Seafood restaurants in Cornwall: 17 of the best places to go

Seafood pasta

Seafood pasta - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

From prawns in Padstow, to fishy mains in Falmouth, we pick seventeen of the top seafood restaurants in Cornwall

1. The Fish House, Newquay Overlooking the breathtaking scenes of Fistral beach is The Fish House where a wide variety of delicious and freshly caught seafood can be found on the menu. It’s the perfect spot to while away an afternoon snacking on Cornish crab sandwiches or sea bass salads drizzled in olive oil with a side of Tuscan bread.

If you’re heading to the restaurant for a romantic meal, enjoy the sunset over Newquay on the terrace with a seafood sharing board and a bottle of bubbles for two.

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2. Prawn on the Lawn, Padstow Described as the ‘crown jewel’ of Padstow, this trendy eatery is an ideal location to catch up with friends over fresh seafood and creative fishy tapas dishes. From the outside it appears to be a traditional fishmonger, but on the inside you’ll find a modern and industrial interior with metro-tiled walls and multi-filament light bulbs hanging from the ceiling.

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On the menu there’s plenty of local shellfish which is cooked on a charcoal grill by owner Rick Toogood.

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3. The Rum & Crab Shack, St Ives Calling all crab and rum lovers! This quirky bar-come-restaurant overlooks the bustling harbour of St Ives and there’s plenty of tasty Cornish crab in the kitchen and rum behind the bar. From Rum Shack gumbo and lobster macaroni, to Moules Mariniere and mackerel wraps, there is plenty on the menu to satisfy any seafood fan.

Diners are seated on a first come, first served basis and if you’re lucky enough, you might find yourself sat in one of the window seats with panoramic views across the bay to Gwithian sands and Godrevy lighthouse. Got a wait on your hands? Take a seat (or barrel) at the bar and kick back with rum on the rocks.

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4. Flying Fish Restaurant, Falmouth For seafood with a sea view, the award-winning Flying Fish restaurant in St Michael’s Hotel has a stunning setting with views across Gylly beach and beyond. Complete a relaxing day in St Michael’s Hotel spa with a mouth watering seafood meal in a peaceful atmosphere.

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Serving only the finest fish from local waters, on the menu you’ll find Newlyn crab, pan fried Cornish hake and seafood platters for two. The extensive wine list has plenty of refreshing whites to compliment your meal.

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5. The Colonial Restaurant at Tolcarne Beach Nestled beneath the picturesque cliffs overlooking Tolcarne beach lays this newly refurbished and welcoming restaurant. Inside, the clean, white décor and comfortable seating make this beachside retreat an inviting place to recuperate after a day spent paddling in the sea and sand castle building.

On the menu you’ll find anything from lobster and chips and blackened cod, to curried fish and crab sandwiches. If the weather allows, dinner can be enjoyed on the outdoor terrace looking out to sea.

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6. Alba, St Ives Line-caught fish and seasonal and locally-sourced produce dominate the Michelin standard menu at Alba. Using a creative mixture of delicious ingredients, award-winning chef Grant Nethercott, cooks up a selection of mouth watering seafood dishes to tantalise the senses.

The large glass front of the restaurant allows diners to watch the tide roll in to St Ives harbour whilst they devour fish caught from the Cornish waters right under their nose. Afterwards, the A Bar is the perfect place for guests to finish the evening with a cocktail.

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7. Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant, Padstow You cannot 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.

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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.

In the busy summer months, it is advised to book in advance of your arrival to avoid disappointment.

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8. The Harbour Fish and Grill, Newquay The Harbour Fish and Grill is a beautiful cliffside restaurant with stunning views across Newquay harbour and an exquisite seafood menu. Award winning Executive Chef Aaron Janes, delivers tasty fish dishes, most of which have been freshly caught that day.

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If you’re lucky enough to grab a window seat, you can watch the boats sail by whilst savouring succulent scallops, Cornish crab and many other seafood favourites – all cooked to perfection.

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9. Seafood Café, St Ives Tucked away from the harbour in the cobbled backstreets of St Ives, you’ll find the delightful Seafood Café. The restaurant has a different take on traditional dining. With a large cabinet of ever-changing fish on display, you make a selection and inform the chef of your cooking preferences. Take a pick from potatoes, salad and vegetables to accompany the fish and choose a sauce and your personalised meal will be freshly prepared and bought over to you to enjoy.

Finish the meal with a Cornish cheeseboard and a large glass of rioja, or a delicious pud from the dessert menu.

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10. Mackerel Sky Seafood Bar, Newlyn The Mackerel Sky Seafood Bar is a pop up restaurant only a short stroll from the shores of Penzance. It is usually open between the months of March and September, and during the summer months it has a busy but vibrant atmosphere amongst diners. Guests are seated on a first come, first served basis and the pop up restaurant does not take bookings.

When the weather is warm, you can enjoy a spot of al fresco dining on the terrace whilst tucking into tasty seafood dishes and watch the hustle and bustle of nearby Newlyn Harbour pass you by.

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11. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Port Isaac Sustainability, delicious cuisine and fantastic service are the name of the game at Nathan Outlaw. The two Michelin starred restaurant buys its fresh fish from local fishermen who use low impact fishing methods in order to preserve the Cornish marine environment.

On the menu you’ll find an extensive list of quirky combinations from crispy ling and chilli jam, to rosemary and cheese crumbles plaice with a spicy jalapeño mayonnaise. Heaven.

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12. Hooked Restaurant & Bar, Truro Home to some of the tastiest seafood derived from Cornish waters, Hooked is a modern diner with exquisite food, a trendy décor and a laidback atmosphere. After a day’s hard work trawling the bustling streets of Truro, this seafood eatery is the perfect place to grab a fishy bite to eat.

If you’re popping in for a pre-theatre treat, take advantage of the pre-theatre 15% discount. Enjoy a delicious meal and still be out in time to see your favourite play or musical at the Hall for Cornwall.

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13. The Bank, Bude The Bank combines Spanish and Cornish ingredients and creates wonderful tapas dishes to be enjoyed at dinner with friends and family. From grilled Cornish mackerel and marinated anchovies, to king prawns and deep fried squid, there are plenty of fishy tapas dishes to choose from on the menu.

The restaurant is dog-friendly so you can pop in after a walk at the beach with your four-legged friend. Even though this eatery is situated off-shore, it still has pretty views out towards the River Strat.

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15. Salamander Restaurant, Mevagissey Nestled at the heart of one of Cornwall’s prettiest harbourside villages, lies the Salamander; a traditional Cornish seafood restaurant. On the menu you’ll find lots of fishy favourites, such as Mevagissey scallops and the catch of the day from the working harbour. The menu changes frequently, enabling diners to experience an array of mouth watering dishes every visit.

The restaurant is cosy and welcoming, and the staff are attentive without being intrusive. Whether it’s a romantic date for two, or a family evening out, the simple dishes with delicious ingredients are cooked beautifully and will suit any occasion.

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16. Cove Restaurant & Bar, Falmouth Tucked away in a Cornish cove, Cove restaurant has breathtaking views of the white sands of Maenporth beach and the turquoise seas of Falmouth bay. Escape the business of Falmouth town centre and while away an afternoon at the restaurant with great company, exquisite seafood and good wine.

In the evening you can observe the golden sunset whilst indulging in a fishy treat such as the crab chowder or Fal Bay Seafood Feast from the à la carte menu.

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17. Porthminster Beach Café, St Ives With uninterrupted views across the golden sands of Porthminster beach and across St Ives bay, this restaurant is a small slice of Cornish heaven. The menu specialises in Asian and Mediterranean seafood and you can expect dishes such as monkfish curry and pan fried John Dory.

In warm weather, you can sit on the terrace upstairs and lap up the sunshine and sea breeze whilst you dine. If you prefer an informal setting, there are benches on the beach where you can tuck into fish and chips and feel the sand between your toes. Bliss!

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