Last Updated on October 2, 2022 by Wandering our World

The seaside town of Bude on the North Coast of Cornwall is a go-to tourist destination and a key spot for surfers to catch some waves. Remaining small and charming, this quintessentially Cornish town has the right balance of modern life with shops, restaurants and facilities providing activities out of the surf.

This holiday town is a perfect place for a family trip and when you’ve sunned yourself on the beach all day or enjoyed the waves on your board you’ll be glad to find some incredible restaurants in Bude offering a range of cuisine to suit all appetites.

From tapas-style eateries to relaxed café restaurants, there is plenty to taste to enjoy by the sea. Let’s dig in!

Recommended: Unique, Exciting & Free Day Trips In Cornwall

iStock.com/Thomas Faull

Seven Fantastic Restaurants In Bude: Food Worth Waiting For!

1. Life’s a Beach

Family-friendly beach café/restaurant offering locally caught seafood

This family-run business offers a fantastic view over Summerleaze Beach and delicious food in a relaxed dining setting. Open since 1999, Life’s a Beach makes for an affordable choice for lunch at the beach while enjoying fresh high-quality local ingredients. Not only are you right on the beach, but you can utilise some limited free parking here also!

Relaxed beach cafés with restaurant-quality food are hard to come by and Life’s a Beach does a great job of balancing the two worlds. Perch on beachside wooden benches outside or dine inside enjoying fun bright colours and spacious seating. The atmosphere is fun and lively here with good music playing as the friendly staff run a fast-paced and efficient service.

The menu is frequently updated serving an array of options from seafood to meat, vegetarian and vegan options. Visitors love coming back to enjoy the latest offerings.

Considered a previous favourite among locals is the Local Mussels Cornish Style, served steaming with shallots, garlic, cider, cream & herbs, plus crusty bread for dunking. Other favourites have included Local Fresh Crab Sandwich, Salt and Pepper Squid, and for the veggies, the L.A.B. Burger – a spiced lentil and vegetable burger, Swiss cheese, gherkin, salad and house burger sauce, served in a rustic bap with house chips.

Kids can enjoy a selection of smaller plates including Fish and Chips and those with dietary requirements can rest assured too as you’ll be catered for well here with multiple accommodations possible.

Life’s a Beach also offer daily specials plus Catch of the Day so be sure to keep an eye out for something delicious and off-menu.

If all that isn’t enough you can even have a traditional Cornish cream tea in the afternoon! The outside space is dog friendly too, with plenty of dog bowls out on hot days

Life’s a Beach has been known to put on events with live music in the past so check out their socials to see what’s next for them. This beachside café/restaurant is a great choice for your next beach day and definitely one of the best restaurants in Bude.

Address: 16 Summerleaze Cres, Bude, Cornwall, EX23 8HN, UK

Opening Times: Sun-Tues 10:00-16:00, Wed-Sat 10:00-19:00

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Maksim Krisanov

2. Temple

An intimate dining experience with a two-course set menu offering the freshest local produce

Born out of a passion for something different in Bude, Temple is the perfect spot to bond over wine and food. Utilising ingredients from local farmers and fishermen, Temple creates innovative dishes in a seasonal menu for intimate dining. Open since 2017, Temple has grown to become a popular favourite among the residents of Bude. 

Situated by the River Strat and equidistant from Bude Car Park or Crescent Long Stay Car Park, it’s the perfect spot for a quaint evening meal. The indoor dining area comprises floor-to-ceiling glass windows that run the length of the front of the restaurant offering plenty of natural light in the summertime. The modern, minimalistic wooden tables and chairs are somewhat European in style making for a charming dinner setting.

You’ll be served a two-course set menu dictated by the local Cornish produce on offer. This menu varies daily according to the catch of the day and the latest local harvest so you can be sure of a truly unique experience each time you visit.

You’ll be served this select menu by welcoming and attentive staff who can accommodate vegan and vegetarian needs also. To give you an idea of what to expect from Temple, past customers have said the quality of the dishes you are offered is truly astounding and accompaniments such as flatbread, radish, sunflower paste and kimchi pickled veg are all examples of fine details coming together to create a delicious experience. Whilst upstairs you’ll find a bar and roof terrace offering casual dining for drinks, small plates and bar snacks.

Enjoy a unique experience at Temple, one of the best restaurants in Bude, Cornwall.

Address: 10 Granville Ter, Bude, Cornwall, EX23 8JZ, UK

Opening Times: Tues-Sat 17:30-22:00

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Petrenkod

3. Potters

Chilled dining experience of Cornish ingredients in Spanish Tapas dishes

Just around the corner is a beautiful restaurant serving what they’re calling “Cornish Tapas”. Owned by Chef Oly Clarke and his wife Nikki, Potters brings together seasonal local ingredients in a small plate dining style.

This beautiful building is another great spot for relaxed evening dining. Cosy inside with beautiful wood features, Potters offers a chilled atmosphere with pleasant music and makes for a great setting for a catch-up with friends. Plus, well-behaved dogs are welcome in the drinks and cocktail lounge when you contact them in advance.

The professional, friendly staff will serve you locally sourced small plates, large plates, sides and indulgent desserts alongside some deliciously unique cocktails.

The high-quality dishes are loved by locals and visitors alike and offer a variety of flavours and textures. In the past, many have commented on perfectly cooked monkfish in light tikka spices with cauliflower, as well as arancini, cured salmon, beets with goat cheese and a gnocchi dish.

Considering Potter’s Michelin star recognition, a visit to this fine restaurant is an experience for your tastebuds that won’t break the bank. With gluten and dairy-free options on request, the restaurant can cater to some dietary requirements.

Potter’s have previously run supper clubs in the region of £90 per head, an occasion when you can be served an array of dishes to enjoy your evening with. Certainly worth visiting and easily one of the best restaurants in Bude, Cornwall.

Address: 2 Lansdown Rd, Bude, Cornwall, EX23 8BH, UK

Opening Times: Wed-Sat 17:00-21:00

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Oleh Veres

4. Olive Tree

Cornish and Italian dishes at reasonable prices in a canal-side café

Situated on the river, this relaxed canal-side café and bistro offers Cornish and Italian-style dishes. A restaurant of stone, wooden beams and spacious dining, Olive Tree is a great choice for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Outside you’ll find a dog-friendly seating area of wooden benches and parasols, while inside simple and cosy seating. Just over the road from Crescent Long Stay Car Park, Olive Tree is in a prime location for visitors.

The staff here are lovely and helpful as you order as well as being adept at handling large groups. Serving a reasonably priced menu all day long, you’re sure to find something to suit every member of your party.

Variations of a full breakfast are served until midday including vegan and vegetarian breakfasts, then from midday, the lunch menu tends to consist of burgers, sandwiches, salads, tacos, sharing dishes, sides and a kids selection including mac and cheese which your little one can add Cornish ham to!

The ploughman’s lunch is a popular choice served with pickled onions, gherkins, chutney, a side salad, coleslaw and local sourdough bread.

The evening menu tends to offer nibbles, starters, burgers, a great selection of seafood, and a choice of vegan and vegetarian options including vegan fish and chips. This crowd pleaser is a stunning combination of banana blossom in seaweed batter served with garden peas, fries and tartare sauce.

Locals and visitors alike have praised both Olive Tree’s traditional fish and chips and this alternative along with other past favourites such as the Seafood Platter for two, including Brixham dressed crab, mackerel, sea bass, king prawns, smoked salmon, marie rose prawns, fries, mixed leaf salad, aioli and a warm sourdough roll.

The range of dishes that can be made gluten-free is impressive too, and includes fish and chips, bangers and mash, ploughman’s, and burgers. 

Previously, the Olive Tree had a unique six-course wine taster menu as well as putting on “Street Food Sunday” offering paella cooked fresh outside. With a vast array of options to cater to all throughout the day, Olive Tree easily deserves its place amongst the best restaurants in Bude, Cornwall.

Address: The Wharf, Bude, Cornwall, EX23 8LG, UK

Opening Times: Sun-Wed 10:00-17:00, Thurs-Sat 10:00-23:00

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Daviles

5. The Bank at Bude Tapas and Grill

Traditional Spanish dishes and fresh Cornish ingredients in a fun, colourful restaurant

Sitting alongside the River Strat just out of the town centre with its own parking, The Bank makes for a fantastic evening out.

Combining traditional Spanish dishes with fresh Cornish produce is a match made in heaven with fresh flavours that keep bringing people back for more. This blend of Spanish and Cornish cuisine makes for some truly beautiful Tapas in a gorgeous setting.

Unassuming from the outside, The Bank’s European hut-like exterior contains plenty of colour inside. Enjoy bright colours and foliage that make you feel as if you’ve been transported to somewhere wholly other. Outside you can find pleasant seating for warmer months, as well as outdoor pods with service bells, and as one of the most dog friendly restaurants in Bude too, there are plenty of accommodations made for canine friends too!

Friendly and attentive staff offer a fantastic service as they ensure you get the very best experience, and will even advise you on the number of dishes appropriate for your party.

The food is beautifully presented with Mediterranean-themed tapas and grill as well as small plates, mains, sides and sweet treats.

The array of vibrant and flavourful dishes is sure to cater for all needs in your party with three sections to the menu, “From the Sea” seafood dishes, “From the Field” meat dishes, and “From the Garden” vegetarian and vegan dishes.

There have been plenty of veggie and vegan options over the years including Pan Fried Padron Peppers with Cornish Sea Salt and a Cannellini Bean and Butter Bean Pot including slow-cooked tomatoes and garlic sauce with cumin and smoked paprika.

The dessert menu offers a small selection of flavours that cleanse the palate and you can indulge in a wide range of beverages including Spanish wines, traditional Spanish Sangria as well as cocktails and beer.

Favourite dishes of this popular tapas and grill restaurant have included Bude Bay Whole Lobster with garlic butter and skinny fries as well as some authentic Paella with a choice of meat, vegetarian or seafood.

The Bank is one of the most popular restaurants in Bude, so be sure to book in advance online for a chance to taste and experience this place.

Address: Pethericks Mill, Bude, Cornwall, EX23 8TF, UK

Opening Times: Tues-Fri 17:00-23:00, Sat 15:00-23:00

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/tbrainina

6. Elements Restaurant

Hotel, Bar and Restaurant beside the beach serving Italian-inspired dishes in a modern setting

Overlooking Summerleaze Beach you’ll find the perfectly situated Elements Hotel, Bar and Restaurant. Here you can enjoy an unbeatable sea view from the outside seating area during warmer months with plenty of parking spaces and a warm welcome for dogs. Inside find modern dining with bold colours and simple seating as well as a cosy lounge area and bar. 

Always welcomed with a smile, this is a lovely restaurant for all ages to be served great food by knowledgeable staff.

Elements’ comprehensive menu comprises starters, sharing plates, salads, pizza, pasta, sides, and a kids’ menu. Locals have high praises for the weekly specials and catch of the day as well as the pizza which is a big hit with young and old visitors. Many customers will tell you it’s the best meal they’ve had in a long time, and with excellent options that cater to most dietary needs, you’ll be pleased to dine here.

Some previous favourites for vegans and vegetarians include the Halloumi or BBQ Pulled Aubergine and Bean Burger with Monterey Jack cheese, gherkin, vine tomato, lettuce and confit tomato chutney alongside either potato or sweet potato fries, all inside a vegan floured bun, in addition, an indulgent range of gelato and desserts.

A spectacular past example is the mouth-watering vegan Orange and White Chocolate Brûlée, with Raspberries and Biscoff.

Celiacs can rest assured that Elements’ has an excellent understanding of allergens and offers many gluten-free dishes too. Previous examples include Crispy Calamari and Chicken Saltimbocca consisting of mozzarella, sage and prosciutto, chicken veloute, tender stem broccoli and seasoned fries or buttered new potatoes.

If all that wasn’t enough to entice you they cater well for your little ones with dishes such as the popular Hot Baked Macaroni Cheese with warm ciabatta.

Enjoy a selection of wines, cocktails and drafts at Elements Restaurant with your meal and take in a great view with great food in one of the best restaurants in Bude, Cornwall.

Address: 20 Summerleaze Cres, Bude, Cornwall, EX23 8HJ, UK

Opening Times: Mon-Sun 12:30-14:30 and 17:00-21:00

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Fabio Principe

7. Sea Fever @ Atlantic House

High-quality French Bistro style seafood dishes in a cosy Cornish restaurant

Just a few doors down discover French bistro-style dishes with Cornish seasonal ingredients. Since opening in 2010 Sea Fever has endeavoured to create a seafood-focused restaurant serving high-quality food with sophisticated flair.

You can guarantee that everything on your plate is British produce, and their seasonal menu not only serves ingredients that are in season but creates dishes to suit each season’s mood. Chef Kyan Hooper, a Cornishman himself has trained in some of the best kitchens including two establishments with Michelin stars. Kyan’s passion for food shows in each dish he passionately prepares for you.

This modern Cornish restaurant is unassuming from the outside but offers a comfortable, cosy atmosphere for a lovely evening meal. The service is warm and attentive as you enjoy what locals will tell you is some of the best seafood around.

An evening at Sea Fever consists of a select dinner menu including aperitifs, bread and snacks, starters, main courses, extras, desserts, wine and dessert wine, digestifs, and coffee. Previous favourites have been Wild Seabass with heritage tomato, mussel, shellfish vinaigrette and fennel, as well as Sea Fever Fish Stew with aioli and croutons.

Sea Fever has occasionally put on evenings with a six-course tasting menu including crab, mackerel and venison dishes alongside wine pairings as well as indulgent desserts such as Dark Chocolate Mousse with malt ice cream, honeycomb and salted toffee.

Dinner at Sea Fever is a delicious experience and one important to book in advance. It’s important to note that the nature of the menu here may not always be conducive to catering for particular dietary needs but if you mention it when booking they can let you know what’s possible.

Enjoy a lovely evening without young children as Sea Fever has an ages 12+ policy in place to ensure a more sophisticated dining experience. This place is a top choice for lovers of Cornish seafood and is easily one of the best seafood restaurants in Bude.

Address: 17 Summerleaze Cres, Bude EX23 8HJ

Opening Times: Tues-Sat 18:00-20:30