The best restaurants in Padstow

Beef steak with grilled vegetables served on white plate

Beef steak with grilled vegetables served on white plate - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Whether you’re a local looking for somewhere new or you’re visiting the seaside town on holiday, Padstow is home to some of the best restaurants in Cornwall. In no particular order, we pick some great places to go

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1. Paul Ainsworth at No.6, Middle Street

The experience begins as soon as you walk through the restaurant doors of this beautiful Georgian townhouse. Friendly staff guide you knowledgeably through the menu with genuine enthusiasm for the delicious food and drink. Enjoy modern food with a focus on Cornish produce.

On the menu: The food here is totally worth splashing out on as supper at No.6 is a special affair. The menu is small but perfectly formed with options such as soy glazed duck, rib of beef and catch of the day. Mains start at £31 whilst the set lunch menu is two courses for £25 or three for £29.

2. Mussel Box, Broad Street

Tucked away in 'The Drang' amongst the cobbled streets of Padstow, Mussel Box''s menu has a simple yet high quality approach. Food is locally sourced where possible and the restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere.

On the menu: From full Cornish breakfasts and veggie alternatives, to dirty burgers and a hearty Sunday lunch, there's plenty on the menu to sate the appetite every day of the week. Children are just as important as adults when dining at Mussel Box with a menu designed specially for little ones.

3. Prawn on the Lawn, Duke Street

Established in 2013 by Rick Toogood and his wife Katie, Prawn on the Lawn began life in Islington's Upper Street as a seafood bar and fishmonger, before being extended to include a 16-seater basement restaurant. In 2015, Rick and Katie opened a second restaurant in Padstow; a fully licensed fishmonger and seafood bar with the addition of a hot food license.

On the menu: The menu changes for the catch of the day. Rob cooks local lobster and crab on the kitchen's own charcoal grill and the menu changes daily.

4. Barnaby's, Duke Street

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Barnaby's Bistro is one of Padstow's most recent additions but it's already made a well-deserved mark on Cornwall's foodie map. Sister restaurant to Prawn on the Lawn, Barnaby's doesn't have such an emphasis on seafood and instead the menu is a modern take on 'classic bistro'. The restaurant is small and intimate so be prepared to book ahead for a coveted seat.

On the menu: The menu changes every two months as it's based on seasonal local ingredients (always a good sign!). Examples of dishes include turmeric curry with mussels, prawns cockles and clams, Cornish duck with pickled cherries, and the Barnaby Burger made with truffled mince and served with a generous helping of shoestring fries.

5. Embers Pizza, Market Place

If wood-fired pizzas straight from the oven sounds like your kinda thing, we know just the place. Just a hop, skip and a jump away from the delights of Padstow's harbour you'll find Embers - the perfect spot for refuelling with pizza after a day spent exploring this pretty seaside town. Dine in the cosy restaurant or take a slice away to enjoy at home.

On the menu: The pizzas here are quite different from those you'd expect in a classic Italian restaurant. We like the sound of the Sticky Pig with pulled pork, onions and cherry tomatoes or the Embers House Special with mackerel, black olives, samphire and pesto. Leave room for pudding as there's dessert pizza on the menu too.

6. Burgers and Fish, The Strand

We all know Padstow is renowned for its delicious seafood but did you know you can also get some amazing burgers here too? Take a short stroll from the fishing boats in the harbour and Burgers & Fish can be found tucked away on The Strand.

On the menu: Fill your boots with gourmet burgers and fries. The B&F's signature patty, 'The Wholey Cow', consists of meatloaf, oxtail and beer, soft cheese and ox tongue schnitzel. Just make sure you order yours quickly as there's just a limited number available each day.

7. Rojano's In The Square, Mill Square

Supper at Rojano's is a much more informal affair than visiting its sister restaurant Paul Ainsworth at No.6. Rojano's can be found in a refurbished 18th century building and the produce used in the kitchen is either Cornish, British or from the occasional artisan Italian supplier thrown in for good measure.

On the menu: Head of the helm is Jack Clements who brings a little slice of the Med to Cornwall, producing hearty and traditional Spanish and Italian dishes. We're talking antipasti, pizzas, meat, fish and lots of pasta.

8. Pucelli's Restaurant, West Quay

Pucelli's prime position next to the harbour means lunch and dinner comes with a welcome side of sea views. The menu comprises traditional Italian dishes and Cornish ingredients resulting in a diverse and inviting menu to tempt the whole family.

On the menu: If you love your carbs then this is the place for you. With 12 pizzas and eight pasta dishes on the menu, the only difficulty is choosing what to have. For dessert it's got to be the lavender-infused creme brulee.

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9. The Olive Tree, St Merryn

For a truly relaxed dining experience head to The Olive Tree in St Merryn. The restaurant is small and intimate and there's only one sitting so the table is completely yours for the evening. Kickback with a glass of wine, great company and some bruschetta whilst you wait for your main course to cook.

On the menu: The menu is small and changes regularly to utilise the freshest, seasonal produce. The meaty dishes are what we go back for; dry-aged Cornish steak and slow-braised lamb shoulder.

10 Rick Stein's Seafood Restaurant, Riverside

You can't leave Padstow (nicknamed 'Padstein') without visiting one of renowned chef, Rick Stein's eateries. The well received Seafood Restaurant is located only a stone's throw from the picturesque harbour and there are a vast selection of mouth-watering seafood dishes on the menu with an excellent wine list to match. In the busy summer months, it is advised to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

On the menu: Whether you're pining after a spicy stone bass vindaloo, or you prefer to get hands on with a big, juicy crab, there's plenty of choice to ensure the family leaves with full bellies and smiley faces.

This article was updated by Martha Griffiths in June 2021.