Penzance is a town in the far southwest of Cornwall surrounded by beautiful coast and soft, sandy beaches. There are lots of wonderful things to do in Penzance from exploring museums and beaches to eating at the best restaurants in Penzance.
I’ve been visiting Cornwall since childhood and have dined at many of the top restaurants in Penzance over the years. Seafood is a specialty across Cornwall, but the town is also home to some wonderful restaurants offering a range of cuisines.
After staying in and eating my way around Penzance over many years, I have compiled this list of my favorite restaurants in the town and the best places to eat in Penzance.
15 Best Restaurants in Penzance
I’ve based my selection of the best restaurants in Penzance on the quality of the ingredients, service, location, my own opinion, and customer reviews (so it’s not just based solely on my opinion). I’ve eaten at many more restaurants in that time, but I’ve narrowed this list down to 15 based on those criteria.
1. The Shore Restaurant (Best Restaurant in Penzance Overall)
If you’re looking for fine dining in Penzance, then The Shore is the place to go. The set menu is specially prepared using locally caught seafood and fresh, local ingredients. This is one of the most romantic restaurants in Penzance and is perfect for that special occasion.
Dining is by reservation only and this can be done up to one month in advance. You can book online or by calling the number below. The restaurant opens at 6:45 pm ready to be served at 7:00 pm.
After your meal, you can even pick up a cookbook by The Shore to take home with you for £30.00.
The Shore Restaurant Info
Address: 13-14 Alverton Street, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 2QP
Phone: +44 (0)1736 362444
Operating Hours: 6:45 pm until you finish (dinner is served at 7:00 pm sharp), Tues-Sat
Must-Try Meals: Grilled John Dory, miso soup, sardines
Average Cost: £90 for a six-course set menu (drinks extra)
2. The Cork and Fork (Best Traditional Penzance Restaurant)
The Cork and Fork is a family-run restaurant that utilizes the freshest local produce to prepare sumptuous meals based on the availability of ingredients at the time of the year. This is one of the best local restaurants in Penzance and it has an excellent and affordable menu.
I recommend the pork belly and crab linguine (two of my favorite dishes), or the wild mushroom linguine for vegetarians. Cork and Fork also have an excellent wine list and the knowledgeable staff will be happy to assist you with a suitable pairing.
The Cork and Fork Info
Address: 10 Albert Street, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 2LR
Phone: +44 (0)1736 697387
Operating Hours: 6 pm-9 pm, Thu-Mon
Must-Try Meals: Slow-cooked, roasted pork belly, crab linguine, wild mushroom linguine
Average Cost: £8-£9 per starter, £17-£22 per main, £8 for dessert
3. The Dolphin Tavern (Best for Cheap Eats in Penzance)
If you’re looking for cheap eats in Penzance then the Dolphin Tavern is a fantastic option. This classic Cornish inn has a mouthwatering menu of filling pub classics for very reasonable prices (most dishes fall well under £20.00). A great place to indulge in the British classic – fish and chips.
The Dolphin also has an extensive vegan and vegetarian menu with homemade chili, falafel, and vegan sausages, making it the best vegetarian restaurant in Penzance.
This is one of my favorite places to eat in Penzance and enjoy a few Cornish ales or ciders (try Tribute from St Austell Brewery up the road in St Austell).
The Dolphin Tavern Info
Address: Quay Street, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4BD
Phone: +44 (0)1736 364106
Operating Hours: 12 pm-12 am, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Meals: Sea bass fillets, traditional fish and chips, vegan three-bean chili
Average Cost: £4-£8 per starter, £12-£23 per main, £6 for dessert
4. Old Lifeboat House Bistro (Best Steak in Penzance)
This quaint Bistro serves up some of the best steaks in Penzance, (though my favorite is the fish pie), in an old lifeboat station overlooking the harbor. The menu is heavy on seafood dishes from locally harvested scallops, prawns, and mussels to 80z steaks, cottage pie, and more.
This is another of the best cheap restaurants in Penzance with mains under £20.00. The location, ambiance, menu, and prices make this a fantastic option for the whole family.
Old Lifeboat House Bistro Info
Address: Wharf Road, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4AA
Phone: +44 (0)1736 369409
Operating Hours: 6 pm-9 pm, Mon-Sat, 6 pm-8:30 pm, Sun
Must-Try Meals: 8oz sirloin steak, grilled Mounts Bay mackerel, Old Lifeboat House fish pie
Average Cost: £5.95-£9.95 per starter, £13.95-£20.95 per main, £6 for dessert
5. Mermaid Alley (Best Lunch in Penzance)
The excellent Mermaid Alley is a Penzance institution specializing in a variety of cuisines from Mexican to classic British. It’s also one of the best vegan restaurants in Penzance thanks to a large meat/dairy-free menu.
It’s a brilliant spot for brunch in Penzance with a mouthwatering menu serving up hot and cold snacks, soups, and mains (the smoked mackerel and salmon pate starters are to die for).
Mermaid Alley Info
Address: 45 New Street, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 2LZ
Phone: +44 (0)1736 448982
Operating Hours: 12 pm-5 pm, Tue-Wed, 12 pm-10 pm, Thu-Sat
Must-Try Meals: Smoked mackerel and salmon pate, Newlyn fish of the day, grilled courgette (zucchini)
Average Cost: £6.50-£8 per starter, £14-£19 per main
6. Mackerel Sky Seafood Bar (Best Seafood in Penzance)
The Mackerel Sky Seafood Bar is in the Penzance suburb of Newlyn, a quaint little fishing port. Thanks to its location, it’s here that you’ll find the freshest, tastiest seafood that comes straight from the boat to your plate.
The taster menu includes some delicious seafood morsels from locally caught crab to monkfish, mussels, mackerel (of course), hake, and sole. The grilled mackerel is a must-try; it’s my second favorite fish after sea bass. The beer-battered haddock is great too.
Mackerel Sky Seafood Bar Info
Address: New Road, Newlyn, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 5PZ
Phone: +44 (0)1736 366626
Operating Hours: 12 pm-3 pm and 5:30 pm-8:30 pm Mon-Sun
Must-Try Meals: Grilled mackerel, beer-battered local white fish, mussels
Average Cost: £4 per starter, £9-£11.50 per tasting plate, £6.50 for dessert
7. Totti (Best Pizza in Penzance)
If the seafood is getting a bit too much, then you can’t go wrong with a pizza, and Totti serves up the best pizza in Penzance without a doubt. All of Totti’s marvelous creations are 10″ (just right if you ask me) and focus on classic and contemporary toppings with a true Italian twist.
The spicy Maldini with locally cured pepperoni, parmesan, and chili is a must-try if you like things hot. The Totti cheeseburger pizza is made with burger patties, tomato, mozzarella, pickles, and burger sauce, and I swear it tastes just like its namesake.
Address: 41 Market Jew Street, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 2HX
Phone: +44 (0)7754 519958
Operating Hours: 4 pm-8 pm, Wed-Sat
Must-Try Meals: Cheeseburger pizza, Maldini pizza, Delvecchio pizza
Average Cost: £3.50-£4.50 per starter, £8.50-£12 per pizza, £4-£6 for dessert
8. The Bridge (Best Italian Restaurant in Penzance)
The Bridge in nearby Newlyn is a brasserie, pizzeria, and bar specializing in seafood, pizza, and meat dishes with an Italian twist. This is definitely the best Italian in Penzance with the seafood linguine being one of the best I’ve ever had (and I’ve tried a lot).
You can grab a pizza, burger, classics like carbonara (another favorite of mine), and some delicious desserts including the Italian classic cannoli, Belgian waffles, and even a vegan cheesecake.
The Bridge Info
Address: 6 New Road, Newlyn, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 5PZ
Phone: +44 (0)1736 363446
Operating Hours: 6 pm-9 pm, Mon-Thu, 6 pm-9:30 pm, Fri-Sat
Must-Try Meals: Seafood linguine, the Bridge burger, pesce e patate
Average Cost: £2.95-£7.95 per starter, £14.95-£28.95 per main, £6.95 for dessert
9. Harris’s Restaurant (One of the Best Places to Eat in Penzance)
Harris’s is one of the best restaurants in Penzance for fine dining and even gets a mention in the coveted Michelin guide. The husband and wife team cooks up a selection of seafood dishes using locally caught and freshly sourced produce from across Cornwall.
Some of the treats on offer include roasted monkfish, grilled scallops, fresh Newlyn crab (a must-try when in Penzance), and grilled fillet steak.
With quality comes a price tag, and Harris’s doesn’t come cheap, however, it’s well worth the expense for the quality and service.
Harris’s Restaurant Info
Address: 46 New Street, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 2LZ
Phone: +44 (0)1736 364408
Operating Hours: 6:30 pm-8:30 pm, Tue-Sat
Must-Try Meals: Newlyn crab, roasted monkfish, steak
Average Cost: £8.50-£9.95 per starter, £24.50-£42.50 per main, £9 for dessert
10. Alverne Restaurant and Lounge (Best Patio in Penzance)
If you’re looking for somewhere to dine al-fresco then Alverne Restaurant and Lounge is an excellent option with one of the best patios in Penzance to enjoy a meal on summer evenings. Alverne is the place to go for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (and brunch for that matter).
With full English breakfasts, including a vegan option, light lunches, and hearty mains such as lemon sole fillets, beef stroganoff (another favorite of mine), and classic burgers, there’s something on the menu to please every palette.
Alverne Restaurant and Lounge Info
Address: 30 Alverton Street, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 2QN
Phone: +44 (0)1736 366007
Operating Hours: 9 am-5 pm, Mon, 9 am-11 pm, Tue-Sat
Must-Try Meals: Full English breakfast, beef stroganoff, lemon sole fillet
Average Cost: £4.50-£5.50 per starter, £13-£18 per main, £3.25-£8.50 for desserts
11. The Sea Palace (Best Chinese Restaurant in Penzance)
Having lived in China for over six years, you could say I know a little about Chinese food, so believe me when I say the Sea Palace is the best Chinese restaurant in Penzance. The crispy, fragrant, aromatic duck is some of the best I’ve had outside of Beijing (it definitely lives up to its descriptive name!).
The Sea Palace offers both dine-in and takeaway (takeout) options and is located in the center of town.
The menu includes classic Cantonese-style cooking and some excellent chef recommendations such as the Ho Fun noodles and Thai curries.
The Sea Palace Info
Address: 19 Quay Street, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4BD
Phone: +44 (0)1736 330997
Operating Hours: 4 pm-10:30 pm, Wed-Mon
Must-Try Meals: Crispy duck, Thai green curry, sweet and sour pork Cantonese style
Average Cost: £6-£8 per starter, £8.50-£21 per main
12. Taj Mahal (Best Indian Restaurant in Penzance)
If you’re looking for something a little spicy, head along to the Taj Mahal, the best Indian restaurant in Penzance with an interesting Nepalese twist. The menu includes a wide range of curries and classic south Asian dishes from vindaloos and baltis to tandoori and tikka masalas.
The Himalaya, barbequed lamb cooked with fresh coriander (cilantro), mustard seeds, and curry leaves is delicious. The tandoori dishes, especially the king prawn, are also well worth trying.
Taj Mahal Info
Address: 63 Daniel Plaza, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4DU
Phone: +44 (0)1736 366631
Operating Hours: 5:30 pm-11 pm, Tue-Thu, 5:30 pm-10:30 pm, Fri-Sat, 5:30 pm-10 pm, Sun
Must-Try Meals: Himalaya lamb, chicken tikka masala, tandoori king prawn
Average Cost: £3.25-£4.25 per starter, £6.50-£11.95 per main
13. Duke Street Cafe (Best Cafe in Penzance)
For breakfast, a light lunch, a snack, or a piece of cake, head to the best cafe in Penzance – the Duke Street Cafe. From vegan breakfasts to Newlyn crab, fish finger sandwiches (I love fish finger sandwiches), and an awesome seafood platter, this is a wonderful little cafe to dine in.
Breakfast is served from 9:00 am until 11:30 am, lunch from 1 pm to 3 pm, and Sunday brunch from 10 am to 12:30 pm. The cafe is also open each day until 4 pm for hot and cold drinks, cakes, and Cornish ice cream.
Duke Street Cafe Info
Address: 6 Duke Street, Newlyn, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 5JA
Phone: +44 (0)1736 368000
Operating Hours: 9am-4pm, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Meals: Fish finger sandwiches, seafood platter, Cornish cheddar and chutney sandwiches
Average Cost: £6.95 for sandwiches, £12.50-£19.75 per main, £4.50 for cake
14. The Boatshed (Best Outdoor Restaurant in Penzance)
The Boatshed is the best outdoor restaurant in Penzance and is located just yards from the harbor. The extensive menu specializes in locally caught seafood and steaks. The sea bass is a must-try (the tastiest fish in my humble opinion), and the steaks are succulent and cooked to preference and perfection.
In summer, the Boatshed is the perfect place to relax with friends and a glass of chilled wine with fantastic views of the harbor. You can even watch your dinner arriving on the boats. This is one of my favorite spots in Penzance for dining out.
The Boatshed Info
Address: The Harbour, Wharf Road, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4AA
Phone: +44 (0)1736 368845
Operating Hours: 11:30 am-3:30 pm and 6:30 pm to 10 pm, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Meals: Pan-fried sea bass, mackerel fillets, king prawn curry
Average Cost: £5.25-£9.95 per starter, £10.95-£26.95 per main
15. The Mexico Inn (Best for Mexican Food near Penzance)
The name may be a little misleading as The Mexico Inn offers a varied menu of locally caught seafood, British classics, and indeed Mexican dishes such as nachos, fajitas, and tacos.
The local lobster and crab soup is delicious, and the slow-cooked pork belly with crispy crackling melts in the mouth.
This excellent eatery is located a stone’s throw from Long Rock beach with gorgeous views out to sea. The Mexico Inn is truly one of the best restaurants near Penzance for both its food and views.
The Mexico Inn Info
Address: 4 Riverside, Longrock, Penzance, Cornwall, TR20 8JD
Phone: +44 (0)1736 710625
Operating Hours: 12 pm-10 pm, Mon-Sun
Must-Try Meals: Lobster and crab soup, slow-cooked pork belly, Newlyn market fish and chips
Average Cost: £6-£8 per starter, £14.75-£21 per main, £5-£7 for desserts
Must-Try Meals in Penzance
Cornwall is a fantastic culinary destination famed around the world for its seafood, pasties, and cream teas. Below, are the must-try dishes and some of the best food in Penzance. Cornwall is one of my favorite destinations for eating and should be on the map of every foodie.
The small village of Newlyn, a mile to the east of Penzance, is famous for its locally caught crab. You can eat it as a dressed crab, as a sandwich filling, or as crab soup (crab and lobster bisque is one of my favorites). Take the coastal walk to Newlyn and watch the crab boats coming in with their catch.
The pasty is a Cornish institution and one of my favorite regional snacks. A proper pasty is made from pastry with a filling of mincemeat (usually beef), and vegetables such as carrot, onion, and potato.
You can grab a pasty from any of the bakeries in Penzance and also find them on the menus of many pubs too.
This traditional Cornish pie is made with baked sardines/pilchards with eggs, potatoes, and herbs, and finished in a pastry crust. The dish is thought to originate from the village of Mousehole a couple of miles from Penzance and has been enjoyed by locals for centuries.
Cornish Ice Cream
Cornwall is famed for its ice cream made from local clotted cream. Kelly’s of Bodmin and Callestick Farm near Truro are two of the most famous (my personal favorite being Kelly’s). No trip to Cornwall is complete without trying this local specialty.
The Cream Tea is as famous as the Cornish pasty and is one of my favorite treats when visiting Cornwall. A pot of hot tea is served with freshly made scones, strawberry jam, and of course, Cornish clotted cream.
You can enjoy cream teas at many places in Penzance (the Honey Pot is one of the best).
Penzance Restaurants: FAQs
The Shore, the Mackeral Sky Seafood Bar, and Mermaid Alley are three of the best restaurants in Penzance.
Dinner is usually eaten between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm in Penzance (and across the UK).
Lunch in Penzance is between 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm, and sometimes later on a Sunday.
Breakfast in Penzance is anywhere between 6:00 am and 10:00 am (most cafes open at 7:00).
Tipping in pubs and bars is not the norm in Penzance, however for a good meal and good service in a restaurant a tip of 10% to 15% will be greatly appreciated by the staff.
The area around the harbor and town center is home to some of the best places to eat in Penzance.
The area around the harbor is one of the best places to stay in Penzance. There are lots of great hotels and holiday cottages in and around the town.
You can find the best pub food at the Dolphin Tavern (one of the best Penzance restaurants for locals) located on Quay Street between the harbor and Jubilee Pools.
The Old Lifeboat House Bistro on the harbor is a fantastic restaurant in Penzance with a sea view, as is the Mackeral Sky Seafood Bar.
The Mackeral Sky Seafood Bar is the best seafood restaurant in Penzance as it specializes in locally caught fresh fish, shellfish, and seafood.
Now you know about the best places to eat in Penzance. With the harbor and fishing port of Newlyn so close by, you can expect the freshest and tastiest seafood delivered fresh from the boat to your plate.
Whether you’re seeking traditional British dishes like fish and chips (which should always be eaten close to the sea), pizza, Chinese, curry, or just a snack to refuel for the day, you won’t go hungry in Penzance.