From freshly caught lobster to foraged food, St Ives boasts an array of exceptional restaurants, with plenty to satisfy even the keenest foodie, so there is plenty of places to eat in St Ives.
Here we have picked out some of our top 20 places to eat in St Ives, from rustic charm to stylish seafood.
In the old fishing quarter of St Ives, on the aptly named Fish Street, resides The Mermaid. This family owned restaurant is one of the oldest in town and has a charming, nautical themed interior. They serve a range of platters, seafood pots and other tantalising seafood dishes. Lobsters are their speciality.
Porthminster Beach Café
An award-winning restaurant with a passion for quality, local ingredients and a kitchen garden that supplies many of their herbs and vegetables. The quirky, creative menu even features foraged food and there are a selection of Cornish wines to be sampled. Not to mention the breath-taking ocean views.
The Sloop Inn
This 14th Century pub, one of the oldest in the UK, is located right on the harbour and has fantastic sea views. A great place to enjoy a relaxed evening and a hearty meal, or if you prefer table service head upstairs to the Captains Table restaurant above.
The Seafood Café, found on the cobbles streets of St Ives town centre, has a menu with a difference. After selecting your freshly caught seafood from the display counter you then design your own dish, with a choice of salad, potatoes, vegetables and sauces. There are also meat and poultry dishes on offer.
Voted by Cobra beer as the best Indian Restaurant in Cornwall, Rajpoot offers all the Indian classics as well as a few specialities. You can bring your own alcohol to enjoy with the meal, or there is a takeaway menu if you prefer.
The Rum & Crab Shack
Also guaranteed to make the top 20 places to eat in St Ives, the Rum and Crab Shack is a unique, quirky restaurant with panoramic views of the harbour. It is located quayside and has a fantastic rum and cocktail menu as well as serving deliciously fresh Cornish crab.
Benefiting from a front seat harbour location, the Lifeboat Inn offers amazing views and a friendly atmosphere. There are a selection of Cornish ales on tap and great pub food on the menu. With pub quizzes and live music, the inn is a hub of local community life.
Porthmeor Beach Café
The Porthmeor Beach Café, in front of the renowned Tate Gallery, is a lively café with excellent sea views and a varied, eclectic menu. Its spacious terrace offers alfresco dining overlooking the beach below. Perfect for watching the sunset with a cocktail in hand.
This charming little Mexican restaurant is popular with the locals and often busy. Their spicy Mexican classics are served with a smile and they have a range of specialist tequilas to try. It is a short walk from the harbour and has a warm, colourful atmosphere.
If you a looking for a quiet haven from the bustle of the town, this restaurant has a lovely terrace overlooking the harbour below. There are meat and fish dishes in ample supply as well as great options to suit various dietary requirements.
Combining fine dining and beautiful sea views, The Loft is found in the artist’s quarter of St Ives. Dine outdoors on their harbour-facing terrace and choose from a seasonal menu featuring plenty of British classics, all made from fresh local ingredients. It is also dog-friendly.
A great venue with a lively atmosphere. The Firehouse menu covers steaks, pizza, burgers or seafood, as well as vegetarian options too. The prices are reasonable and if you have time to stop for a drink they have an adjoining gin bar serving a wide selection of specialist gins.
Hidden down one of the town’s many quaint lanes, this burger restaurant uses fresh local ingredients to create their spectacular range of burger toppings. The menu is extensive and the ethos is eco-friendly, with electricity coming from renewable sources.
Hub St Ives is the birthplace of Hubbox and is another burger restaurant worth checking out. Enjoy quality burgers and local craft beer in a relaxed, informal setting. Ingredients are sourced locally and the lavish American milkshakes are to die for.
Talay Thai Kitchen
The Thai word “talay” means both sea view and sea food, which sums up this restaurant pretty well. Although it only opened in 2018 it is already a local favourite. They serve Thai street food in a tapas style – perfect for sharing with friends and family.
Beer & Bird
Beer & Bird is a family run affair serving up craft beer and fried chicken. The chicken is free-range and reared in Cornwall, while many of the beers are also brewed locally. Or if you prefer cider, they brew their own onsite. A lively atmosphere with occasional live music.
The Cellar Bistro
Perfect for a romantic evening out, this charming bistro is tucked away in the old town and can be hard to spot. Enjoy classic dishes with locally sourced ingredients in a warm, candlelit setting. Besides a tempting dessert menu, they have an excellent range of local Cornish cheeses for the port and cheese course.
The Queens Hotel
A gastro pub right in the town centre with a great atmosphere. The menu is varied but featuring plenty of pub classics all made from quality, locally sourced ingredients. They host live music some Saturday nights and do an excellent roast on Sundays.
Buried in the backstreets of St Ives, this cosy Indian restaurant serves delicious curries. There is a small garden tucked away at the back where you can enjoy a romantic evening away from the crowds.
If you are a fan of the traditional British fish and chips, what better place to sample it than on the Cornish coast. Balancing Eel is well known for its fish and chips, which can be eaten in or taken away. A classic way to sample the local fish on offer.
Follow the links above for each of the top 20 places to eat in St Ives to find out more about each restaurant and view their menus. With such an exceptional range of restaurants, this charming seaside town will keep you well fed, whilst leaving you hungry for more. Take a look as well at our suggestions of other things to do during your stay in St Ives.