The fishing village of Port Isaac is a popular holiday location. With its vibrant port, picturesque streets and beautiful surroundings, there are few places more suited for a relaxing cottage break. As well as all of this, the village is home to some lovely restaurants, cafes and pubs, all serving delicious food and (as you might expect) the freshest of seafood.
To help you decide where to visit during your cottage break, we’ve compiled a list of our nine favourite places to eat in Port Isaac. From family-friendly pubs to sea-view cafes, you’re bound to find something to whet your appetite in this collection.
Restaurant Nathan Outlaw
Nathan Outlaw is famous for his skill with British seafood, having worked under Rick Stein in Padstow before opening his own restaurant in Port Isaac. Since then, Restaurant Nathan Outlaw has earned four AA rosettes, two Michelin stars and a ten out of ten rating from the Good Food Guide – but the best way to truly appreciate this amazing homage to seafood is to visit yourself. Come and sample Cornwall’s finest sustainable seafood, straight from the boats. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw serves one set menu for lunch and dinner, and booking is essential.
Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen
Based within a 15th Century fisherman’s cottage, complete with low ceilings and sea views, Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen is the second Nathan Outlaw restaurant in town. It’s not as ‘posh’ as the original restaurant, and has a much more relaxed atmosphere. Much of the fish comes from the fishing boats bobbing in the harbour, meaning it’s exceptionally fresh. Simplicity is the focus of the menu here, allowing the fabulous ingredients and skilful cooking to speak for itself. The restaurant is small, with only a handful of tables, so booking is essential.
This beautiful 18th Century pub overlooks the sea, and is bursting with original features and traditional Cornish charm. The pub has a rich history, which can be felt as you nurse a pint of real ale in front of the crackling fire – you can easily imagine the weathered fishermen and travellers seeking shelter here in years gone by! The bar (although not the restaurant) is dog-friendly, and they serve an excellent menu of warming pub classics and fresh seafood. A perfect place to stop after a brisk coastal walk!
Harbourside Café and Terrace, The Slipway
The Slipway dates back to 1527, having spent time as a smuggler’s hideaway and a ships chandlery. Today it is home to the Harbourside Café and Terrace (ground floor), with its spectacular outdoor terrace and views of the port. Treat yourself to a traditional Cornish cream tea or a freshly made scone, cake or sandwich. They also serve a selection of local seafood, including crab, lobster and mussels, and plenty of local ciders and beers. You could even grab a generous portion of fish and chips to take away with you!
Nestled in the heart of Port Isaac, family-run Chapel Café is based in a restored 19th Century Methodist Chapel and is dedicated to providing visitors with simple, delicious meals with great service. Their menu contains a wonderful selection of food and drink, all created from local produce… they even make their own ketchup and other sauces! They’re also famous for their delicious coffee, which is roasted exclusively for them. Pop in and treat yourself to a well-garnished jacket potato or a hearty breakfast, and don’t miss their award-winning fish finger sandwich!
If you want to take a step away from seafood during your visit, and have a hankering for a delicious, homebaked pizza, the Angry Anchovy is just the place. This informal little hideaway is brilliantly relaxed – you won’t need to worry about changing out of your flipflops! Their staple is hearty handmade pizzas, made using authentic Italian ingredients and accompanied by local drinks, ice cream and other delights. Dogs are welcome and the specials menu changes regularly, so you can always try something new.
Pilchards at Port Gaverne
Pilchards is a newer addition to the Port Isaac coastline, but is already proving itself very popular. Situated right on the coast (at high tide you’re only a few feet from the water), it’s a lovely option for those who want to sample some sea air. Whether you’ve been enjoying a bracing clifftop walk or building sandcastles on the beach, you’ll find something to tickle your fancy. Take your pick from a selection of small sharing plates, main meals, flat breads and a charming kid’s menu. The café is, unfortunately, only open in the high season, but is well worth a visit if you’re in the area.
A lovely restaurant for a romantic meal after a day’s sightseeing, The Mote serves simple, rustic dishes made using local ingredients. The atmosphere is friendly and welcoming, while the food is beautifully prepared to order. Indulge in a plate of local Cornish seafood, or refuel with their lighter lunch menu. This restaurant is popular with both locals and visitors alike, so can get busy in peak season – booking in advance is recommended.
Fresh from the Sea
As the name suggests, Fresh from the Sea is a popular little café which serves delightful fresh fish, lobster and crab, all caught daily using the owner’s own boat. The food is then cooked and prepared to order on site – you can enjoy it whole, dressed, in a sandwich or a salad. Their sunny courtyard makes for a lovely place to indulge in a meal, perhaps accompanied by a crisp glass of white wine. Or, if the weather turns, the inside restaurant is a cosy little hideaway (although tables are limited).
Of course, this is just the start of the many delicious eateries that can be found throughout Port Isaac (click here to learn about parking available throughout the town). Whether you’re after a romantic sit-down meal or a steaming portion of fish and chips by the harbour, you’ll have plenty to choose from in this charming Cornish town. And once you’ve had your fill, why not retreat back to your very own holiday cottage for an evening with your nearest and dearest?
Book your holiday in Port Isaac today.