The 10 Best Restaurants In St Ives, England

St. Ives Harbour | ©Robert Pittman/Flickr
St. Ives Harbour | ©Robert Pittman/Flickr
Photo of Benjamin Parkin
9 February 2017

St Ives – formerly a small fishing town – boasts one of the UK’s most beautiful coastlines. A wealth of fantastic seafood restaurants, coupled with an abiding entrepreneurial spirit, have ensured that this Cornish town has excelled on the culinary front in recent years. We take a look at some of the best food St Ives has to offer.

The Alba Restaurant

Restaurant, Seafood, European, British, 0
Freshly caught seafood
Freshly caught seafood | ©sofia dench/Flickr
Set in the former Lifeboat House, The Alba is a sophisticated seafood restaurant with an upper floor offering stunning views of the St Ives coastline. Locally sourced seafood is cooked up with enthusiasm, such as the pan-fried scallops prepared with crispy pork belly and truffled cauliflower puree. The dinner taster plate is a festival of creatively prepared seafood, with crab, avocado and caramelised shitake mushrooms or mackarel gravlax, pickled cucumber and horseradish cream. Book ahead to ensure a table with a view.

Blas Burgerworks

Restaurant, Vegetarian, British, $$$
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Cheesy bacon burger
Cheesy bacon burger | © Michael Saechang/Flickr
Informal and good value for money, Blas Burgerworks has been widely celebrated for its commitment to sustainability – three stars from the Sustainable Restaurant Association – not to mention praise for the burgers themselves. The burger at Blas was named one of the top five burgers in Europe by the Wall Street Journal. They serve a variety of beef and chicken burgers, along with vegetarian options such as the tofu burger, with garnishes from blue cheese to beetroot, watercress, horseradish and roast garlic mayo. The owners also opened The Halsetown Inn near St Ives to recreate their success and commitment to ethical, sustainable restaurants.

The Gurnard’s Head

The relaxed atmosphere at The Gurnard’s Head, situated a short way along the coast from St Ives, is owed, in part, to the ethos of the institution – ‘to be an inn that returns you momentarily to the slower pace of life that so many of us yearn for.’ Gastronomically speaking, they achieve this through a rolling menu that brings in seasonal, local ingredients to create dishes such as chicken breast, elmhirst cheese and potato mousseline with truffle jus, or duck liver parfait with brioche, pickled fig and hazelnut granola. They also offer a number of elegant rooms in case you decide you just can’t bear to leave after your meal.

The Gurnard’s Head, Zennor, Ives, Cornwall, UK, +44 1736 796928

The Gurnard’s Head, St. Ives | ©Ed Webster/Flickr

The Gurnard’s Head, St. Ives | ©Ed Webster/Flickr

The Halsetown Inn

Gastropub, Pub, Restaurant, Pub Grub, $$$
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Cornish Garlic Yarg Cheese
Cornish Garlic Yarg Cheese | ©Tristan Ferne/Flickr
This pub near St Ives is perfect for lunch after a stroll in the Cornish countryside. Owned by the team behind the popular Blas Burgerworks, The Halsetown Inn offers diners a lot more than simple pie and mash. Firmly in the gastro pub camp, their extensive menu lists everything from gnocchi with artichoke puree, girlloes, peas and Cornish yarg cheese, to smoked haddock, salmon and Pollock, broccoli and peas with truffle oil. The team also strive to make their restaurant eco-friendly, sourcing biodegradable products locally and recycling them when finished.

Hub St Ives

Bringing a little bit of Brooklyn to the beachfront of St Ives, Hub serves burgers, ‘dogs’ and BBQ food, along with craft beers, coffee and cakes – making it Cornwall’s ultimate hipster hangout. Burgers are made with Cornish rare beef, and hotdogs seasoned with paprika, nutmeg and black pepper. The beer list draws brews from Bristol Beer Factory, Camden Town Brewery and – indeed – Brooklyn Larger, (they even offer a taster menu, too.) During the day, homemade cakes are served alongside flat whites, iced coffee and ‘babyccinos’.

Hub St Ives, 4 Wharf Rd, St Ives, Cornwall, UK, +44 1736 799099

Burger at The Hub, St. Ives | ©Mike Fleming/Flickr

Burger at The Hub, St. Ives | ©Mike Fleming/Flickr

The Loft

The Loft is situated in St Ives’ artistic neighbourhood and diners can enjoy its lovely terrace, with views of the surrounding town, sea and dramatic coastline. The kitchen produces an eclectic variety of dishes, such as spiced lamb tagine with raisins, pistachios and tabouleh, or locally sourced steak with mushroom ketchup, watercress and peppercorn sauce. On Sundays, they serve up a hearty roast, with slow-cooked lamb and beef complete with all the trimmings. The Loft have also opened a larder, selling artisanal Cornish jams and chutneys, along with pottery and home ware.

The Loft, Norway Lane, St Ives, Cornwall, UK, +44 1736 794204

Jam | ©Jim Champion/Flickr

Jam | ©Jim Champion/Flickr

Porthmeor Beach Café

Run by local chef Nathan Madden, Porthmeor Beach Café offers a selection of well-crafted tapas at reasonable prices, such as serrano ham, fig, tomatoes and black olive tapenade, or more inventive variations such as crispy skin seabass, kohl rabi and lemon balm coleslaw. The creative highlight is the dessert tapas however, with summery options such as lemon and raspberry posset, rosemary and almond biscotti and raspberry jelly. With beautiful views of Porthmeor Beach, it is a lovely place for a relaxing lunch by the seaside.

Porthmeor Beach Café, Porthmeor Beach, St Ives, Cornwall, UK, +44 1736 793366

Porthmeor Beach, St. Ives | ©Robert Pittman/Flickr

Porthmeor Beach, St. Ives | ©Robert Pittman/Flickr

Porthminster Beach Café

Cafe, Seafood, $$$
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Porthminster Beach Café
Porthminster Beach Café | ©Mike Fleming/Flickr

Located on – not near, or next to – Porthminster Beach, Porthminster Beach Café allows for close-up views of the surf. The food rightly makes it one of St Ives’ most popular restaurants, with or without the view. Under the moniker of ‘Mediterranean and Asian’ cuisine, they really serve an eclectic mix of anything you could want. Seafood is, of course, well represented – steamed mussels with saffron, chives and red wine vinegar to start, followed by a monkfish curry combining mussels and prawns with sweet potatoes, coconut and bok choi. There are also plenty of appetising meat options – some as simple as a steak sandwich, served with artichokes, red peppers, mushrooms and blue cheese.

Sea Food Café

Cafe, Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
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Fish and Chips
Fish and Chips | ©Pixabay
True to its name, Sea Food Café offers some of the freshest seafood in St Ives, supplied by local fishermen. In a creative and fun set-up, you can personally choose from the fish, shellfish and meat in a refrigerated display cabinet, along with a sauce, and a selection of salads and vegetables. Finally, sit back and wait as the team whip up your custom-made feast. If that sounds like too much effort, then choose from their set menu instead, with classics such as fish and chips featured alongside crab cakes or luxurious tiger prawn skewers.


A vegetarian restaurant to balance all the seafood in the surrounding area, Spinacio’s is a welcome addition to St Ives’ culinary scene, offering locally sourced vegetarian, vegan and organic food. The restaurant overlooks St Ives’ harbour, on the upper floor of the former Customs House. For the main course, they serve a variety of creations, in English, Mediterranean and Asian styles – from their beetroot burger, black eye bean curry, to cannellini bean and mint patties with carrot and lime puree. For dessert, there are a variety of vegan cakes, such as chocolate and banana cake or tofu cheesecake.

Spinacio’s Old Custom House, Wharft Road, St Ives, Cornwall, UK, +44 1736 798818

St Ives, Cornwall | ©Bob Hall/Flickr

St Ives, Cornwall | ©Bob Hall/Flickr

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