Culinary Cornwall - the top places to eat in the county
We've selected some great eating establishments ranging in style and price and all of them sourcing the majority of their produce from within Cornwall. Our guide also features some of the best places to grab yourself a Cornish tradition - the good old pasty.
Lewinnick Lodge, Newquay
A sign leads you from Pentire Road bordering Newquay’s surfing-famous Fistral Beach down an uneven single track, to one of Cornwall’s noted fish restaurants. It’s off the tourist route. Perched on the cliff edge, a panorama of sea, sand and surf stretches out before you as you munch. Start with breakfast, for which this place is noted. Full Cornish, perhaps or smoked salmon and scrambled egg. Lunch and dinner take you into locally-landed seafood territory; there’s plenty for meat-eaters, too. This is a place to indulge your appetite – or just call in for a coffee and cream tea.
Driftwood Bistro and Bar, Pentewanwww.driftwoodbistro.co.uk
In an elegant log cabin-style building that reaches out onto the sand, this restaurant offers a mix of Cornish, French, Cajun and Mexican influences on its menu. Most of the produce is sourced in Cornwall; we can recommend the West Country crab cakes, and Cornish sardines seared in garlic butter and lemon juice, in particular. There’s also a Little Drifters’ Menu for little people. Although this restaurant is on a campsite, you don’t have to be staying at the site to dine at the Driftwood. You can pop in for coffee too; sit at tables right on the sand, and enjoy the vista of sea, cliffs and sand.
The best place for a pasty
- The Chough Bakery, Padstow - award-winning pasties alongside the harbour
- The Oggy Oggy Pasty Company, Falmouth and Truro - offering a great variety including vegetarian recipes
- Ralph’s Store, Portscatho - Grab your pasty-to-go here, take it down to the harbour and take in the views
Stein’s Fish and Chips, Falmouth and Padstowwww.rickstein.com
Is it the fact that the battered fish and chips are cooked in beef dripping? Is it the fact that this is a Rick Stein establishment and therefore excellence is anticipated? The answer is probably “yes” to both… Lunch here is a fish and chip experience like nothing else we’ve encountered. Service is stylish, presentation matches it, the fish is so big it overhangs the plate – and the chips are chunky and delicious. If you’d rather have a takeaway, you can choose from the same menu and take your food to tables at the front of the restaurant, overlooking the harbour, if you wish.
Ship Inn, Pentewanwww.theshipinnpentewan.co.uk
In the one-time port hamlet of Pentewan, two miles from quaint fishing village Mevagissey, the Ship Inn is a noted pub eaterie. You can eat in the Ship’s garden overlooking the ancient harbour from where china clay was once shipped. The pub has two bars with a historic sailing theme in the décor; there are displays of old maritime paintings and photographs – and a great choice on the menu. Food is served both lunchtimes and evenings. Real ale seekers will find the St Austell ales selection enticing.
Rashleigh Inn, Polkerriswww.rashleighinnpolkerris.co.uk
This pub-restaurant hides itself well off the beaten track – it’s on a secluded beach. Cosy inside, ancient in character, the Rashleigh Inn creates opportunity to eat on a terrace stretching out over the sand with views of the beach and harbour – or inside, with views of the sea. It’s known as “The Inn on the Beach”. Seafood predominates but there’s plenty for carnivores. Tempted? Better book as tables are limited – especially the window-tables inside overlooking the beach.
Fifteen Cornwall, Watergate Baywww.fifteencornwall.co.uk
You can’t compile any sort of food guide to Cornwall without taking a look at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall, the strangely plain, unpretentious structure that juts out unspectacularly from a car park above a bay near Newquay and overlooks a panorama of sand and surf. There’s a surprise: although the ingredients are produced in Cornwall, the food is Italian-inspired. Come here and splash out on a five-course dinner tasting menu, or lunch or even breakfast. This famous restaurant is among the must-experience ingredients of a Cornish holiday.
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