Best Beachside Bars and Beach Cafes in Cornwall [2022]

Cornwall has all sorts of dining options – award-winning restaurants, funky food stands, and farm-to-table eateries. But whatever your preference, you can’t miss the crowd-pleasing beach bars and beach cafes in Cornwall. They are not only everywhere. They also serve some of the best-tasting dishes in town.

So, what to eat in Cornwall? Whether you’re craving a lobster roll, cold beer or freshly baked cake to go with your freshly ground coffee, you’ll find something to fill your tummy. And no need to worry if you’re travelling with kids. Many of the cafes in Cornwall offer child-friendly options, including homemade macaroni cheese, hot chocolate and various flavours of local ice creams. Check out these beach cafes in Cornwall for an unforgettable food experience on your next trip to the Cornish coast.

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Portheor Beach Cafe, St Ives

Postcode: TR26 1JZ

Located on Porthmeor beach, in front of the popular Tate art gallery, this top-notch beach cafe in St Ives imbibes a chill but friendly atmosphere. Its main draw, of course, is the mouthwatering dishes made of the freshest local ingredients. Porthmeor Beach Café is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and tapas in between.

It boasts the best sunsets in western Cornwall and has stunning sea views, where you can watch the waves or spot an occasional dolphin. But if alfresco dining isn’t your cup of tea, cosy up in one of its heated booths.

Don’t miss the vegetarian and seafood tapas or the build-your-own-breakfast option, complete with coffee from Origin, Cornwall’s first commercial coffee roasters.

Porthmeor Beach Café has a child-friendly menu for your little ones and welcomes dogs (on the terrace only).

Fistral Beach Bar, Newquay

Postcode: TR7 1HY

Since Fistral Beach Bar opened in 2001, it has become one of the best cafes in Newquay and an iconic beach bar in Cornwall. The bar caters mainly to a more mature audience with its resident DJs, terrace parties and silent discos. But it welcomes everyone, including children and fur babies. People come here for the casual all-day menu of burgers, pizzas, nachos, baps, milkshakes, and homemade cakes.

They stay for the fun and festive vibe. If you love surfing in Cornwall with your kids, this beach bar is a must-visit for your post-surf snacks. It also makes a fantastic spot to watch surfers brave the world-famous big waves of Fistral beach. Breakfast is available daily from 9 am to 11:30 am.

Surfside, Polzeath

Postcode: PL27 6TB

If you’re looking for a Polzeath beach café and bar that offers outstanding food, exceptional entertainment and great views, there’s no need to look further than Surfside. Pick from its selection of locally caught fish, seafood platters, and tasty tapas. Then enjoy your meal outdoors whilst watching the sunset and soaking up the Caribbean vibe.

There’s a children’s menu for the little ones and rum-based cocktails at the rum bar for grown-ups. Surfside also has indoor dining spaces with striking views of the post-card-perfect beach. Beach cafes aside, Polzeath is one of the best places in Cornwall to explore with kids.

The Watering Hole, Perranporth

Postcode: TR6 0JN

The Watering Hole has lots to boast about with fabulous entertainment, delicious food and splendid ambience. But its main claim to fame is that it’s the UK’s only bar on the beach.

Set on a three-mile stretch of sand, the bar is a relaxing hangout among surfers, beachcombers, and holidaymakers. It transforms into a party hub at night with its comedy gigs and live music.

In the summer, The Watering Hole holds its own music festival called Tunes in the Dunes. Visit in winter, and you’ll get to enjoy its Sunday carvery and beach barbeques.

The Hidden Hut, Porthcurnick Beach

Postcode: TR2 5JE

Tucked away in the remote Roseland Peninsula, overlooking the scenic Porthcurnick Beach, The Hidden Hut is a real Cornish treasure. Drop by at lunchtime and enjoy the simple but tasty menu of pasties, sausage rolls, warm doughnuts, chowders, grilled seafood, fresh fruit and ice cream. All

meals and drinks are for takeaway to the coast path or the beach. On some summer nights, the Hut hosts outdoor feasts, focusing on one dish per event to highlight the best of the day’s produce. Previous cookouts featured slow-roasted spring lamb, lobster and chips and wood-fired seafood paella. Kids and fur babies are welcome to this culinary gem.

Kynance Cove Cafe, Lizard Peninsula

Postcode: TR12 7PJ

Considered one of the most scenic beach cafes in Cornwall, this eco-friendly spot boasts amazing food and incredible views of the remote Kynance bay. Kynance Café is small and intimate, featuring a menu consisting of freshly prepared baps, baguettes, burgers, salads, pasties, and jacket potatoes.

There are also milkshakes and smoothies, fair-trade coffee and various teas, homemade scones and cakes, craft beers and ciders.

You will find some of the best family beaches in Cornwall in this area. If you fancy exploring them, consider staying overnight at the family cottage next to the café. 

The Rockpool, Gwithian

Postcode: TR27 5ED

Nestled between the coastal village of Gwithian and the sandy stretch of Godrevy, this family-friendly café and bar is a delightful retreat after hiking, swimming, or surfing. The Rockpool is open daily from 10 am to 10 pm and features flavourful favourites such as stone-baked pizzas, fish and chips, focaccia baps, and Cornish pasties. It offers chicken goujons and pasta on the kids’ menu.

If you visit on a Sunday, you can try the roast specials. For lovely sea views, head to the deck or sit outside in the sandy back garden.

The Rockpool also hosts music gigs, forest school, and wildlife challenges with St Gothian Sands, a local nature reserve. Your dog is welcome to join the fun.

Sandbar, Praa Sands Beach

Postcode: TR20 9TQ

Sandbar will transport you to the Mediterranean with its sweeping sea views, relaxed atmosphere, and delicious dishes. The well-stocked bar serves some of the best Cornish ale and beer and boasts an extensive wine list. Not into spirits? Choose from its wide selection of coffees, Fuit teas and Earl Grey teas.

Sit back on its cosy couch and sip your favourite drink whilst soaking up the stunning panoramas of Praa Sands. There’s so much to do for kids, including gaming machines, a pool table, and an air hockey table for their entertainment.

As for food, Sandbar offers casual but filling meals, including BBQ spared ribs, burgers, stone-baked pizzas, and house special ciabattas (from 12 pm to 6 pm).

Life’s a Beach, Summerleaze Beach, Bude

Postcode: EX23 8HN

Superb food, reasonable prices, outstanding service, cheerful ambience, fantastic views – what’s not to love about this Cornwall beach café? 

Life’s a Beach is a cosy café by day and a boisterous bar by night, set on scenic Summerleaze, Bude’s main beach.

The menu features quality but budget-friendly dishes prepared with the freshest local and seasonal ingredients. Try the catch-of-the-day seafood, hearty burgers, sandwiches and salads. You can also choose from a wide selection of drinks, including spirits, fruit juices, free-trade coffees, ice-cold beer and Cornish cream tea.

Widemouth Bay Cafe, Bude

Postcode: EX23 0AH

Bude has got to be one of the most beautiful towns to visit in Cornwall, and one of the best cafes in Bude is Widemouth Bay Café.

Newly refurbished, this spot overlooks the windswept Widemouth inlet, a popular surfing destination, and is perfect for watching the surf and surfers riding the waves.

Guests can sit on the veranda or lounge inside on its comfortable couches. The cafe serves all-day breakfast and classics, such as beer battered fish and chips, burgers, homemade cakes, and cream teas. It’s open daily from 9:30 am to 5 pm.

Porthgwidden Beach Cafe, St Ives

Postcode: TR26 1PL

Our list of the top beach cafes in Cornwall will be incomplete if we don’t include the unassuming Porthgwidden Beach Cafe, St Ives. Tucked away in a secluded corner of the town, it is ideal for chilling out whilst taking in unobstructed views of the Godrevy Lighthouse across the bay.

The cafe offers culinary fusions of Cornish, Mediterranean and Asian flavours that you can savour in its tapas, seafood plates and gourmet pizzas. You can also try its creative cocktails, aperitifs, and different coffees and teas.

Are you taking your dog with you? No worries, Porthgwidden Beach Café is dog-friendly.

Trevone Beach Café, Padstow

Postcode: PL28 8QY

Located in the quiet seaside village of Trevone, the café makes an excellent escape from the hustle and bustle of the town centre. Padstow bars and cafes are known for their tasty fare, but these spots can get crowded. 

Trevone Beach Café lets you enjoy superb food sans the crowd. Sample the chough pasty, stone-baked pizzas, traditional cream tea, and the popular full Cornish breakfast.

The café also doubles as a seasonal evening restaurant that serves a three-course dinner. After a hearty meal, be sure to explore Padstow with your kids.

Hub Box, Pentewan Sands

Postcode: PL26 6BT

Are you looking for the best burgers in Cornwall? You’ll find them at Hub Box, a casual beach shack located on the shores of the Pentewan Sands Holiday Park in St Austell. The award-winning burgers come in beef, chicken, seafood, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Match them with fries, salads, onion rings, desserts, and a wide selection of beers.

There are also sandwiches and barbeque. The café serves breakfast every Friday to Sunday from 8:30 am to 11:30 am. If you’re travelling with your pet, take note that there’s a dog ban from 1st March to 1st Sunday of November.

Poldhu Beach Café, Helston

Postcode: TR12 7BU

Situated on the golden dunes between the craggy cliffs that flank Poldhu Cove, this award-winning café is a popular stop among holidaymakers exploring Cornwall’s southern coast. Order a tasty breakfast, hearty lunch or light snacks. There’s also coffee, cold beer, and ice cream.

On a warm day, you can sit on the deck area and relish the gorgeous views. The Poldhu Beach Café hosts a pizza night with live music from 5 pm to 9 pm every Friday. You can also visit during stormy evenings to enjoy their celebrated hot chocolate.

Now You’ve Explored the Beach Cafes in Cornwall, Why Not Discover more of Cornwall with Kids

Once you’ve visited some of Cornwall’s best beach cafes, why not try out some of the best restaurants or find out which cornish ale to try during your next beach cafe visit?

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