Not all of the restaurants in Padstow are attributed to Rick Stein, although he certainly put this harbour town on the food map and continues to serve hungry diners through his popular outlets, but it’s safe to say that Padstow isn’t short of wonderful places to eat.
Seafood restaurants have a tendency to dominate here, meaning fish lovers will be in food heaven, but there’s plenty of other options too from fine dining to laidback cafes. You’ll also find a Michelin starred restaurant in Padstow thanks to Paul Ainsworth.
One thing’s for sure, the eatery options are vast and plentiful, but to help you scale down your list, we’ve put together the best restaurants to eat in Padstow.
Location: 11 Duke St, Padstow PL28 8AB
Prawn on the Lawn is a favoured Padstow restaurant for many reasons; it could be the in-house fish counter that’s inside the restaurant, the superlative small plates with a strong fish focus, or its ever changing menu to reflect catch of the day. Recently scooping the Trencherman’s Award 2023 for the Best Restaurant, Prawn on the Lawn is a beautiful blend of fine dining and casual grazing, and one of Padstow’s best seafood restaurants. prawnonthelawn.com
Location: Higher Harlyn, St Merryn, Padstow PL28 8SG
Passionate duo Jas and Joe run Duchy Grub; Joe at the helm of the kitchen and Jas taking control as front of house. Together, they share a joint vision, to offer a flavoursome dining experience showcasing Cornwall’s best ingredients. While it’s situated just outside of Padstow less than three miles away in St Merryn, the creative menu, which changes weekly, will more than make up for it. Seating up to 30 diners, you can expect succulent BBQ monkfish, pasilla pork balls from Padstow Farm Shop, and flavoursome guajillo chili butternut squash. In fact, the veggie dishes are incredible, so if you’re after a vegetarian restaurant in Padstow, this one has to be top of the list.
Location: Riverside, Padstow PL28 8BY
Where it all began for Rick Stein in Padstow… the Seafood Restaurant opened back in 1975 and has been celebrated by foodies ever since. As the name suggests you’ll find a plethora of fish dishes and shellfish, complimented by locally sourced Cornish produce. In the heart of the town, Rick Stein firmly put Padstow on the map, and a trip to one of his Padstow restaurants are a rite of passage when visiting here.
Location: 6 Middle St, Padstow PL28 8AP
The only Michelin star restaurant in Padstow, Paul Ainsworth at No 6 earned the prestigious accolade in 2013 and has successfully managed to retain it ever since. Having taken over the Georgian townhouse at number 6 in Padstow with wife Emma Ainsworth in 2005, it’s been a popular restaurant ever since. The menu celebrates local Cornish produce, executing through modern British dishes. Open for lunch and dinner, it’s a busy spot, so be sure to book ahead.
Location: North Quay, Padstow PL28 8AF
Mini golf and gourmet food don’t tend to be in the same sentence, let alone the same location, that’s until you visit Greens of Padstow. A popular spot thanks to its glorious terrace with views across the water and quality food, this isn’t the obvious choice for a Padstow restaurant, but it’ll certainly impress.
Priding themselves on serving fresh, locally sourced food, which can be paired with Cornish wines. Be sure not to overlook the ever-changing specials menu, and then for dessert you may have mustered up enough energy to take on the 18 hole mini golf course!
Location: Harlyn, Padstow PL28 8SQ
Sitting just above Padstow in Harlyn Bay, is The Pig at Harlyn Bay a 15th century manor house which is certainly worth a trip. If you’ve ever experienced eating at any of the luxury hotel group’s offering, you’ll be comforted to see its signature 25-mile radius menu. In true Cornish style it features plentiful food and drinks from excellent local producers, such as Philip Warren butchers and Camel Valley Vineyard, as well as using its own kitchen garden, too. Wholesome dishes which pack a punch, we assure you won’t be disappointed.
© James Ram
Location: 10 Middle St, Padstow PL28 8AP
It’ll come as no surprise that Rick Stein’s Café has a heavy fish focus, with fish dishes making up 70 per cent of the menu. The lunch and dinner menus feature tasty locally-sourced ingredients, many of the plates are wonderfully simple, but you’ll also find further-flung choices with an array of dishes inspired by Rick’s travels around the world.
© lateef photography
Location: 9 Mill Square, Padstow PL28 8AE
Paul Ainsworth has certainly made his mark in Padstow, and his second restaurant Caffé Rojano, unlike its older sister No 6, it’s less focused on fine dining and instead centered around seasonal small plates, Napoletana-style pizzas and fresh pasta dishes. The menu has a strong Mediterranean feel – with many dishes being cooked over fire – which has been created by both Paul Ainsworth and head chef Mike Probert. The outdoor terrace is a real treat, but is first come first serve.
Location: 4 New Street, Padstow, PL28 8EA
Rick Stein’s French outpost, St Petroc’s Bistro dining might be French inspired, but the menu very much celebrates the finest local Cornish produce. In true Padstow style, this pretty Padstow townhouse is on a steep hill, not far from the harbour. Diners can expect quality Cornish steaks from award-winning Philip Warrens, or the freshest seafood catch. They also have a dog-friendly courtyard, if you’re being joined by a four-legged friend.
Location: The Drang, 11 Broad St, Padstow PL28 8BS
A Padstow restaurant with a view, has to be the Mussel Box right on the harbour. And on most tables you’ll find – yes you guessed it – mussels. The classic mariniere is a popular choice, but if you’d rather you can have your mussels as a curry, chilli or sauteed with fennel, leek and saffron. You don’t have to be a shellfish enthusiast though, on the menu you’ll find locally sourced pork belly and steak dishes, alongside a selection of vegetarian plates. Also if you’re on the hunt for a roast dinner in Padstow, you’ll be well fed here.
Location: 1A The Strand, Padstow PL28 8AJ
A unique Padstow restaurant, it’s quite obvious what they specialise in here. But don’t mistake that for predictable… Burgers & Fish boast a creative menu. If they had you at burgers, you’ll find quality beef from local Cornish farms, to make delicious handmade 100 per cent beef burgers, or if fish is your persuasion the dishes are diverse from sea trout and monkfish to mussels and octopus. A great family-friendly restaurant in Padstow, where dogs can come too.
Location: Harlyn, Padstow PL28 8SQ
The Lobster Shed is the casual under-canvas dining offshoot at The Pig at Harlyn Bay, that’s if tucking into delicious lobster while overlooking a coastal backdrop can be called casual? With a retractable roof and sides, when the sun’s playing ball it’s flooded with Cornish sunshine, or when the elements aren’t on your side – this is Cornwall, after all – all tables are protected. Brilliant fish goes beyond the lobster protagonist, with the squid being exquisite. There’s a dedicated kids menu, and dogs are welcome to join too.
Location: St Issey, Padstow, Wadebridge PL27 7QQ
The Pickwick Inn is situated in St Issey, less than five miles outside of Padstow, and has been welcoming visitors for over forty years. Its fresh, airy reputable Oliver’s Restaurant with a fantastic view is an admired Padstow restaurant thanks to its extensive menu, serving everything from Westcountry oysters to Cornish duck breast poke bowls and heartier burgers and pies. The popular Dickensian style bar with cosy log burner and charming trinkets, is a space where dogs are welcome too, and the same menu runs throughout.
Dreaming of booking a holiday in picturesque Padstow? We have brought together our favourite luxury holiday cottages in Padstow, to inspire your Cornish escape.