Restaurants in St Ives: 13 of the tastiest places to go

PUBLISHED: 09:13 05 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:13 05 April 2018

Picture supplied by Porthminster Kitchen

Picture supplied by Porthminster Kitchen


Whether you’re a seasoned local looking to try somewhere new or you’re visiting the beautiful coastal town on holiday, St Ives has some of the best restaurants in Cornwall. In no particular order, we pick 13 of the best places to go

The Black Rock

Market Place

The Black Rock has gone from strength to strength since its opening almost 10 years ago and has established itself as one of the leading restaurants on the St Ives foodie scene. Since 2008, the restaurant has earned and maintained a Bib Gourmand Award from the Michelin Guide – one of only six restaurants in the county to have this prestigious accolade.

Expect no-frills rustic dining at The Black Rock. Ingredients here are local and the small but carefully crafted menu is ever changing with the seasons. We think the prices are incredibly modest considering the quality of the food. The set menu is just £19.50 for two courses or three for £22.50.

Good to know: Keep an eye out for the selection of local artwork that adorns the restaurant’s walls, most of which can be purchased.

Porthminster/Porthgwidden Beach Café

Porthminster Beach and Porthgwidden Beach

Both of these café-cum-restaurants have stunning coastal views of the white sandy beaches and turquoise seas that surround St Ives. Fish is the name of the game at these upmarket eateries and you can tuck into some of the finest bounty that the Cornish waters have to offer.

Cornish crab linguine, whole grilled lobster and monkfish curry are just some of the dishes that have graced the menu with seafood sourced locally from St Ives, Newlyn, Looe and Mevagissey. Vegetables, herbs and salad are taken from the cafés’ Porthminster garden.

Good to know: There is a generous selection of Cornish wines on the wine list, including bottles of quaffable sparkling wine from Polgoon and crisp whites from Camel Valley.


Wharf Road

Line-caught fish and seasonal and locally-sourced produce dominate the Michelin standard menu at Alba. Using a creative mixture of delicious ingredients, award-winning chef Grant Nethercott, cooks up a selection of mouth watering seafood dishes.

The large glass front of the restaurant allows diners to watch the tide roll in to St Ives harbour while they devour fish caught from the Cornish waters right under their nose.

Good to know: The A Bar is the perfect place for guests to start or finish the evening with a cocktail. Espresso Martini anyone?

Click here to read about the best seafood restaurants in Cornwall >>>

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Seafood Cafe

Fore Street

Tucked away from the harbour in the cobbled backstreets of St Ives, you’ll find the delightful Seafood Café. The restaurant has a different take on traditional dining. With a large cabinet of ever-changing fish on display, you make a selection and inform the chef of your cooking preferences.

Take a pick from potatoes, salad and vegetables to accompany the fish and choose a sauce and your personalised meal will be freshly prepared and bought over to you to enjoy. Finish the meal with a Cornish cheeseboard and a large glass of rioja, or a delicious pud from the dessert menu.

Good to know: The Seafood Café also serves a range of meats and poultry including steaks, lamb shanks, pork fillets, duck and chicken with a range of sauces to accompany them.

Porthminster Kitchen

Wharf Road

Take a break from the crowds in St Ives and hide away with good food, great wine and even better company on the sun-trapped terrace of the Porthminster Kitchen. Nibble on a basket of bread and a bowl of olives while taking a look at the menu – the only difficulty of dining here is choosing what to have.

On the menu there are meaty mains such as braised shoulder of lamb and rib eye steaks, or fishy suppers that include big bowls of mussels and crab bouillabaisse.

Good to know: The vast majority of dishes on the menu are dairy and/or gluten free making this restaurant accessible to those with dietary requirements.

The Loft

Norway Lane

For supper with a sea view, head to The Loft in St Ives where there is a terrace to enjoy tasty Cornish food and drink al fresco in the summer, or a light and airy restaurant to eat in throughout the year.

Like most of the fine dining restaurants in St Ives, the menu is subject to change with the seasons but diners can look forward to seafood and British classics such as belly pork and crispy fish and chips. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the specials board for a number of mouth-watering dishes that are bound to entice you from the everyday menu.

Good to know: The Loft puts on a cracking Sunday lunch that’s not to be missed on a weekend visit to the town.

The Cellar Bistro

Fore Street

This restaurant is one of the cosiest restaurants in St Ives with its rouge red walls and candlelit tables; it is the perfect setting to enjoy a romantic supper with a loved one.

The restaurant samples some of Cornwall’s freshest catches of the day so expect herb crusted hake, crispy sea bass fillets and tender calamari among some hearty mains such as duck and sausage cassoulet and roast chicken supreme; perfect winter warmers on a blustery day.

Good to know: The Cellar Bistro has a cheeseboard served with port. The selection of local cheese is sourced from nearby farms and dairies in Cornwall.

And another thing… The Cellar Bistro is closed from 18 November until January 2018 for the winter season.

Blas Burgerworks

The Warren

Blas Burgerworks is one of the town’s best kept secrets. It is a great place to refuel on burgers after a day spent paddling in the sea at Porthminster beach.

All of the ingredients are local; from the burgers and buns down to the dips and chips. Expect succulent 6oz patties with a range of toppings. We’ve had the truffle burger with Cornish blue cheese and truffle aioli and we can confirm it was delicious.

Good to know: Blas Burgerworks also has a tempting pudding menu. The banana split with clotted cream and salted caramel is the perfect way to finish your feast.

Click here to read about the best burgers in Cornwall >>>

Carbis Bay Hotel Beach Club Restaurant

Carbis Bay Beach

On the outskirts of St Ives (and around the corner from Porthminster Beach) you’ll find Carbis Bay Hotel’s Beach Club Restaurant. This eatery is perfect for many occasions; whether you’ve just rolled in off the beach and fancy a spot of lunch, spent the morning relaxing in the Carbis Bay Hotel Spa or you’re looking to experience a fine dining affair with your other half.

Unwind with a grazing board for two and a large glass of Sauvignon Blanc while you watching the tide roll in.

Good to know: The Beach Club Restaurant also caters for breakfast. We can’t think of a better way to start the day than with a Champagne breakfast for two as the sun rises over Carbis Bay beach.

The Firehouse

Fore Street

The Firehouse is an ideal haunt to retreat to after a day spent exploring all that St Ives has to offer. If you’re lucky enough to be seated to the left of the bar upstairs you can enjoy views over St Ives Harbour as you wine and dine.

The Firehouse is a haven for meat lovers as succulent steaks, rotisserie chickens, ribs and burgers dominate the bulk of the menu. Prices here are extremely modest with a fillet steak costing only £16, so dig in!

Good to know: Don’t miss the gin cocktail menu. We love the Cornish Garden made with Cornish gin, cucumber, elderflower, ginger beer and fresh mint; it’s very moreish.

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The Mex

Gabriel Street

For something a little different to the usual seaside fayre found in St Ives, head to The Mex, an independently run Mexican restaurant about five minutes walk from the harbour. Inside you’ll find a cosy yet colourful interior with lots of authentic Mexican dishes on the menu and Tequila behind the bar. Be warned: the restaurant is small and it fills up fast so book ahead to avoid disappointment.

Aside from the usual cuisine such as fajitas, burritos, nachos, chimichanga and quesadillas, you’ll also find BBQ chicken, ribs, fish curry and Tequila king prawns on the menu. There’s also a section of the menu dedicated to vegetarians.

Good to know: There are over a dozen different types of Tequila behind the bar at The Mex. ¡Salud!

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The Mermaid

Fish Street

Calling all seafood aficionados! Cornwall is famed for its seafood and with so many restaurants specialising in freshly caught fish, it’s often difficult to decide where to go - so let us help you. The Mermaid can be found in the appropriately named Fish Street in the old fishing quarters of St Ives and it is renowned for its extensive menu of seafood. It’s almost impossible to choose between fish platters, seafood pots, tiger prawn curries, scallops and even the trusty old fish and chips – we wish we could have it all.

The restaurant has a nautical décor with fishing nets hanging from the ceilings and pictures of old fishing boats and their owners hanging on the walls.

Good to know: If a member of your party doesn’t like seafood (yes these types of people walk among us in Cornwall), then fret not. The Mermaid also has a range of dishes to sate the appetites of veggies and meat lovers alike.

Click here to read about the best fish and chips in Cornwall >>>

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Wharf Road

Expect cool, laidback vibes when visiting the Hub in St Ives. Whether you’re looking for an evening out, or to cure your hangover from the night before, this is the perfect spot for indulging in delicious burgers alongside beautiful views of the harbour.

The burgers here are made from 21 day dry-aged beef and served on Baker Tom buns. We like the ‘Dirty South’ with Cornish blue cheese, onions and mushrooms, served with a side of pulled pork fries. You’ll also find the Hub’s sister restaurant, Hubbox, in Truro and St Austell.

Good to know: For a truly indulgent treat, the Hub serves up a range of creamy American-style milkshakes made with ice cream and topped with a dollop of whipped cream. We love the salted caramel flavour!

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