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From the Blog

Where to eat in Padstow: the 10 best restaurants

Posted by Sophie Hesp on Oct 01, 2021

A foodie guide to Cornwall’s favourite harbour town

Bakery-lined streets, harbourside seafood restaurants and an ice cream shop on every corner – Padstow is a paradise for foodies. With so much choice, it can be tricky to decide where to eat, so we've taken out the guess work. Here are the 10 best restaurants in Padstow...

 

1. Greens of Padstow

Great for: families and sea views

 

Home to an 18-hole mini golf course and a varied menu, this is perhaps the most family-friendly restaurant in Padstow Harbour. Sitting above the water and with breakfast served until 11:30am, Greens is perfectly positioned for a bite to eat after a beach walk at Hawker’s Cove.  

For lunch and dinner, expect prime cuts of meat and beautiful fish dishes, plus a separate children’s menu for smaller appetites. Vegetarians can choose from the Greens Goan curry, a classic halloumi burger and a walnut pesto linguine, with gluten free and vegan options also available. 

Once you’ve had your fill, the dog-friendly mini golf garden takes in beautiful views over the Camel Estuary. A great spot for families, there are plants and sculptures that change with the season, and pre-booking isn’t required.

2. Paul Ainsworth at No6

Great for: a Michelin-star menu

 

Walking up to the white-washed Georgian townhouse nestled in the heart of Padstow, you’ll know you’ve found the right place. Paul Ainsworth at No6 is a Michelin-star restaurant serving modern British food, and always using the freshest local ingredients. The menu is best seen to be believed, but highlights from the autumn collection include roscoff onion fondant, mushroom pappardelle, wild bass and scallops.

For something a little more exclusive, book a table at Ci Ci’s Bar. Sitting just above the main restaurant, think classic three-ingredient cocktails designed by the restaurant’s head sommelier.

There’s also an incredible chef’s table at Mahe just next door. A new addition to the Ainsworth repertoire, take a seat in front of the development kitchen and sample brand new dishes before they reach the menu at No6. 

3. The Old Custom House

Great for: a glass of Camel Valley

Sitting on the town’s South Quay, The Old Custom House is considered one of the best pubs in Padstow. It’s the place to be for locally brewed beer, fine wines and classic cocktails, all with a magical harbour view.

The lunch menu champions elevated pub grub – think Cornish crab sandwiches and a hearty ploughman’s. Come evening, there’s fresh fish, seasonal soups, glazed burgers and sweet and savoury desserts aplenty. 

4. The Seafood Restaurant

Great for: special occasions

 

If there’s one chef name that’s synonymous with Padstow, it has to be Rick Stein. The original home of Rick’s Cornish empire, The Seafood Restaurant sits between the hubbub of Padstow Harbour and the more tranquil Camel Trail. Dining here is a real bucket list experience for foodies visiting North Cornwall.  

Inside, you’ll find the seafood bar serving mains like fresh oysters and pan-fried squid, while the dessert menu features hot chocolate fondant and passionfruit crème brûlée. Upstairs, the rooftop terrace makes an idyllic setting for post-dinner drinks, looking out across the estuary. There are also dedicated vegan and children’s menus.

5. Prawn on the Lawn

Great for: fresh fish menus that change daily

With a fabulous reputation for local seafood, Prawn on the Lawn have been featured in the Michelin Guide every year since they opened in 2015. One of our all-time favourites, Rick and Katie’s team are set to return to the streets of Padstow from 3rd November, after their summertime pitch at Prawn on the Farm. 

Menus depend on the fishermen’s daily catch, but sample plates include seared tuna, Porthilly mussels and whole Padstow brown crab. If seafood is your thing, take a look at some of our favourite specialist restaurants in the South West.

6. St Petroc’s Bistro

Great for: al fresco dining

 

Another Rick Stein eatery and one of Padstow’s only restaurants with outdoor seating, St Petroc’s Bistro is a great option for lunch in the Cornish air. Dogs are welcome in the secret garden and bar area, only a short walk from the centre of town. 

A cosy fire in the bar keeps diners warm through winter, while the private dining room is perfect for hosting special celebrations all year round. 

7. Pucelli’s

Great for: an Italian twist

While the list of Italian Padstow restaurants may be short, Pucelli’s has a great reputation for bringing fresh Mediterranean flavours to Cornwall's cobbled streets. Book a table by the balcony for harbour views as you dine on brunchtime antipasti platters, rich pasta dishes, creamy risottos and fresh pizzas.

The restaurant has beautiful coastal interiors with plenty of tables that do book up quickly. We recommend getting in touch with our Concierge Team if you’re hoping to dine here during your stay. 

8. Mussel Box

Great for: harbourside seafood

 

Overlooking the quay in their unique – and sometimes open-air – restaurant, Mussel Box are fairly new to the Padstow scene. They set up shop in 2020 and as the name suggests, serve fresh local shellfish, metres from the harbour. 

As well as their usual seafood offering, you can expect delicious Cornish breakfasts, Sunday lunches and freshly ground coffee, for dining in or taking away.

9. Barnaby’s

Great for: small plates with friends

Sister restaurant to Prawn on the Lawn, Barnaby’s specialise in dishes designed to be shared. They’re based on Duke Street and serve food all day from 12pm. In true Cornish fashion, the restaurant’s intimate dining experience means that two dogs are allowed at any one time. 

Barnaby’s sample starter menu is made up of house cured charcuterie and a smoked aubergine dip, while their small plates include marinated lamb, barbequed fish and beetroot with whipped feta.

10. Burgers & Fish

Great for: trendy gourmet dishes

Slide into a leather booth and enjoy handcrafted burgers cooked over a charcoal grill. Burgers & Fish is located in The Strand and a short walk from the harbour. The restaurant has links with plenty of local suppliers, with Warren’s Butchers and Treleaven’s Ice Cream supporting the food menu, and Poldark Gin and Padstow Brewing on hand for a tipple. 

Bringing the typical burger restaurant up-to-date, vegetarians have plenty to look forward to – we’ve heard the honey roasted halloumi salad is not to be missed. The restaurant seats 60 guests and welcomes four-legged friends too, with food served from 12pm to 9:30pm. 

 

Room for more?

Take a look at some of our favourite pubs and restaurants in Rock. A short water taxi across the Camel Estuary, you’ll be in great foodie company. Choose from St Enodoc Brasserie, The Rock Inn, The Taproom, The Dining Room or Paul Ainsworth’s Mariners pub. 

Where to stay nearby

Left: Harbour Walk | Right: Rosemain

If you’re planning a foodie road trip, don’t miss our nearby holiday homes in Rock and Padstow. For a chic townhouse stay, head to Harbour Walk where a flickering wood burner and short walk to dinner await. Or across the water in Rock, you’ll find Rosemain, complete with a beautiful countryside garden and tempting availability for 2022.

Image credits: All images are our own.

Posted by Sophie Hesp

When she's not out for brunch, Sophie loves exploring the coast path with her partner and their golden retriever pup, Obi. She writes about all things Cornwall and is a strong believer that there’s no such thing as too many house plants.

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