The 15 best restaurants and pubs in St Ives holiday cottages

The 15 best restaurants and pubs in St Ives

Deborah Caine 03 May 2024

With cobbled streets bursting with flower baskets, spectacular sandy beaches and an abundance of artist’s natural light, the harbour town of St Ives in Cornwall paints a pretty picture indeed. 

It is no surprise that along the seafront and tucked around every corner, you’ll find a fantastic choice of eateries, offering a range of meal options to suit every dietary preference. As a heads-up, booking is required or advised for many of the pubs and restaurants in St Ives and opening hours may be updated throughout the seasons.

To give you a taste of just what’s on offer, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite St Ives restaurants. Whether it’s fine dining you seek, date-night romance, or vegan fayre, there’s something for every palate to be found here.

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Sea view restaurants in St Ives 

Best for seafood with a view | Porthminster Beach Café

Visitors dining outside Porthminster Beach Cafe with views over the beachPhoto credit: Porthminster Beach Cafe

Set in a pretty, white-washed, Art Deco building on Porthminster Beach, with views over to Godrevy Lighthouse, Porthminster Beach Cafe updates its menu regularly. With dishes such as poached smoked haddock with hash browns and Comte bechamel to start, seafood linguine main and Miss Bell’s blue, walnut tart for dessert – seafood lovers will not be disappointed. There’s an impressive wine list, a children’s menu, ‘roast’ dates online and tables for dining with your furry friends. There’s a town-side takeaway and gin bar close by, for a refreshing, post-swim cocktail or mocktail. Sister-restaurant, Porthminster Kitchen offers equally stunning dining vistas.    

Good to know: 

  • Where is Porthminster Beach Café? Porthminster Beach, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 2EB
  • How much does it cost to dine at Porthminster Beach Café? £55 per head. Browse the Porthminster Beach Cafe menu. 
  • When is Porthminster Beach Café open? Every day 12pm–9pm 
  • Stay nearby: Carrack Vean | sleeps 6 

Best for a special treat: Ugly Butterfly 

Beautifully presented main meat dish on plate

On the Carbis Bay Estate, a mile away from the main hub of restaurants in St Ives, awaits celebrated, Michelin-star chef and owner, Adam Handling’s beautiful, Ugly Butterly restaurant. Offering panoramic bay views in an airy, contemporary setting, Ugly Butterfly prides itself on sustainability and using all parts of the produce. You’ll find tasty offcuts prepared in the snacks, and stems and tops garnishing the cocktails. They have a chef’s menu, a vegetarian menu and a delectable afternoon tea menu. The chef’s current sample menu includes bread and chicken butter, BBQ monkfish with three-cornered leek and roast bone, and Cornish lemon. If you enjoy fine dining whilst on holiday, check out our guide to Michelin-star restaurants in Cornwall.

Good to know: 

  • Where is Ugly Butterfly? Carbis Bay Estate, Carbis Bay, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 2NP
  • How much does it cost to dine at Ugly Butterfly? £135 per head. For more information check out the Ugly Butterfly sample menu.
  • When is Ugly Butterfly open? Tuesday 5pm–10pm, Wednesday–Saturday 12pm–2pm and 5pm–10pm. Check the website for the bar and afternoon tea hours. Reservations required
  • Stay nearby: Lamorna | sleeps 8 + 1  dog 

Best for tapas: Porthmeor Beach Café

Porthmeor Beach Café overlooking the beachPhoto credit: Porthmeor Beach Cafe

Below the Tate St Ives, with indoor and outdoor seating areas, Porthmeor Beach Café serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a modern, buzzy space. Tapas offerings include grilled halloumi, confit tomatoes, za’atar and fattoush and Serrano ham with Cornish blue cheese, pear, candied walnuts and honey. But if you’re not feeling like sharing, there are main options too. There’s a children’s menu and dogs are welcome on the terrace too. Be sure to check out our guide on some of the other best beach cafes in Cornwall.

Good to know: 

  • Where is Porthmeor Beach Café? Porthmeor Beach, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1JZ
  • How much does it cost to dine at Porthmeor Beach Café? £46 for five tapas plates. For more information, check out the Porthmeor Beach menu.
  • When is Porthmeor Beach Café open? Every day 8.30am–9pm (check website for full info)
  • Stay nearby: Carthew House | sleeps 7 

Best for sharing plates: Talay Thai Kitchen

Delicious bowls of Thai food with chopsticks

Whether it’s date night or dinner out with friends, who wouldn’t love taking in Talay Thai’s sea views in its modern, elegant setting while sipping a Pink Flamingo cocktail? And that’s all before dinner. Based on the flavours and dishes of authentic Thai street food, the menu offers a good selection including Thai fish cakes, massaman curry and noodles. A perfect place for sharing (if you choose to). 

Good to know: 

  • Where is Talay Thai Kitchen? Wharf Road, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1LF
  • How much does it cost to dine at Talay Thai Kitchen? £22 per head. For more information check out the Talay Thai menu. Takeaway menu also available.
  • When is Talay Thai Kitchen open? Every day, 12pm–10pm
  • Stay nearby: Lower Chy An Meor | sleeps 8 

Seafood restaurants in St Ives

Best for old-school romance: The Mermaid

Photo of lovely white fish dish on plate

Nestled within St Ives’ quaint older streets, The Mermaid seafood restaurant owns the recipe for old-fashioned romance. Originally a sail loft, then Tucker’s Pop Factory from 1904 and with several changes after; the present owners have run The Mermaid since 1980. The décor theme is ‘more is more’, and vintage photos, quirky sea-faring finds, wooden beams and church pews provide a tête-à-tête atmosphere. Here, you can enjoy dishes such as Mermaid seafood soup with warm bread, their tempting fish platter main and their twist on Eton Mess for dessert. 

Good to know: 

  • Where is The Mermaid? 21 Fish Street, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1LT
  • How much does it cost to dine at The Mermaid? £42 per head. For more information check out The Mermaid Seafood Restaurant menu.
  • When is The Mermaid open? Currently Monday – Saturday for dinner from 6pm, but check the website for updates. Reservations required
  • Stay nearby: Shell Cottage | sleeps 4 + 1 dog 

Best for tasting plates: One Fish Street 

Exterior photo of One Fish Street restaurant at nightPhoto credit: One Fish Street

With beautifully presented food and just 14 covers, this family-run restaurant is perfect for a creatively prepared and intimate dinner, where you can watch the chefs in action. Founded in 2019, One Fish Street restaurant has recently moved to new premises and is open for lunch and dinner. The evening sample-tasting menu tempts diners with plates including mushroom parfait and truffle, mackerel dumpling with crispy chilli oil, Cornish crab ravioli and forced rhubarb for dessert.  

Good to know: 

  • Where is One Fish Street? 30a Fore Street, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1HE
  • How much does it cost to dine at One Fish Street? Sample dinner tasting menu – £89 per head. Set sample lunch for two (snacks, main and dessert) £54 per head. View One Fish Street menu.
  • When is One Fish Street open? Monday–Saturday 12pm–3pm for lunch and 7pm arrival for 7.30pm dinner. Reservations required 
  • Stay nearby: Sea-esta | sleeps 5 

Best for a lovely lunch special: The Loft Restaurant and Sun Terrace

Photo of seafood pasta dish

With views over the town’s rooftops, set in the artist’s quarter, you’ll find The Loft Restaurant and Sun Terrace. The main restaurant setting is understated and ocean-chic while the Sun Terrace offers partial bay views and a space to unwind with something cool (pups are also welcome). Come the cooler months, the terrace is equipped with heaters and blankets to keep you snug. Pre-order your lobster thermidor, or delve into some local mussels and roasted butternut squash risotto. A children’s menu is available and Sunday roasts can be ordered too. Open for lunch and dinner and currently offering a lunch special. 

Good to know: 

  • Where is The Loft? Norway Lane, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1LZ
  • How much does it cost to dine at The Loft? £38 per head for the lunchtime special – two mains with a drink each. View The Loft Restaurant menu.
  • When is The Loft open? Every day, 12pm–2.15pm (until 2.45pm Sundays), then 5pm–late. Check online for updates.
  • Stay nearby: 2 Channel View | sleeps 7

Family-friendly restaurants in St Ives

Best for a relaxed family dinner: Hub St Ives

Photo of person about to eat a beef burger

American-style milkshakes for the kids and big kids alike, buttermilk chicken, burgers and dirty fries are all the go here. There’s a separate children’s menu, good veggie and vegan options and deals on the cocktails. Opened in 2003 and relaunched in 2019, Hub St Ives boasts all-seeing bay views with comfy seating and an easy-going, kick-back, holiday vibe.

Good to know: 

  • Where is Hub St Ives? 4 Wharf Road, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1LF
  • How much does it cost to dine at Hub St Ives? £22 per head based on two courses. For more information check out the Hub's menu.
  • When is Hub St Ives open? Sunday–Thursday 9am–10pm, Friday–Saturday 9am–midnight
  • Stay nearby: Seascapes | sleeps 2 

Best for lunch with the kids (and with a view!): The Beach Restaurant

Photo of vegetarian roast dish with nut roast, cabbage, Yorkshire pudding and potatoes

Owned by the same family since 1957, The Beach Restaurant is a laid-back, welcoming and super child-friendly restaurant that offers panoramic sea views. Their menu offers dishes such as lightly dusted calamari, followed by their celebrated beach chowder and a good selection of drinks. They cater for children and what’s more – they now serve Sunday roasts. And if you’re holidaying with your pup, they’re very welcome too.  

Good to know: 

  • Where is The Beach Restaurant? Beach House, Wharf Road, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1LG
  • How much does it cost to dine at The Beach Restaurant? Approx £22 for two courses. For more information check out the Beach Restaurant menu.
  • When is The Beach Restaurant open? Every day  11.30am–9.30pm
  • Stay nearby: Richards Song | sleeps 6 + 2 dogs 

Best for something different: The Rum & Crab Shack

Exterior photo of the Rum and Crab Shack

One night in 2012, four friends passionate about pairing their tipple of choice with crab, came up with the idea of The Rum & Crab Shack. In a rustic setting with first-floor sea views, they now boast over 100 rums, with Dead Man’s Fingers being their in-house offering, plus newer rum liqueur, Stargazy. Crab takes centre-stage naturally, but there’s a fine selection of other dishes including jerk chicken and Dead Man’s Fingers rib combo with fries and house coleslaw, and kids’ options too. Fancy becoming a mixologist for the night, whipping up some cocktails of your own? Enquire at The R Bar!  

Good to know: 

  • Where is The Rum & Crab Shack? Wharf Road, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1LG
  • How much does it cost to dine at The Rum & Crab Shack? £65 for the Crab Shack Sharer for four. For more information, check out the Rum and Crab Shack menu.
  • When is The Rum & Crab Shack open? Every day, 12pm–12am
  • Stay nearby: 3 Copper Kettle | sleeps 4 

Best for breakfast and brunch: Blas Burgerworks

Photo of delicious burger and chips

Uber-cool and with a free-range and fresh ethos, yep – the burgers here are already popular for lunch and dinner – complete with fantastic vegan and vegetarian options. And now Blas Burgerworks is also open for breakfast and Sunday brunch. Buttermilk pancakes, their brunch cheeseburger and crab benedict plates are all on the menu, and they serve up something a little different in the way of nasi goreng and huevos rancheros too. 

Good to know: 

  • Where is Blas Burgerworks? The Warren, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 2EA
  • How much does it cost to dine at Blas Burgerworks? £10 per head for breakfast. For more information check out the Blas Burgerworks menu.
  • When is Blas Burgerworks open? Opening times may vary, so check the website
  • Stay nearby: Westcott House | sleeps 8 + 1 dog  

Takeaways in St Ives

Best for fish and chips: Harbour Fish & Chips

Photo of mouth-watering fish and chips on black slate

Nothing beats well-cooked fish and chips. Harbour Fish & Chips, along the harbour front as the name suggests, claims the best fish and chips St Ives has to offer. You can dine in or takeaway, though they don’t take bookings. Cod, haddock, bass and lemon sole are a few of the super-fresh meal options. Even the potatoes for the chips are grown just down the road. There’s a separate menu section for kids and a good drinks selection. After all, nothing quite denotes decadence than a glass of bubbles with your St Ives fish and chips!

Good to know: 

  • Where is Harbour Fish & Chips? Wharf Road, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1LF
  • How much does it cost to dine at Harbour Fish & Chips? £27 for their seafood sharing plate with chips. For more information, check out the Harbour Fish & Chips menu.
  • When is Harbour Fish & Chips open? Every day, 12pm–10pm (check website for variations)
  • Stay nearby: Harbour Sands | sleeps 5

Best for vegans and vegetarians: The Bean Inn  

Photo of friends enjoying vegetarian food around a table

A mile out of town, away from the restaurants St Ives has to offer, you’ll find The Bean Inn, a relaxed, vegan and vegetarian restaurant in Carbis Bay with dine-in and takeaway options. You could share a seasonal Buddha bowl to start, tuck into stuffed potato cakes with pea curry, spiced veggies and tarka dahl and finish with their chocolate and orange mud pie. A children’s menu is available too. Check opening times, as these may vary weekly. 

Good to know: 

  • Where is The Bean Inn? St Ives Road, Carbis Bay, Cornwall, TR26 2RT
  • How much does it cost to dine at The Bean Inn? £33 per head based on three courses. For more information check out The Bean Inn menu.
  • When is The Bean Inn open? Currently Tuesday–Saturday from 5pm (check website for full info)
  • Stay nearby: Trevarno 6 | sleeps 6 + 2 dogs

Pubs in St Ives

Best historical pub (and it’s on the harbour front): The Sloop Inn

Exterior photo of the Sloop Inn with lots of people drinking on benchesPhoto credit: The Sloop Inn

As far as cosy and traditional pubs in St Ives go, the harbour-front Sloop Inn harks back to circa 1312. There are three bars, real ales, live music and outdoor seating for catching some rays. The main pub is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with offerings including line-caught St Ives Bay mackerel, homemade fish pie, burgers and steaks (sandwiches too at lunch). The Captain’s Table on the first floor has just 26 covers and serves local, seasonal meals (booking is essential), while The Upper Deck welcomes over 18s for drinks in the sunshine. The Sloop Inn is also one of the top dog-friendly pubs in Cornwall.

Good to know: 

  • Where is The Sloop Inn? The Wharf, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1LP
  • How much does it cost to dine at The Sloop Inn? £22 per head based on two courses. For more information check out the Sloop Inn menu.
  • When is The Sloop Inn open? Breakfast 9am–11am, main menu 12pm–3pm, then 5pm–late.
  • Stay nearby: Upper Black Rock | sleeps 4 + 1 dog 

Best way to meet the locals: The Golden Lion

Photo of group drinks at a pub

A popular hangout of the locals, this characterful, traditional pub is situated in the town centre, with two bars and a cute, courtyard beer garden. Families are welcome and it’s also dog friendly. They serve a range of good value, pub-style meals, real ales and coffee, with live music and sports TVs. 

Good to know: 

  • Where is The Golden Lion? Market Place, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1RZ
  • How much does it cost to dine at The Golden Lion? £14 per head based on two courses. 
  • When is The Golden Lion open? Every day, 12pm–1am.
  • Stay nearby: The Upper Crust Apartment | sleeps 8 + 1 dog 

St Ives restaurants map

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Stay with us in St Ives in a self-catering holiday cottage

We hope we’ve presented you with a delicious serving of St Ives restaurants and pubs. If you’re looking to book a holiday in St Ives, we have a wonderful range of accommodation options available for you, whatever your requirements. St Ives is one of Cornwall’s premier destinations, be sure to check out our ultimate guide to things to do in St Ives and our guide on top places to stay in Cornwall, which includes St Ives.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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