Last Updated on November 8, 2023 by Suzy
While it was Rick Stein who kicked off the foodie revolution in the sublime Cornish fishing village of Padstow, his stable of restaurants is no longer the only gastronomic treasure in town. Hugged by countryside and bordered by the Atlantic, the local bounty sourced from land and sea has given rise to a smorgasbord of award-winning restaurants lacing the tangle of harbour-side streets.
However, don’t be fooled into thinking that these edible attractions are reserved for fine dining and date nights – plenty of the best restaurants serve up delectable dishes for the whole family. From authentic Italian-style pizzas to burgers, fish and gelatos to finish, here are some of our favourite places to eat out with the kids in Padstow.
An authentic and stylish pizza restaurant, this vibrant Italian caffè serves up Napoletana-style pizzas, fresh pasta and seasonal small plates. Being in the hands of celeb chef Paul Ainsworth, you can expect the finest ingredients from land and sea, in a devilish combo of Italian and Cornish cuisine. Book a table in the 18th-century building where local craftsmen once made boots for Padstow’s fishermen, or take a seat in the glass atrium, and enjoy this family-friendly eatery footsteps from the harbour.
If you’re looking for the best views in town, wholesome family food, and a round of mini golf for afters, take a seat at the glorious Greens of Padstow. With finger-licking family menus served from breakfast through to dinner, eye-popping views and an 18-hole mini golf course just for fun, this family and dog-friendly haven is our favourite spot in town.
Get your chops around gourmet burgers and fish dishes cooked over charcoal, in a fun and upbeat setting beside Padstow harbour. Kids’ eyes will bulge at the burger selection, while grown-ups can indulge in the likes of grilled octopus or local mussels cooked in cider. With a menu built on the freshest local ingredients, topped off by classic brownie sundaes or salted caramel waffles, this could be vying for the title of the best burger bar in Cornwall.
With pizza, pasta and ice cream at the top of the menu, this fast-food restaurant in the heart of town is a winner for families eating out in Padstow. Stack your pizza with a range of toppings from king prawns to Cornish ham, but save room to gorge on the delicious sorbets and gelatos created in-house by the Padstow Ice Cream Company. Knee-high diners are catered for with half-price, half-size options, and dietary requirements are covered as well.
Perfect for families looking to sample the taste of Cornwall in a laidback setting, Mussel Box serves classic, local ingredients including Padstow lobster, crab, mackerel and bass. Options such as fish finger sandwiches and burgers ensure the whole family will love the no-fuss, no-frills menu filled with cracking Cornish produce. With an all-weather seating area, a kids’ menu and it’s dog-friendly too, this is one of our favourite family-friendly restaurants in the centre of Padstow.
Taking fish and chips to a new level, Stein’s is arguably one of the best chippies in Padstow. As well as local cod, haddock and hake cooked in homemade batter, there are smaller bites such as scampi, tiger prawns and battered oysters, as well as alternatives such as the fish chilli burger and grilled mackerel. If you don’t want to queue for a table, take your dinner out and enjoy it on the quayside.
Another location in Stein’s stable just few miles outside of Padstow in the village of St Merryn, The Cornish Arms is a great place to visit on the way back from the beach or after a day out sightseeing. An old Cornish pub revamped with a family-friendly dining area and a huge garden to play in while dinner’s cooking, you can tuck into everything from traditional British pub grub and Sunday roasts, to local seafood dishes.
Take the family on a ferry ride across the Camel Estuary from Padstow, to disembark beside this charming waterside gastro-pub that’s been taken over by Paul Ainsworth. With an all-day menu focussing on British classics that champion local produce, you can choose anything from 40-day aged Cornish sirloin to oysters grown on the beds in view. There’s a dedicated ‘Little Sailors’ menu and – of course – an extensive selection of cask ales from Cornwall.
Escape the crowds at this garden centre turned dining hotspot on the outskirts of town. Serving everything from breakfast and lunch to takeaway dinners, chef Henk showcases the abundance of local produce from seafood and Cornish meats, to eggs and veg sourced from farms in view. Whether you fancy piles of warm pancakes served with fresh Cornish coffee, an afternoon roast with live music in the garden, or an easy and delicious takeaway for tea, this is a fantastic family eatery just a pebble’s throw from the hubbub of Padstow.
How about a casual, alfresco dining experience under the sunset or stars? During summer, Craftworks serves simple street food from converted shipping containers set in a secluded garden that was once part of an orchard. Take shelter in a tipi or sit under the pine trees and devour burgers, burritos, tacos and salads in a unique and wild location.
Book a Family Friendly Holiday Pad to Explore Padstow’s Restaurants
Make yourself at home in one of Harbour Holidays’ Padstow cottages, from where you can enjoy the town’s best family-friendly beaches, attractions and restaurants.