Cornwall’s top ten seafood restaurants

September 26, 2014

Being three-quarters surrounded by the Atlantic, it’s no surprise that Cornwall benefits from the bounty of the sea when it comes to fine dining, and chefs in the county certainly know how to cook it. We’ve put together a selection of the ten best places to feast on the freshest and finest fruits de mer.

The Wheel House – word of mouth success

The Wheel House, Falmouth

The Wheel House doesn’t need a website to catch the appetite of all who enter, this restaurant has been made famous by word of mouth and an excellently simple menu – mussels, scallops, crab and prawns are all cooked to absolute perfection, and their paella nights are in constant demand.

Booking is essential for this modest, small-town eatery – with the waiting list proving how popular it is!



The Dining Room – exceptional local ingredients

The Dining Room, Rock

Coastal couple Fred and Donna Beedles run The Dining Room. Mr Beedles himself prepares the menu each day, with an extensive knowledge of local suppliers and where to locate the best produce, theresults are a wonderful array of food using skills attained over years of practice.

Keen to show off his talent, blowtorched mackerel with nasturtium, cider cured fillet of sea trout, lemon sole, crab and cod are all examples of the seafood specialism and ever-evolving menu from The Dining Room.

Dining delights from Paul Ainsworth at Number 6

Paul Ainsworth at Number 6, Padstow

Unpretentious, uncomplicated food is the mission statement from Paul Ainsworth at Number 6, and with an emphasis on everything possible being home made there’s no chance of being served microwaved crab cakes or lucklustre langoustines.

The Porthilly oysters, baked cod, mackerel and monkfish from their sample menu really does whet the appetite for what else the establishment has to offer. The 18th Century town house also has two rooms suitable for larger parties, so everyone can indulge in the wonders of the sea together.

Squid at the Old Coastguard

The Old Coastguard, Mousehole

Simplicity is key to the menu of The Old Coastguard: gazpacho with crab and basil is an example of a simple, tasteful starter leading you into a menu of smoked mackerel, bouillabaisse, gurnard, skate fillet and almond crusted hake to name but a few of the seafood savouries available.

The Upper Deck with views of St Clements Isle lets diners enjoy their food whilst looking out from whence it came: the sea air treating summer audiences on the Terrace to the scents and sounds of Cornwall in bloom.

Mackerel: always delicious

Mackerel Sky Café, Penzance

Mackerel Sky Café have the enviable ability to be able to say that their fish is sourced directly from Newlyn Harbour fishermen, and their meats are from local butchers Ian Lentern and Vivian Olds.

Their lunch and evening menu includes a ‘Mackerel Sky Tasting Board’ (salt and pepper squid, smoked mackerel pâté, smoked salmon and white anchovies), Cornish crab rarebit, Californian style fish tacos, River Exe mussels and a café special of smoked mackerel ‘burger’ of fish fillets, horseradish cream, spiced beetroot relish and rocket – simple flavours, excellently served.

Presentation is always excellent at Driftwood

Driftwood, Portscatho

A Michelin star adorns the restaurant of the Driftwood hotel, thanks to Chris Eden and his team’s dedication to creating delicious, locally sourced dishes.

Hand dived scallops, ballontine of lemon sole, roast cod and baked brill are some of the treats conjured up by the magic of the kitchen team (not to mention the two-person special of whole local lobster). An evening of sumptuous seafood is definitely best finished with the restaurant’s “Thunder and Lightning” tart.

Squid Ink is chef-owned and can hold up to 28 diners

Squid Ink, Looe

Chef-owned Squid Ink sits quietly in the fishing port of Looe, serving only the best fish from the day boats in their local harbour with British, Asian and Mediterranean influences.

Summer 2014 sees sautéed black tiger prawns, pan fried scallops, seafood risotto and lemon sole amongst other delights of the ocean on the Squid Ink menu, all served with delicious seasonal vegetables, of course.

You’ll find excellent food in a relaxed environment at Outlaw’s

Outlaw’s, Rock

Originality is the name of the game at Outlaw’s, with exclusive seafood plates cooked to perfection by a team representing Nathan Outlaw, one of Cornwall’s Michelin-starred chefs.

A seasonal menu of cured mackerel, chargrilled octopus, chilli squid and bass amongst others are all meticulously prepared for your enjoyment; exactly what you would expect from an eatery boasting one of Cornwall’s biggest names.

Your conscience can rest easy when dining at Outlaw’s, as fish is purchased locally wherever possible from small Cornish boats certified by the Responsible Fishing Scheme, aiming to keep the sea healthy and providing more plates of Nathan Outlaw’s fantastic fare in the future.


Talented chefs and a varied menu await you at Falmouth Bay Seafood Cafe

Falmouth Bay Seafood Café, Truro

A summer menu of salmon salad, crayfish cocktail, Cornish mussels and prawn and fish curry showcase the abilities of the chef team at Falmouth Bay Seafood Café. With an emphasis on cooking only seasonal seafood, it’s always going to taste superb.

If the menu choice proves just too much for a single meal, then one of the café’s seafood platters (in both Cornish and French styles) paired with Baker Tom’s bread is an excellent way to get a divine dish from Cornish waters.



Citrus-spiked sea bass at The Bay View Restaurant

The Bay View Restaurant, Mevagissey

You’ll be hard pressed to find a bad view in the harbour village of Mevagissey, but the sight from aptly named The Bay View Restaurant is second to none: this delicious spectacle can be served alongside citrus Atlantic prawns, langoustine salad, catch of the day or a simple homemade smoked mackerel pâté.

Chef Mark has been behind sets of pans for thirty years and has developed the menu with flavours to reflect the Cornish landscape, using local suppliers wherever possible for the freshest produce.

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