To say that Cornwall has good seafood would be a bit like saying it’s more of a popular tourist destination.
With a strong fishing culture dating back centuries and some of the best waters for anglers young and old, Cornish seafood is legendary.
In Newquay, boats leave every day in search of world-famous seashells.
In Looe, Newlyn and on the Lizard – across the county – some of the best seafood in the country is caught, prepared and marketed.
And with the proximity to such fantastic fresh seafood, it’s well worth enjoying.
If you are a visitor, or even have lived here for decades, why not make the most of the UK’s best fish, most of which are caught hours before they reach your plate?
Here are some of the best seafood restaurants in the county – based on recommendations, reviews, and quality of the food.
The fish house – Newquay
One of Newquay’s many upscale seafood restaurants, the Fish House sits on the surfer’s paradise, Fistral Beach, and appeals to the town’s fantastic local seafood specialists.
The fish bar – Newquay
The Fish Bar is right in the center of Newquay and is a Tripadvisor favorite.
Great reviews have praised the restaurant’s fantastic crab – and one customer said even her dog was given a mat, water, and frozen white bait tapas.
Hooked! – Truro
A cozy place nestled in the heart of Cornwall’s only town, you could easily miss Hooked! if you weren’t looking for it.
With a local catch of the day on the menu, it offers some of the best seafood from any non-coastal part of the county.
Kota Kai – Porthleven
Even if you’ve never been to Porthleven, the name Kota Kai might be familiar to Great British Menu viewers.
Chef Jude Kereama was a fan favorite of the show, having appeared as a nominee in 2015, 2016, 2019 – and more recently this year.
Kota uses Porthleven’s fishing heritage, offering fine London quality cuisine in a relaxed bar atmosphere using some of Jude’s most experimental dishes.
The mussel bank – Porthleven
Also in Porthleven is the Mussel Shoal, which overlooks the harbor.
Specializing in seashells, The Mussel Shoals combines delicious food and Alabama-inspired musical culture for a unique experience. They don’t take reservations in advance so you’ll have to give it a shot.
The Cabin – Falmouth
Once you’ve taken a look at the Maritime Museum, you can head straight to The Shack – a seafood restaurant in the middle of Falmouth.
Chef Jay, on the website, recommends the smoked haddock and bacon chowder – a special house specialty.
Harbor View – Falmouth
If you prefer, as the name suggests, a view of the boats passing Falmouth’s busy docks and pontoons while enjoying some local catch – Harbor View is the perfect solution.
Cody’s Cabin – Looe
Further east, the Coddy Shack describes itself as a “cool and quirky” place that can offer something unique.
One review on the website calls it “the best shed I’ve ever eaten at,” over the years has gone from a local chippy to a fantastic seafood restaurant that even features live music.
The cuisine of the sea – Looe
Another Tripadvisor favorite, The Sea Kitchen has won praise from site users for its fantastic scallops and plenty of vegetarian options.
Shrimps on the lawn – Padstow
Boasting an ever-changing menu and fishermen landing fish right at the door, Prawn on the Lawn pairs local seafood with a truly international menu.
They have the Tempura Zucchini Flower, with crab, Porthilly mussels, and Sri Lankan black curry – plus lots of whole shellfish.
The Wheelhouse – Falmouth
Rated as the best restaurant in Falmouth on Tripadvisor, the Wheelhouse has everything from whole Cornish spider crab to favorites like mussels and shrimp.
Addicted to the Rocks – Falmouth
Further out of town center, Hooked on the Rocks overlooks beautiful Swanpool Beach and the Nature Reserve for a quieter experience. They boast of using Falmouth Bay lobsters and crabs “caught a few steps from the restaurant”.
The Longstore Steaks and Seafood – Charlestown, St Austell
Also in East Cornwall is the Longstore in Charlestown, the coastal brother of St Austell. A primarily surf and turf restaurant, it has been praised by critics for catering to all tastes.
Sky Mackerel Seafood Bar – Newlyn
Another restaurant that doesn’t take reservations, but sells a light menu packed with fantastic local seafood, including crab nachos.
One Fish Street – St Ives
This small restaurant in the popular town of St Ives is zealous in using local and fresh produce wherever possible.
Sailors – Rock
Rounding out the list with three spots from celebrity chefs from North Cornwall, Paul Ainsworth’s The Mariners pub combines the warm ambiance of a local with a menu determined by what’s available from the sea.
Outlaw – Port Isaac
Nathan restaurants Outlaw’s New Road and Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen are a “tribute to our Cornish waters”, they say.
“We’ll cook the fish and open the wine, you do the rest.” It looks good.
Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant, Padstow
It’s in the name, really. If you’re interested in trying local produce, prepared by world-class chefs, look no further than The Seafood Restaurant.
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