Best restaurants in Cornwall

The most famous edible export of Cornwall is the Cornish pasty (or arguably, a jam-first cream tea), but the foodie scene in this county extends well beyond those distinctively crimped edges. The best restaurants in Cornwall are awash with outstanding seasonal produce, presented in increasingly creative ways by both stalwart local chefs and those who have migrated from big cities like London in search of a somewhat calmer coastal existence. Those who prefer a more relaxed meal will also find themselves spoiled for choice with cosy traditional pubs and an array of flavourful casual bites to suit any budget. Add a glass or two of the area’s home-grown wine, cider or ale, and you’ll have a recipe for success.

Updated on 13 July 2023

Boasting the longest coastline in Great Britain, as well as one of the sunniest climates, Cornwall is the UK’s ultimate seaside destination – and Cornwall’s best restaurants naturally take pride in this reputation, showcasing the abundant local seafood with relish. Whatever the occasion, the vast variety of restaurants in Cornwall can cater to it, from buzzy Newquay and central city Truro to scenic shorefront destinations like St Ives or Port Isaac. 

Rick Stein’s name has become synonymous with Cornish cooking, with Padstow even sometimes dubbed ‘Padstein’ by frequenters of his famed seafood restaurant. But the TV chef is just one of many restauranteurs who are making the area a must-visit destination for diners, and their openings are all well worth your patronage. In fact, the only problem you might have when eating out in Cornwall is figuring out which menu to try out first. 

Overwhelmed? Fear not: we’ve done our research and found the most exciting, innovative ideas being dished up throughout the county, so whether you’re taking a well-earned holiday, marking a milestone with a special meal or a resident in search of your next wow-factor plate, there’ll be something in our round-up for you. And if a listing takes your fancy, all you need to do is click through to read our full review and make your reservation.  

Zacry

Zacry's at Watergate Bay Hotel

Watergate Bay Hotel, On the beach, Watergate Bay, Newquay, Cornwall, TR8 4AA

Zacry’s brasserie makes the most of the outstanding ingredients found on its doorstep, from starters of Cornish crab with pickled cucumber and seaweed mayo to local plaice served with sauté potatoes and lobster butter. 

£30 - £49
Modern European
British
International
The Idle Rocks

The Idle Rocks

Harbourside, St. Mawes, Cornwall, TR2 5AN

St Mawes’ hotel and restaurant The Idle Rocks has an award-winning seafood-heavy menu, with head chef Guy Owen taking inspiration from both France and Asia for his dishes. Enjoy the sight of the harbour as you sample delicate lobster raviolo or curried Newlyn hake.

£50 - £79
Modern European
Paul Ainsworth at No. 6

Paul Ainsworth at No. 6

6 Middle Street, Padstow, Cornwall, PL28 8AP

This Michelin-starred townhouse is the ultimate destination for contemporary British cuisine with, of course, a Cornish twist, particularly if you’re marking a special occasion. Arrive for your reservation early and enjoy an aperitif in the adjacent Cici’s Bar.

Over £80
Modern European
British
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Rojano

Rojano's in the Square

9 Mill Square, Padstow, Cornwall, PL28 8AE

Another Paul Ainsworth property, Rojano’s is one of Cornwall’s best Italian restaurants; ideal if you’ve got a hankering for sourdough pizza or pasta, rather than the locally-favoured seafood. Be sure to save room for the signature ‘Whoopsey Splunker’ dessert.

£30 - £49
Italian
Coombeshead Farm

Coombeshead Farm

Coombeshead Farm, Lewannick, Cornwall, PL15 7QQ

Tucked away amidst 66 acres of meadows, whether you stay in the five-bed guesthouse on Coombeshead Farm or simply stop in, you won’t be disappointed. The airy converted barn serves up sustainable tasting menus and lighter bites that change with the seasons.

£50 - £79
British
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Brasserie on the Bay at St Michaels Resort

Brasserie on the Bay at St Michaels Resort

St Michaels Resort, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 4NB

Brasserie on the Bay holds two AA Rosettes for its inventive dishes, showcasing Cornish staples including duck breast, rump steak and wild mushrooms. For a healthier option, try its Garden Kitchen menu, which boasts an abundance of hearty, wholesome fare.

£30 - £49
British
Fish
The Seafood Restaurant Padstow

The Seafood Restaurant Padstow

Riverside, Padstow, Cornwall, PL28 8BY

The clue is in the name: The Seafood Restaurant was opened by Rick and Jill Stein back in 1975, and has been a popular staple ever since. Options range from the classic – fish and chips, lemon sole – to the ultra-creative like Singapore chilli crab.

Over £80
Fish
Fitzroy

Fitzroy

2 Fore Street, Fowey, Cornwall, PL23 1AQ

With a menu that focuses on sustainable ingredients and natural wine, this trendy spot in Fowey is popular with locals and tourists alike. The food flexes with the seasons, but seafood is always a good bet.

£50 - £79
British
Fish
Argoe Newlyn

Argoe Newlyn

The Strand, Newlyn, Cornwall, TR18 5HW

Set in the heart of Newlyn harbour, Argoe champions Cornish produce and aims to bring fresh fish straight from the boat onto diners’ plates. This sustainable waterside restaurant is the brainchild of ex-Rochelle Canteen chef Ben Coombs and local fishmonger, Richard Adams.

£50 - £79
British
Fish
SquareMeal UK Top 100
The Cornish Barn

The Cornish Barn

20 Chapel Street, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4AW

Laid-back dining is the order of the day at Penzance’s The Cornish Barn, where the menu covers everything from steak and burgers to mussels in white wine and cream with rosemary. Why not hire one of the stylish private party rooms for your next event? 

£30 - £49
British
Bars
Fish
The Scarlet Hotel

The Scarlet Hotel

Tredragon Road, Newquay, Cornwall, TR8 4DQ

Cornwall’s renowned eco-hotel and spa also houses The Scarlet Restaurant, which works with organic, sustainable suppliers from the area to create modern European cuisine. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all excellent, or book the showstopping Champagne afternoon tea.

£30 - £49
Modern European
British
Afternoon tea
Prawn on the Lawn Padstow

Prawn on the Lawn Padstow

11 Duke Street, Padstow, Cornwall, PL28 8AB

Padstow’s restaurant is the second branch of Prawn on the Lawn, and follows the same philosophy of being both a fishmonger and an eatery. Menus change on a regular basis depending on the catch of the day.

£30 - £49
Fish
Crocadon

Crocadon

St Mellion, Saltash, Cornwall, PL12 6RL

Ex-L'Enclume chef Dan Cox takes on the new challenge of Crocadon, celebrating both food and agriculture with this commitment to farm-to-table cooking. Here, sustainable farming sees the focus put on the wellness of the soil, following Dan’s belief that this is the key to the best tasting produce.

Over £80
British
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100
St Tudy Inn

St Tudy Inn

St Tudy, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL30 3NN

A fairly new gastro pub, the St Tudy Inn sits prettily in a little pocked of northern Cornwall's countryside. Here you'll find classic comfort food dishes with a spin - think risotto topped with a crispy quail's egg. 

£30 - £49
Gastropub
The Shore

The Shore

13/14 Alverton Street, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 2QP

Head Chef and owner of The Shore Bruce Rennie prizes produce above everything and so cooks with a seasonal focus, meaning no two days' menus are the same. With a petite dining toom, this has an almost supper-club-like feel. 

Over £80
British
Fish
Ferryboat Inn

Ferryboat Inn

Helford Passage, Falmouth, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 5LB

The 300-year-old Ferryboat Inn’s riverside location means you can take in the view of the Helford Estuary as you dine. Stop by for a cosy Sunday lunch or hard-to-beat fish and chips and feel yourself unwind with every bite.

£30 - £49
Pubs
Gastropub
The Gurnard

The Gurnard's Head

Treen, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 3DE

A picturesque, brightly-decorated pub with a short but very sweet menu of seasonally-rotating plates of regional meat, fish and greenery. Keep your eye out for the eponymous gurnard with tomato, anchovy, olive and samphire.

£30 - £49
British
Gastropub
Ugly Butterfly St Ives

Ugly Butterfly St Ives

Carbis Bay Estate, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 2NP

Adam Handling's Ugly Butterfly offers guests spectacular views of the bay while they dine on its low-waste tasting menus, which showcase local produce. What's more, any part of the ingredients that don't get used on the food menu are utilised in clever cocktails. 

Over £80
Modern European
British
Afternoon tea
Fusion
Fish
The Mariners Public House

The Mariners Public House

Slipway, Rock, Cornwall, PL27 6LD

Owned by the same Paul Ainsworth of No.6 fame, dog-friendly Mariners has only been open since May 2019 but has already developed a reputation for excellence. Sunday lunch is particularly well reviewed, as are the sweet and savoury cream teas.

£30 - £49
British
Gastropub
SquareMeal UK Top 100
Outlaw

Outlaw's Fish Kitchen

1 Middle Street, Port Isaac, Cornwall, PL29 3RH

It may reside in a quaint 15th century fisherman’s cottage, but inside Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen is a modern vision of warm woods and cosy cushion-lined benches. Expect a collection of tasty seafood sharing plates like ginger cured mackerel and tandoori monkfish.

£30 - £49
Fish
Driftwood Restaurant

Driftwood Restaurant

Rosevine, Truro, Cornwall, TR2 5EW

The 7-course tasting menu at Driftwood is a whistlestop tour through sumptuous delights from grilled Cornish monkfish with gnocchi to barbecued short rib atop celeriac and smoked bone marrow, there’s also a vegetarian version that’s equally thoughtfully devised.

£50 - £79
Modern European
The New Yard Restaurant

The New Yard Restaurant

Trelowarren, Mawgan, Helston, Cornwall, TR12 6AF

The welcoming dining room gives you a choice of two menu styles: a more informal selection of small plates, or a set menu with bigger dishes such as sirloin of beef or salt baked celeriac. All created with produce from its very own walled garden.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Porthminster Beach Café

Porthminster Beach Café

Porthminster Beach, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 2EB

Carnivores, seafood lovers, vegetarians and even vegans alike are brilliantly catered for at the Porthminster Beach Café in St Ives. Ask for a window table for a shoreline panorama that’s stunning regardless of the weather.

£30 - £49
Fish
Outlaw

Outlaw's New Road

6 New Road, Port Isaac, Cornwall, PL29 3SB

Outlaw's New Road sits on top of the hill in Port Isaac, offering a casual, inclusive dining experience with seaside views. The twelve-course tasting menu is designed to reflect the location and seasonality of ingredients.

Over £80
British
Fish
One Michelin star
SquareMeal UK Top 100

Ready to explore Cornwall's food scene a little further? Treat yourself and a loved one to the best afternoon tea in Cornwall - our curated best-list includes all the top places worth visiting, from hotels to dedicated tearooms. For a casual dinner, or just a decent pint, pay a visit to one of the many pub restaurants in Cornwall.

Further afield, you'll find a wealth of popular seaside foodie hotspots. Discover the best restaurants in Padstow, the best restaurants in St Ives and the best restaurants in Newquay, all of which boast plenty of places to eat with views of the sea. 

 

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