There’s one thing you can’t deny about Cornwall – the food is dynamite.
If you’re a seafood lover, you’ll have a real treat on your tastebuds as you sample the freshest catch from the local coastline. Adding to this, the range of local produce is ever-growing from crunchy vegetables to succulent meat dishes. And it comes in more than just a pastry wrapper. Long gone are the days of only being able to find a Cornish pasty for lunch.
In fact, local chefs no bring a modern twist to classic dishes and flavours from around the world inspire new dishes every day.
The Michelin inspectors take notice too with Michelin star restaurants in Port Issac and Padstow, along with Bib Gourmand and Green Stars marking gastronomic experiences across the whole of Cornwall.
Michelin Star Restaurants in Cornwall
Let’s not spend time defining what makes a fabulous Michelin star restaurant, the flavours and experiences do all the talking – here’s the finest in Cornwall.
Outlaw’s New Road, Port Isaac
Outlaw’s New Road restaurant in Port Isaac is a Michelin star restaurant that offers stunning views of the harbour. The menu is seasonal and changes regularly, even daily!
You’ll savour every bite of the perfectly crafted and nuanced seafood dishes such as dover sole, bass, and scallops all locally fished from Cornish waters. Of course, it’s perfectly cooked, more so the creativity in flavours is a truly delicious joy. We’re talking sea bass with ricotta dumplings or mussels, celeriac and treacle soda.
“The dishes prepared at Outlaw’s New Road reflect the location and time of the ingredients gathered, even to the day; we consider the subtle changes in produce and raw components as each season evolves. Our aim is to elevate seafood.” explains award-winning chef Nathan Outlaw. (You might recognise him from TV shows like Great British Menu and Saturday Kitchen)
The fish tasting menu is unbelievably amazing. And if you can grab yourself a table in the window to enjoy the fantastic sea view! What really sets Outlaw’s New Road apart from other restaurants is its setting. It is set on the cliff side and the dining room has floor-to-ceiling windows that unveil panoramic views of the harbour. The views are so good that you’ll struggle to tear yourself away from the table, even when you’ve cleared your plate.
Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, Port Isaac
Nathan Outlaw’s Michelin star experiences don’t just stop at New Road, he is also the master behind Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen. This stunning seafood restaurant boasts 1 Michelin star with its unrivalled take on small and original seafood dishes. Of course, it’s all locally caught in Cornish waters around Port Isaac and doesn’t compromise on quality and sustainability.
It’s stunningly good food in an indescribable location. This is one where the photos don’t do it justice. You must visit (you can’t taste anything through photos anyway…)
This restaurant warms your heart from the moment you set eyes on it. Right in the heart of Port Issac, it nestles in a 15th century fisherman’s cottage. Head inside to be greeted by smiling faces and impeccable service. You’ll be led to your table (make sure to book) surrounded by wooden beams and painted exposed brickwork. Then simply relax and enjoy in the casual atmosphere.
The menu changes regularly, depending on what is fresh and in season. But there’s no need to pick a single dish as you’re served with a fixed seafood menu. I can’t tell you exactly what you’ll be getting but expect plates bursting with flavours such as Mackerel, carrot & peanut, soy and Szechuan or cured brill, citrus and fennel.
So don’t overthink it. Take your seat in the fisherman’s cottage and let the unique seafood flavours float onto your tastebuds.
Paul Ainsworth at No.6, Padstow
Paul Ainsworth at No.6 is a Michelin-starred restaurant in Padstow. And it is worth every millimetre of the award. In fact, it might be unlucky not to have collected two stars by now. Simply the most amazing dining experience. From the moment you step in the door of the Georgain townhouse setting, the staff are fantastically attentive (and friendly!) There are three different dining areas on offer to suit your vibe. The dining room is beautiful with sneak peeks across the passe where the chefs are at work. The Florence Parker room is an intimate setting for upto 6 guests, and then the marble counter changes the ambience again as you see the development kitchen at work.
Each plate is gracefully served with a little interesting explanation about the dish, each of which feels like its own special event. Plus you’ll never notice an empty glass at the table. The food arriving is stunning both to taste and visually.
This is a proper culinary experience. Heavenly food delights all your senses with a seasonally changing menu focussing on modern British food. Often sourced locally from the land and sea around Cornwall you’ll be spoiled for choice with dishes like wild cornish turbot, pappardelle ripiene, and tallow aged fillet.
“Since we opened our doors in 2005, No.6 has truly become my life’s work.
I feel so lucky to have been on an incredible journey, discovering who I am as a chef. Trying every day to be better, and show myself and my beliefs through our menu” says Paul Ainsworth.
Bib Gourmand Restaurants in Cornwall
Everyone knows about the elite awards, but you can also find Michelin-awarded restaurants that don’t break the budget or make for a superbly relaxing meal with friends and family. The Bib Gourmand represents the best value-for-money restaurants. It is an award that often tips its hat to easygoing yet unique dining experiences. So let’s take a stroll into the cornish restaurants cooking up great food without a hefty price tag.
Sardine Factory, Looe
The restaurant is set in the Old Sardine Factory in Looe, so you can quickly see how it got it’s name! Happily, it sells a lot more than just sardines these days.
In fact, the building as a whole reopened in July 2018 following a £1.7 million restoration. New life is being breathed into the grade 2 listed building and is a hub of the local community and visitor attraction. It’s a perfect place to visit with the whole family as there’s more than just the amazing restaurant. You can check out the Looe Harbour Heritage Centre while the kids tackle the epic climbing wall.
Then head inside the Sardine Factory restaurant which is the vision of Benjamin Palmer (a Masterchef Professionals quarter finalist). The location is the proud owner of the Michelin Bib Gourmand award since 2020, and the team live up to the hype!
It’s a relatively large space with 80 covers. Try and bag yourself a spot by the windows which overlook the gorgeous harbour which is lined with lined with interesting buildings and views of the town.
As with any great local seafood restaurant it serves up a menu filled with the ethos of Looe and fish from the Cornish coastline. The menu is the BEST with plenty of crispy small plates like calamari and fish finger tacos. If that doesn’t fill you up get stuck into to a soul warming plate of crab linguine or fish and chips. And for non-fish lovers, there’s always a burger, steak, or veggie option.
If you enjoy seafood then you’ll love this place.
Rick Stein’s Cafe, Padstow
It’s no surprise, his Cafe in the centre of town is the holder of a Bib Gourmand. And it is a fabulous place to grab refreshments for brunch or lunch. A relaxed and cosy spot for a light bite in Padstow. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, with a touch of Cornish charm, and the staff are super friendly with great service.
The menu features simple yet sophisticated dishes inspired by Rick’s travels around the world, and the freshest ingredients from local sources. P.s. the steak, crab linguine, and fish cakes were all to die for (the menu might have changed a little by now.) If you arrive early enough for breakfast, then it’s got all the classics but way better than anywhere else. Whether you’re in the mood for a full English, fresh waffles, crispy bacon, or smoked salmon, you’ll struggle to find a better meal for the rest of the day. Which is ideal seeing as breakfast is the most important meal, right?
All there is left to say on this one is – thanks Rick!
The Square, Porthleven
This small harbourside bistro is the perfect spot to stop for refreshments or a meal as you explore Porthleven. The Square is a proud owner of a Michelin Bib Gourmand award and is a relaxed welcoming place to enjoy a lunch, casual dinner, or simply grab a coffee. In the summer, make sure to grab yourself a table on the terrace to soak up the sun right by the historic harbour. Inside you’ll be welcomed by friendly staff and an atmospheric little restaurant.
The food is equally as inviting with a mouthwatering menu which changes between lunch and dinner service. You’ll love the range of flavoursome food roaring out the kitchen. The menu draws on modern-day classics which unlock the true taste of Cornish produce. We’re talking local fish dishes like grilled sardines or muscles and tiger prawns. Adding to this, you’ll always find warming meaty dishes to like venison steak with red wine and peppercorn sauce or honey soy pork belly with hogs roll (the crackling was deliciously crispy on the latter.)
For dessert, it’s best not to miss out on homemade ice creams. Cornish clotted cream vanilla anyone? Or perhaps chocolate and honeycomb?
Over the harbourside in Porthleven, you’ll find another Bib Gourmand favourite, Kota. The name means shellfish in Maori so it’s not at all surprising to find a seafood heavy menu. But you’ll find different flavours to elsewhere in Cornwall with Asian influences intertwined through the dishes. This is a relaxed unfussy world where that excites all your senses. As you enter the perfumes of what you’re about the experience float from the kitchen.
Lunch or dinner, you’re in for a treat as chef Jude Kereama, puts his twist of flair into tempura oysters, Mussels Thai yellow curry, lamb cooked two ways, or Kataifi wrapped monkfish.
The staff too are polite, welcoming and knowledgeable explaining anything on the menu that you’re not sure about. Adding to this, the amazing food extends to dietary requests including an added vegan menu on request.
P.s if you can’t choose what to have the 4 or 6 course tasting menu awaits.
Michelin Green Star Restaurants in Cornwall
A relatively new Michelin award is the Green Star. It highlights restaurants leading the industry for sustainable practices. This means high ethical and environmental standards, sustainable suppliers, and reduced waste in the supply chain. As you might have guessed, there’s a selection of these unique restaurants in Cornwall too!
Coombeshead Farm, Lewannick
Well, if you’re looking for the freshest farm-to-fork experience, then Coombeshead Farm is a leading light. It is a working 66 acre farm in Lewannick – near Launceston. It might be a bit of a drive for many further into Cornwall, but it’s easily accessible just off the A30.
The venue is a farm, restaurant, and guesthouse and the perfect cosy retreat (with delicious food.) The restaurant is open Wednesday to Sunday with an always varying menu depending on what’s fresh off the farm. You’ll be choosing from all manner of food reared and grown on the farm from pies, to chicken, to fresh seasonal vegetables, to pickles, and something sweet.
You’ll never want to leave one of Cornwall’s cosiest farm stays with dynamite food.
New Yard, Trelowarren
Rounding off this incredible selection of Cornish restaurants is New Yard. And it’s as family run as it gets, set in a historic stableyard on an estate owned by the same family for over 600 years. It’s no wonder they know what they’re doing!
The restaurant menu changes each night with plates created from produce foraged on the estate, grown in the gardens, or sourced from the local area. Relax in the stunning converted stables and feel the goodness of fresh food nourishing your body and palette. Everyone here is incredibly welcoming and caring with the focus on sustainability running through everything on offer. For a lovely way to kick off your evening try a cocktail in the outside sun. And don’t forget to book in the evenings!
Cornwall’s Michelin Star Restaurants
Well, there’s plenty here for you to digest, literally and metaphorically. If you’ve read this far, then good luck as you’ll have a hard time choosing where to start with your culinary adventure of Cornwall.
You have to admit is that seafood lovers are in their element with Michelin star menus featuring locally caught fish at Outlaw’s and No. 6. While The Sardine Factory and Kota provide a relaxed yet fresh take on their menus. Brunch can’t be missed at Rick Steins Cafe. Plus a focus on sustainability brings life to Coombeshead Farm and New Yard.
Introducing Eliot, the Editor here and Cornwall local with a wanderlust spirit and an insatiable appetite for adventure. With a passion for the great outdoors, he can often be found catching waves on his surfboard, scaling peaks on a hiking trail, or discovering hidden gems in his exploration of Cornwall.