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Where to eat and drink in Cornwall

Legend has it that the Devil wouldn't dare attempt to venture across the River Tamar into Cornwall for fear of being put in a Cornish pasty as the filling. While still renowned for its devilishly good, flaky, golden parcels, Cornwall has evolved into something of a food mecca. Today, every bite tells a story of the land, the sea, and the artisans who craft these dishes. The Devil may not dare to cross the Tamar, but for food lovers, Cornwall is nothing short of heavenly.

Big fans of ingredients grown, reared, and rooted on home soil, we're rounding up where to eat and drink in Cornwall by category: from fine-dining seafood establishments where the catch is flipped from boat to plate, to earthy farm-to-fork restaurants showcasing the region's agricultural riches. In amongst them, you'll find gnarly surf shacks, café's with ocean views, and gastropubs with Michelin chops.


The best farm-to-table restaurants in Cornwall

The grand interior of the scullery in The Pig in Padstow, Cornwall, taken by Jake Eastham
The Pig in Padstow, by Jake Eastham

Crocadon, St Mellion

Pulling up a pew at Cornwall's increasingly crowded Michelin-star stable, Dan Cox – winner of the Roux Scholarship who cut his teeth alongside Simon Rogan at L'Enclume – has set up shop on a 120-acre farm in the southeast. This self-sufficient enterprise, Crocadon Farm, dishes up a hyper-seasonal menu led by what's grown and reared on the land, featuring innovative techniques like fermenting, smoking, and open-fire cooking. The farm boasts two orchards, grazing space for cattle and sheep, a microbrewery, and a kiln for handmade pottery – a gorgeous souvenir. With striking views of the Tamar Valley, Crocadon Farm is attracting feet to this often-forgotten region to see what all the fuss is about.


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. 


The Pig, Padstow

The Pig needs little introduction, and the one at Harlyn Bay has got to be one of our favourites in the group. The menu is guided by what's just ripened in the kitchen garden (go for a wander if you arrive in daylight), and the seafood is snagged at sunrise by fishermen who you can almost see from the grounds. An impressive 80% of what's served here comes from no more than 25 miles from the doorstep. Pop into the map room of this Jacobean manor for a tipple before snuffling your way through delightful dishes from a menu guided by the seasons. If the Cornish weather is playing ball, ditch the dining room for the more casual, canopied Lobster Shed, where the must-try dish is the signature wood-fired lobster, paired with a crisp Camel Valley Brut from the nearby vineyard.


Coombeshead Farm, Lewannick

This unique venture is led by Tom Adams, the chef behind London's meat-centric Pitt Cue, and April Bloomfield, of New York’s Michelin-starred Spotted Pig fame. Exposed beams, stone walls and rustic furnishings create a European ‘agriturismo’ feel – this is somewhere you’ll receive a hearty welcome and generous plates of good, honest food. The farm-to-fork philosophy shines through in the seasonal ingredients, many of which are grown on-site. Expect tantalising bites like home-reared ham, and crackers topped with salted plums. It’s a sociable affair, rooted in a shared culinary experience; diners are each served a set three-course menu centred around rare-breed Mangalitza pigs. The farm also has a bakery – call ahead to pre-order your own loaf of artisanal bread.


The best restaurants in Cornwall with a sea view

An open-plan restaurant with an entire glass wall at Ugly Butterfly in St Ives in Cornwall
Ugly Butterfly in St Ives

Ugly Butterfly, St Ives

“There's no such thing as an ugly butterfly, in the same way as there is no such thing as food waste." So says Scottish-born Adam Handling, who has delighted the culinary world with his commitment to making exquisite dishes with zero food waste. True to his cause, Ugly Butterfly combines ingredients sourced from growers, farmers and fishermen across Cornwall into ingenious plates, served in a glass-walled dining room strung with dried flowers. 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. 


Porthminster Beach Café, St Ives

Porthminster Beach Café, a whitewashed spot on St Ives beach, has been an epicurean staple for over three decades. With numerous accolades to its name, this lively restaurant offers the perfect setting for a day out with the family. The bright dining room features simple wooden furniture and tiled floors, while the patio is ideal for alfresco dining. Asian-Med flavours are showcased through its global menu, which puts fresh Cornish seafood at the forefront – think crispy fried squid with citrus-miso dressing, while the café's kitchen garden provides a colourful array of vegetables to complement the seafood offerings. Note the wine served in plastic ice buckets reminiscent of those used for building sandcastles.


The Fish House, Fistral Beach

Owned and operated by chef Paul Harwood, who honed his skills under the tutelage of Rick Stein, the ever-popular Fish House overlooking Fistral beach in Newquay 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. 


The best seafood restaurants in Cornwall

A small table in front of a window at Outlaw's Fish Restaurant in Port Isaac in CornwallOutlaw's Fish Kitchen in Port Isaac

The Seafood Restaurant, Padstow

Rick Stein's iconic Seafood Restaurant is widely credited with kickstarting Cornwall's gastronomic revolution when it opened its doors in 1975, and his flagship establishment remains a heavyweight on the culinary scene. While Stein may no longer be a regular presence in the kitchen, his timeless recipes continue to shine; classic dishes include lobster thermidor, its succulent meat bathed in a velvety, cognac-infused sauce, and his legendary Indonesian curry. The restaurant’s legacy as a trailblazer in Cornwall's food scene is a testament to Stein’s vision, and a pilgrimage to this seafood shrine is a must.


Argoe, Newlyn

This tiny, unpretentious fish restaurant has earned a reputation for serving the freshest catch, straight from the day boats to the table. The menu changes daily, depending on what the fishermen bring in, ensuring that diners are treated to the best of the season's offerings. Dishes are served as sharing plates, encouraging a communal dining experience that brings people together over a love of fresh food and natural wines. For those who haven't secured a reservation, Argoe offers a delightful alternative – the terrace. On temperate days, this outdoor seating area is perfect for enjoying the fresh sea air.

Outlaw's Fish Kitchen, Port Isaac

Nathan Outlaw, a celebrated figure in Cornwall's culinary scene, helms two Michelin-starred restaurants in the village of Port Isaac, known for its appearances in the TV series “Doc Martin” and as the home of the Fisherman's Friends. Housed within a 15th-century fisherman's cottage, the menu at Outlaw's Fish Kitchen is a testament to the chef's commitment to sustainability. The kitchen team prepare a selection of dishes for the table to share, adapting to the ever-changing bounty of the sea and the whims of the weather. As they say here, the menu truly depends on “when the boat comes in”.


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! 


Prawn on the Lawn, Padstow

Prawn on the Lawn, a small but mighty seafood bar in Padstow (the original is in Islington), has risen to fame despite competition from well-established restaurants. Owners Rick and Katie Toogood have created a unique blend of traditional fishmongers and seafood bar, with a simple, inviting atmosphere. Tuck into whole Padstow brown crab or platters brimming with mussels, clams, and langoustines. Prawn on the Lawn has expanded to include a summery space at nearby Trevibban Mill vineyard, where diners can savour the same fresh seafood while taking in rural and estuary views.


The best fine-dining restaurants in Cornwall

Fine dining plates and wine at MINE restaurant in Cornwall, taken by Robin MarklandMINE in Falmouth

Paul Ainsworth at No6, 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.


Appleton’s, Fowey

Andy Appleton, former head chef at Fifteen Cornwall, has brought his Mediterranean-inspired restaurant to the waterside; here, the Italian proverb “a tavola non si invecchia” (at the table one does not become old) comes to life. The menu showcases the best Cornish ingredients, expertly woven into classic Italian dishes with a modern twist. Think squid-ink linguine with Cornish crab, followed by baked cheesecake with tangy rhubarb. High-end comfort food in a warm and inviting space? Yes, please.


MINE, Falmouth

Hidden in a cobbled courtyard behind Falmouth's waterfront, MINE reigns supreme among the town's glittering necklace of sophisticated restaurants and wine bars. This intimate dining spot is helmed by Le Gavroche-trained chef Angus Bell, who expertly crafts playful, affordable dishes that showcase the best seasonal Cornish produce. With its decadent dinner-party ambience and Bell's passionate approach to cooking, MINE offers a fine-dining experience that always promises a good night out.


The best gastropubs in Cornwall

The cosy green snug at Gunnard's Head in Cornwall
The Gurnard's Head in St Ives

The Gurnard’s Head, St Ives

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. 


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. 


Tolcarne Inn, Newlyn

When chef Ben Tunnicliffe took the reins of this historic pub, originally constructed in 1717, his goal was to maintain its legacy as a cosy locals’ inn while elevating the dining experience with some of the best seafood in the country. The secret to its Michelin-starred success lies in its simplicity: real ales and Cornish ciders flow from the taps, while the menu showcases the freshest catch landed by Newlyn's fishermen. A chalkboard menu reads like an ode to the sea, featuring a variety of fish and shellfish according to seasonal abundance. Working closely with local fishmongers, Tunnicliffe remained committed to the sustainability of Cornwall's precious fisheries for future generations.


The Standard Inn, Portscatho

The Roseland Peninsula has become a favourite hideaway for A-list celebrities. Its unique microclimate and abundance of delectable ingredients make it the perfect setting for Simon Stallard’s latest venture, The Standard Inn. Building on the success of his Hidden Hut, Stallard brings his signature seafood and slow-roasted meat dishes to the charming village pub in Portscatho. Visitors can enjoy real ales alongside food from the wood-fired grill kitchen, featuring dishes like St Austell mussels in cider and roast-beef rump sandwiches, all while soaking up the atmosphere of a proper pub.


The best food shacks and beach cafés in Cornwall

An aerial view of a long beach dining table at the Hidden Hut in the Roseland Peninsula in CornwallHidden Hut in the Roseland Peninsula

Verdant Seafood Bar, Falmouth

Despite being pint-sized, this no-booking seafood spot is impossible to miss, thanks to the lengthy queue of eager diners patiently awaiting their turn to indulge in the tapas-style fish dishes that fly out of the kitchen at a pace that rivals the fishermen’s deliveries. The restaurant's interior is perpetually abuzz with activity, but if you're fortunate enough to snag a perch, you can savour your small plate amid the lively atmosphere. Alternatively, take your dish for a short stroll down to the water’s edge and enjoy it against the backdrop of the stunning harbour view.


Hidden Hut, Roseland Peninsula

Porthcurnick Beach has become a culinary hotspot thanks to the Hidden Hut's legendary feast nights. The secret may be out, but the allure of this beachside dining experience remains as strong as ever. Picture yourself gathered around a crackling fire pit, the tantalising aromas of paella, wood-roasted lamb, and freshly caught River Fal shellfish wafting through the salty air. These evenings are so popular that securing a seat requires keeping a keen eye on the Hidden Hut's not-so-secret social media updates, where the next event is eagerly announced. If you're unable to snag a coveted spot at one of these famous foodie evenings, fear not; get yours to take away, then stroll along the coast path to find a quiet place to savour the moment.


The Mussel Shoal, Porthleven

The Mussel Shoal is a casual seafood shack in Porthleven (and a second spot opened in Carlyon Bay) that has become a beloved foodie institution among hungry beachgoers, coast path walkers, and surfers who have just tackled one of the most challenging reef breaks in the Southwest. The unique name pays homage to Muscle Shoals, a shallow zone of the Tennessee River in Alabama, USA, where mussels were once gathered and later became a historic site for soul, rock, and country music. In summer, you can eat the catch while floating on the water by dining on the pontoon; somehow, it works.


Feeling inspired? Read about the Michelin-starred stays, discover the Great British food renaissance, or browse the full collection of luxury homes in Cornwall.


With thanks for images to Jake Eastham, Robin Markland, Kate Whitaker, Paul Massey, The Pig, Porthminster Café, Outlaw's Fish Restaurant, MINE, Gunnard's Head, and Hidden Hut.

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