With its dramatic coastline, golden sandy beaches and quaint seaside towns, it’s no wonder that Cornwall is one the UK’s most popular holiday destinations. Dotted with exceptional eateries with close proximity to the sea, Cornwall is a haven for fresh local seafood and seriously talented chefs. A visit to the Cornish county would not be complete without sampling some of the world-class cuisine on offer. Luckily, there are a number of Michelin star restaurants in Cornwall for discerning diners after a delectable feast.
Whether you’re heading to North, South or West Cornwall, you’ll find a whole host of Michelin recommended establishments. All are guaranteed to tickle your tastebuds in the most appealing way possible. It’s not just about the food though. Many of these restaurants offer unbeatable locations and sublime views, setting all your senses aflame.
Whether seafood’s your speciality, you crave a succulent steak or want to settle down to a meat-free extravaganza, these are 16 of the top Michelin restaurants in Cornwall for starry-eyed diners heading to England’s most south-westerly county.
Cornwall restaurants with Michelin Stars
This cute Cornish fishing village may be synonymous with Rick Stein, but it’s Paul Ainsworth’s acclaimed eatery that serves up some of the finest fare in this foodie town. Whether it’s for an intimate dinner à deux or a family celebration, you don’t want to miss the chance of feasting at this pick among Padstow restaurants – with a Michelin star to its name.
You’ll find the elegant townhouse it's housed in is every bit as photogenic as the food. The talented folk who make up the team are dedicated to delivering the most flavourful mouthfuls imaginable, all created from the freshest local produce.
Four courses, plus extra goodies, are presented with aplomb and are perhaps surprisingly affordable given the eatery’s starry status. Booking, as you might expect, is essential if you want to experience the likes of scallops, onion fondant, local wild brill and ‘A Fairground Tale.’ This is Cornish cuisine at its show-stopping finest.
Though he hails from Kent, Nathan Outlaw has followed his heart – and the rugged English coastline – west to Cornwall, where he’s certainly made a name for himself. Both New Road and Fish Kitchen are must-visit Michelin-starred restaurants. They are two of the reasons the Port Isaac area has become such a mecca for gastronomy lovers.
As it’s perched over the pretty town, you can enjoy glorious views over the fetching Cornish coastline while dining on the set seafood menu. This is a four course treat for the eyes as well as the palate, so do try to grab a snap for posterity – if you can possibly hold back from tucking straight in, that is...
If you’re a fan of fish and other fruits de mer, this is definitely one to tick off the bucket list. Three courses are centred around the catch of each day, with vegetarian options available by arrangement when booking. Otherwise, the delectable, sweet treat of a dessert rounding off your perfect feast is pretty much the only time the menu will stray from Cornish seafood.
Sustainable local fish is the name of the game at Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, also in picturesque Port Isaac. Housed in a fisherman’s cottage dating from the 15th century, everything about this place is as cute – and authentically Cornish – as it is Michelin star-worthy.
As at New Road, Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen serves a set seafood menu. You can book up to 90 days before your visit to either of Outlaw’s fabulous eateries. So we say get in there as quickly as you can once you’ve snapped up that dream cottage for your Cornish sojourn!
Once you’ve secured your table, may we whet your appetite with the likes of spiced monkfish with coriander yoghurt or perhaps gurnard served with zingy lime and earthy mushrooms? Smoked cod’s roe with brioche starts things off nicely, while dessert will finish with the exquisite bang of a sweet, flavourful taste sensation.
Michelin recommended restaurants in Cornwall
Although these establishments may not yet have the coveted Michelin star, they nevertheless have the Michelin stamp of approval. All these restaurants have been handpicked by the Michelin Guide as truly exceptional eateries.
Michelin restaurants in North Cornwall
Although casual may not be what springs to mind when contemplating Michelin recommended establishments, Rick Stein’s Cafe in Padstow is a family friendly eatery serving three meals a day. Or you can even stop by for a coffee and cake break as the whim takes you.
As anyone who’s attempted to eat fish and chips by the harbour will testify, it’s worth seeking cover in Padstow just to save you from swooping seagulls. That’s our excuse, anyway, and we’re sticking to it. Nothing at all to do with the delectable menu that’s heavy on seafood, showcasing lightly spiced dishes clearly influenced by Stein's time in India.... yum!
Whether you start the day with a full English, devour a scrumptious slice of cake as an afternoon pick-me-up or swing by for a meal featuring multiple, carefully executed courses, Stein’s laid-back place has Cornwall stamped through it like a stick of holiday rock.
The St Kew Inn is as cute as Cornwall pubs come, and the food is certainly something to write a postcard home about too.
Flower-filled gardens tempt the visitor outside during summer. While in winter the crackling fire invites you to bathe in its warm (and flattering) glow. A well-stocked wine cellar and local cask ales add to St Kew Inn’s temptations. Diners can choose from four areas in which to savour carefully crafted platefuls of top notch nosh.
This Cornish pub’s signature dishes are those that come directly ‘from the fire’ to your plate, whether you go for a 35-day aged steak, the catch of the day baked in embers or blackened butternut squash.
Frankly a quick peek at the website is enough to whet anyone’s appetite, featuring as it does some of the most Insta-worthy food we’ve ever seen. Perfect symmetry, edible flowers, artful drizzles… no stop is left unpulled here.
Husband and wife Fred and Donna have been at the helm since the Dining Room opened in 2010. Though diners aged under ten and pets are not permitted, a booked table is yours to linger at for the entire evening.
The menu is small, and as the great value price is fixed you’ll know exactly what to expect when the bill comes. Before that, though, tuck into the likes of home baked bread with clotted cream butter, followed by artichoke, duck or salmon then venison, halibut or celeriac. Round off with dessert or a cheese plate if you prefer – a real palate pleaser for fans of British dairy produce.
Also overseen by Paul Ainsworth, Caffè Rojano is a richly-hued and very local eatery that dates back to 1974. The original owner’s stamp is still evident throughout the menu. It showcases various Spanish and Italian favourites including small plates, pasta and pizzas.
Flavours from Cornwall and the Med are yours to savour when dining at Caffè Rojano, as well as the brief but sophisticated list of New York Italian style cocktails. It’s a little like Spain meets Italy – while the UK and US pop in to visit.
From Sicilian arancini and Iberian croquetas to wild red prawns, smoked salmon pasta or a cracking Quattro Formaggi served with a side of seaweed-strewn fries, head to Caffè Rojano if you fancy a delicious and very moreish taste of the Med while in Cornwall.
If you want to dine at an authentic Cornish farmhouse during your stay, then do reserve a table at Coombeshead in advance of your visit. It’s guaranteed to get your taste buds tingling in anticipation – and we assure you it will be well worth the wait.
There are both vegetarian and main menus to choose from. All diners are treated to the five sublime courses making up the set menu, and service generally runs from 7pm to 10pm. Under 12s are not admitted, except during Sunday lunch – music to the ears, surely, of those planning for a romantic evening for two!
Unlike many other Michelin recommended Cornish eateries, seafood is not a particular feature here, as most produce comes directly from Coombeshead farm itself. As flour is milled on site, the owners also proclaim their eatery as unsuitable for coeliacs. For committed carnivores and vegetarians, though, this place is nothing short of divine.
Discover more of North Cornwall’s plethora of delights.
Michelin restaurants in South Cornwall
Close to Helston at the top of Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula is New Yard restaurant, a foodie favourite among those who venture to this more tranquil part of the county.
With two ways to eat here, the tricky part can be choosing between daytime bagels, cakes and light bites, and the full-on suppers served on Friday and Saturday nights. During the day and warmer evenings, guests are welcome to venture into the walled garden for a nosey or to dine al fresco in the sunny courtyard.
Against a traditional Cornish stone backdrop, weekend suppers at New Yard are an experience to be treasured. Your table is yours for as long as you care to linger. Menus are published on the website in advance, so you can see for yourself what dishes you’ll be savouring while waiting for the weekend to arrive.
If your idea of Cornwall is all about bracing sea breezes and the freshest seafood, then the Sardine Factory could be your idea of utopia. A contemporary eatery specialising in fish, this place is situated in one of the county’s quintessential fishing villages.
Fans of Masterchef: The Professionals might in fact recognise owner Ben, whose career has seen him bag a clutch of accolades across the UK. As The Sardine Factory overlooks West Looe’s appealing little harbour, it’s a must for those whose seafood ideally comes with a view of where their food came from.
The menu is relaxed, with a good mix of casual dishes in small and larger sizes. Whether or not you actually share the baked camembert with truffled honey starter is entirely your prerogative. Whatever your preference, there’s certainly something here for everyone, from a moorland sirloin or crab linguine to a vegetable saag aloo or chorizo and squid ragu.
View by name and view by nature – with a dramatic cliff top location, this Michelin recommended restaurant in South Cornwall is set among the most break-taking natural splendour. Fresh sea breezes are a dead cert, as is an emphasis on seafood.
Experienced team Matt and Rachel oversee the smooth running of this fabulous eatery that’s every bit as elevated in culinary terms as it is geographically. Making a conscious move away from fine dining, here it’s all about simple, local food cooked to perfection.
Leave your airs, graces and cares behind as you tuck into steamed langoustines, woodpigeon or watermelon followed by John Dory with tiger prawns, roasted hake or onion and cheese smothered gnocchi. With five choices offered each evening it’s not a vast menu, but it sure is a big hitting one.
When a restaurant is named after its owners you know it’s going to be a family affair. The Appleton’s care is evident across the board, from the perfectly polished wine glasses in the dining area to the execution of each and every dish.
Despite being self-taught, Italy-loving Andy Appleton lists Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen on his CV. Opened in 2020, this is the couple’s second Cornish venture, and it’s already making waves on the local culinary scene.
Sourcing only those ingredients that really are ripest for picking or plucking, Appleton’s does brunch, lunch and dinner very well indeed. Indulge in ‘crispy bits’ like croquettes right through to a whipped lemon panna cotta via squid ink linguine or a rose harissa fish stew.
Seafood? Check. Stylish decor? Check. Waterfront location? Check. Whatever’s on your wish-list, this smart Falmouth establishment is set to serve up oodles of flavour and Cornish charm.
Hooked on the Rocks overlooks both a peach of a beach and a nature reserve. During summer, the outdoor terrace provides the perfect place for you to devour succulent seafood or the perfectly prepared catch of the day.
Enjoy soothing sea views and a cool, contemporary vibe from the scenic backdrop as you tuck into seasonal specialities. All prepared with care and generously sprinkled with ingredients such as smoked sea salt, Trewithen butter, Falmouth Bay crab or Cornish haddock.
Read all about South Cornwall’s irresistible charms.
Michelin restaurants in West Cornwall
Head chef Jude’s multicultural heritage may well be the secret to Kota’s success. Half Chinese Malay and half Maori, his Porthleven eatery is one of West Cornwall’s finest.
It’s best to book early if you want to see why the Waitrose Good Food Guide, Harden’s, Cornwall Life Magazine and the AA food teams are all so impressed. The set and tasting menus offer incredibly good value for money too.
Once you know that ‘Kota’ translates as ‘shellfish’ you have a good idea of what to expect. Our top tip? Just get in quick before the crowds descend and prices shoot up accordingly.
A typical whitewashed Cornish pub it may appear, but The Square’s central location also gives this restaurant something of a more exotic air, along the lines of an Italian piazza or even a Greek Plateia.
With a laid-back bistro style vibe, a partially covered terrace is a practical touch that can help diners to make the most of Britain’s unpredictable maritime climate. Children are welcome inside and out, so this is the ideal eatery for those holidaying as a family. Your pet pooch can even join you outdoors.
The ever-changing menus begin with coffee and cake from 11am to dinner service until 9pm. Typical mains range from fish and chips to panko crumbed cauliflower curry or sirloin steak with a beef dripping and red wine dressing.
If you’re seeking St Ives restaurants with Michelin star quality food, look no further than the Porthminster Beach Café. With sweeping views over the soft white sands, this Cornish eatery has a light-filled space with a cool coastal vibe.
There is also a heated, enclosed terrace, so you can watch the brooding, moody skies during less clement weather while scoffing delicious, freshly prepared dishes. With a clear conscience, too, some ingredients are sourced from the almost tropical kitchen garden on site, meaning they incur absolutely no food miles whatsoever.
Meals are served from breakfast through to dinner. If you like, you can also book the ‘Porthminster Experience’, a veritable feast complete with signed cookbook and champagne as well as a fruits de mer platter. Truly scrumptious!
Heading west? Don’t miss this guide to windswept West Cornwall!
While you’re here, why not discover even more of Cornwall’s finest foodie delights?
If this post has primed your senses for the ultimate West Country holiday, click the link to view our gorgeous collection of coastal and countryside cottages in Cornwall.