When it comes to the top 10 places to eat in Padstow we are spoilt for choice, with a wide range of restaurants and cafés to suit all palates.
One cannot begin to discuss restaurants in Padstow without paying tribute to the influence of Rick Stein. Rick’s Seafood Restaurant, set up in 1975, has trail-blazed the way to a new kind of dining in this quaint harbour town and indeed throughout Cornwall as a whole. The ethos of quality local produce and freshly caught fish and seafood has made the county a key player in the UK hospitality industry today.
The Seafood Restaurant
Since opening its doors in 1975 Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant has gained an international reputation for the quality and freshness of its fish and seafood. This is a formal restaurant, with children over 3 welcome and reservations advised, although you can eat at the Seafood Bar without a reservation. The menu features exquisite, classic dishes and the stylish restaurant interior has a light, contemporary feel.
Paul Ainsworth at Number 6
Since becoming Padstow’s first restaurant to win a Michelin star in 2012 Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 continues to provide a Michelin star experience to locals and holidaymakers alike. The service is attentive and staff are always happy to advise on food or wine choices.
The menu features a range of modern British dishes. But don’t be put off by simple names used on the menu. Titles such as “duck”, or “cheese” belie the spectacular dishes they represent.
Greens of Padstow
Greens of Padstow is found high up above the harbour with views across the Camel Estuary. An outdoor terrace allows you to soak up the sunshine as you tuck into their varied and reasonably priced menu. And don’t forget to sample their delicious homemade cakes. The gardens include a mini golf course too – great entertainment for adults and kids alike.
Another contender for the top 10 places to eat in Padstow is The Basement, located in a cute quayside courtyard. This café, bar and restaurant has a covered seating area that offers an alfresco dining experience with views of the boats. It is a dog-friendly café during the daytime with a casual, relaxed atmosphere.
The kitchen sources local ingredients and aims to add a creative flair to all their dishes. Menus vary daily to feature the local fishermen’s catch of the day. They also offer a fantastic Sunday roast menu, which can be followed by a stroll around the harbour.
Rojano’s in the Square
For the fans of Italian cuisine, Rojanos’s in the Square is the perfect place to find a pizza. Set up in 1974 by Stanley Rojano, the restaurant was taken over by Paul Ainsworth in 2011 and serves rustic Italian and Mediterranean inspired dishes.
Rojano’s is housed in an eighteenth century building that initially served as a bootmakers for the local seafarers. It has the relaxed and friendly feel of a family run restaurant and provides a warm welcome to all guests. Complete your meal with fine Italian wine to enjoy the full Mediterranean experience.
Prawn on the Lawn
After the success of their Islington restaurant by the same name, owners Rick and Katie Toogood relocated to Padstow in 2015 to set up this charming restaurant and fully licensed fishmonger. The small size of the restaurant adds to its charm and it has featured in the Michelin Guide, as well as the Times Top 100 restaurants in the UK.
The menu changes on a daily basis but never fails to feature their signature dish “prawn on the lawn”. The restaurant works with local Cornish suppliers to serve fresh, seasonal food that compliments its harbour town surroundings.
Shipwrights is a St Austell Brewery Inn serving good quality pub food alongside locally brewed ales. A family friendly environment and kids’ menu make it a great option with children, and dogs are also welcome. The building is a traditional Cornish public house that has been serving local fishermen and tradespeople for years.
St Petroc’s Bistro
Alongside The Seafood Restaurant, there are several other Rick Stein eateries in Padstow, from the acclaimed take-away Stein’s Fish and Chips to his Seafood Bar and Fishmongers.
St Petroc’s Bistro, while still serving seafood, has a more broadly themed menu inspired by Rick’s travels, with an excellent steak and grill menu. The Bistro offers a more relaxed dining setting than the Seafood Restaurant and dogs are welcome in the garden or bar area. As always quality, local produce is at the heart of the ethos.
The perfect place for wine lovers to enjoy a glass, this small wine merchant has an excellent range of wines on offer. Although the food menu is small, the lobster rolls are the perfect accompaniment to a glass of red. It also doubles as a coffee shop if you are feeling it is too early in the day to start the wines. But then again, when on holiday…
The Old Custom House
Also owned by the St Austell Brewery, the Old Custom House holds a prominent position in front of the harbour and serves classic pub food, all cooked fresh. It also serves coffee, cakes and sandwiches if you are stopping for something lighter. And of course it stocks a range of local ales and ciders.
Whilst these are our top 10 places to eat in Padstow, the list could go on, since the region is a haven for foodies. If you are looking for how else to fill your time during your stay, here is our list of things to do in Padstow.