There’s no better place than Cornwall to enjoy fresh delicious seafood. Look out across the sea and dig into the freshest of fish at one of these amazing restaurants dotted along the Cornish coast. From harbour-side cafés to Michelin star restaurants, we’ve hunted out the very best, now all you have to do is try them all out for yourself!
1. The Basement, Padstow
Whether you fancy a hearty Cornish breakfast, a flavoursome fish dish or an imaginative dessert, The Basement in Padstow ticks all of the boxes. All of the food, from the marmalade at breakfast through to the ice cream for dessert, is prepared on the premises and with the seafood arriving on a daily basis, it’s about as fresh as it can get. We recommend that you try the Seafood Spaghetti, or the Fish and Chips – you’ll never want the traditional battered cod version ever again!
2. Squid Ink, Looe
In a characterful building along the narrow streets of Looe you’ll find seafood restaurant Squid Ink. Specialising in local fish and seafood caught from small trawlers, netting boats and line fishing boats in Looe, their menu fuses British with Asian and Mediterranean influences to create an eclectic and delectable selection of dishes.
3. Fresh From The Sea, Port Isaac
Raved about for the fresh crab and lobster sandwiches and salads, this family run business offers sustainably caught shellfish, landed daily by their own boat, ‘Mary D’. Fresh From The Sea also specialises in sustainable Cornish fish, with delicious locally caught mackerel and pollack alongside a fabulous range of mussels, oysters and clams from Rock. If the weather permits, sit in the courtyard and indulge in some juicy, beautifully presented lobster with an ice-cold glass of white wine!
4. The Wheel House, Falmouth
This cosy and rustic crab and oyster bar likes to keep it simple, serving just seafood and allowing the fresh, melt-in-your-mouth taste of their seafood to shine. With a calm ambience, excellent service and a great selection of wine to accompany your meal, you really won’t be disappointed by your experience at The Wheel House. Rated the best seafood restaurant on TripAdvisor, the reviews speak for themselves!
5. Hooked on the Rocks, Swanpool, Falmouth
Lazy lunches. Decadent dinners. Sublime shellfish. Hooked on the Rocks is a quick walk away from the bustle of Falmouth town and is all about relaxed and fun dining experiences. With Swanpool Beach below and views over to Pendennis Castle and St Anthony’s Lighthouse, it’s a spectacular setting whatever the weather. The ever-changing platters are a great way to try local shellfish and the crab and lobster tank is an old favourite for crustacean fans, so head along for a morning coffee in the sun, a long and lazy al fresco lunch, or a magical evening meal.
6. The Shore, Penzance
The Shore, a new neighbourhood restaurant in Penzance, is run by chef Bruce Rennie (previously head chef in Michelin starred restaurant Martin Wishart, The Gurnard’s Head, Gary Rhodes and Rick Stein) and offers a small menu, crafted using the best ingredients available on a daily basis. Serving unfussy yet ridiculously tasty dishes (including Dreckly’s crab & lobster florentine and succulent line caught pollack), this is a wonderful addition to Cornwall’s seafood eateries and well worth a visit (or three!).
7. The Breaks Beach Bar and Seafood Kitchen, Newquay
Expect laid-back vibes, a cool beach house interior and jazzy sounds at this buzzing beachside restaurant. Producing inspirational dishes, packed with flavour and using the finest local ingredients, The Breaks Beach Bar and Seafood Kitchen is a unique venue for pre surf breakfasts, lazy lunches and sunset dinners. The day-boat caught fish and shellfish dishes are the true stars of the menu, just make sure that you wash them down with a great cocktail or local cider for ultimate relaxation!
8. SeaDrift Kitchen, Porthleven
On Porthleven’s picturesque fishing harbour is the SeaDrift Kitchen, a contemporary cafe specialising in fish and seafood. The atmosphere is cosy and quirky, the menu suits all budgets and tastes, and the experience is unpretentious and relaxed. It’s a true gem just waiting to be discovered!
9. The Ferryboat Inn, Helford Passage, Falmouth
The Ferryboat Inn sits on the stunning Helford River, overlooking the beds of the Wright Brothers oyster farm. Bring your family to the adjacent beach, walk the coastal path and savour the incredible views from the large terrace whilst you taste the freshest oysters, harvested direct from the adjoining waters. The Ferryboat Inn serves a menu of the finest locally caught seafood and regional, seasonal dishes freshly prepared by head chef Robert Bunny.
10. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw
Nathan Outlaw‘s 2 Michelin star restaurant serves a seafood tasting menu for lunch and dinner packed with delicious and sustainable fresh seafood, caught by small day boats on the Cornish coast. As one of Cornwall’s leading chefs, it’s no surprise Nathan Outlaw’s restaurant made it onto our list. So prepare to be amazed by one of the very best seafood dining experiences you’ll ever have!
11. Amity, Newquay
A new venture by oyster specialist Katy Davidson, Amity serves a variety of seafood specialities including tasty tapas, tempura and ceviche alongside the more traditional crab and prawn sandwiches. Fresh from Newquay Harbour and local fishermen, all of the seafood is prepared and cooked by Katy, ready for you to whisk away and enjoy in the sunshine. Amity also offers a seafood platter service – give just 24 hours notice you can pick up a seafood feast of epic proportions. Follow Amity on Facebook for updates about the daily specials.
12. Rum and Crab Shack, St Ives
Located on a stunning position on the harbour front in St Ives, The Rum and Crab Shack has quickly become a favourite in this foodie town. Cooking is focused on shellfish with a Creole influence so expect a cracking Gumbo and Crab and Chorizo Jamalaya alongside Lobster Macaroni and a Soft-shell Crab Burger. The bar stocks over fifty rums from around the world and this summer the shack launched their very own rum, Dead Man’s Fingers.
13. Falmouth Bay Seafood Café, Truro
Situated within a beautiful grade II listed building in Truro, Falmouth Bay Seafood Café is dedicated to sustainable fishing. Working closely with local suppliers and fishermen, the restaurant serves delicious seasonal produce, from line caught fish and lobster main courses to ‘A Taste of the Cornish Coast’, a mouth-watering medley of the finest Cornish seafood. Keep an eye on their website for regular themed events and live music to enjoy while tucking in and soaking up the sunshine in the dog-friendly garden.
14. Ostraca, Crinnis Beach, Carlyon Bay, St Austell
Ostraca is an exciting pop up restaurant and bar, serving plenty of scrumptious fish and seafood dishes throughout the summer on Crinnis Beach. There is seating for eight inside, but if the weather is good, we recommend that you dine alfresco and enjoy delicious Cornish sardines, scallops, crab or oysters while admiring the bay. Book online for a special lunch, an evening meal or one of their BYOB feast nights!
15. The Sharksfin, Mevagissey
Watch the fishing boats meander in while enjoying local beers and fresh seafood specials at The Sharksfin. Serving locally sourced Cornish produce with a hint of an American twist, items on the menu include a mouth-watering smoked mackerel and tuna dip (great to share), divine crab on toast with brown crab butter and excellent fish tacos. If you love bold flavours, generous portions and local ales, this one’s for you!
16. Lamorna Cove Cafe, Lamorna
Nestled into a pretty, privately owned cove, Lamorna Cove Café serves chunky crab sandwiches, scrumptious crab and lobster burgers in Baker Tom buns, divine smoked mackerel salads and much more. Stop off for a snack while wandering the picturesque coast path from Mousehole to Porthcurno or treat yourself to lunch after a morning kayaking or exploring the family friendly beach below.
17. The Godolphin Arms, Marazion
The Godolphin Arms is on the water’s edge of Mount’s Bay along a two mile stretch of beach in the historic market town of Marazion. It overlooks St Michael’s Mount, with one of the most magnificent beachside views in the country. You can walk straight in off the beach to the chilled-out beach bar to peruse the all day dining menu or linger on the beachside terrace with friends, enjoying a platter of seafood whilst the waves lap at the sea wall below.
18. Sea Kitchen Looe, Looe
With sea views of the bay from Looe Island to Rame Head, the Sea Kitchen Looe is open daily from 12 noon and offers an exciting, ever-changing menu. Specialising in local fish and shellfish along with steaks and scrumptious vegetarian options, there is something to suit every taste. Lounge in the patio area with a cool drink or indulge in a tasty meal in the comfort of the restaurant before strolling along the coast path to Polperro.
19. Mackerel Sky Seafood Bar, Newlyn
A sister branch of Mackerel Sky Cafe in Penzance, Mackerel Sky Seafood Bar opened its doors for the first time this summer. Offering ‘tasting plates’ of fish and seafood from Mount’s Bay and the local area, it is the perfect place to meet a friend for lunch, share a selection of dishes and unwind in the wonderfully relaxed atmosphere. Situated in one of Britain’s busiest fishing ports and home to the famous Newlyn fish market, the supply of fresh fish is fantastic and the proof really is in the tasting!
20. Life’s A Beach, Bude
With incredible views overlooking Summerleaze beach in Bude, Life’s A Beach serves up easy beach side treats during the day and incredible fish specials in the evening. Open from 7pm, enjoy their wide ranging and creative menu of fresh local produce, including their famous salt baked bream, pan fried local hake fillet with shellfish, tray baked bass fillet and tiger prawn and monkfish curry. Highly acclaimed amongst the locals to Bude, this place books up fast, and it’s no wonder why!
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‘Top 20 Seafood Restaurants In Cornwall ’ is an adapted feature from our Aug/Sept 2015, Vol.2 Issue 31. Subscribe to myCornwall magazine for more stories like this one.