Hidden Cafes in Cornwall

Hidden Cafes in Cornwall

Tossed about like a Jamie Oliver salad, names of famous Cornish restaurants and cafés are shared between those on the hunt for fine flavours and tantalising textures; but nestled amongst the weaving country lanes and speckled shorelines are some seriously exciting hidden gems waiting to be discovered. 

From secret cafés to unlikely locations, here are some of the best hidden cafés in Cornwall waiting to whet your appetite.

Fat Apples Café, St Keverne

The outside of Fat Apples Cafe surrounded by pretty foliage

A closely guarded secret amongst locals and visitors in the know, family-run Fat Apples Café. is tucked away in pretty Porthallow in the eastern reaches of the Lizard Peninsula. Open on select days from March to October and with some seasonal events in the shoulder months, this off-the-beaten-track café in Cornwall is one of the most enchanting places to go for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. Sit outside under glorious rays of sunshine in the umbrella peppered, wildflower strewn garden or take a seat in the intimate café ready to scour the menu for your favourite treat.

Lakeside Cabin Café, St Ives

Overlooking the fishing lake across to the Lakeside Cabin Cafe near St Ives

In a prime position next to Nance fishing lakes, the family-run Lakeside Cabin Café seems far removed from the lively chatter of St Ives’ streets. Only a stone’s throw from the golden sands of Carbis Bay yet easy to miss, this pocket-size, country cabin café has gained a loyal following and glowing reputation over the years. Particularly popular, its delectable cakes are served in generous wedges on sparkling plates for ultimate enjoyment. Head over to indulge in freshly baked goodies surrounded by the verdant sprawl of rolling fields and broccoli-topped trees.

Melinsey Mill, Veryan in Roseland

A view across the old mill pond to Melinsey Mill Cafe in Veryan in Roseland

Tucked away in a luscious valley, Melinsey Mill is a restored sixteenth century watermill that is home to one of the best hidden cafés in Cornwall. Set beside a large, lily-pad topped pond that reflects a leafy curtain of trees above, it affords a delightfully tranquil setting in which to savour peaceful moments and dishes of sweet and savoury offerings. A treat for all seasons, the cream teas at Melinsey Mill are especially tempting, complete with an assortment of plain, fruit and cheese scones to suit all tastebuds.  

The Cabin Café, Perranuthnoe

The views from the inside of The Cabin Cafe towards Perranuthnoe's beach and the sea

Quiet and secluded, the little village of Perranuthnoe is a salt-kissed, sandy-toed dream. Making it all the more appealing after a day of playing in the surf and walking along the coast path is the gorgeous Cabin Café. A welcoming, beach hut-style café resting in a field overlooking countryside and coast, this hidden café perches in a sheltered position just a pebble’s skim from the sea. Family and dog-friendly, it is open throughout the year and offers up menus of seasonal favourites composed of the finest local produce.

Gorse, Lanteague

Piles of delicious baked goodies at Gorse Bakery in Lanteague near Newquay

Gorse is an independent sourdough bakery and café halfway between Perranporth and Newquay in North Cornwall. Set within a small hub of local businesses, its Scandi-inspired base is surrounded by nothing but a patchwork of green fields making it one of the top hidden cafés in the county. Despite lying off the beaten track and being relative newcomers to the foodie circuit in Cornwall, Gorse’s already-devoted following pays testament to the standard of offerings it produces. The cinnamon buns and signature sourdough loaves are especially enticing.

Wild Vibes Café, Argal Lake

Heaped brownies outside of Wild Vibes Cafe, with views of Argal Lake beyond

Serving up vegan food, specialty coffee and views for days, Wild Vibes Café is a quirky lakeside haven. Found beside Argal reservoir near Penryn in South Cornwall, it is one of the best places to go in Cornwall to relish slow, waterside strolls and well-deserved pick-me-ups in the rejuvenating Cornish air. Revel in the family-friendly and dog-friendly setting and, after a plate of delicious fare, branch off onto one of the many footpaths nearby and trace your way around the lake. If you’d like to draw-out your experience, Wild Vibes also offer treats to go.

Woods Café, Bodmin

The exteriors of Woods Cafe in Cardinham, surrounded by tangled woodland

Burrowed in the middle of the magical Cardinham Woods, the family-run Woods Café has a passion for food so great it is sown into every single dish. Within their menus, local ingredients weave throughout daily delights and regularly updated specials. Cakes and scones are baked fresh each day, and all meals are complemented by a generous drinks list for hot and cold refreshment. Best of all, this dog-friendly café is open all year, offering alfresco seating in summer and roaring log fires in winter.

The Hidden Hut, Portscatho

A feast night under golden hour sunshine at The Hidden Hut in Portscatho, the Roseland

Situated on the South West Coast Path not far from Portscatho on the beautiful, remote Roseland Peninsula is The Hidden Hut. By day, you can look forward to fresh, seasonal lunches and, on select summer eves, alfresco feast nights. Sip a coffee as you run your finger down the menu and be distracted only by the mesmeric views of cobalt seas merging with cloudless skies beyond the café. Later, if you’d like to secure a place for an upcoming feast, remember to be quick as tickets are highly sought-after.

The Big Green Shed, Hayle

Sweet treats served on a plate at The Big Green Shed, Hayle

All those who fall upon The Big Green Shed are captivated by its charm. And its food. Adored by locals and visitors alike, this husband-and-wife run café enjoys a gorgeous location ensconced in pastoral scenery and rewards visitors with far-reaching vistas. It also benefits from the Michelin-star training of its founders. Concise, flavourful, and brimming with quality, the menu at The Big Green Shed is written to the tune of the day’s freshest produce and proposes dreamy breakfasts, lunches, and desserts. For an extra drop of luxury, the café also serves wine by the glass, and the bottle.

Olive & Co. Liskeard

A view of Olive & Co. cafe with Siblyback Lake behind in Cornwall

Taking pride of place next to Siblyback Lake, Olive & Co. Café is a firm favourite with all generations. Whether your visit is short and sweet or you’re planning to stay by the lake all day for leisure and play, this café fuels adventures with award-winning culinary delights. To acquaint yourself with the café’s offerings, peruse the menu and select from an assortment of modern, cosmopolitan food. For the utmost quality, each dish is made fresh in-house with locally-sourced ingredients, and all cakes are made in the café’s onsite bakery too.

The Boatyard Café, Gweek

The Boatyard Cafe at sunset in Gweek

At the upper reaches of the Helford River resides The Boatyard Café in Gweek. Irresistibly cosy, this licensed café occupies a quiet corner within a working boatyard and beckons with an unfailingly welcoming ambience. Shouldered on one side by the emerald waters of the Helford River and the activities of master boatbuilders on the other, it’s the perfect place to sit and while away the hours. Nurse a cup of hot tea or coffee over a leisurely breakfast inside the café or spend a languid lunch outside in the sunshine and savour the moment in this winsome sanctuary.

Fern Pit Café, Newquay

A view of the Fern Pit Cafe at the bottom of greenery-clad cliffs by the River Gannel

First opened in 1910, The Fern Pit Café has been one of the North Coast’s best hidden cafés for over a century. Located below tumbling, vegetation-clad cliffs on the banks of the River Gannel, it presides in humble solitude overlooking Crantock Beach and the Gannel Estuary. Easy to miss from the cliffs above, this time-old favourite also marks one side of the Gannel ferry boat crossing. Venture over to make the most of its incredible location and soak up the views. Depending on your appetite, you can choose from an array of light snacks and meals, including its famed crab and lobster specials.

Slice of Cornwall, Constantine

Delicious food served at Slice of Cornwall in Constantine

Slice of Cornwall is a hidden gem surrounded by a woody shroud of knotted trees in Constantine. The kind of place you have to know about to find, this inviting café rests between Helston and Falmouth and benefits from a halcyon location far removed from the ordinary. Though well and truly off the beaten track, Slice has gained a loyal following thanks to its incredible menu of extravagant bites. With no detail left ignored, every inch of the menu is carefully curated to include the most mouth-watering fusions of Cornish produce and exotic influences. Think all day brunches, loaded waffles, heaped bayas, aromatic coffees, and zingy smoothies on tap.

Talland Bay Beach Café, Looe

A view from the sea of Talland Bay Beach Cafe on a sunny day

Sitting within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Talland Bay Beach Café sits pretty overlooking one of the most glorious beaches in Cornwall. With a choice of indoor and outdoor seating and picnic benches all but on the shore, this secluded seasonal café provides an idyllic spot for beachside repasts. Make use of the small car park nearby or wander along the coast path and look forward to a menu of simple, feel-good food, including thickly cut sandwiches, fresh soups, cream teas and, of course, lots of Cornish ice cream. Once finished, head down to the beach to comb the shore for the polished sea glass that can often be found lodged in the sand.

Looking forward to visiting your favourite hidden café in Cornwall? Take a look at our luxury cottages here.



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