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From the Blog

Where to eat in Porthleven: the eight best restaurants, pubs and cafés

Posted by Bethany Walton on Updated on
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Classic seafood dishes and cocktails by candlelight

Situated on the edge of Cornwall’s west coast, Porthleven is quickly becoming one of the county’s most sought-after foodie locations. From fine dining restaurants to fresh-off-the-boat shellfish served on the water’s edge, we’ve rounded up Porthleven’s best restaurants, pubs and cafés to try on your next visit. 


1. The Square at Porthleven 

Enjoying beautiful views over Porthleven’s harbour, The Square is a Michelin-awarded restaurant with a brasserie-style menu. Changing every day, the menu features plenty of fresh fish and seasonal produce. Expect Cornish crab starters, delicate pasta dishes and homemade ice cream desserts, made even better by their immaculate attention to detail and exceptional front of house service. 

If dining in the summer months, take a seat on their sunny terrace and watch as the waves lap against the colourful fishing boats.

2. The Mussel Shoal 

Open during the warmer months, The Mussel Shoal is situated on Porthleven’s harbour and offers an al fresco dining experience just above the water’s edge. Inspired by French bistro-style food, their menu features Moules frites, crispy squid and fish burgers. Their daily dishes are written up every morning on chalkboards and are changed throughout service, depending on the fishermen’s haul. 

Set to sell out every day, head down early to find a seat in the sunshine and order a couple of gin cocktails as you decide what takes your fancy. 


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© The Mussel Shoal via Instagram

3. Kota Restaurant

Headed up by award-winning chef Jude Kereama, Kota is amongst Cornwall’s best fine dining restaurants. Located at the top of the harbour, the restaurant makes the most of its ocean views - made even more special as the sun sets during an evening meal. Influenced by Malaysian flavours, their six course tasting menu is truly exquisite, with delicious wine pairings to match. Changing with the seasons, you can usually find oysters, monkfish and carpaccio on offer, amongst other fresh fish and meat dishes. 

Usually fully booked, ask our expert Concierge team to reserve a table before your stay. 

4. Amélie 

A much-loved Porthleven restaurant, Amélie is instantly recognisable for its blue fronted façade and waterfront setting. Inspired by the Mediterranean coast, expect shellfish platters, zesty vegetarian dishes and stone baked pizzas. Sourcing all their ingredients within a 25-mile radius, seasonality is at the forefront of Amelie’s ethos, so there’ll be something new to try every time you visit. 

Welcoming dogs, settle into one of their outdoor tables and tuck into salty fries and aioli with gorgeous views over the gentle waves. Come winter, cosy up beside the wood burner for hearty Sunday lunches after mornings spent on the coast path. 


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© Amélie 

5. Kota Kai Kitchen Bar

Sister restaurant to Kota, Kota Kai Kitchen Bar is well-suited to families with a relaxing and laid back ambience. Also home to beautiful harbourside views, there’s plenty of outdoor seating for summer dining. Their menu features lots of delicious fish dishes, bao buns and ramen, with a tempting cocktail menu to match. After a day spent on Porthleven Beach, order a round of Kai Mojitos and share a few small plates between you - we’d recommend the salt and pepper squid with lots of fresh lime to start things off.

6. Harbour Inn

Owned by St Austell Brewery, the Harbour Inn is a traditional Cornish pub in the heart of Porthleven. Great for pints in the sunshine and al fresco suppers, the Harbour Inn has plenty of outdoor dining tables along the front. With a good selection of local beers, ales and ciders behind the bar, there’s plenty to tempt you on arrival. For food, the menu is comprised of classic pub dishes so expect fish and chips, chargrilled burgers and steamed mussels. 

In the winter months, the Harbour Inn makes an idyllic refuge after windswept walks on the sand. A roaring wood burner awaits inside, so shake off coats and settle into the warm pub as lunch is served.


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7. Dan Dan the Lobster Man 

For those who love nothing more than tucking into a traditional crab sandwich by the sea, be sure to stop by Dan Dan the Lobster Man for a light lunch. Created by dad and daughter, Dan and Daisy, this summertime pop-up usually draws long queues for its delicious takeaway fish dishes.

Sitting on the harbour wall, the kiosk’s chalkboard menus are updated throughout the day, with fresh prawn salads, lobster rolls and cockles usually on offer. Open for the summer months, grab a bite to eat and take a seat on one of the waterside benches before wandering Porthleven’s galleries and boutiques. 


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8. The Ship Inn 

Sitting just above the harbourfront, this 17th century pub enjoys beautiful sea views and provides an excellent storm-watching spot in the winter months. Welcoming dogs, choose a seat beside the bar or watch the waves from their covered courtyard.

Offering a selection of warming pub classics, expect hearty casseroles, roast meats and fish pies, alongside an extensive drinks menu. What’s more, every other Thursday they host a feast night with flavours from faraway shores - think crab-topped nachos and red Thai curries. 

Where to stay nearby

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Left: Seathrift | Right: The Old School House.

Sitting just moments away from the harbour and within walking distance to most of the restaurants, Seathrift and The Old School House are two of our most sought-after ocean-view homes. 

For those visiting Cornwall soon, read our similar guides to dining in Rock, Fowey, St Ives and Port Isaac

Image credits: Amélie | The Mussel Shoal via Instagram | All other images are our own.


Posted by Bethany Walton

Beth can usually be found on a Cornish beach or enjoying a swim in the sea. She has great insight about where to visit across the county, plus plenty of recommendations for finding the best Cornish ice cream.

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