From the mineral-rich sea to the lush grassy fields, Cornwall is a veritable larder, with some of the best reared, grown, and caught food to be found in the whole of the UK. So it naturally follows that it is also home to incredible places to eat, whether that’s a cosy pub for a rib-sticking Sunday lunch, a beach café for fresh seafood or a Michelin-starred restaurant for a holiday treat.
Whether you’re a family seeking a chilled-out, friendly place to eat while out and about exploring, a honeymooning couple looking for a memorable meal or a group of friends celebrating time together, Cornwall has a perfect foodie spot for everyone. Quite often, dogs are well catered for too!
Here are some of the best places to eat in Cornwall to discover for yourself….
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The Gurnard’s Head, near Zennor
Zennor, St Ives TR26 3DE
Standing proud in the wilds of the far west of Cornwall near Zennor, this picturesque, gorse-coloured coaching inn rises out of the landscape, with stunning views over the Atlantic ocean. Step through the thick wooden door of The Gurnard’s Head and you’ll instantly discover a warm, cosy welcome with blazing fires, stylish shabby chic décor and a relaxed atmosphere.
Don’t expect the usual pub grub here; menus are inspired by regional and foraged produce, creating unique and oh-so-tasty dishes. The wine list is great too, along with lots of cask ales, beers, and ciders on tap. Always busy, make sure to book ahead of your visit, and it’s dog friendly too – making it a perfect stop off after a brisk coastal walk around the dramatic coast of Zennor Head.
2 Fore Street, Mousehole
2 Fore Street, Mousehole TR19 6QU
Tucked away in the heart of Mousehole overlooking the pretty harbour, 2 Fore Street is a bustling, friendly, bistro-style restaurant offering fresh modern cuisine with a focus on locally-caught seafood. With large bay windows offering views of the boats bobbing about on the water and a sunny courtyard out back, the menu changes regularly with what’s in season and offers the likes of hand-picked crab salad or sizzling prawns in a garlicky butter, served with crunchy sourdough bread.
You can pop in for breakfast, lunch and dinner and there’s a great children’s menu for little ones. If you’re visiting around Christmas time, this is the perfect spot to gaze at the incredible Christmas light display, though it’s worth booking well ahead as the village is very popular during the festive season.
Mackerel Sky Seafood Bar, Newlyn
New Road, Newlyn TR18 5PZ
Situated in the heart of bustling Newlyn next to the bridge, this bijoux bistro is a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike. As the name suggests, Mackerel Sky Seafood Bar focuses on all things from the sea, brought straight off the boat just a few minutes’ walk away. This is a fantastic seasonal restaurant whose menu changes in accordance with what’s caught, so you know whatever you eat is as fresh as can be.
With the likes of crab nachos, scallops, panko coated lemon sole, and lobster loaded fries on the menu, it’s a tasty twist on modern classics. This lovely spot doesn’t take bookings, so just turn up and see if you can get one of their much-coveted tables, and it’s dog friendly too.
Mermaid Alley, Penzance
45 New Street, Penzance TR18 2LZ
This hidden gem is well worth popping into when out and about in Penzance. Mermaid Alley is a fantastically quirky, family-run little eatery that serves tempting cocktails and fantastic fusion food, hinting at the owners’ Mauritian heritage.
Relaxed and welcoming, you can sit down to meals such as Mauritian fish and chips, Island ‘Cari’ curry, Romazava, beef and pork belly stew for dinner or salt and pepper squid salad, Island ‘Cari’ roti wrap or croque monsieur baguette for lunch. A perfect stop off after exploring Penzance for the day, when you want something with a lively kick and a touch of spice.
Tremenheere Kitchen, Penzance
Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, Penzance TR20 8YL
Set within the impressive Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens just outside Penzance, Tremenheere Kitchen is a wonderful spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with fantastic outside seating boasting views of the surrounding garden, St Michael’s Mount, and Mount’s Bay. Inside, the restaurant is light, bright, and welcoming, serving honest Cornish food, with a roaring wood burner to cosy up next to in the winter months.
With a varying menu depending on what’s in season, there’s an excellent choice of fish, meat, vegetarian and vegan options with the likes of Cornish crab linguini, house salad, charcuterie grazing boards, steak and charred cauliflower and roasted chickpea burrito available to tickle your tastebuds. Sunday lunches are a firm favourite here too, and what better way to let your meal go down than a wander around the gardens - be sure to take a peek in the delightful shops and stroll around the art gallery afterwards, too.
Porthmeor Beach Café, St Ives
Porthmeor Beach, St Ives TR26 1JZ
Situated just in front of The Tate overlooking beautiful Porthmeor Beach in St Ives, Porthmeor Beach Café offers the quintessential St Ives experience, whether you’re popping in for brunch, lunch or dinner. With a pretty covered terrace, it’s the perfect spot for sea gazing over St Ives Bay and Godrevy Lighthouse, and a wonderful diversion after time spent on the beach.
If you’re an early riser, enjoy a hearty full English breakfast, while the tapas-style dishes are a lovely way to while away the afternoon, paired with a cocktail or two. If you’re after an evening meal, there’s an excellent selection of substantial meals to choose from, alongside tapas, where the focus is on the tasty locally-caught fish. There’s a kid’s menu for breakfast and lunch, and, as always in St Ives, it’s best to book in advance.
The Square at Porthleven, Porthleven
7 Fore Street, Porthleven TR13 9HQ
It’s safe to say that the relatively small harbour village of Porthleven is blessed with an unusually large choice of excellent places to eat, but one of our firm favourites is The Square at Porthleven, a friendly, brasserie-style restaurant overlooking the harbour. With an ever-changing menu using locally-sourced fish, shellfish, meat, and vegetables, dishes include examples such as Cornish crab rarebit, Primrose pork, apricot and peppercorn paté, seafood tiger prawn and roasted cauliflower coconut dhal, venison haunch steak and Cornish hake with a mussel, leek and potato chowder, making sure to keep room for pudding of course!
There’s a great children’s menu and dogs are welcome outside on the terrace. Afterwards, take an evening stroll around the harbour or if you’re there for lunch, head to nearby Praa Sands for an afternoon dip.
Boo Koos, Helston
32 Meneage Street, Helston TR13 8AB
Now, this is one that you’ll need to work up an appetite for (the name literally means 'a lot of' in South American slang)! Though not a problem if you’ve spent the day exploring the neighbouring Lizard Peninsula, the UK’s most southerly point. After a day of walking, swimming and exploring, head to this popular spot, where you’ll discover a little corner of Texas in the market town of Helston. Boo Koos has earned itself an excellent reputation with locals, and visitors are quickly cottoning on to how good it is – so good, that you’ll definitely need to book a table (but they also do takeaways).
Here, the burger is king, whether it’s beef, chicken, veggie or vegan, accompanied by a plethora of extras, from fries and onion rings to tater tots and mac ‘n’ cheese. Whether you like your burgers plain, slathered in cheese or piled high with bacon, pulled pork and jalapenos, there’s something for everyone, and the gluten free, veggie and vegan range is great too. If burgers aren’t your thing, there are hot dogs, grilled sandwiches and the most amazing ice cream milkshakes to choose from. So popular is Boo Koos, they’ve opened a larger restaurant in Falmouth, so you can try there as well!
Balmy beaches, winding rivers, and dappled valleys, South Cornwall is a serene spot indeed to sit down to a slap-up meal. Think cosy creekside pubs and welcoming cafés in the heart of the countryside.
Potager Garden, Constantine
High Cross, Constantine TR11 5RF
This fantastic vegetarian café is a great place to visit if you’re out and about exploring the pretty gardens of Trebah and Glendurgan near Falmouth. A former nursery that was left to run wild, Potager Garden has been lovingly restored and offers a stunning space for relaxation and workshops, as well as a beautiful café set within one of the large glass houses.
Open Thursday to Sunday, the café serves tasty veggie breakfasts, coffee and cake, and wholesome lunches made to order. Dishes vary according to the season and what’s grown on-site, and afterwards you can take a stroll through the garden to meet the resident cat and chickens.
Slice of Cornwall, near Falmouth
Trewardreva Mill, Falmouth TR11 5QD
Tucked away in a leafy valley lies Slice of Cornwall, a dream of an eatery that’s becoming less of a secret these days! Oh-so-trendy, this wooden-fronted restaurant has plenty of outside seating overlooking a small lake if you haven’t booked a table, while inside there are a fair few tables that are always popular so it’s worth booking ahead if you want to sit in. Definitely one you want to work up an appetite for, the unusually-named dishes comprise of Bayas (folded flatbreads stuffed with deliciousness), waffles (hidden under a mound of sweet or savoury toppings), or all-day brunch dishes, smaller plates and sinfully sweet puddings.
Indulge in the Fria with crispy chicken, thyme cream cheese, onion, parmesan and cheddar, or the White Pony - waffles with smoked back bacon, banana, peanut butter, bramble jelly, bacon butter and maple syrup – yum! Served with more than a dollop of good humour, the staff are super friendly, and dogs are welcome outside. They also do one of the best hot chocolates going, with big mugs piled high with whipped cream and giant homemade marshmallows. Afterwards, head to nearby Gweek for a walk around the harbour or pay a visit to the Seal Sanctuary.
16 Killigrew Street, Falmouth TR11 3PN
This excellent gastropub, dating back to the mid-1700s, is well worth a visit when in Falmouth. Pennycomequick serves excellent food (with Sunday lunches a speciality) that changes on a monthly basis depending on what they can source from the Cornish fields, farms and ocean.
If you’re here for lunch, they have doorstep sandwiches filled with battered fish fingers, home-cooked ham and cheddar or coronation chickpea, while dinners include Korev-battered fish and chips, locally-caught hake Kiev, stacked cheeseburger and Sri Lankan kukul mas curry. Afterwards, enjoy a stroll around town or plonk yourself on a bench on the Prince of Wales pier to watch the boats potter by.
Nancarrow Farm, near Truro
St Allen, Nr Truro
A working family farm since 1782, Nancarrow Farm is a 100-acre organic farm nestled deep in a south facing valley not far from Truro. As well as producing award-winning organic beef and lamb, they have the most amazing Feast Nights, which are well worth going to if your holiday happily coincides with an event.
Showcasing the seasonal bounty of their land, they are ticketed events where you gather together on long trestle tables to enjoy the very best of local ingredients, such as their epic Sunday Lunch or Harvest Feast. Each banquet is unique, but you’ll get a warm welcome, wood fires and a fantastic, convivial atmosphere. Check out their website for upcoming events, and build up an appetite with a visit to the beach at Perranporth beforehand.
Hidden Hut, Portscatho
Porthcurnick Beach, Portscatho TR2 5EW
This little gem can be found along the South West Coast Path near Portscatho on the Roseland Peninsula, overlooking the very lovely Porthcurnick Beach. During the day, the Hidden Hut serves fresh seasonal food from their outdoor beach kitchen with the likes of soups, chowders and dahls to warm you up in the cooler months, and beachy salads and grilled seafood in the summer.
The Hut also opens on selected summer evenings to host open-air feast nights where you bring your own plate to enjoy the one dish that showcases what’s best at the time, such as lobster and chips, slow-roasted spring lamb, seafood paella or sticky ribs, all cooked outside on a fire. It’s a bring-your-own-bottle affair, and tickets are one of the fastest selling foodie events in the country so keep an eye on their social media and website.
Edie’s, Carlyon Bay
10 Beach Road, Carlyon Bay, St Austell PL25 3PH
Edie’s has caused quite a stir in recent years, popping up out of nowhere and fast becoming a favourite with food lovers, both near and far. Based in Carlyon Bay near St Austell, this restaurant is very much a family-run hostelry, run by chef Nigel Brown who has worked for the likes of Raymond Blanc and Bill Granger.
There’s both an a la carte menu (with the likes of sage gnocchi, halibut with St Austell Bay mussels and pastrami cured smoked salmon to tickle the taste buds) and a prix fixe menu for early diners during the week, while kids are well catered for with their own special menu. It’s a great place to eat if you’ve spent the day at The Eden Project, which is just up the road.
Captain Hank’s Crab & Snack Shack, Fowey
Berrills Yard, North Street, Fowey PL23 1DB
Tucked away right by the river with views across to Bodinnick, Captain Hank’s Crab & Snack Shack in Fowey serves fantastic crab and local seafood freshly prepared from their vintage Citroen van. With a few picnic tables and chairs, this is an ever-so-popular spot for lunch, so you might have to join the queue and wait for your order for a while, but it’s well worth it.
From traditional favourites like crab sandwiches to the more unusual cod cheek tacos, the menu changes daily with what’s brought ashore by the fishing boats that day. A lovely pitstop if you’re enjoying a walk or simply exploring the pretty town.
The Three Pilchards, Polperro
Quay Road, Polperro PL13 2QZ
The oldest pub in the stunning seaside village of Polperro, The Three Pilchards is a beautiful 16th-century inn with a colourful history that serves incredibly hearty fare, from their fish pie crammed full of smoked haddock, prawns and other locally sourced fish to slow braised steak and ale potato-topped pie, as well as some great veggie and vegan options, and a children’s menu.
Dog friendly, there’s a fantastic rooftop beer garden that has views over the harbour or snuggle up inside close to the roaring log fire, perhaps being regaled with a smuggling story or two. Teamed up with a pint of excellent ale, beer or cider or perhaps a glass or two of wine, this is a wonderful way to while away an evening.
With a rugged coastline and wild moorland interior, North Cornwall beckons for a spectacularly dramatic setting for your next feast, whether you’re looking for a Sunday lunch with a view or a cosy café for a post-surf refuel.
The Fish House, Newquay
Unit 5 International Surf Centre, Fistral Beach, Newquay TR7 1HY
Overlooking the world-famous Fistral Beach and just a stone’s throw from the sea, The Fish House is one of Newquay’s, and indeed Cornwall’s, most celebrated fish restaurants. Sourcing the freshest fish and shellfish straight from Newquay Harbour, chef Paul has curated a fantastic menu that includes a stunning seafood sharing board complete with crispy squid, crab cakes, peppers with salt cod, tempura tiger prawns and homemade focaccia.
Other delights include skewered Balinese-style monkfish and Bajan roasted hake fillet. Paired with luscious desserts (ice cream sundaes with lashings of clotted cream anyone?), a fantastic wine menu and of course that stunning sea view, it makes for a memorable meal out. Afterwards, totter down to the beach for a paddle or if you’re feeling energetic, Fins Surf School is just a short walk away – why not book yourself a lesson or two?
The Pig- at Harlyn Bay, Harlyn Bay
Harlyn Bay, Padstow PL28 8SQ
Situated in the countryside a few miles from Padstow, The Pig – at Harlyn Bay is definitely a treat. Committed to sourcing all of their ingredients from within a 25-mile radius, there are two eateries to choose from – the Kitchen Garden restaurant and the Lobster Shed. The Kitchen Garden restaurant, with rustic stone floors and scrubbed wooden tables, uses as much as it can from their garden, which dates back to 1831, and serves such delights as pigeon breasts with tenderstem broccoli and wild blackberries and BBQ Cornish monkfish with brown crab butter.
The Lobster Shed is their outside, under-canvas venture, with fresh shellfish and lobster served in the spring and summer months, and wood-fired flatbreads with lots of different toppings and salads during the autumn and winter months. Blow away the cobwebs afterwards with a stroll along the huge sandy beach at Harlyn Bay.
Greens of Padstow, Padstow
1 North Quay, Padstow PL28 8AF
Known as the foodie capital of Cornwall, Padstow has a huge selection of eateries to choose from, but we’ve included Greens of Padstow as a fantastic family-friendly choice with a bit of a difference – it has its own 18-hole mini golf garden! Overlooking the harbour and with panoramic views of the Camel Estuary, Greens is open for breakfast through to dinner in their restaurant and outside terrace, which is perfect for summery days, and is a lovely stop off after a stroll along Hawker’s Cove.
Food is seasonal and local with a focus on prime cuts of meat and fabulous fish dishes, while vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options are available. There’s also a children’s menu for smaller appetites, and dogs are allowed on the terrace. Afterwards, why not try your hand at a spot of golf, or hire bikes and work off your lunch and cycle along the Camel Estuary.
Fresh from the Sea, Port Isaac
18 New Road, Port Isaac PL29 3SB
Port Isaac is another beautiful seaside village that has a fantastic selection of places to eat, from the Michelin-starred Nathan Outlaw to some really cute cafés, and Fresh from the Sea sits somewhere in the middle - a fantastic fish restaurant where owner Calum takes his boat out every day for crab and lobster.
Prepared, cooked and hand-picked on-site, you can eat in and enjoy the shellfish whole, in a sandwich or a salad, or boxed up to take back to your holiday cottage. There’s seating both inside and out, and dogs are welcome on the terrace. Afterwards, take a trip up the coast and soak in the history at the formidable site of Tintagel.
Prawn on the Lawn, Padsow
11 Duke St, Padstow PL28 8AB
When it comes to fresh-from-the-ocean seafood, you can’t beat Prawn on the Lawn in Padstow. Their small plates can change daily, and even hourly, depending on what the catch hauls in. Having collected a boat-load of awards and accolades over the years, you can expect truly delectable dining.
Choose a selection of small plates to try an ensemble of flavours (think gurnard ceviche, Sri Lankan curried cod, and scallops in a Thai marinade), feast on a round of Porthilly oysters, or opt for some fish for the table - remember to share so as not to appear shellfish!
DuchyGrub, St Merryn
Higher Harlyn Park, St Merryn, Padstow PL28 8SG
A true hidden gem and a must for all foodies, DuchyGrub is a firm favourite on the north coast. Promising a mouth-watering array of small plates that change by the week and with the seasons, your taste buds are in for a real treat when you settle down in this cosy, beautifully styled eatery in the fields above Padstow.
Dine on the likes of hispi cabbage with lime and seaweed butter, brill sashimi, and Tregirls lamb chop with labneh and cucumber, before washing it all down with one of their lip-smacking Cornish cocktails or a locally brewed beer.
St Kew Inn, Bodmin
St Kew, Bodmin PL30 3HB
Michelin recommended and enjoying a setting that can take you from balmy summer’s afternoons in the pub garden to cosy Sunday evenings by the fire, the St Kew Inn in Bodmin is a truly traditional pub that ticks all the boxes. Inside the historic inn, you’ll find a welcoming atmosphere, with multiple dining areas to choose from, including the time-honoured bar full of local tipples.
On the menu, you can look forward to a tasty selection of dishes, all of which celebrate local and seasonal ingredients where possible. Feast on crab rarebit with brioche and chilli jam, beer battered haddock, or fire-roasted moorland beef, with lots of mouth-watering veggie options, too - and not forgetting some homemade ice cream for afters! This fabulous inn is the perfect tonic for a day spent exploring the wild and rugged Bodmin Moor.
Feeling peckish? Take a look at our incredible holiday cottages in Cornwall and start planning your foodie getaway.