When in Cornwall, whether on holiday or staying a while longer, you must sample some of the many varied dining experiences on offer in the county. Cornwall has fast become one of the nation’s best loved foodie destinations thanks to its plethora of Michelin starred restaurants, cool Cafés and access to the finest, fresh ingredients. But if you’re new to Cornwall you won’t know where to start. here’s a little guide to eating out in Cornwall to send you on your way.
As one of the largest tourist resorts in Cornwall, Newquay has its fair share of great places to eat. Firm favourites like the Headland Hotel and the Beach Hut at Watergate Bay are now complemented by a rich and varied cuisine that has transformed this town into a must-visit destination for food lovers. There’s the Harbour Restaurant serving fresh fish, Gusto Deli serving Mediterranean inspired take aways and Gilmours serving some of the best Mexican burritos this side of Tijuana. For fun and frolics, head to the Stable at Fistral Beach for lovely pizzas and pies washed down with one of the many local ciders on offer.
Padstow started Cornwall’s foodie revolution and its still flying the flag with more quality restaurants per square metre than anywhere else in the county. Most famous for its association with Rick Stein, Padstow now boasts many great places to eat including Rojanos Pizzas, Pescadou Restaurant and Pucellis. All of them are top notch Padstow restaurants and surprisingly affordable. Padstow in North Cornwall is a great place to visit for a meal out or just to walk around and experience the unique character and atmosphere of this old fishing village.
In Fowey the Old Quay House exercises absolutely no portion control but if you feel you could eat a horse this is the place to start. The restaurant affords great views overlooking the river so there’s plenty to see while you’re busy devouring lunch. It is certainly popular and worth a visit. For a lighter lunch, try Lazy Jacks Café or the Lifebouy Café, both highly recommended for their tasty treats.
Falmouth has been a port of call for the Royal Navy, not to mention the odd pirate, for generations and also one of the best towns for eating out in Cornwall. This fascinating place was where Lord Nelson commissioned and equipped his ships ready for battle before venturing out to sea to give Napoleon a good thrashing. If you like a tipple with your meal visit The Brig, where the beer is served in metal tankards and the food is exemplary. The motif is definitely nautical – well more piratical really but no one seems to mind. For something a little more contemporary try Wildebeest or Hunkydory – both of which offer great tasting meals and unique dining experiences.
The tiny cobbled streets of Mousehole near Penzance are attracting more and more visitors each year. There are some great places to eat here including The Shipp Inn for good pub grub with a sea view; or Rock Pool for divine dishes such as a traditional Ploughman’s or a heavenly Cornish cream tea with home made scones and clotted cream. If you find yourself in Mousehole near Christmas sample the Stargazy Pie – named for its unusual feature of fish heads poking out of the pastry and seemingly “gazing at the stars.” The Christmas Eve celebration at The Ship is noted for the quality of the pie and also the pie is free, although guests are asked to donate a few pounds.
This small Cornish village is most famous for Tintagel Castle which stands guard on the headland overlooking the sea. This was reportedly the home of the legendary King Arthur and Queen Guinevere. But it’s not just folk-lore that Tintagel is famous for. It is growing a reputation as the home of the best Cornish pasties you will find in the peninsula. Pengenna Pasties is found on Atlantic Road – the pasties are peppery, crusty and mouth-wateringly delicious. On a sunny day there is nothing nicer than eating one sitting on the wall overlooking the castle – and be sure to pack some in your pockets to take away with you. Chefs everywhere have tried to replicate the traditional Cornish pasty – sometimes referred to as an “Oggy” but its authentic Cornish taste eludes them. Perhaps it is the sea air that makes it taste so good. You can actually order them online by the dozen but somehow it wouldn’t be the same as sitting on that wall in Tintagel!