Who’d have thought that among powerful Atlantic surf, adorable seaside harbours, and soft sandy beaches, north Cornwall’s Padstow would become such a foodie hub in the UK? This is thanks in part to celebrity chef Rick Stein, who helped turn Padstow into a foodie destination. With restaurants so great they’re attracting visitors from London and beyond to Cornwall, it’s hard to know which to visit. From the bistros and fish and chip shops to high end seafood restaurants, here’s your guide to the best restaurants in Padstow.
Heading to beautiful St Ives? Check out my guide to the best restaurants in St Ives, Cornwall.
The Seafood Restaurant, Riverside
Often taking the starring role of cuisine in the fishing town, it’s for good reason that The Seafood Restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Padstow. Rick Stein’s flagship restaurant, it dates back to 1975, and has been serving incredible seafood ever since. With head chef, Stephane Delourme, at the kitchen’s helm for over twenty years, you can expect excellent seafood with a French twist. Expect to find delicious dishes on the à la carte menu, from delicious oysters in ice, Singapore chilli crab, grilled Padstow lobster, and even classic fish and chips. The restaurant is formal and requires smart dress, but is simply excellent. Book a table, or sit at the seafood bar to enjoy a cocktail and a seafood platter.
Prawn on the Lawn, Duke Street
A strong contender for the best restaurants in Padstow, Prawn on the Lawn boasts deliciously fresh seafood dishes. The second restaurant to come from the London-based restaurant, it’s an intimate eatery with incredible food. Prawn on the Lawn takes its name from its signature dish – fresh prawns with chilli and lime on a ‘lawn’ of avocado toast. Guests can order whole fish for the table from the fish counter, from John Dory to wild sea bass. There are also some delicious oyster and shellfish platters to choose from, alongside tasty sides. The food is great, and there’s a lovely, vibrant vibe inside. Expect top service and a meal to remember.
Paul Ainsworth at Number 6, Middle Street
Chef Paul Ainsworth brought his Michelin star to Padstow nearly twenty years ago. The restaurant truly brings excellent dining to Cornwall. Start off your experience by heading up to Cici’s Bar to relax and enjoy a glass of fizz whilst browsing the menu. Afterwards, head downstairs for an unforgettable meal at undoubtedly one of the best restaurants in Padstow. Feast on the spectacular à la carte menu, which comprises dishes like fillet of beef with bacon bearnaise, wild turbot, and ‘all of the duck’. There’s a beautiful dining area with a window into the work of the chefs in the kitchen. The service is high quality while maintaining a friendly and welcoming style. Choose from the à la carte menu or a set lunchtime menu.
Caffè Rojano, Mill Square
Another creation of chef, Paul Ainsworth, Caffè Rojano maintains its status as one of the best restaurants in Padstow. Ainsworth took over the restaurant from Stanley Rojano, and even today it still delivers some of the best pizza in the area. The focus at Caffè Rojano is on delicious sourdough pizzas and fresh pasta. Favourites include the Carbonara sourdough pizza, with smoked pancetta and aged Parmigiano-Reggiano, as well as spicy pork and nduja pasta. With a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, it’s a great restaurant to enjoy tasty food. Caffè Rojano is open for breakfast and lunch as well as dinner. It’s also a Padstow restaurant with an interesting history, thanks to its’ beginnings as a bootmakers. Once upon a time, it’s where footwear was produced for the fishermen of Padstow, and the history lives on today through its authentic local roots.
Barnaby’s, Duke Street
A relatively new addition to the fishing town, Barnaby’s is owned by the same couple who run Padstow’s much loved Prawn on the Lawn. An intimate and relaxed restaurant, there’s a real emphasis at Barnaby’s on sharing plates. A former Victorian tearoom, it’s now one of the best restaurants in Padstow. There’s a wood fired oven, and the food is all about the oven. Choose from small plates like whole baby monkfish tail, or Cornish mushroom tagliatelle. There are also larger plates, comprising of a whole fish in smoked harissa butter, or Cornish lamb shoulder. Everything has a delicious flavour, and it has a menu inspired by the Middle East and ingredients produced in Cornwall wherever possible.
Mussel Box, Broad Street
Another of the best restaurants in Padstow, Mussel Box is also Padstow’s closest restaurant to the water. Located in a pretty courtyard, Mussel Box offers panoramic views across the harbour. Using local, quality ingredients, the menu has a strong focus on mussels as the name suggests, served in a variety of sauces from curry leaf with coconut cream to local Cornish cider with shallots, garlic, and thyme. Other favourites include Padstow crab with linguine, monkfish curry, and Padstow lobster with carrot slaw and fries. Cuisine is modern British, and Mussel Box serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Enjoy the informal atmosphere and the friendly staff who offer excellent service.
That’s my guide to the best restaurants in Padstow! Which is your favourite? Are there any other Padstow restaurants you’d recommend?