You’d expect Cornwall to have great produce and plenty of excellent food options, and you won’t be disappointed. To help whet your appetite, we’ve listed a smorgasbord of our favourite places to eat in this unique and beautiful county.
There are options for every taste and budget, so you’ll find all manner of places including foodie pubs, coastal cafes and famous restaurants. We’ve even included a traditional local pasty shop selling the most famous Cornish export of them all, including by mail order!
Because there’s always more to a good eatery than just its food, we’ve touched on those little details that make a surprisingly big difference – things like a stunning setting or outdoor seating for admiring the view!
This popular pub serves simple but lovingly prepared meals based on recipes from Rick Stein – one of the UK’s best-loved celebrity chefs. Delicious dishes here include burgers and other pub classics, with a healthy nod to the sea including delicious scampi in a basket or mussels and chips.
Drinkers can enjoy a range of fine beers from St Austell Brewery, not to mention the pub’s excellent selection of wines. When the sun’s out (and it often is), there’s a sizeable beer garden that’s perfect for people-watching. If you’re less lucky with the weather, a cosy log fire complements the pub’s attractive interior.
There’s also a children’s menu and gluten-free options, and you can even bring your dog along too, as long as they’re well behaved and on a lead.
You haven’t really experienced Cornwall until you’ve eaten one of its iconic pasties, and a Philps bakery is definitely the place to go! With shops in Hayle, Marazion and Praze-an-Beeble (yes, that is a real place), you’re more than likely to pass nearby at some point on your Cornish adventure. If not, you should definitely make a detour.
Philps pasties are the real deal, generously packed with delicious mince, steak or chicken fillings and made using locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible. Pasties don’t get any more Cornish than this!
Traditional recipes and presentation might be key here, but vegetarians are still catered for with cheese or vegetable options to choose from. There are cakes and confectionary too, for those with a sweet tooth. Don’t worry about getting hooked, Philps even run a postal delivery service!
This busy café serves up delicious dishes and tasty treats. The menu offers a good choice of breakfasts, sandwiches, wraps and salads, and there are healthy options for kids and adults as well as some dangerously irresistible cakes, cookies and flapjacks!
Trained baristas serve the kind of brew that other cafes aspire to, while their hot chocolates are perfect for thawing out after swimming or surfing nearby.
The café has seating indoors and out, and you can choose the shady area around the building or even climb steps to its terrace with amazing views of the surrounding dunes and water.
If you’re just passing through and don’t have time to linger, don’t despair, takeaways are available. These are served in biodegradable packaging, in line with the café’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact and preserving the beauty of Cornwall.
With restaurants in Truro and St Austell, Hubbox should be firmly on your to-dine list if you like US-inspired food in cool, urban surroundings. Burgers, ‘dogs’ and craft beers are the order of the day, and the food certainly has that authentic US flavour.
The menu features classics like chilli dogs, wings and nachos with guacamole, and there are plenty of burgers to choose from as well as BBQ dishes and pulled pork. Round off your meal with a rap-themed ice cream!
Truro’s Hubbox is in a converted 19th century Grade II listed Wesleyan Chapel, described by The Guardian as one of the world’s ‘coolest restaurant interiors’. Meanwhile at St Austell, a low-key beach shack vibe still offers something wonderfully out of the ordinary, this time just metres from the sea!
Padstow has become a real hotspot over the years, and that’s largely thanks to the efforts of the UK’s most famous fish fan, Rick Stein. The mild-mannered celebrity chef now has a collection of eateries in this busy and charming little town, each one offering the kind of quality, passion and attention to detail you would expect.
‘Fresh fish, simply cooked’ is the mission behind The Seafood Restaurant. Its statement is lived up to in classically flavoured dishes featuring fish and shellfish often caught locally and served fresh. Rick Stein’s Café does excellent breakfasts, cakes and coffee as well as lunches and evening meals, and here you’ll find internationally influenced dishes like cod curry and pad Thai noodles.
St Petroc’s Bistro has a snug bar and lounge, and serves mouthwatering steaks including a 28-day aged Chateaubriand. Last but by no means least, Stein’s Fish & Chips needs no explanation, except to say that the quality is superb and you can eat in or take away.
As well as occupying a stunning setting at a deservedly famous beach, the Porthmeor Beach Café offers a lovely combination of a great atmosphere and delicious food.
The menu here includes tapas dishes both savoury and sweet, and you can try mouthwatering creations including crispy fried monkfish with chilli caramel, halloumi with crushed beetroot and orange dressing, or even salted chocolate and olive oil tart!
In a spot like this it would be criminal not to have outdoor seating, and here there’s lots of it. Best of all, the café has special ‘pods’ complete with blankets and heater – a great way to get some sea air and enjoy the gorgeous views if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Nathan Outlaw is another big name in Cornish parts: a well-known chef with a great reputation and a string of seafood restaurants devoted to quality. Although each restaurant offers something slightly different, the emphasis with Outlaw is always on dishes with incredible freshness and flavor.
Menus are determined by the best catches of the day, and there’s close attention paid to seasonality and sustainability. Restaurant interiors are suitably tasteful, and great service and a relaxed atmosphere add to the overall experience.
Pride of place in the Outlaw portfolio is Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, a wonderful 2 Michelin Star restaurant in Port Isaac. Inspired tasting menus feature dishes like cured monkfish with ginger, fennel and spring onions, or gurnard and Porthilly sauce. Meanwhile, Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen is a celebration of small yet original seafood plates, also at Port Isaac.
At St Enodoc Hotel in nearby Rock, Outlaw has a fine restaurant with an outdoor terrace commanding beautiful coastal views. Also overlooking the Camel Estuary is The Mariners Rock pub, an exciting collaboration between Outlaw and Sharp’s Brewery, serving more delicious seasonal food.