Six cheap but delicious places to eat in Cornwall

cheapest places to eat in Cornwall

Cornwall is a county full of culinary treats. From the seafood that’s fished from its very shores to the world-famous cream teas and award-winning local beers, there’s certainly something to suit all tastes.

But sometimes on a Cornwall holiday you might want to tighten the purse-strings a bit and look for somewhere a little cheaper to eat – no shame in that! Lucky for you, then, that there are plenty of cafes, restaurants, pop-up eateries and chippies on hand to feed you and yours, and leave you with change to spare.

Here are six of our favourite cheap but delicious places to eat in Cornwall:

The Lifebuoy Café, Fowey


Nice lunch on a nice place 😍🍁 #thelifebuoycafe #lovegreatbritain

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The Lifebuoy Café in Fowey buys their bread from the town bakery; their award-winning sausages and hogs pudding from Par butcher Mr Kittows; their crab is locally caught and supplied by the town fishmonger, Fowey Fish; and their free-range eggs are from Rosedown Farm, near Bodmin… you can’t get much more local than that!

The menu isn’t everything you’d expect from a standard café, either – with full English breakfasts (served until midday) sitting next to eggy crumpets, crab cakes, and banana and chocolate spread sandwiches! There are your usual suspects, too; sandwiches to cure every hunger pang, a children’s menu, cream teas and cakes.

Rest A While Tea Garden, Padstow


Lovely little stop for a spot of afternoon tea 🍰

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Beautiful food, beautiful service and a beautiful view await you at the Rest A While Tea Garden, run by Martin Holmes and found behind the 200-year-old 'Coastguard Houses' at Hawkers Cove near Padstow. The menu is perfect for lunch and afternoon stop-offs, with choices including local crab sandwiches, homemade quiche and soups, carrot, chocolate and lemon drizzle cakes and, of course, Cornish cream teas.

Various hot and cold beverages are also available to quench your thirst after a walk along the nearby coast path, including sumptuous homemade smoothies – we’d particularly recommend the “Very Berry” variety. Seating is on wooden picnic tables surrounded by beautifully colourful potted plants, while the view, looking over the Camel Estuary to Daymer Bay at Rock, makes you want to rest for more than “a while”.

Gusto Grill and Roast, Newquay

If you’re after made-from-scratch, hot, takeaway food then Gusto’s is the place for you. There is a selection of original recipes available daily, from pulled pork to rotisserie chicken, to handheld American sandwiches and burgers akin to something you’d see on Man vs Food. There are salads available, too, while on Sundays you can enjoy one of their fantastic Takeaway Sunday Roast Lunches.

It’s the “Loaded Mash Bowl/Box” that tickles our tastebuds whenever we walk by – mashed potato and various vegetables, accompanied in a sizeable bowl by further veggie or meaty options and drizzled in gravy or sauce… delicious! The smiley and chatty staff further add to the experience, so be sure to follow them on social media – for both a laugh and to keep up-to-date with their daily specials!

Gusto’s, near Towan Beach in Newquay, is only open at lunchtimes though, so if you’re after an evening takeaway treat you’re out of luck.

Daisy’s Café, Looe


In an age where flat whites served in test tubes are considered the norm, this small, friendly café is a breath of fresh air – and the perfect place to pop in during a visit to lovely Looe. They’re open seven days a week, between the hours of 9am and 4pm (10am-4pm on a Sunday, and only in school holidays and on bank holiday weekends), and serve a delectable full English breakfast which, in our opinion, is one of the best in Cornwall.

Their homemade daisy-shaped scones are well worth a try, too, served in a range of flavours including plain, fruit, cheese, cranberry and orange, and ginger, all accompanied by a generous helping of cream and jam. Dogs, kids and muddy boots are welcome too, so you can leave your cares at the door and indulge in one of Cornwall’s finest cafés.

Golden Lion, St Ives


If it’s pub grub you’re after, look no further than the Golden Lion in St Ives, where you can get a pint and something tasty to eat for “around a tenner”. The menu covers everything from nibbles to a whopping steak and ribs combo, while their comprehensive selection of real ales and dog-friendly beer garden make it a perfect place to while away a sunny summer afternoon.

Sunday roasts are also available at a snip - £8.95 for adults and £4.95 for children – with a choice of three meats, homemade Yorkshire puddings, six fresh vegetables, roast potatoes and gravy. There’s also live music most weekends, meaning you can make the most of your night and stay on after dinner for a bit of a knees up!

The Fisherman’s Chippy, Mevagissey

We can’t have a Cornish eatery guide and not include a chippy, can we?! The Fisherman’s Chippy is found on the picturesque Mevagissey harbour, one of the UK's most stunning harbour locations. The food is always cooked to order, too, so whatever you choose will be piping hot and fresh, while the fish portion sizes are incredibly generous.

Don’t be surprised to see the queue leaking out of the front door due to its popularity, but don’t let that deter you – the friendly staff are efficient and speedy, meaning you won’t be waiting as long as you think for your delicious fish supper. It’s ideal for veggies too, as they cook in vegetable oil and include pea fritters on their menu!


Tempted to pay some of these delicious eateries a visit this year, but not quite the Cornish local? Don't worry; we have plenty of accommodation in the region. Find your perfect Cornwall holiday cottage among our collection.

Posted by Simon Lockyer on 20th April 2018