The best places to eat seafood in Cornwall
From the crystal-clear waters off the Cornish coast, to the talented chefs whose culinary expertise are second to none, it is easy to see why Cornwall boasts some of the best seafood in the country.
We have put together a list of some of the many marvellous places in Cornwall where you are sure to find a plethora of great quality seafood.
The Wheelhouse, Seafood Restaurant & Guesthouse – Mevagissey
Mevagissey is a village which was once the heart of Cornwall’s pilchard fishing industry and still boasts a working harbour with a few small fishing boats. The Wheelhouse Seafood Restaurant and Guesthouse has dominated the West Warf of Mevagissey harbour for as long as anyone can remember.
The restaurant pays homage to the building’s fishing history by proudly displaying maritime relics, including helms, ropes and glass buoys. Meg Steeds from the Wheelhouse said: “Our restaurant boasts its own fishing boat moored directly in front of our outside dining area. The abundance of seafood and shellfish caught around the Cornish coast and landed in the harbour enables us to provide our customers with truly fresh fish.”
Meg also explained that people should come to Cornwall because it “really has something for everyone”. She said: “The beautiful scenery and landscapes, tiny beaches and amazing surf gives visitors endless activities. There are so many unspoiled and undiscovered nooks and crannies that you will never tire of coming back.”
One of the show stopper seafood dishes the restaurant creates is their locally caught crab served with chips and a dressed salad. Perfect for sharing!
The Fish House-Fistral – Newquay
Paul Harwood, chef and owner of the Fish House-Fistral in Newquay honed his skills working for Rick Stein for 14 years in Padstow. Alongside his wife Elise, the pair seized the opportunity to open their own seafood restaurant overlooking Fistral, one of the country’s most famous surfing beach.
Elise said: “We think people should come to Cornwall to see the fantastic beaches, enjoy the relaxed vibe and to experience the freshest fish and shellfish, straight from the sea. Cornwall is such a great place to live as everyone slows down to a relaxed pace, they want to enjoy outdoor life. We have the best beaches, best sunsets and best seafood.”
Chefs create a variety of dishes including a seafood broth with gurnard, crab tortellini with a lemon butter sauce and pangrattato, as well as silver mullet with mussels and asparagus.
Elise also said: “We love giving people an amazing experience at the Fish House-Fistral. We love to share the freshest seafood with great flavours, stunning views and great sunsets. We are a family-run restaurant and really care that people have a great experience with us.”
Anna from The Cornish Life said: “I visited there for the first time recently and was blown away by the food that I haven’t stopped raving about it since. The flavours and seasonings used are incredible and the quality is great too. I would highly recommend the seafood sharing platter and fish tacos.”
The Wheelhouse Crab and Oyster bar– Falmouth
This hidden gem is tucked away just off Church Street in the centre of the town. The restaurant, as the name suggests, specialises in shellfish including native Falmouth oysters, scallops, mussels, prawns and crab.
The Wheelhouse Crab and Oyster Bar is a favourite dining spot for locals and visitors. The place gets extremely busy, so if you intend to visit you are advised to book.
Elizabeth from The Cornish Bird has high praise for the restaurant: “This wonderful place is a real local’s hideaway, tucked away down a side alley just off Church Street. Stepping inside always feels like being let into a secret and exclusive club, that is if you can manage to secure a table. The Wheelhouse Crab and Oyster Bar not only serves up amazing local seafood but offers a warm and relaxed atmosphere. Eating with your hands is pretty much expected. I love it.”
SilCo Searoom Gastrobar – St Ives
The SILCo Searoom Gastrobar is “positioned perfectly” on the cobbled streets of St Ives Harbour and just a short walk from the beach. The multi-award winning gastrobar serves up local seafood, craft beers and their renowned SILCO gin.
Emily from May To October said SILCo Searoom Gastrobar is one of her favourite places to visit and described the views across the harbour as “incredible”.
She added: “Their seafood is local, and always delicious, they have a lovely tapas selection if you are visiting with a friend who isn’t keen on seafood.”
The establishment is undergoing a refurbishment and is due to reopen again in February 2019.
A scroll through their Instagram page shows some of the seafood dishes previously served. Meals include a bowl of mussels with cider and chorizo, St Ives gin cured salmon with beetroot and dill crème fraiche and king prawns with garlic butter served with a hearty portion of sourdough bread.
The Old Sail Loft Restaurant – Looe
The Old Sail Loft is one of the oldest buildings in Looe, the cellar and loft date back at least 450 years. The building is said to be a former haunt for smugglers and seafaring men of the 16th century. It was formally known as The Run probably due to its time association with smuggling which was rife along the Cornish coast.
The building, which overlooks the quay, is now home to The Old Sail Loft which specialises in steaks and fresh, local fish. Delectable dishes include Cornish seafood chowder, pan-fried Looe scallops with pickled meat radish with crushed peas, and fillets of smoked haddock poached in milk and butter served with grilled champ mash.
Cornwall Good Seafood Guide
The Cornwall Good Seafood Guide is a website to help people make informed decisions when choosing sustainable Cornish seafood. The guide contains a list of all the seafood species of commercial importance, caught or farmed in Cornwall. There are ratings to show consumers how sustainable certain fish are with descriptions on the fish and how they are caught.
Matt Slater, a spokesman for the Cornwall Good Seafood Guide, said: “In Cornwall, we are lucky to have a wealth of seafood on our doorsteps to enjoy. Cornwall’s seas are full of life and thanks to the concerted effort from the fishing industry and better management, our fisheries are more sustainable than ever. Seafood is good for you and sustainable fishing is one of the best ways of obtaining protein in terms of its carbon footprint.”
The guide also contains a “meet the fishermen” section so consumers can find out more about the Cornish fishing industry and the steps the fishermen make to ensure a “sustainable and healthy ocean”.
The county has so much to offer, whether you are staying to enjoy a Cornwall caravan parks holiday, or visiting for the weekend, stopping off at a seafood restaurant is the perfect way to make your stay memorable.