Home to an array of pretty pit stops dotted along the spectacular coastline, Cornwall’s host of beachside cafés present everything from a cosy port in a storm to a sand-between-the-toes space to tuck into some local cuisine, a traditional Cornish cream tea, or a luxury hot chocolate piled high with marshmallows.
Extend your surf trip with supper on the sand, quench your thirst and kick off your walking boots for a well-deserved break, treat the kids to a triple scoop of locally-made ice cream, or sink a glass of something cool as the sun slips below the waves.
You might want to rise with the sun and walk to your favourite cove for breakfast, or take the family for a slap-up lunch while keeping an eye on the surf conditions. You’ll find a beach café pretty much everywhere, from the wilds of West Cornwall to the sleepy south coast.
In short, wherever you are and whatever time of year you’re travelling to Cornwall, you’ll reap the benefits of a trip to the coast by gorging your senses on sea, sand and the spoils of a beach café nearby.
Here, we’ve handpicked some of our favourites...
Sandy Acres Beach Café
Best for: Estuary views and seasonal delights
Sandy Acres, 22 Sandyacres Road, Hayle TR27 5BA
With sweeping panoramas of St Ives Bay, the (slightly) hidden Sandy Acres reveals dunes and seascapes spanning from Godrevy Lighthouse to Hayle Estuary and St Ives beyond. Home to an unassuming shack nestled on the edge of the car park overlooking the ocean, the café is a cool post-surf or swim hangout for anyone fancying barista-style coffee, homemade cakes, breakfast or lunch.
There’s also ice cream, smoothies and slushy shakes for the kids, along with themed food nights and seasonal specials (think Christmas burgers and Easter egg hot chocolate). Using locally grown produce and minimising waste (especially single-use plastics), their eco ethos reflects the surrounding wild landscapes – the perfect setting to enjoy some coastal eye candy and sate your appetite.
Surfside Café & Bar
Best for: Cocktails with a sea view
Polzeath Beach, Polzeath PL27 6TB
Step off the sand and into Surfside & Rum Bar to continue the feel-good vibe of your day at the beach with the best-located café in Polzeath. Open year-round, expect a mix of entertainment, live music, and food and drink with uninterrupted sea views to boot. The menu presents seafood platters and modern tapas, small plates and lunch, and classic dishes like burgers, battered fish and chips, steak, vegan chilli, and mussels. Eat indoors or outside on the sand as you tuck into the best, locally sourced dishes alongside staggering sea views and a tipple (or two) of your choice, be it a glass of vino or one of their renowned rum cocktails.
Fistral Beach Bar
Best for: Post-surf reveries
Headland Road, Fistral Beach, Newquay TR7 1HY
Newquay is bursting with beach cafés and epic places to eat with unbeatable sea views. Gazing over the great Atlantic along north Cornwall’s ever-popular coast, Fistral Beach Bar stakes prime position on the surfing epicentre, presenting the views, the buzz – and a beachside belly fill. Offering food and drinks all day long, whether you wish to wake up with a coffee, rock up for brunch, take a break from the water for lunch, or settle in for sundowners, you’ll enjoy it with a side of seaside bliss.
Dine indoors or out as you sample something from the extensive range, which features breakfast, pizza, nachos, loaded fries, burgers, wraps, salads and snacks alongside hot drinks, beer, cider, wine, soft drinks and cocktails. Plus, there’s always entertainment on the agenda, from live music and ‘Terrace Parties’ to sports matches and sea shanty sing-alongs.
The Break Beach Bar
Best for: Seafood, soul food, and sunsets
Marine Drive Beach House B&B, Widemouth Bay, Bude EX23 0AW
Amble toward the water’s edge of Widemouth Bay on the north coast and you’ll stumble into one of the best located bars in the area: The Break. A space for ‘seafood, soul food and sunsets’, stake a sun lounger, bench or bean bag and select a dish such as chargrilled steaks and skewers, little dishes (Thai style mussels, Asian sticky wings, bang bang cauliflower), lunch (paninis, salads, kids meals), and sweets (plum rum crème brûlée, chocolate brownie, ice cream). You can also sup on a coffee or cocktail, or book your Sunday roasts or special events such as Christmas dinner and Valentine’s supper.
Porthmeor Beach Café
Best for: Mediterranean vistas
Porthmeor Beach, St Ives TR26 1JZ
Nestled between the world-famous Tate St Ives gallery and Porthmeor Beach, the coastal café is all about the oceanic ambience found in St Ives. Locally sourced ingredients are used for a menu brimming with flavour that will take you from breakfast to dinner with inimitable style and setting. Locally caught fish, Origin coffee, fresh juices, children’s options, and Cornish beverages are all menu staples. Build your own breakfast, tuck into seafood tapas or devour Cornish mussels with a glass of your favourite fizz or local ale for a sublime eating out experience before heading onto the powder-soft sands below.
Sam’s On The Beach
Best for: Beachy vibes and wood-fired pizza
14 Polkerris, Par, St Austell PL24 2TL
Boasting no less than four locations across Cornwall (including Fowey, Truro and their St Austell Diner) Sam’s is synonymous with their award-winning ‘Samburger’ – as well as some seriously swoon-worthy locations. On The Beach lives up to its namesake, and can be found in an old RNLI lifeboat station overlooking the ocean on the lulling Cornish Riviera. Home to a custom-built wood burning pizza oven and taking daily deliveries of locally caught fresh fish and seafood, expect an artisan menu chock with flavour and cooked in a sensory-filled spectacle in the open kitchen. Snuggle up in the winter or linger till sunset in the summer while admiring the endless views from the floor-to-ceiling windows and soaking up the atmosphere and lip-smacking delights of Sam’s.
Swanpool Beach Café
Best for: Insane ice creams
Swanpool Beach, Falmouth
There’s an array of cafés and restaurants with a view in the maritime town of Falmouth on Cornwall’s south coast. Open throughout the year, Swanpool Beach Café offers a takeaway service from their small beachside building, allowing customers to sit outside on the tables or wander onto the sand while enjoying the likes of homemade soup, cake, toasted ciabattas, jacket potatoes, salads, breakfast, large baps and a range of drinks. Their ‘quirky’ Cornish ice creams are a particular draw, which comprise Callestick Farm or Whippy ice cream with a mix of toppings including ‘The Hedgehog’ (honey roasted hazelnuts), ‘Over the Rainbow’ (fizzy rainbow candy sticks, rainbow puffed rice and strawberry sauce) and ‘Jaffa’ (topped with Terry’s chocolate orange segments). Each one of Falmouth’s incredible beaches boasts an excellent beach café, so you’re in for a treat whether you head to Gylly beach, Maenporth, or Swanpool!
Poldhu Beach Café
Best for: Beachside hot chocolates
Poldhu Cove, Mullion TR12 7JB
Situated in the base of a sheltered valley overlooking the beach at the Lizard Peninsula’s picturesque cove (and open year-round), Poldhu Beach Café is frequented by locals and visitors alike for its friendly service, spectacular location and mouth-watering menu. Pick from breakfast baps, stone-baked pizzas, toasted ciabattas and coffee and cake, and enjoy your takeaway on the outdoor seating or on the beach for an alfresco bite. Free live music nights provide the perfect opportunity for pizza and a Poldhu pale ale on the beach, while an assortment of ice creams, sundaes and other treats will keep kids (and sweet teeth) at bay. Warm up after a coastal walk with one of their epic hot chocolates (including ‘Tower of Toblerone’ and ‘Minty Madness’), hot mulled wine/cider, or a pumpkin spiced latte; or cool off in the summertime with a scoop of Kelly’s of Cornwall rum and raisin, strawberry, and salted caramel ice cream; or chai tea iced latte, iced Americano or refreshing bottle of Rattler.
The Hidden Hut
Best for: Epic feast nights
Portscatho, Truro TR2 5EW
You’ll find this beachside treasure on the Roseland Peninsula near St Mawes perched over the tiny cove of Porthcurnick Beach. Whether you’re walking the South West Coast Path and fancy a rest, or are in the area and keen to explore some of its more remote spots, this is an idyllic place. By day, enjoy fresh seasonal lunches like soups, chowders, spiced dhals, salads, grilled seafood and Cornish pasties – along with ad-hoc lunchtime events such as Boxing Day stews and seafood paellas; or try your luck with dinner at one of their selected summer, open-air, feast nights. Previous feasts include lobster and chips, mackerel grill and sticky ribs – so get in touch or keep an eye out on their website and social media for their latest not-to-be-missed offerings.
Best for: Dog-friendly vibes
Eastcliff Beach Road, Porthtowan TR4 8AW
A popular haunt for locals and visitors alike, Porthtowan’s laid back beach bar and brasserie sits in the centre of the rugged surf beach on the north coast. The menu is freshly prepared and cooked to order. Share nachos or dirty chips, or single out your own main of choice from the likes of the Cornish beef burger, ‘Moving Mountains’ plant-based burger, Buddha bowl, pizza, or a delicious daily special. Dogs are welcome, there’s a kids menu, regular live music events, and the drinks list ranges from local ales and ciders to spirits and soft drinks. In short, whenever you visit you’ll receive a warm welcome along with a great feed at this beautiful beach venue.
The Watering Hole
Best for: Sun-drenched sundowners
Perranporth Beach, 19 St Pirans Road, Perranporth TR6 0BH
The UK’s only bar on a beach, The Watering Hole is the beachiest of Cornish beach cafés - sitting outside is a toes-in-the-sand experience you’ll never forget and makes for a pretty spectacular beer garden! A firm favourite with locals and visitors, this Perranporth eatery is primed for post-surf pints and walking refreshers - and it’s totally dog-friendly. Pop in for a loaded hot dog, steak burger, or lentil curry after a day ambling along the cliffs or stop by for some epic live music - as the site of Cornwall’s uber-popular festival Tunes in the Dunes, you’d expect nothing less!
Kynance Cove Café
Best for: Coastal cream teas
Helston TR12 7PJ
Situated above one of the most beautiful beaches in Cornwall, Kynance Cove Café promises rather spectacular views alongside its mouth-watering menu. Dine on Cornish cream teas and locally sourced crab sandwiches as you take in the bogglingly beautiful views that surround you, sup on Cornish beers and ciders, and feast your eyes, belly, and soul on a lip-smacking hot chocolate after touring the famous surrounding coastline. Whether you come to Kynance for the views, golden sand, or incredible coastal walks, a pitstop at the café is a Cornish must.
Cabin Beach Café
Best for: Ice creams by the sea
Perranuthnoe, Penzance TR20 9NE
Whether you’re enjoying the balmy throws of a beach day or you’re exploring the South West Coast Path from Marazion or Prussia Cove, Cabin Beach Café is perfectly placed to refresh and refuel with an epic selection of tasty treats. Offering indoor and garden seating - all with staggering sea views - you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to delectable dining. Full of locally sourced dishes, which range from loaded fries to paninis and a hearty selection of homemade cakes, the menu has something for everyone. There’s also a hatch for takeaway options such as ice cream and hot and cold drinks so you can enjoy your feast-worthy fare on the beach below.
Rock Pool Café
Best for: Sandwiches and sea pools
The Parade, Mousehole, Penzance TR19 6PT
Overlooking the ever-picturesque Mousehole harbour and Mount’s Bay, Rock Pool Café has become synonymous with ocean views worth settling in for. Good thing too, as once you cast your eyes over the moreish menu, you’ll be ready to set up camp for the day. Dine on the likes of sandwiches, Cornish pasties, and cakes, and wash it all down with a hot chocolate piled high with whipped cream. They also offer tremendous cream teas - the perfect addition to an ocean-side feast in this oh-so-pretty village! The sea pool that gives this cosy café its name sits happily below, providing a lovely spot for a refreshing dip after your meal.
Keen to sample some of Cornwall’s best beach cafés during your stay? We have a huge host of holiday cottages across Cornwall, whether you fancy somewhere with seaside views, a country bolthole, stylish townhouse or characterful village cottage.