You’re never short of things to do in St Ives and the strong influence of culture, both from Cornwall and abroad, means there’s a wide array of pubs and bars to choose from when you’re looking for a drink or a bite to eat on a day or night out. Buy the way, you can always book a cottage from Cornish Riviera to have a place to stay after bar or pub visiting.
Every day of your holiday, you will always be able to find something different and unique to try so we’ve compiled a list of some of the best bars and pubs to help guide you in making your choice and cultivate an authentic and enjoyable St Ives experience.
Best Pubs in St Ives
Pubs often have that quintessential English charm that helps locals and holiday makers alike to capture that warm and homely feeling, whether they’re having a meal with the family on a night out,catching up with friends to watch the football match or listen to talented local musicians playing live music most nights of the week.
1. The Golden Lion
One of St Ives’ famous historic pubs, the Golden Lion is the perfect pub that boasts a number of hearty meals on its menus and is by far one of the best spots to eat at in the colder months for those who want to soak up the warmth.
On Sundays, you can also enjoy a special roast and its location in the heart of St Ives makes it easily accessible regardless of which of our cottages you’re staying in.
2. The Sloop Inn
Built in 1312, it’s one of the oldest pubs in Cornwall and it remains a traditional favourite for those visiting the town. You can enjoy a meal at any time of the day along with sampling its own unique small-batch gin.
The Sloop Inn is situated right on the harbour front, giving pub-goers wonderful views of the waterfront to relax to while they’re enjoying their meal.
3. Beer and Bird
As a family-run business, Beer and Bird is one of St Ives best bets for holiday goers craving the modern Cornish charm the coast is famous for. Craft beer and homemade cider are two of the pub’s most iconic drinks that shouldn’t be missed out on and the pub is also famous for its fried chicken, sure to give travellers an extra burst of comfort.
You’re spoiled for choice here as well, with a 12-page beer menu that is sure to have something for everyone.
4. The Pilchard Press Alehouse
You’ll have to work hard to find this tiny micro-pub, a firm favourite with locals serving craft ales, cider and wines.
Without a cellar, when the pumps run dry, they close! If you’re lucky, you’ll catch the local shanty singers giving an impromptu performance making a night here one to remember.
5. The Lifeboat Inn
The Lifeboat Inn is a hospitable pub for families and friends alike, making the most of St Ives’ coastal lifestyle with a nautical, seafront aesthetic and plenty of fresh seafood on the menu.
Paired with the summery coastal views out across the harbour, you’ll always find local food and drink here for the genuine Cornish experience. The beer is brewed by St Austell Brewery, with the beers also being vegan, making the Lifeboat Inn a more accessible and enjoyable dining choice.
Best Bars in St Ives
The bars in St Ives are a great place to go for those of you who want to drink in the lifestyle and culture of the area while enjoying some entertainment and spending time with friends, sampling some of the best food and drink, complete with atmospheric scenery.
1. The Firehouse
The bar of choice for anyone who favours a gin, The Firehouse is a cocktail and gin bar in St Ives specialising in gin. It also serves a hearty selection of meals in keeping with its fiery theme – from a brick-fired pizza to steaks grilled over a flame, it’s the perfect place to soak up the atmosphere of the town.
The gin bar, however, is The Firehouse’s pride and joy. The bartenders mix some of the finest drinks around with a variety of tonics and no trip to St Ives is complete without trying the bar’s very own ‘Cornish Garden’, sure to bring the essence of Cornwall straight to your palate.
2. Rum and Crab Shack
Where The Firehouse specialises in gin, the Rum and Crab Shack specialises in rum, boasting a wide variety of tastes and sensations that guarantee that there’s something to satisfy everyone.
The Rum and Crab Shack is right on the harbour front, giving you gorgeous views of the ocean and easy access to the beach for the truest seaside experience. The menu is packed full of seafood items, all locally sourced and is one of the best experiences to help you feel right at home.
3. Balcony Bar and Kitchen
With a fresh, seaview aesthetic, the Balcony Bar and Kitchen is a popular choice for families to relax, with seating available outside for those who want to drink in the sea air and immerse themselves in the harbour atmosphere.
Balcony Bar and Kitchen doesn’t skimp on portion size, making sure each meal is hearty and leaving every customer satisfied. Whether you want the peaceful air of sitting outside with friends or want to enjoy a cocktail or beer at the bar in the heart of the action, this is the dining experience for you.
4. Tretho Lounge
If you’re looking for something a little different on your trip, look no further than Tretho Lounge, a bar in St Ives bursting with personality and character with a number of unique choices on the menu that make the place unmissable during your trip.
The all-day menu is an international delight with everything from paninis and tapas to Bombay sweet potato curry. There’s a drink to satisfy every taste as well, whether you’re in the mood for something alcoholic or want to take it easy with a herbal tea or lemonade.
Dog Friendly Pubs St Ives
Some of the best pubs in St Ives don’t forget about the importance of being accompanied by your dog and provide plenty of space for you to bring your beloved pet with you as you tour the very best of what St Ives has to offer.
1. The Castle Inn
A dog friendly pub – and one of the best in the whole of St Ives – The Castle Inn is the perfect choice for anyone looking to take a holiday with their dog. The Inn is famous for leaving out treats and snacks for your pets, ensuring that you and your dog always feels welcome.
The pub is famous for its gins too, with a selection of over 30 types distilled in Cornwall, along with a collection of ciders and wines. The Castle Inn also has live music and entertainment such as quiz nights, making this the perfect spot for anyone looking to enjoy an evening out in comfort.
2. Balnoon Inn
This pub is the perfect resting spot for anyone going on hikes and walks in the St Ives area, exploring the local scenery just outside of town. You can relax in their sizeable garden with a drink and a meal and take in the countryside with your dog at your side.
3. The Queens Hotel
This modern gastropub gives off all the comforting vibes you could need on your tour around town, offering award-winning beers and homemade pizzas, the perfect place to relax with friends or family before heading down to the beach.
Dogs are welcome in the bar area, making the Queens Hotel a great place to take a break at during a day out.
4. The Searoom
Out on the Wharf, you can find stylish bar The Searoom with outside seating overlooking the harbour and an impressive array of spirits to quench your thirst. The bar is often booked well in advance so make sure to get in early when planning your trip so you don’t miss out on the experience.
Dogs are allowed in the bar and outside area making it the perfect spot to catch a breath after walking your dog or playing with them on the beach. Indulge in some tapas or take a moment to bask in the sun with a drink. The Searoom is the home of St Ives Gin so gin lovers are sure to find something to their fancy.
5. The Union Inn
The Union Inn is one of St Ives favourite pubs found on Fore Street. . It’s a traditional pub in every sense, with a wide range of beers and spirits and plenty of homemade and hearty food for if you’re eating dinner out.
Dogs are always welcome in the pub, creating a friendly atmosphere and ensuring you always feel right at home.
Where to stay near St Ives Cornwall pubs
When holidaying in St Ives, location is everything and many of our properties will put you right in the heart of the action. The pubs and bars will never be more than a stone’s throw away, making it easier than ever to explore and discover what you like best in town.
We have a few properties along and near the Wharf including Crows Nest, 1 Sunnyside, 3 Sunnyside and Slantways. This gives you easy access to the beach as well as many of the seafront bars like the Rum and Crab Shack.
Several more of our properties are closer to the heart of St Ives, such as Step ‘N’ Sea, Dolly and The Bolt Hole. A short walk will take you to the town’s centre or the beach and you’ll be surrounded by plenty of pubs and bars to choose from whether you plan out your day or opt for a spontaneous trip around some of the favourite local haunts.
The best of bars in St Ives Cornwall
You will always be spoiled for choice in St Ives when it comes to choosing the best bar or pub to drink at but luckily there’s something for everyone and on longer holidays, you can sample as many of our famous bars as possible.
This makes it easy for you to learn what you like and which atmosphere suits you best, meaning you can have a more curated experience on a return trip. But for travellers new to the food and drink scene in St Ives, don’t be afraid to dive in and see what you can discover.