding the humble pasty. Fishermen would leave their pasties ashore as it was bad luck to take a pasty on board. And miners would leave a piece of pastry in the mines for the spirits, leading them to the bake house where they would ward off the devil as he was afraid he would get baked in a pasty.
As time went on and the mines gradually closed, the county became an increasingly popular holiday destination and pasty shops started to pop up all over the place. They also started to cater for every different taste. Pasty makers now offer a huge range of options, from your original shortcrust and puff steak pasty, to vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free pasties, along with some pretty unusual fillings in the mix!
Did you know that Cornish pasties are also now protected? Yep, if you’re going to call a pasty Cornish it must be made west of the Tamar as Cornish pasties have Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status. This means that while the majority of Cornish pasties are found within the county, a great deal are transported every day all around the UK and across the world (more on this later).
So where can you find the best pasties in Cornwall? Here are our top suggestions…
A really lovely independent farm shop owned by local David Webb and run by his family, Gear Farm has a passion for the very best produce, which naturally results in seriously drool-worthy pasties.
Gear Farm offers proper local Cornish pasties that are consistently delicious and filled to the brim with quality meat and veg topped off with the perfect gravy. The ingredients are grown and produced on the farm and its neighbouring fields - you don’t get much fresher than that! These pasties, along with the family-grown veg and freshly baked scones that can be purchased in the farm shop, are a top favourite with the locals for good reason.
Gear Farm shop can be found in St Martin near Helston in West Cornwall. Check out their social media for updates and we definitely recommend booking your pasties ahead of time, as these tasty cribs can disappear quickly!
With shops in Helston, Porthleven, Mullion and The Lizard, Ann’s Pasties is one of the most talked about pasty companies in Cornwall, and with good reason. Following tradition in her family, expert crimper and owner Ann started selling pasties at a stall near Helston, which turned into a shop in Porthleven and expanded quickly from there. She now has her son Fergus on board, along with a passionate and talented crew at their base.
Ann’s Pasties lovingly hand make the famous Cornish steak pasty, along with cheese and vegan pasties in a delicious flaky pastry. We can vouch that the cheese and leek pasty is particularly special – as is the Gurt Licker, a mighty show of meat and veg the size of two large pasties! Dedicated to sourcing local produce within a 10-mile radius, you know you’re going to get a wonderfully fresh and specially crafted pasty every time.
You can try your hand at making your own with their recipe or you can have your Cornish pasty delivered straight to your door with their handy pasties by post option.
If you are after a top-notch pasty with a sausage roll and a sweet treat too, then family-owned Cornish Oven is the place to go. With shops and vans dotted all over the county - Camborne, Pool, Scorrier, Illogan, Helston and Penzance - you’re bound to come across one on your travels. Stocked up with a range of flavours and the choice between shortcrust and flaky pastry - not to mention frozen pasties you can pop in the oven at home - there is something for every taste. They also have a Christmas pasty that emerges for the festive season and provides a very merry meal.
It doesn’t get much better than eating a pasty while admiring a beautiful view. Luckily St Ives Bakery is on hand to help you do just that! Open seven days a week, a range of pasties are baked throughout the day and can be made to order with just an hour’s notice, giving you a myriad of choices for your croust from this top St Ives eatery.
Pick up a chicken or cheese n’ veg pasty and take it to one of the glorious beaches in St Ives, where you can then laze away the day or go for a dip. The bakery is also the perfect spot to grab a fresh loaf, with a range of artisan breads including sourdough, focaccia, and traditional farmhouse.
Another small chain of pasty shops located in the western area of Cornwall, Philps aren’t to be overlooked when pondering your pasty choices. There are two shops in Hayle and one in Marazion, Praze-an-Beeble, Camborne, Helston, and Porthleven.
Family-owned (anyone else noticing a trend here?), Philps Pasties not only serve a range of pasties, including gluten-free and vegan but also offer eye-popping salads, seriously sweet treats, and drinks - perfect for building a picnic for an epic cliff walk in West Cornwall. We love breaking tradition in favour of their incredible steak and cheese pasties! Philps is also the place to go if you are at home and have a craving, as they deliver frozen pasties all over the UK and within 24 hours.
Found in St Ives, Tintagel and Bude, Pengenna pasties have been around a long time, first selling pasties in 1985. Offering a variety of flavours including steak and stilton, lamb, and vegetable, there is something to satisfy all taste buds.
Pengenna Pasties have restaurants on site in Bude and Tintagel, so why not sit in and enjoy a Cornish cream tea too? Or, if you want to take your pasty to a scenic spot, you’ll be spoilt for choice in any of these locations.
This pasty shop is peppered all over Cornwall and can be found in many areas, including Helston, Falmouth, Penzance and Truro. In fact, with over 20 shops, it’s safe to say that Rowe's has become a household name in Cornwall. They offer all sorts of goodies including Cornish pasties and vegan options, as well as cocktail pasties if you’re after a smaller bite. You can pick up paninis and sandwiches here too, plus an assortment of cakes and bakes to really round off your meal.
This pasty shop located in the centre of Newquay may be small, but it certainly packs a punch. Made down the road at Peter Morris Butchers, their Cornish pasties are much loved by locals and visitors alike and are made with a top-secret recipe that has been protected for over 40 years!
Once you have your pasty, head to one of Newquay’s world-famous beaches, just a short walk from the shop, or hop in the car to find one of our Cornish benches with a view along the north Cornish coast. You can also order the pasties online, along with their jumbo sausage rolls and bacon and cheese turnovers.
Based in North Cornwall, Malcolm Barnecutt Bakeries can be found in Bodmin, Launceston, Rock and Wadebridge, to name a few. It all began in 1930 in Liskeard, where Malcolm’s grandfather Percy opened the very first bakery, before passing his trade down through the generations to Malcolm, and now his son James.
With so much family heritage and well-tuned skills, you are guaranteed to get yourself an expertly crafted pasty, made with local ingredients such as Cornish Davidstow cheddar cheese. With a handful of cafés, you can sit in and treat yourself to one of their wickedly good cakes, stock up to take on your adventures, or you can order them for delivery nationwide!
One of the oldest bakeries in the county working from the same location as when it first started in St Agnes, St Agnes Bakery cooks up a treat for your tastebuds. Supplied with only the best produce sourced from within Cornwall, you know you are supporting the community every time you buy their products.
Choose from your traditional meat pasty, cheese and veg, veggie, and vegan, or you can go for their Original Giant Rolls to mix things up. St Agnes Bakery also bakes fresh bread and makes some delicious sweet treats.
An award-winning recipe refined over 40 years to get the flavours just right in their traditional pasties, Chough Bakery can be found in the heart of Padstow. Supplying you with the traditional Cornish pasty, three cheese and onion, chicken with bacon and cheddar, steak and cornish blue, and Mediterranean vegetable pasties.
Purchase in store or online and get frozen pasties delivered straight to your door – the possibilities really are endless! Chough Bakery is also perfect for those looking for a sweet treat box filled with Cornish goodies like the humble cream tea.
Hampsons of Hayle is actually a butchers that sells some fabulous produce. Their pasties are made in house and from local produce, making sure they all pass the most stringent of taste tests (can we volunteer for that job?).
Available hot and cold, sizing from small to large, and with a variety of flavours including minted lamb, steak and kidney, breakfast, and of course traditional, there is something for absolutely everyone. Based in Hayle near St Ives, the pasties are available daily and are also perfect for freezing to enjoy at a later date.
Based in Scorrier, this farm shop sells quality meat, veg, everyday ingredients and, of course, pasties. Available fresh in store and frozen online for delivery to your home; there are your traditional steak pasties available, alongside vegetable (containing animal fats) and steak and stilton options. Recommended by the Cornish Pasty Association as a ‘genuine Cornish pasty’ maker and with a recipe that’s nearly a century old, these pasties are well worth a try.
Based in Penryn near Falmouth, Pips offers a variety of flavours in their pasties, from your traditional steak to chicken, lamb, veg, tikka and cheese with veg or bacon. Once a week they also offer gluten-free pasties and serve up a scrummy breakfast every morning. Enjoy your pasty by the waterfront at the bottom of town, or head into Falmouth to sit by the beach or in town at your favourite spot.
Dotted around the country, Cornish Bakery allows you to get your fix of Cornwall wherever you are, plus you can order online to get pasties delivered to your door. Cornish Bakery sells sweet and savoury pasties, satisfying all hungers. Choose from traditional steak, steak and stilton, vegetable, bacon leek and cheese, cheese and onion, sweet potato and feta, and for sweet, apple, rhubarb and custard.
Satisfying bakery cravings since 1978 in the heart of Cornwall, Prima Bakeries serves everything Cornish from saffron cakes, hevva buns, and cream teas, to the Cornish pasty along with numerous other sweet and savory treats.
The pasties are available by post, partnered with the Cornish Hamper Store, and you can choose from traditional steak, vegetable, cheese and onion, and Bombay potato. They also offer gluten free and flaky pastry pasties. Prima supplies their goods up and down the county, so you can grab a pasty from plenty of convenience stores, as well as cafés and restaurants.
Supplying pasties, sausage rolls, slices, and turnovers across the county (and nation) since 1988, you’re never far from a Cornish pasty thanks to Proper Cornish. Choose from a mouth-watering list that includes the likes of traditional steak and cheese and onion alongside specialty fillings such as steak and Betty Stogs, pork and apple, and Middle Eastern lamb.
They also offer a range of vegan options including a vegan pasty, roll, and slice as well as a Mexican bean pasty and vegan bacon and cheese turnover. You can enjoy their savoury pasties and pastries at one of the many locations across Cornwall or you can have them delivered to your door thanks to The Pasty Boys – geddon!
Bringing pasties to hungry mouths since 1860, Warrens Bakery has earned the title of ‘Oldest Cornish Pasty Maker in the World’ – and boy, do they live up to their legacy. While you’ll always find classics such as steak, creamy chicken, and cheese and onion on the menu, it’s worth checking in throughout the year as there’s always something new being cooked up. In the past, we’ve seen the likes of vegan Thai green curry fly off the heated shelves while the current fabulously fun flavour is the Spicy Chicken and Mango pasty – whew, what a combination!
World Pasty Championships
Held annually at the Eden Project, the World Pasty Championships are a must for any fan of the crimped wonder. Bakers from all over the world compete for best pasty and fastest crimp while visitors get to stroll around soaking up the incredible biomes with a pasty in hand – what could be better! Come for the live music, the thrill of competition, or the wafting aroma of hundreds of pasties.
Wherever you stay in Cornwall, you can rest assured there will be a pasty shop nearby to fuel your explorations. Have we missed one? Let us know about your favourite pasty!