10 Best Restaurants in Cornwall for a Special Occasion

North Cornwall is undoubtedly heaven for food lovers, with so many amazing places to eat, and the perfect setting for a special occasion. From Michelin starred fine dining to great pub restaurants, there’s something for all tastes and budgets. So if you’re celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, or maybe looking for somewhere to pop the question, here’s our list of the 10 best restaurants in Cornwall for a special occasion.

 10 best restaurants for a special occasion

1. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw – the ultimate venue for a special occasion with 2 Michelin stars, this is a real treat with friendly and attentive staff. The restaurant is in a prime location overlooking the sea at Port Isaac, and has views along the coast towards Tintagel. Offers a fabulous seafood tasting menu, using fresh seafood caught locally, starting at £130. 6 New Road, Port Isaac PL29 3SB Tel: 01208 880896.

2. The Seafood Restaurant – Rick Stein’s flagship restaurant, and the beginning of his empire, with gorgeous views over the estuary at Padstow. In addition to the main restaurant area there’s also a seafood bar where no reservations are required. Serves exclusively seafood, so not one for vegetarians! Starters from £10.50, main courses from £26. They also do an excellent set lunch with 3 courses for £32.95. Riverside, Padstow, PL28 8BY. Tel: 01841 532700.

3. Paul Ainsworth at No 6 – this is a friendly and relatively affordable 1 Michelin starred restaurant in a lovely Georgian townhouse in the centre of Padstow. Serves modern British food using locally sourced produce. Choose from the wonderful a la carte menu or enjoy a set lunch. Vegetarian options and children’s menus are also available - so perhaps a good choice for Mother's Day too. Starters from £13 and mains from £31. Set lunch - 2 courses £25, 3 courses £29. 6 Middle Street, Padstow PL28 8AP Tel: 01841 532093.

 Fresh locally caught seafood in Cornwall

4. Fifteen Cornwall - Jamie Oliver’s famous restaurant with spectacular views across Watergate Bay.  Offers a changing daily Italian-influenced menu using seasonal ingredients from Cornish and Italian suppliers. Fantastic wines and cocktails too. Choose from the a la carte menu or enjoy their delicious tasting menus, including an excellent vegetarian option, from £65. All profits go to the charity, Cornwall Food Foundation.  Watergate Bay, Newquay TR8 4AA Tel: 01637 861000.

5. The St Tudy Inn - our local, just 2 miles from us at Tredarrup Holiday Cottages. A stylish gastro pub, with roaring log fire, set in the lovely neighbouring village of St. Tudy. Features in both the Michelin Guide and the Good Food Guide. Serves beautifully presented seasonal food made with locally sourced Cornish ingredients. Great selection of seafood, meat and vegetarian options, with starters from £6.50 and mains from £13. Dogs welcome in the bar area. St. Tudy, PL30 3NN Tel: 01208 850656.

6. Rojano’s in the Square – another from the fabulous Paul Ainsworth in the centre of Padstow, this one being a more informal Italian and Mediterranean restaurant.  Serves great pizza and pasta dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. In nice weather you can eat in the outside courtyard and dogs are allowed out here too. Starters from £8 and mains £10 - £20. 9 Mill Square, Pastow, PL28 8AE Tel: 01841 532796.

 Pizza and pasta at Rojano's in the Square

7. The Coombe Barton Inn - this is a lovely pub restaurant with good quality pub food and gorgeous views over the beach at Crackington Haven – be sure to ask for a table in the window when booking. Menu changes regularly but examples are a potted brown shrimp starter and short rib of beef main. They also do an excellent Sunday roast. Starters from £5.50, mains from £10. A reasonably priced option made special by the view and this one is dog-friendly too. Crackington Haven, EX230JG Tel: 01840 230345.

8. The Fish Kitchen - another very special restaurant from Nathan Outlaw, with 1 Michelin star, in a charming 15th century property right on the harbour in Port Isaac next to the lifeboat station. If you're a fan of ITV's Doc Martin you may well recognise it. Serving fresh seafood landed by the fishing boats you can see from the windows. Try the gorgeous sharing menu at £45 per person, or choose from a selection of small plates. 1 Middle Street, Port Isaac, PL29 3RH Tel: 01208 881183.

9. Greens of Padstow - serving simple, good food in relaxed surroundings and with fabulous views – the restaurant is just beyond the harbour and overlooks the Camel Estuary. Choice of burgers, steaks, fish and a good selection for vegetarians. Antipasti board £8.50, mains from £12.50. Dogs are welcome in the outdoor area. North Quay, Padstow, PL28 8AF Tel: 01841 532002.

10. The Cornish Arms - Rick Stein’s pub in St. Merryn near Padstow.  Excellent food, as you would expect, in relaxed surroundings and it's dog-friendly throughout. Lots of lovely Cornish ales and ciders to choose from. Lovely large terrace too for when the weather’s nice. Look out for the brilliant Beer and Mussel Festival that's held here every March - not to be missed. Starters from £6 and mains from £11. No bookings taken, just turn up. Churchtown, St. Merryn, Padstow PL28 8ND Tel: 01841 532700.

And finally, if you have any recommendations then we'd love to hear them - just pop them in the comments below!

PS. If you'd rather not drive, why not book a taxi? We can recommend our local firm based in St. Teath and for special occasions we'd recommend booking well in advance - North Cornwall Taxis Tel: 07771 882 374.

 Lots of great restaurants to choose from in North Cornwall