Where to eat in Falmouth

Food writer Alan Rosenthal moved from north London to Falmouth in Cornwall to work as a cookery teacher. He found himself living, by accident, at the heart of a burgeoning food and drink scene. Here he shares his favourite spots to eat and drink in and around Falmouth, which deserves to be at the top of your list for an out-of-season visit…


Where to eat in Falmouth
Sunrise over Falmouth Harbour

Where the River Fal meets the sea, Falmouth sits by one of the world’s deepest natural harbours, and its history is steeped in maritime trading and shipbuilding. Less well known is the Cornish town’s buzzing food and drink scene. Often overlooked in favour of better known tourist honeypots such as artsy St Ives or Michelin-starred Padstow, pretty Falmouth and nearby Penryn deserve their time in the limelight.

The best Falmouth breakfast and coffee spots

I’m lucky to live at the eastern end of town, overlooking the selfie-worthy village of Flushing. A leisurely saunter takes me down the high street to Stones Bakery, whose raspberry-jam-and-custard doughnuts have become my weekly obsession. Their ‘croissant monsieur’, wholemeal sourdough and baguettes are also worth the trip. Beacon Coffee, just down the hill, will supply the high-end caffeine hit to go with.

For more brekkie-brunchy offerings, Situ in nearby Penryn makes wonderfully aromatic plates of food that nod to the Gujarati and Ugandan heritage of owner Sham. I’m sold on the keema mkate mayai, a delicately spiced beef and spinach curry with baked eggs and cardamom yogurt, with a masala chai alongside. If you’re up for going slightly further afield for a morning fill, try Potager Garden for fine seasonal plates and Slice of Cornwall for a menu of crowdpleasers where the portions are as plentiful as they are flavoursome.

Fine fare at Situ in Penryn
Fine fare at Situ in Penryn


Where to eat lunch

Sabzi Deli, overlooking the harbour, offers vibrant Iranian and Middle Eastern-inspired salads for lunch and is a great pitstop before exploring the rest of town and the beaches. You’ll then be close to Hooked On The Rocks, perched above Swanpool Beach, for a plate of umami-rich wild prawns bathed in garlic butter and ’nduja. Be sure to order some homemade focaccia to mop up those juices!

Middle Eastern magic from Sabzi Deli

“Often overlooked in favour of the betterknown tourist honeypots such as artsy St Ives or Michelin-starred Padstow, Falmouth and nearby Penryn deserve their time in the limelight”

Fiery prawns at Hooked On The Rocks


The big night out

If it’s to be a night of nibbling, pay Hevva! a visit for some great small plates of seafood. After, head across the road (or down the rabbit hole) to The Chintz Bar, where you’ll be mesmerised by the madcap memorabilia to accompany your drink(s) of choice. Later, for a quick pick meup, excellent espresso martinis can be found at Scandi-inspired Solskinn on top of The Poly, Falmouth’s vibrant arts centre and community hub.  If a glass of red is more your thing, Kernowine on Killigrew Street is worth a visit – as well as a bar it’s also a wine shop and school with an ethical, sustainable ethos.

Falmouth isn’t short of a good pub or three. The Boat House has fantastic views and the best fish pie in town. Their salt and pepper squid is also a winner. If you’re in need of a burger stop, The Meat Counter ticks all the boxes: well made dirty burgers using 21-day aged beef from rare breeds.

More feelgood food is never far away. I’d recommend a trip to Penryn’s Verdant Brewing Taproom for some of the best pizza in town and a great selection of beers produced on site. Or for classic seaside fish and chips, try the Old Hill Fish & Chip Shop, a little out of the way but perfectly located for a supper on the banks of The Fal, near The Greenbank Hotel (see Where to Stay, below – perhaps drop in for a river-view cocktail or two afterwards).

The best Falmouth restaurants for a special dinner

The tasting menu at Culture Restaurant is a gem. It takes you on a journey ‘curated by farmers, fishermen and gatherers’, focusing on flavour and textures without unnecessary embellishment or pomp. At the other end of town, Mine serves a seasonal menu from a remarkably small open kitchen with chefs dancing beautifully in sync. The Mulberry is also worth a shout, with a South American lilt to its small plates menus.

chef Hylton Espey cooking at Culture Restaurant
Chef Hylton Espey cooking at Culture Restaurant


In the mood for boldly spiced food? Pay Daaku a visit. Jasmine and Ben’s menu changes weekly with north Indian-inspired recipes harking back to Jasmine’s childhood.

North Indian food from Daaku
North Indian food from Daaku


Further afield

For a good Sunday lunch, take a 15-minute ferry ride to Harbour House in Flushing. Indeed, if you’re spending the weekend in Falmouth and have the time, pop to Tregew Food Barn on Saturday for locally caught seafood, delicious ex-dairy beef, organic veg and pasties courtesy of Soul Farm and some fabulous pastries from Pavilion.

What to do in Falmouth when you’re not eating…

Go for a bracing dip off Castle, Gylly or Swanpool beaches, try your hand at paddleboarding or take a beginner’s sailing lesson on these sparkling waters. Walk the coast to the Helford river, taking in breathtaking scenery along the way, or hop on the 25-minute ferry to St Mawes for a wander around its Tudor fort.

Where to stay in Falmouth

The Greenbank Hotel is the oldest inn in town with a great spot on the harbourside to watch the yachts go by. The Cornish breakfast is a goodie and the cocktails are renowned. Doubles from around £160 B&B.

Star & Garter serves Cornish seafood boils and rotisserie chicken, plus a legendary Sunday roast, and also has stylish and well equipped rooms and apartments with harbour views. Doubles from £100 room only.

Planning a foodie break? Discover our travel guides for food lovers, from Liverpool to the Lake District.


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