Set in one of the UK’s most beautiful counties with a landscape that encourages the production of incredible food, it’s not hard to find a great place to eat in St Ives. As a former fishing town, St Ives also boasts some of the most beautiful beaches and coastline in Cornwall. With such wonderful fish and crustaceans on its doorstep, you can naturally expect a plethora of delicious seafood restaurants. St Ives thrives on its unrivalled dining scene, with a great selection of restaurants to choose from. Without further ado, here’s my guide to the best restaurants in St Ives.
Heading to beautiful Padstow? Check out my guide to the best restaurants in Padstow.
Seafood Cafe, Fore Street
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve visited this wonderful seafood restaurant, but it’s with very good reason. The seafood at the Seafood Cafe is some of the freshest you’ll find in St Ives. It’s all supplied by local fishermen, so you know you’re getting great quality fish. One of the best restaurants in St Ives, the Seafood Cafe has a unique format. Each guest can take their pick of fresh fish, meat or seafood from a refrigerated counter. This selection changes daily, and is dependent on the freshest catch. You can then choose a sauce and sides to complement your fish or seafood. I’ve never been disappointed with any dish – it’s well worth a visit.
Read all about my visit to the Seafood Cafe in St Ives.
Porthmeor Beach Cafe, Porthmeor Beach
Popular with surfers and families alike, Porthmeor Beach Cafe is undoubtedly one of the best restaurants in St Ives. Nestled amongst a neighbouring surf school, the restaurant boasts beautiful views of Porthmeor Beach. Watching surfers bob over the turquoise waters while perusing from the tasty menu. Run by local chef, Nathan Madden, Porthmeor Beach Cafe prides itself on a quality menu of tapas and modern dishes. With fresh, local ingredients, come for the creative ‘build your own breakfast’ or go for delicious tapas. Favourites include the grilled sea bream and the Thai red prawn curry.
Porthminster Beach Cafe, Porthminster Beach
With sprawling views of the ocean, you can’t go wrong at Porthminster Beach Cafe. It’s situated directly on Porthminster Beach, so you couldn’t get any closer to the sea if you tried! This makes for one of the best restaurants in St Ives thanks to its incredible views and spectacular food. In its 25 strong years of existence, Porthminster Beach Cafe has developed a deserved reputation for its excellent Asian and Mediterranean cuisine. There are three primary ingredients on the menu – delicious seafood, locally grown produce, and foraged goods from the coast. Give the seafood linguine or the crispy fried whole sea bass a try.
Blas Burgerworks, Warren
For those looking for an alternative to seafood, Blas Burgerworks is one of the best restaurants in St Ives. It’s the perfect place to refuel after a long day surfing or playing on the beach. Every single ingredient is locally sourced, even down to the dips and relishes. Most importantly, the burgers are absolutely delicious, with juicy Cornish beef patties stacked with toppings. There’s also a substantial vegan and vegetarian menu, with five handmade burgers to choose from. Blas Burgerworks has a commitment to sustainability, reducing impact on the environment wherever possible. Try and save some room for one of their delicious desserts if you can!
Rum & Crab Shack, Wharf Road
Is there any more of a Cornish combo than rum and shack? Well, maybe fish and chips. But rum and crab makes for a wonderful dinner too! The Rum & Crab Shack is one of the best restaurants in St Ives. The seafood restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere and boasts an extensive menu of rum and cocktails. The food is utterly delicious, with favourites like Cornish crab, gumbo, and lobster mac and cheese on the menu. Get to the Rum & Crab Shack early to try and guarantee a seat with a view. If you’re lucky, you can wine and dine overlooking the beautiful St Ives harbour and Godrevy lighthouse. The restaurant also often hosts live music to enjoy.
Sloop Inn, The Wharf
The Sloop Inn is local icon, and one of the best restaurants in Cornwall’s St Ives. Dating back to 1312, it’s also a bit of a landmark and is thought to be one of the oldest pubs in the UK. It overlooks St Ives harbour, offering some of the best views in all of the seaside town. As you can expect, the cuisine is delicious. It serves hearty meals as well as pub favourites in its separate sections of the restaurant. Head to the Captain’s Table for delicious plates like homemade fishcakes and Cornish mussels marinière. The Sloop pub restaurant offers more casual dining, but their Sunday roast is not to be missed.
The Mermaid, Fish Street
In the rather aptly named Fish Street, The Mermaid is located in St Ives’ old fishing region. It’s unsurprising, therefore, to find such a delicious menu of scrumptious seafood dishes, all fresh and locally caught. Choose from incredible Cornwall sourced fish platters and seafood pasta – or simply go for a good old classic dish of fish and chips. Even better, go with someone you can share with! The restaurant itself is beautiful decorated with nautical design that reminds you that you’re in beautiful St Ives. Traditionally owned and run by a family, it’s an old favourite within the coastal town, and certainly one of the best restaurants in St Ives.
Cellar Bistro, Fore Street
A real hidden gem on the St Ives foodie scene, Cellar Bistro brings its beautiful bistro vibes to the seaside town. One of the best restaurants in St Ives, it has a warm and inviting atmosphere, with dark red walls, soft lighting, and romantic candlelit tables. What’s more, the food is truly beautiful. The Cellar Bistro prides itself on good honest cooking and generous portions, so come with an appetite. Expect to find hearty, comforting plates and a natural emphasis on locally caught seafood. Discover the day’s fresh catch, or enjoy classic dishes like steak and chips. Don’t miss their delicious locally sourced cheeseboard either!
The Loft, Norway Lane
If you’re after a beautiful dinner with a panoramic view across the Cornish coast, look no further than The Loft. One of the best restaurants in St Ives, The Loft is located in the artist’s quarter of the town. Take a seat on the beautiful terrace, and enjoy a glass of wine with a view over the harbour and rooftops while you peruse the menu. The Loft places an emphasis on crafting delicious plates from locally sourced ingredients. Choose from mains like Cornish mussels, chateaubriand, and pan fried cod – you won’t be disappointed with your choice. The menu changes seasonally, and there’s a specials menu for some added bonuses. You can’t go wrong with their delicious Sunday roast either.
That’s my pick of the best restaurants in St Ives! Do you have a favourite? Is there another restaurant you’d add to the list?