Originally published in May 2018 by Holly Gear.
Newquay is currently undergoing a drastic change, and we like what we see.
Shaking off its shabby reputation to make way for a relaxed, family-friendly holiday destination, Newquay has welcomed a number of new restaurants, cafés and bars to the town in the last year or two, changing the face of the town and providing visitors and locals with a fantastic offering of places to eat, drink and enjoy year-round.
We’ve compiled our favourite places to drink and dine, whether you’re after a fresh fish dish overlooking the Atlantic Ocean; a post-surf pint; or a burrito with a side of golf.
Having been a chef for Rick Stein for 14 years in Padstow, Paul Harwood opened The Fish House in 2014, and has since established an impressive following of locals and celebrities alike, including Gordon Ramsay and TV chef Dave Myers, one half of the Hairy Bikers duo.
The restaurant serves a menu of vibrant dishes inspired by Paul’s travels around the globe with his wife, Elise. From grilled sea bass fillets with al forno potatoes, to cod tempura with stir fry pak choi, with a fantastically spicy and delicious Indian fish curry that comes highly recommended by the Barefoot team.S
The restaurant is open every day for lunch from 12pm to 2.30pm and dinner from 5.30pm to 9.30pm. To book a table, call 01637 872085.
Opened in 2017, Tom Thumb is the go-to for cocktails in Newquay, a classy but relaxed bar that plays host to a number of events throughout the year, from spirits masterclasses to wine tastings.
Serving up a simple lunch menu of delicious things on toast, coffee from Voyager Coffee Roasters and a range of unique spirits, wines, beers and ciders, it’s a great spot for a sunny afternoon or post-dinner drink. Every Sunday is Bloody Mary Sunday too, because, apparently, ‘that’s what Sundays were made for’.
Tom Thumb is open every day of the week from 12pm until midnight. Call 01637 498180 for more details.
Inspired by a trip to California and the Mexican-style cuisine that’s so popular there, owner Elsie decided to re-create a little taste of the west coast in Newquay, offering a fun, laid-back restaurant with plenty of outdoor seating for sunny days.
With a child and dog-friendly policy, Gilmore’s also has its own 18-hole mini golf course, the perfect pre-dinner entertainment or space for the kids to run riot while the adults enjoy a cocktail. Speaking of cocktails, you’ll find a mean menu there, including the signature pineapple and chilli margaritas, or the special Gilmore’s G&T, made with Tarquin’s, Fevertree Tonic and a slice of grapefruit – yum.
When it comes to the food, there’s a mouth-watering menu of tacos, bulging burritos, nachos and salads, with great options for kids too. The breakfast menu is also worth a try, featuring Mexican eggs, a breakfast burrito, and avocado on sourdough, in generous portion sizes to set you up for the rest of the day.
To see the full menu head to the website, and to book a table, call 07375 118263.
Having opened in the spring of 2017, The Slope has already become one of the hotspots of Newquay. Serving a range of delicious burgers, a small but great selection of drinks, and a fab children’s menu, it’s the perfect place to take the kids after a day on the beach, or for a post-work drink on a Friday.
Located on the slope to Great Western Beach (hence the name), it’s in a prime location to watch the surf when it’s good, with unbeatable views over the bay to Towan Headland.
For more information, head to the website or call 01637 878772.
Sitting on a cliff edge on Pentire Headland, Lewinnick Lodge boasts some truly spectacular views over the Atlantic Ocean, a great location from which to spot dolphins and watch the waves roll onto Fistral Beach. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, reservations can be made in the restaurant section, with formal table service, while the bar area provides a more relaxed experience, with a dog-friendly policy.
The lunch and dinner menus are the same (save for a few sandwiches, wraps and salads) and provides the perfect combination of fine dining dishes and classic pub food. Expect signature plates like Cornish mussels, seafood linguine, and chargrilled sirloin steak, with a great range of sides and daily specials too. Being located on the headland between Fistral Beach and Crantock, the restaurant is a short drive out of town, and it’s a lovely place to enjoy an evening whatever the weather, with a fire roaring over the winter months and the terrace doors flung open on to the huge terrace throughout the summer.
The Lewinnick serves breakfast from 8.30am to 11.30am every day, and the main menu is available from 12pm until 10pm. For more information or to book a table, phone 01637 878117 or visit the website.
Opened by husband and wife team Ryan and Kelly Mather, Kahuna has a pan-Asian inspired menu which stems from the restauranteurs’ travels around the globe. The restaurant was included in Nathan Outlaw’s top five under-the-radar restaurants in Cornwall in 2017, alongside the likes of Coombshead Farm in Launceston and Tolcarne Inn in Newlyn, and the menu is brimming with mouth-watering dishes originating from Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.
The kitchen is open from 6pm until 9pm each evening, extended by half an hour either side on Fridays and Saturdays.
A hotspot on the Newquay scene, Box & Barber is owned by brother duo Damian and Oliver Lucas-Box, who have transformed a small cottage on a main street in Newquay into a thriving business that’s as popular with the locals as it is with holidaymakers. With Origin’s coffee flowing and a simple menu of healthy food (plus Da Bara’s ridiculously good cinnamon buns – not so healthy), it’s a perfect hangout for breakfast or lunch.
The café is open every day from 8am until 4pm, and the front terrace is a great spot to enjoy a coffee when the sun’s shining. It’s also dog-friendly, so perfect for a mid-walk break, and the café has free wifi if you need to get some work done.
For more information head to their Facebook page.
Overlooking the Harbour, the Harbour Fish and Grill’s restaurant, conservatory and terrace has exceptional views over Newquay, with a brunch, lunch and dinner menu featuring a selection of classic seafood dishes. The evening menu features small plates for a tapas-style experience (or if you can’t decide what to eat). The restaurant is open every day of the week from 10 am until 10pm and dogs are welcome. To reserve a table, call 01637 873040.
Serving Origin Coffee, healthy smoothies and a brilliant menu of bagels and croissants, owner Jess serves cappuccinos, flat whites and turmeric lattes in jam jars, which should definitely be accompanied by one of the delicious gluten free cakes that she bakes fresh every day.
The café is the perfect spot to read the paper or meet some friendly locals, and it’s conveniently located across the road from Sainsbury’s for a post-shop coffee.
Jess posts the cake of the day on her Instagram account each morning, which is guaranteed to have you craving a slice or two.
Enjoying panoramic views over Fistral Beach, chain restaurant The Stable is a haven of cider, pies and pizza, with a reasonably priced menu and a relaxed vibe. The bar is stocked with a great range of ciders to try, and a tasting board is available if you can’t decide which one to order. The Stable has restaurants throughout the South West and each venue has a different menu depending on the ingredients available locally, and Newquay’s serves a Headland Herbivore and ‘The Cribbar’. The Stable is open from 10am until 11pm every day of the week, and can be contacted by calling 01637 878311.
Located on Tolcarne Beach, The Colonial has exceptional views over Newquay’s bay, serving a great lunch and dinner menu, with an impressive cocktail offering too. The restaurant is beautifully decorated and the staff very friendly. Call 01637 851724 to book a table.
Open throughout the summer months, the Fern Pit is located on the bank of the River Gannel between East Pentire headland and Crantock Beach, a secluded little hideaway serving fresh crab sandwiches using a ready supply of shellfish caught and landed by its very own fishing boat. The garden’s ample seating is a great place to enjoy lunch on a sunny day, with a takeaway service also available, and a convenient ferry service runs from the dock below the café if you fancy a walk on Crantock beach. The foot bridge is free to use if the tide is out too. Call 01637 873181 for more details.