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A small fishing village to the west of the Camel estuary, Padstow is the ideal base for exploring the stunning north Cornwall coast. Much of the town's culinary reputation stems from its long association with fish guru and celeb chef Rick Stein, whose empire of restaurants, cafés, hotels and delis continues to pull in gastro-tourists eager for a taste of what has been dubbed 'Padstein'.
But there are plenty of other eateries, boozers, tearooms and food shops to savour, many of them making the most of the abundant local seafood, as well as meat and vegetables from nearby farms. And if you find yourself enjoying too much of the great grub on offer, you can always work it off by cycling or walking along the Camel Trail that connects Padstow with Bodmin.
See below for our selection of 10 of the best Padstow picks...
Just a minute from the quayside, this friendly and traditional 14th-century pub is where the locals meet for pints of Cornish ale, honest home-cooked grub and specials such as fish pie. With its olde-worlde feel and family room, the Golden Lion is also ideal for those with hungry children in tow.
Located in the picturesque village of St Merryn, near Padstow, owner Ed Rafferty's buzzy café and wine bar majors on local produce. Tuck into a bowl of Porthilly mussels, perhaps with a glass of Cornish Orchard cider, and time your visit to coincide with one of the live music nights.
Set back in a courtyard down a cobbled alley known as The Drang and housed in a former sailing workshop, this popular café and bar boasts fabulous harbour views from its alfresco dining area. It's a perfect spot to enjoy morning coffee, lunch or a locally sourced dinner of Cornish spring lamb tagine.
Opened in 1980 by Elaine and Rob Ead, this small quayside bakery has won countless awards for its handcrafted products, including Cornish pasties made using 100 per cent local ingredients. The bakery also produces a range of breads and sweet treats ranging from spelt and honey loaves to saffron cakes – a traditional Cornish delicacy.
A handsome white Georgian building in a quiet street away from the main drag, this Rick Stein-owned hotel oozes character with cosy fireplaces, low wooden beams and an abundance of luxury touches in its 10 bedrooms. St Petroc’s Bistro showcases many of the celeb chef’s trademark fish dishes.
Sibling to No.6, this long-established Italian restaurant has been part of Padstow's scene for three decades. Now co-owned by chef Paul Ainsworth, it's a buzzy family eatery with a short, perfectly balanced cocktail list offering expertly made classics, all of which can be sipped on the heated and covered terrace.
Since gaining his first Michelin star in 2012, ex-Gordon Ramsay and Marcus Wareing protégé Paul Ainsworth has firmly established his restaurant as one of Cornwall's must-visit gastronomic destinations. Local produce dominates the innovative menus – think day-boat monkfish with bone marrow, parsley, sour cream and veal shin salad.
Close to the harbour's edge, this bright and breezy coffee shop is a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike. From cooked breakfasts in the morning to crab sandwiches and fish platters at lunch, the friendly Cherry Trees covers all bases, and its must-try afternoon cream teas are the stuff of local legend.
With only a handful of tables, booking for dinner is pretty much essential at chef Adrian Oliver's intimate bistro near the harbour. Local produce is a cornerstone of the kitchen’s output, with popular dishes ranging from grilled mackerel fillets to confit duck leg with spring onion mash and red wine sauce.
As the name suggests, Kevin and Flo Parsons' popular St Merryn restaurant takes its inspiration from the Mediterranean – although its predominantly Italian dishes are created using mainly seasonal produce from Cornish producers. Smaller portions suit the youngsters, likewise stone-baked pizzas and ice creams.