Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Cornwall
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best Cornwall restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 174 restaurants in Cornwall and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Cornwall restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Cornwall Restaurants
1. 2 Fore Street Restaurant Fish & seafood restaurant in Mousehole 2 Fore St - TR19
With his “varied and interesting menu” of “delicious local produce”, Raymond Blanc-trained chef Joe Wardell knows how to “totally blow you away”, say fans of his long-established harbourside cottage. Given the setting, a short walk from the quay, it’s no surprise to find “really fresh fish, with inventive things done to it” – and the tarte tatin is pretty special, too.
2. The Shore Fish & seafood restaurant in Penzance 13-14 Alverton Street - TR18
“Bruce Rennie is a wizard with fish, which is fresh from day boats in nearby Newlyn” – the reason to discover this small, modern bistro. “He now only offers a set, taster-style menu, but the food is brilliant considering it is only him at the stoves. Well worth a visit, but booking is absolutely essential”.
3. Port Gaverne Hotel British, Modern restaurant in Port Isaac
“Fish and seafood dishes are the ones to go for” at this privately run hotel and restaurant – a local “favourite” owing to the “consistent quality from the kitchen” (though service can be a tad “variable” at times).
4. Driftwood Hotel International restaurant in Rosevine
This “beautiful restaurant” at a clifftop boutique hotel on the Roseland Peninsula has earned a fine reputation for “highly unusual presentations of local produce”. But it lost Chris Eden in June 2019, who left after 12 years for rival Gidleigh Park (and subsequently it also lost its Michelin star). Chris’s replacement, Oliver Pierrepoint, arrived from La Trompette in London, and has both Fera and Le Manoir on his CV. Ratings were very good all-round in the survey last year, but given all the change after its conclusion we’ve left the venue un-rated.
5. The Q Restaurant, The Old Quay House British, Modern restaurant in Fowey 28 Fore Street - PL23
2019 Review: Visit on a fine day, and you can sit on the terrace adjoining the dining room, which has gorgeous views of the estuary from this 13-bedroom modern hotel. Shortish two-course and three-course prix fixe menus are served at both lunch and dinner.
6. Victoria Inn British, Modern restaurant in Perranuthnoe
Ancient, low-ceilinged coastal Cornish pub, not far from St Michael’s Mount, with a sunny beer garden. The food has been well-rated in recent times, but reports last year – which saw the departure of chef Nik Boyle to start his own (short-lived) venture in Falmouth – have been a little more up-and-down, so we’ve left a rating till next year.
7. The Old Mill Bistro British, Modern restaurant in Little Petherick The Old Mill House, - PL27
2018 Review: In a 16th century former corn mill (replete with waterwheel), a family-run B&B and bistro where chef “Adrian Oliver continues to cook really well” – “not in cheffy show-off style”, but “simply” and “based on good quality ingredients”.
8. Emily Scott at Watergate Bay British, Modern restaurant in Watergate Bay
After a successful 2020 pop-up, Emily Scott (of St Tudy Inn) has opened a more permanent site at the Watergate Bay hotel, serving seafood and plant-based fare.
9. Paul Ainsworth at No. 6 British, Modern restaurant in Padstow 6 Middle St - PL28
“Outstanding… that is all!”. Paul Ainsworth’s intimate and illustrious eleven-year-old is nowadays the most-mentioned operation in town, far eclipsing Rick Stein’s nearby Seafood Restaurant in terms of the excitement it generates. “The kitchen can be seen from the tables, and is a dream to watch”, with “Paul himself almost invariably present”. The cuisine is as you might hope for – “technically accomplished, with quality materials, some inventiveness, and carefully prepared to preserve flavours”. “However, it’s the attention to detail, and the overwhelming passion for the place from its staff” that seals the experience for some diners: “nothing was too much trouble”.
10. Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen Fish & seafood restaurant in Port Isaac 1 Middle St - PL29
“Fabulous, small plates of fishiness” – “each mouthful a truly memorable experience” – help inspire nothing but praise for Nathan Outlaw’s “tiny and atmospheric” spin-off venture, which has a “fantastic location”, “set on the quayside” of this Cornish fishing village and “doing full justice to the locally caught produce”. Compared with his posh gaff, dishes are “simpler, but just as fine in their own way”, and even fans of both establishments may feel that “although it’s not as pricey or fancy as his main place in town, this is actually better value and more enjoyable”.
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