Cornwall's best family-friendly restaurantsPosted by Sophie Hesp on Updated on
Stand-out children’s menus and dog-friendly dining spots
With award-winning cuisine to be discovered all over the county, Cornwall’s thriving foodie scene continues to attract flocks of visitors every year. From family-run farmyard ice cream parlours to coastal cafés with rock-climbing for the kids, these family-friendly dining spots all offer something special to make their guests feel truly at home.
© Wild Café
Situated just metres from the golden sands and cresting waves of Mawgan Porth Beach, the Wild Café is a great spot for family-friendly dining with a view. Overlooking the sea, the café prides itself on simple and contemporary food, with all of its ingredients grown and prepared locally.
The three course children’s menu offers a great selection for smaller appetites, with each main course served with a bowl of fresh, seasonal vegetables to make sure everyone’s eating their greens. Children’s afternoon tea is the perfect opportunity to bring the family together, as the little ones enjoy finger sandwiches and a selection of sweet treats, while the grown-ups relax and take in the view.
Inspired by the seasons and a local team of Cornish growers, farmers and fishermen, the Wild Café’s lunch, evening and every day menus include pan fried hake, veggie curries and West Country cheeseboards. Dishes are arranged fresh each day with seasonal produce and plenty of options to keep even the fussiest eaters happy.
© Kota Kai via Instagram
One of the best-kept secrets in the South West, Kota Kai Bar and Kitchen is famed locally for its extraordinary dishes, talented chefs and relaxed friendly atmosphere. With a dedicated children’s room where younger diners can play while parents relax with a drink, the restaurant sits in a picture-perfect part of Cornwall at the head of the harbour in Porthleven.
The Beach Hut
© The Beach Hut via Instagram
Situated just moments from the sand, The Beach Hut provides the perfect spot for post-walk lunches and whipped cream hot chocolates. Find a window seat and watch the waves roll into shore as little ones peruse the menu. Expect cheesy pasta dishes and grilled chicken burgers served with colourful veggie sides. For the grown-ups, tuck into vibrant salads and warming dahls or our personal favourite, lobster and fries.
What’s more, The Beach Hut is dog-friendly, so spend a laid back afternoon here – either beside a wood burner or refuelling after beach games and sea swims.
Boscastle Farm Shop
The perfect lunchtime pit stop for a family walk along the coast path, Boscastle Farm Shop celebrates ‘food from around the corner and not around the world’, with great quality local produce at its heart. Surrounded by National Trust farmland and just moments from the sea, there’s a bright and airy tea room, a farm shop and deli, and a fantastic outside area welcoming four-legged friends and providing plenty of space for little legs to let off some steam.
Everything on the menu is made from scratch in the coastal kitchen, from seasonal soups to Cornish cream teas – and parents will be relieved to hear there’s not an additive in sight. There’s also fresh artisan bread available to enjoy in the café or to take home from the farm shop, along with a selection of local jams, preserves and snacks to keep your larder stocked up with great Cornish produce.
© Woods Café via Instagram
Nestled amongst towering trees and riverside walking routes, Woods Café is one of the county’s most treasured coffee and cake stops. Cardinham itself is home to seasonal trails for little imaginations, where children are encouraged to spy creepy crawlies and seek out woodland creatures. The paths take you along trickling streams and further afield to Lanhydrock (for those with bikes in tow).
When hungry bellies call, head into the warmth of Woods where the smell of freshly baked bread and hearty soups promise to greet you. There’s plenty of cosy seating in their tearoom or head outside for a picnic bench beside the play park. As a sister company to Ladyvale Bakery, their cakes are not to be missed. Order jam-topped scones and pots of tea or opt for their famous cheese scones if you’re more of a savoury fan.
The Sardine Factory
Delicious food to fit your lifestyle. That’s what it’s all about at The Sardine Factory Restaurant and Café, which is the perfect spot for seafood suppers, roast lunches and special celebrations with friends and family. Located in the historic fishing port of Looe, The Sardine Factory lets its ingredients speak for themselves, with dishes like crisp fried squid, wild garlic linguine and local lobster risotto all prepared just footsteps from the water.
With its very own ‘Little Sprats’ menu, and harbour side outdoor seating, The Sardine Factory is a great place to take children and dogs. What’s more, the fantastic climbing wall downstairs is sure to work up an appetite and keep everyone entertained before dinner. And if you’d like to explore more of Looe, hiring a kayak from The Sardine Factory and taking to the water is a truly unique way to get acquainted with the Cornish coast.
© The Longstore via Instagram
Loved for their incredible steak and seafood dishes, The Longstore is a real destination for foodies and families. Their relaxed atmosphere and large tables make it great for family gatherings with a children’s menu featuring their most popular dishes in smaller portions. We recommend visiting on a Sunday for a roast lunch, followed by a delicious dose of cinnamon doughnuts. Other options in Charlestown also include their sister restaurant Springtide and summertime spot, HarbourQ.
Sometimes it’s better to keep things simple when dining with little ones. Embers in Padstow is great for a quick, hassle-free bite to eat. Located a short distance from the harbour, it's instantly recognisable for its grey and orange exterior. Inside, the small family-friendly restaurant is warm and welcoming with chalkboard menus and a roaring pizza oven. Order a few pizzas to share or choose to take them away to enjoy in the comfort of your very own Padstow holiday home.
© Hubbox via Instagram
Sitting on Pentewan’s sandy shores, visit Hubbox for beachside breakfasts, loaded burgers and dirty fries. There’s a children’s menu complete with smaller dishes, shakes and ice cream desserts making it a great go-to with little ones in tow. The restaurant itself is akin to an American diner with vibrant artwork and low-hanging lights while the large glass doors reveal an ocean vista and outside, picnic tables sit directly on the sand. Dogs are welcome too, but only from 29th October – 1st March, so why not tie in a visit with a wintery walk along the south coast.
Moodmaid of Zennor
© Moomaid of Zennor
A small family-run business based at Tremedda Farm in St Ives, Moomaid of Zennor produces luxury Cornish ice cream and signature sorbets. Dating back to the 1900s, family is forever at the heart of this Cornish company, and with a huge selection of both classic flavours and indulgent original recipes, there’s something to please those with a sweet tooth of any age.
Moomaid of Zennor has shops at St Ives Harbour and Porthtowan Beach, as well as a seasonal pop-up parlour in the Cornish countryside near Zennor. The farm’s herd of Friesan dairy cows, or ‘moomaids’ as they’re nicknamed, are free to roam the fields and enjoy the Cornish air, while fresh milk is collected daily and combined with Rodda’s Clotted Cream to create a whole host of dairy delights. Favourites include the crème fraiche and lemon curd ice cream, a fizzy prosecco sorbet and the iconic ‘shipwreck’ – a sea salt ice cream made with fresh milk, caramel and honeycomb.
A Moodmaid ice cream makes the perfect Cornish addition to any summertime picnic, or if you’d prefer to take cover from the sun or the seagulls, head to one of the parlours to choose your flavour and sit down with a hot drink overlooking the sea.
For more family-friendly dining inspiration, read our guide to Cornwall's best baby and toddler-friendly cafés.
Image credits: Wild Café, Kota Kai, The Beach Hut, Woods Café, The Longstore and Hubbox images all via Instagram. Moomaid of Zennor via Moomaid of Zennor. All other images are our own or via Unsplash.