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The AA guide's best restaurants in Cornwall 2024

Cornwall is known for many delights, from its famed sandy beaches to its pretty villages and unbelievably beautiful sights and surrounds, but one of its most enticing pulls is that of the foodie scene, which boasts epic beach-side eateries and top-rated seafood restaurants – not to mention some seriously tempting Cornish pasty makers and food festivals.

A shell full of seafood from Kota in Porthleven, one of the AA guide's best restaurants 2023

Amidst the ever-expanding list of must-visit gastro pubs, fine dining restaurants, and cosy cafés, sits a select few that have made a mark on the discerning taste buds of AA inspectors, earning themselves a number of Rosettes that mark them as the best. That’s right, in the AA’s 30th Restaurant Guide, over 30 Cornish restaurants have earned themselves a Rosette (or more), proving once and for all that when it comes to good food, our beautiful county delivers time and time again. Locally sourced ingredients, cleverly constructed menus, and creative chefs are just some of the reasons these brilliant restaurants have been singled out.

Ready to get those taste buds tingling? Here’s a tempting taste of the AA guide’s best restaurants in Cornwall for 2024…

Four Rosettes

Paul Ainsworth at No.6

A caramel topped dessert at Paul Ainsworth at No6, one of the AA guide's best restaurants 2023

6 Middle Street, Padstow PL28 8AP

With a Michelin star and four AA Rosettes adorning the walls, Paul Ainsworth’s Georgian townhouse restaurant in the heart of Padstow has become synonymous with impeccable food and service. The à la carte menu features seasonal produce that compliments and enhances one another, whether it’s wines from Cornish vineyards adding depth to a sauce or wild mushrooms bringing a true taste of Cornwall onto your plate. Dine on kelp-cured cod, onion fondant, and artisan cheeses, all while sipping on a glass of wine that pairs perfectly with each dish – dining here really is an experience, not just a meal.

Outlaw’s New Road

Mussels and fish from Outlaw's New Road

6 New Road, Port Isaac PL29 3SB

Making full use of Cornwall’s incredible oceanic larder, Outlaw’s New Road in the pretty village of Port Isaac is a true exploration of Cornish seafood – and buoy is it an adventure worth taking! The seafood tasting menu is a carefully crafted mix of dishes, which vary from the fresh taste of mussels to the depths of flavour only found in seared scallops with cuttlefish black pudding. Each course explores something new, all culminating in a series of sweet treats that leave you feeling incredibly satisfied. Seasonal and sensational, if you love seafood then a visit to Outlaw’s New Road should be at the top of your list.

Three Rosettes

The Idle Rocks

Looking across the harbour at the waterside restaurant The Idle Rocks with three AA Rosettes

Harbourside, Tredenham Road, St Mawes, Truro TR2 5AN

Cornwall’s newest restaurant to be awarded three AA Rosettes, The Idle Rocks is a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike thanks to its idyllic waterside location. Michelin recommended and boasting uninterrupted views across the pretty harbour of St Mawes, The Idle Rocks promises a beautiful setting, whether you’re stopping by for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or cocktails! The menu is full of local ingredients, with dishes ranging from Phillip Warren steak tartare to pan-fried fillet of wild halibut with hazelnut-crushed Jerusalem artichokes, pickled dulse, green apple, and a lobster emulsion. There’s a lovely vegetarian menu, or you can sit on the terrace and dine on an array of small plates, including oysters from just around the corner in Falmouth Bay.


A plate of beautifully presented food at Culture, a Cornish restaurant with three AA Rosettes

38B Arwenack Street, Falmouth TR11 3JF

Boasting a Green Michelin star and now three AA Rosettes, Culture is one of Falmouth’s top spots for dining out. When it comes to showcasing Cornwall, nowhere does it quite like Culture, with dishes inspired by the very hedgerows and waterways that make up our beautiful county. Dishes are named after Cornish spots and local producers, creating a tour across Cornwall unlike any other. Sit down to a five-course tasting menu during the day, or a seven-course journey in the evenings. Wine flights are available to kick your dining up a notch, with each glass and vintage pairing perfectly with each course. Falmouth is home to many excellent pubs, bars, and restaurants, making it a foodie hotspot worth exploring, especially when looking for a welcoming haunt to recline in after a day spent soaking up the sun on one of the nearby beaches.

The Seafood Restaurant

A selection of seafood dishes at The Seafood Restaurant

Riverside, Padstow PL28 8BY

Rick Stein has become a household name in Cornwall and beyond and it’s all thanks to this charming waterside eatery in Padstow. Opened in 1975, The Seafood Restaurant was Rick and Jill Stein’s first venture. Now with three AA Rosettes to its name alongside countless other accolades, their flagship restaurant continues to delight as it delivers big and beautiful flavours across all its dishes. Changing with the seasons to maximise the quality of ingredients, you can expect to find a hearty mix of seafood dishes, from a classic fish and chips to a ‘Fruits de Mer’ platter, which really does display the fruits of the sea in all their glory. The restaurant is by the beautiful fishing harbour of Padstow, which makes for a lovely post-dinner stroll.

Kota Restaurant

The wooden sign outside of Kota in Porthleven

Harbour Head, Helston, Porthleven TR13 9JA

When dining out in Porthleven, there is no shortage of choice when it comes to deciding where to pull up your plate. Amongst the many impressive harbourside eateries lies one that’s garnered such a reputation that its list of awards is almost as extensive as the menu. Yep, alongside three well-deserved AA Rosettes, Kota and its passionate creator Jude Kereama have collected a series of awards and accolades, including being in Harden’s Top 100 restaurants in the UK. Impressed? Wait till you see the menu! Locally sourced produce with a mouth-watering Asian twist, you can look forward to fresh seafood, succulent pork belly, and a tasting menu that provides the ultimate way to sample your way through Jude’s ingenious creations.

Two Rosettes


A series of beautifully presented food at Mannings, a restaurant in Truro with three AA Rosettes

82 Lemon Street, Truro TR1 2QB

Situated in the heart of Truro, Mannings has long been a favourite when it comes to fine dining in Cornwall’s cobbled city. The outside promises Grade II listed grandeur, while the interior is entirely modern, with contemporary decor and a vibrant atmosphere. Of course, the menu is what draws people in… At lunchtime, sizzling platters, delicious small plates, and eye-catching bento boxes promise a light or hearty lunch depending on what you fancy, while the evenings bring forth the likes of creamy seafood casserole, confit pork belly, and Thai chicken curry. This popular restaurant is also known for its cocktails, which boast a selection of signature blends, from raspberry and yuzu mojitos to a chocolate and peanut butter old fashioned that is anything but old fashioned!

Hotel Tresanton

The beautiful terrace with sea views at Hotel Tresanton

27 Lower Castle Road, St Mawes, Truro TR2 5DR

With a magical waterside setting and superb Cornish fare, Hotel Tresanton is Cornwall’s newest restaurant to earn two AA Rosettes. Nestled by the water in St Mawes, Hotel Tresanton provides a spectacular place to eat when visiting the harbourside village, whether you want a sun-soaked breakfast or romantic dinner for two bathed in candle light. Start your day off with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and a bowl of Tresanton granola, stop by for lunch and enjoy the likes of beer battered fish or breadcrumbed squid, or relax into the welcoming atmosphere in the evening and dine on crab tian, whole lemon sole, or beef fillet with fondant potato.


A carefully presented plate of food at Dune

Fistral Beach Hotel, Esplanade Road, Newquay TR7 1PT

Another restaurant to make the most of Fistral beach’s stunning scenery, Dune provides a fantastic fine-dining experience in Newquay. The promise (and delivery) of an exceptional menu pulls you in, while the sweeping views across the beach and sea beyond will have you relaxing in your chair for as long as possible as you soak up the rugged beauty of North Cornwall. Just like the weather outside, the menu changes seasonally here, ensuring you’re always getting the very best ingredients in your meal, whether it’s a soul-warming bowl of gnocchi or the day boat fish of the day, which comes from the very waters you’re gazing upon.

Ren Mor

A table full of various dishes and wines at The Samphire Restaurant in Newquay

Fistral Beach, Headland Road, Newquay TR7 1EW

The North coast of Cornwall is certainly famed for its dramatic beachy scenes, and perhaps nowhere more so than the surfing capital of Newquay. Sitting above one of Newquay’s most famous beaches, The Samphire Restaurant combines epic views with a menu that puts the ‘mph’ in Samphire. Soak up sunny scenes in the summer or cosy down in the winter for a gloriously indulgent meal as the Atlantic throws itself on the beach below – it really is a swell spot for some storm watching! If you’re visiting for your evening meal, you can sit down to a menu full of decadent dishes, from charred Cornish mackerel to Cornish rare breed pork belly, with a 50-day aged rib of beef providing the ultimate sharer. You can also take part in one of the UK’s favourite pastimes, the afternoon tea, which features a selection of finger-licking finger sandwiches, cakes, and, of course, a Cornish cream tea with lashings of Cornish clotted cream and jam – the cocktails are pretty spectacular too!

One Rosette

Tintagel Brewery Bar & Bistro

A selection of dishes from Tintagel Brewery Bar & Bistro in Tintagel

Brewery Condolden Farm, Tintagel PL34 0HJ

Tucked away on Cornwall’s dramatic and legend-strewn north coast, Bar & Bistro is the perfect place to dine the night away after a stomp along the cliffs. Now, Cornwall is home to many excellent breweries, but few have award-winning restaurants to boot! The restaurant owner and head chef here are actually two of the youngest in the country to win such a prestigious award, highlighting their hard work and dedication to their craft. With a carvery on Sundays and a superb bar and garden menu Tuesday to Saturday - not to mention the feast-worthy set menu - Tintagel is definitely the place to be for a toothsome treat! Think smashed wagyu burgers, salt-baked celeriac, and a button-popping tomahawk steak board for two. Oh, and not forgetting a dessert menu full of banana and toffee sundaes and chocolate and salted caramel torte.

Mullion Cove Hotel

A decadent afternoon tea at Mullion Cove Hotel

Mullion Cove, Mullion, Lizard Peninsula TR12 7EP

When the view is as good as the food (and vice versa) you know you’re in for a treat, which is exactly what’s in store for you when you visit the Mullion Cove Hotel’s Atlantic View Restaurant. Perched on the cliffs above Mullion Cove, you might spy one of the fishing boats that supply the restaurant with its catch of the day nipping past – the ultimate coastal experience! Indeed, seafood is certainly the star of the show at this clifftop wonder, with steamed mussels, pan-fried stone bass, and home-cured salmon making themselves at home on the menu. If you’re not feeling like seafood, you can indulge in the heavenly flavours of seared duck breast, stone-baked pizza, and roasted crown prince squash – oh, and a helping of locally made Roskilly’s ice cream for the ultimate Cornish dessert! Combine your visit with some stunning walks and explorations around The Lizard for an extra special stay.

The Old Sail Loft Restaurant

The quaint white exterior of The Old Sail Loft Restaurant

Quay Street, West Looe, Looe PL13 1AP

In one of the oldest buildings in Looe, you’ll find one of Cornwall’s most beloved restaurants to hold an AA Rosette. The Old Sail Loft is a welcoming mix of snug corners and enticing meals full of fish straight from the nearby quay. Where smugglers once sat, you can now tuck into a mesmerising mix of meals, including the very popular bottomless lunch, which includes two spectacular courses alongside all the house wine and draught beer your heart desires. The main menu features delights such as wild venison scotch eggs, Cornish mussels, and the seriously satisfying Sail Loft Surf n Turf, which includes a treacle-cured sirloin (yes, you read that right), south Atlantic king prawns, and triple-cooked chips. Wash it all down with one of their curious cocktails and you’ll be merrier than the rum-pickled smugglers that once walked through these doors.

Make your stay in one of our beautiful holiday cottages in Cornwall extra special with a visit to one (or more) of these AA-recommended restaurants. It really is the best way to see what the ever-growing Cornish larder is producing.

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