Once known for little other than mining and fishing, over the years Cornwall has fought its way for a rightful place on the UK food map and now poses as one of the country’s most sought-after destinations for gastronomes. Recognised far-and-wide for its flourishing food scene, new restaurants have been cropping up all over the county, uniting with the age-old favourites to offer everything from Michelin-starred fine dining to farm-to-fork fare. Here is our pick of Cornwall’s best foodie spots. 


Paul Ainsworth at No.6, Padstow 

The popular coastal town of Padstow has earned a reputation as being one of Cornwall’s most famous foodie hubs, thanks to big names in the cheffing world such as Rick Stein and Paul Ainsworth. For those looking for a real gastronomic experience, the Michelin-starred Paul Ainsworth at No.6 is a restaurant that simply cannot be missed. Modern British dishes are culinary artistry, the interiors of the Georgian townhouse are elegant but not stifling, and the service is slick and attentive. The 8-course tasting menu takes you on a spectacular journey of eating - from the most buttery of cheese scones, to impressive savoury dishes such as local monkfish smoked over gorse, finishing on a high with sweet courses including rum baba with English rhubarb.

Where to stay: The Cotton Tree


The Gurnard’s Head, Zennor 

One of Cornwall’s most iconic pubs dating back to the 1800s, The Gurnard's Head stands resplendent betwixt the moorland and sea, its vibrant yellow exterior emulating the gorse flowers that line the surrounding bushes. Inside, the restaurant is unmistakably cosy; think roaring open fires, flickering candles and well-worn tables that are sure to have heard some stories in their time. But don’t be fooled - although the pub has old roots, the food is joyously 21st-century. With exciting flavours from harissa to dukkah, salsa verde to ‘nduja featuring across the menu, you'll also find classics such as whole plaice with butter sauce and rump of beef with baby onions and jus, alongside a selection of inspired vegetarian and vegan options. 

Where to stay: Nevada


SILCo, St Ives 

A recent addition to Cornwall’s food scene, SILCo has become a go-to spot for great food, drinks and views. Located in a prime spot overlooking the harbour in the centre of bustling St Ives, the restaurant’s interiors are cool and sophisticated, enjoying a calming palette of pastel pinks and beachy beiges. Offering an array of flavourful, internationally-inspired small plates, the menu includes the likes of Singapore crab fries, Katsu chicken, tamarind and coconut fish curry and Sri Lankan lentil fritters. When the sun is shining, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better way to spend the day than outside on one of the al fresco tables, frozen cocktail in hand.

Where to stay: Alba Beach House 


GP2710 - To the left, lunch at Ugly Butterfly. To the right, lunch at The Gurnard´s Head


RenMor, Newquay

Nestled on the cliffside overlooking Newquay’s iconic Fistral beach, RenMor is another impressive newbie to Cornwall’s culinary playground. Meaning “restaurant by the sea” in Cornish, RenMor is a celebration of the best of the county, where using the finest seasonal produce from local suppliers takes precedence. From the panoramic sea views to the oh-so-chic interiors, it has one of those menus where you basically want one of everything; caramelised onion brioche, Newlyn crab bisque, pollock with caviar butter sauce and quality cuts of meat cooked over embers. And don’t get me started on the puds - banana soufflé with peanut butter custard or the chocolate and orange curd tart? I guess one of everything will do. 

Where to stay: The Hatch


Nancarrow Farm Kitchen, Truro

Located on a working farm in a hidden valley, the kitchen team at Nancarrow are leading the way for sustainable, home-produced cooking in Cornwall. The rustic barn provides a beautiful setting to enjoy one of Nancarrow’s famous feast nights or farm suppers, showcasing hyper-local produce from the gardens and surrounding farm that has been prepared and cooked in an unbelievably tasty and moreish way. Cuts of hand-reared meat are cooked over open flames in the courtyard kitchen, while humble ingredients like barley are brought to life with flavours of wild mushrooms and Old Winchester cheese. 

Where to stay: The Hide


Mackerel Sky, Newlyn 

The small fishing village of Newlyn in Cornwall’s South Westerly tip is home to Mackerel Sky; a petite seafood bar serving fresh and seasonal fish-focussed small plates. The restaurant’s concept is a Cornish take on Spanish tapas - order a selection for the table, and keep going until you’re full. The menu includes everything from traditional crab sandwiches and beer-battered local fish with tartar sauce, to crispy monkfish burgers with seaweed mayo and crab nachos with jalapenos. Accepting walk-ins only, this seafood spot attracts the crowds, so be sure to plan ahead! 

Where to stay: The Crafter's Hut


GP2711 - To the left, lunch at Paul Ainsworth at No.6 to the right, Nancarrow Farm


Ugly Butterfly, Carbis Bay 

Located above the golden sands of Carbis Bay beach, Ugly Butterfly is a unique fine dining spot where using as much of every animal and vegetable is as important to the chefs as serving up all-bells-and-whistles dishes is. Start with local oysters and finish with a “Food fight” (chef Adam Handling’s winning dessert on BBC’s Great British Menu), with courses such as hogget with Jersey Royals, and Cornish brill with mussels in between. There will almost certainly be some playful elements too (hello dry ice!) so be sure to bring your camera. 

Where to stay: Lightkeepers


The Fish House, Newquay 

The ever-popular Fish House overlooking Fistral beach is one of the county’s best spots for a seafood supper. Whether you go for a light lunch or the whole shebang, The Fish House’s menu has some firm favourites and daily-rotating specials including Cornish mussels, Korean fried monkfish with Asian noodle salad and a classic Fritto Misto (mouthwateringly moreish fried morsels, including everything from crispy squid to salt cod-stuffed piquillo peppers). The vibes and views here, especially at sunset, are always spot on, so if you’re a Fish House first-timer, be prepared to visit again and again. 

Where to stay: The Limit


The Ferry Boat Inn, The Helford 

The Helford Estuary has to be one of Cornwall’s most beautiful spots, so it’s little wonder why the long-standing Cornish pubs that line the water’s edge here are always bursting with locals and holidaygoers, whatever the weather. The Ferry Boat Inn is a great example, dating back 300 years, offering tranquil views across the water from inside or out. The menu is definitely a crowd pleaser; with Cornish fish & chips up for grabs alongside the likes of seafood linguine, mackerel tacos and cheeseburgers, with a great selection of Cornish ales to accompany. 

Where to stay: Wildwood Holt


Kota Kai, Porthleven 

Located in the charming seaside village of Porthleven; home to an array of brilliant restaurants, Cornish pubs that make you feel like you’re stepping back in time and exciting street food venders, Kota Kai in the village’s heart is a trusted spot for delicious fare and good vibes. With an Asian-inspired menu, flavour-packed dishes here include the likes of bao buns, salt and pepper squid, Massaman curry, Tom Yum noodle broth and laksa. The restaurant is airy and light, with beautiful views across the harbour, iconic clocktower and out to sea. In the summer, tables are moved outside onto Porthleven’s harbour head; the perfect spot to enjoy a cold glass of wine and watch the sky turn to pink come sunset. 

Where to stay: Villa Boden