Our guide to the best cafés, tearooms and coffee shops in Cornwall
Cornwall’s independent café culture makes it the ideal destination for those who like to stop off for light bite or an afternoon tea during their travels. The county is awash with quirky teashops and bohemian eateries serving an assortment of mouth-watering homemade fare. Take a trip to any of the following cafés on your visit to Cornwall and you’ll be in seventh heaven.
The Melting Pot Café, Redruth, North Cornwall
What’s to love: Built in the shell of a former grammar school in the heritage town of Redruth, The Melting Pot Café is a creative space characterised by its eccentric furnishings and tasty, reasonably-priced food. The café is attached to the Krowji Centre for Arts, Cornwall’s largest centre for the creative sector, so it’s popular with arty-types in need of an invigorating coffee. The Melting Pot serves a selection of homemade soups, salads, cakes and other light bites, as well as wholesome breakfasts that will set you up for the day. There are regular events too, including singer-songwriter sessions every Wednesday evening.
Opening Times: Mon-Fri 9am-4pm; open 9am-11pm Wednesday
Address: The Melting Pot Café, Krowji, The Old Grammar School, West Park, Redruth, Cornwall, TR15 3AJ
Contact: 07915252757; www.themeltingpotcafe.co.uk
Snail’s Pace Café, Wenford Bridge, Bodmin Moor & Tamar Valley
What’s to love: Thought to be the only permanent, off-grid café in the UK, the Snail’s Pace Café offers quality food and drink on the cusp of Cornwall’s Camel Trail, a popular cycleway joining Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow. Homecooked fare is prepared in the café every day, and where possible, all of the produce is locally sourced and organic. Salad vegetables and herbs are grown on site, and fresh bread, cakes, quiches and other delicious pastries are prepared by the café’s resident baker. You can rent bikes from the café too; perfect for those hoping to explore the surrounding countryside after a wholesome breakfast.
Opening Times: 9.30am-5pm Tues-Sun
Address: Snail’s Pace Café, Wenfordbridge Car Park, St Breward, PL30 3PN
Contact: 01208 851178; www.snailspacecafe.co.uk
Smokey Joe’s Café & Truck Stop, Blackwater, North Cornwall
What’s to love: For wholesome grub at affordable prices, head to Smokey Joe’s Café & Truck Stop, an honest-to-goodness roadside diner near Redruth. Established over fifty years ago, this family run café offers a friendly, no-nonsense pit-stop for truckers and tourists alike. Smokey Joe’s menu is varied, and features hearty main meals as well as lighter plates. The café is renowned for its cooked breakfasts, XL roasts and steaks, all of which are available whenever you fancy, without time constraints. Steak Nights are a regular fixture on Smokey Joe’s events calendar and are well worth attending if you’re a fan of a good ribeye . Visit the website to find out when the next is due to take place.
Opening Times: Mon-Thurs 7am-10pm; Sat 8am-8pm; Sun 10am-8pm; last order for food one hour before closing
Address: Smokey Joe’s, Scorrier, Redruth, Cornwall, TR16 5BJ
Contact: 01209 821810; www.smokeyjoesofcornwall.co.uk
Kynance Cove Café, Kynance Cove, West Cornwall
What’s to love: Perched above the white sands of Kynance Cove Beach is the Kynance Cove Café, a wonderful eco-café with unrivalled views across the bay. The café has gained a reputation as one of Cornwall’s most energy-efficient cafés, producing up to five thousand kilowatts of electricity a year. This self-reliance is reflected in the café’s food too, with plenty of homemade fare on offer including Cornish Pasties, fresh burgers and baguettes filled with locally-sourced bacon, brie and crab. Kynance Café also features its own beach goods shop, where you can pick up anything from sun cream to wetsuits.
Opening Times: Mon-Sun 10am-2am
Address: Kynance Beach Café, Kynance Crescent, Brinsworth, Rotherham, S60 5EW
Contact: 01326 290436; www.kynancecovecafe.co.uk
Visiting Kynance Cove? Take a look at our guide to beaches in West Cornwall and discover the other glorious beaches in the area.
Miss Peapod’s Café, Penryn, South Cornwall
What’s to love: Aside from its delightful name, Miss Peapod’s Café is the perfect pit-stop for those visiting Penryn. The café champions sustainability, with much of its fixtures and fittings being recycled, including the floor, bought from a nightclub in London. This ethos comes across in the café’s menu too; all of the produce served here is locally sourced and produced, with several vegetarian and vegan-friendly dishes. Visit Peapod’s in the evening and you’ll likely find a local band honing their craft on stage, or if not, the café’s selection of organic beers, wines and ciders are sure to keep you occupied.
Opening Times: Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Sun 10am-4pm; Fri-Sat 10am-Late
Address: Miss Peapod’s Café, Jubilee Wharf, Penryn, Cornwall
Contact: 01326 374424; www.misspeapod.co.uk
Cabin Café, Crackington Haven, North Cornwall
What’s to love: Visit the Cabin Café in the charming village of Crackington Haven and you’ll be amazed by the hustle and bustle of the place. The staff work hard day-in, day-out preparing and producing an assortment of homemade fare; from pasties, pizza and cakes, to fry-ups, salads and sandwiches. Much of the produce used in the Cabin Café is free-range and organic, and is available to purchase in the local farm shop for you to take home. The café features a spacious outdoor terrace that’s ideal for alfresco lunches, and complimentary blankets mean you can enjoy open-air dining at any time of year.
Opening Times: Open every day except Christmas Day
Address: Cabin Café, Crackington Haven, St Gennys, Bude, Cornwall, EX23
Contact: 01840 230 238; www.cabincafecrackington.co.uk
Mimi’s American Diner, Nr St Austell, Bodmin Moor & Tamar Valley
What’s to love: Lots of British cafes take inspiration from 1950’s American diners, but none have embraced the style and panache of the era like Mimi’s Vintage Diner. In 1949, this pre-fab diner was located in Signac, New Jersey, before being shipped to the UK. After extensive renovation, Mimi’s Vintage Diner was born, offering an authentic American experience in the midst of the Cornish countryside. The American inspiration doesn’t end with the décor either; hot dogs, burgers, waffles and French toast with syrup are all on the menu at Mimi’s. Why not wash that all down with a tasty malted milkshake, accompanied by your favourite song from the cafe's authentic all-American jukebox?
Opening Times: Thurs 12pm-8pm; Fri, Sat, Sun 9.30am-8pm; closed Mon-Wed
Address: Mimi’s Diner, Plot 1, Rockhill Business Park, St Austell, Cornwall, PL26 8RA
Contact: 01726 851903; www.mimisdiner.com
The Krab Pot, Port Isaac, North Cornwall
What’s to love: Freshly caught seafood and a warm, friendly welcome make The Krab Pot perfect for a late lunch after exploring the historic streets of Port Isaac. The menu here is tremendously varied, offering home-grown Cornish food with a creative twist. Together with the traditional cream tea they offer the untraditional cream tea; a cheddar scone topped with onion chutney, blue cheese and celery. Of course, there’s crab too, served multiple ways, as well as an antipasti board piled with tasty tit-bits including Cornish cheeses, homemade pickles and bread. What’s more, patrons of the Krab Pot are welcome to bring their dog inside, where they can enjoy a homemade peanut butter treat!
Address: The Krab Pot, 12 Fore Street, Port Isaac, Cornwall, PL26 3RB
Contact: 01208880542; www.thekrabpot.com
Interested in catching your own seafood? Browse our guide to top 5 fishing spots in North Cornwall to discover the best places to go to catch some amazing fish.
Down by the Riverside Café, Helford, South Cornwall
What’s to love: Offering fantastic views over the Helford Estaury in south Cornwall, the Down by the Riverside Café is a charming place to sit and enjoy a bite to eat before heading off for an invigorating walk along the Cornish coast path. The café is located in a former chapel, and offers seating both inside and out – ideal for alfresco dining during the summer. The menu features homemade staples including crab sandwiches, cakes, and scones baked fresh in the café each day, each served with clotted cream and locally produced Roskilly’s jam – delicious.
Opening Times: Mon-Sun 10am-4pm
Address: Down by the Riverside Café, Treath, Helford, Helston, TR12 6LB
Contact: 01326 231 893; www.downbytheriverside.co.uk
Strong Adolfo’s, Nr Wadebridge, North Cornwall
What’s to love: A roadside café with a difference, Strong Adolfo’s is a light and contemporary space, perfectly placed for those exploring north Cornwall. The café’s creative and trendy interior will appeal to the style conscious, whilst its ever-changing specials board offers a range of home-cooked fare, including burgers, salads and other main meals. Strong Adolfo’s also serves some of Cornwall’s finest coffee, supplied by Origin Coffee Rosters, a Cornish coffee producer who imports and roasts its own beans. The café takes inspiration from Cornwall’s surf and motorcycle heritage, and frequently hosts events catered to this, including live music and art exhibitions.
Opening Times: Sat-Sun 9am-5pm; Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri 8.30am-5pm; Thurs 8.30am-10pm
Address: Strong Adolfo’s, Hawksfield, A39, Wadebridge, Cornwall, PL27 7LR
Contact: 01208 816 949; www.strongadolfos.com
A trip to Cornwall lets you explore the independent cafe culture and so much more. If our guide has got you thinking that a visit is on the cards, take a look at our range of self-catering cottages in Cornwall and start planning your trip today.