The food offerings in St Ives are burgeoning right now and widely covered in the national press, so you have plenty of sources for what to eat and where, whatever your tastes and budget. We’re going to focus on one thing (because that’s the title challenge we’ve set ourselves) and say, if you only eat one St Ives food, then eat the Fish.
Maybe you brought your own rods down and fancy trying your luck off the harbour arm or braving the cliff scramble down to fish off the back of the Island (in which case you might want to read this insider thread by Becky Lee on where to fish in St Ives, when and with what baits and rigs etc). But if you prefer to leave the fishing to the professionals we suggest supporting the St Ives Fishselling Co-Operative. You can place orders with the fishermen directly and have your catch delivered to the cottage door direct from the harbour. Or perhaps by the time of reading this the new facility will be up and running for all local fishermen to sell direct from Smeaton’s Pier(?).
Or maybe you’d like to leave the cooking to the professionals too. In which case you’ve sampled the fantastic crab from the Rum and Crab Shack , you’ve done the Harbour View Supper Club and spent an evening soaking up the Mermaid Seafood Restaurant and what you really want now is a night in the cottage with some comfort Fish and Chips.
St Ives does not disappoint in this – forget the Balancing Eel (very good by the way) or any of the harbour front temptations – if you want the best fish and chips in the UK, eat where the locals do. Head up town as though you’re heading to the Leach Pottery (ideally you get the oven on and some plates warming whilst the other half grabs the car and does the run), to Sharky’s. Beautiful, moist, fresh fish, battered to perfection with lightly battered chips (oh yes) to go with. Emotional.
Notable other do-not-miss foodie moments are the Sour Dough from St Ives Bakery – providing artisan loaves for the local restaurants, what the shop stocks will depend on what’s left over, but go early doors and you’ve a solid chance of bagging the best sour dough this side of San Francisco. Pro-tip: whilst you’re in there pick up a Cruffin (cross between a croisant, a doughnut and a muffin) for the sweet tooth of the house. We love the coffee and Portuguese tarts from The Yellow Canary cafe and as far as pasties go we stick to Pengenna in St Ives but, [pro-tip] if you want to take some pasties home we always order ahead from Hampsons of Hayle and collect them on the way through.
Fredo (the youngest member of the family) insists we also include the Beer and Bird’s Chicken ‘n Waffles, and we agree. However if chicken-waffling doesn’t move you, then the range of craft ales and ciders mean everyone’s a winner – plus [at time of writing] there’s no advance booking so you can just rock up 🙂 #WinningAtLife