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If you’re visiting St Ives soon, you’ll need a few places to stop for a bite to eat and maybe a pint or two. So, what are the best pubs in St Ives?
St Ives is one of the most beautiful towns in Cornwall and is very much a go-to day out for locals and a desirable location for tourists. If you happen to be in the area soon, you’ll want to get to grips with a few of the best places to stop for a drink.
Fortunately, we have put together a quick and easy guide to the best pubs in St Ives that suit a wide range of requirements.
The Golden Lion is very popular among locals as well as tourists. It offers a great family-friendly environment, good food and plenty of space thanks to its front and back bars, games room and an outdoor beer garden. Such a variety of areas makes it the perfect spot for busier days, especially their beer garden, as you can enjoy some sunshine and kids have plenty of room to play outside.
This is a classic country pub where you can enjoy a family and dog-friendly atmosphere. Their menu consists of pub classics you know and love, lighter bites and a lovely roast on Sundays with a choice of three succulent locally sourced roast joints. Oh, and a fun fact for the road — they have some cover art on the wall signed by David Bowie, who frequently visited St Ives because of his love for abstract art.
Opening hours: 11am-11pm Monday to Saturday, 12pm-11pm Sundays.
Food served: 12pm-2:30pm and 5:30pm-8:30pm.
When it was taken over in 2011, The Queens Hotel became renowned for being a pub that keeps things simple in the best possible way. They serve fantastic, affordable food in a warm and welcoming environment. While they serve a wide range of delicious food with locally sourced ingredients, their priority is being a decent pub. ‘We’re a pub, not a restaurant, so we serve pub food at pub prices.’
The Queens Hotel is located on the St Ives highstreet, meaning it has a beautiful Georgian aesthetic. Once inside, you’ll find a spacious bar area, an excellent menu and also rooms upstairs for guests. They pride themselves on being a family-friendly pub, and they even have a kids menu and activities available to keep the little ones busy.
Opening hours: 10am-11pm Monday to Saturday, 12pm-10:30pm Sundays.
Food served: 12pm-2:30pm and 12pm-9pm (12pm-6pm out of season).
The Sloop Inn is one of Cornwall’s oldest and most famous pubs. This fisherman’s boozer is a grade 2 listed building and has been serving pints since as far back as the 14th century. It doesn’t get much more traditional than that. This pub has become a favourite for locals, tourists and pretty much anyone else who stumbles upon it.
It’s one of those local pubs where you know exactly what to expect: a great menu, a welcoming atmosphere and a lovely scenic harbour environment. However, upstairs is where it differs. Upstairs you’ll find The Captain’s Table and the Upper Deck. The former is a restaurant-style room where you can order pub food with the added bonus of table service. And the latter is a balcony for over 16’s where you can enjoy some sunshine, incredible views and a few drinks (of course).
Opening hours: 11am-11pm Monday to Saturday, 12pm-10:30pm Sundays.
To say that the Pilchard Press Alehouse is a unique pub would be an understatement. This quaint, easy-to-miss ‘micro pub’ is the first of its kind in Cornwall, and they serve many of the best craft ales, cider and wine. As we said, it’s very easy to miss, so keep an eye out for the double blue doors as you stroll through the streets of St Ives.
However, this hidden gem really lives up to the ‘micro’ name, as it only has one small bar and a few tables available. Meaning it’s very much a case of timing and a little bit of luck. With a charming, local environment and six different craft beers that rotate weekly — there’s always a refreshing environment and a new pint to try every time you visit this charming pub.
Opening hours: 4 pm-10:30 pm Monday to Saturday, 2 pm-7 pm Sundays.
Dog friendly (very limited space)
When they opened their doors in 2017, Beer and Bird instantly became a big hit and brought something new to the small town of St Ives. Their simple yet effective brand name perfectly reflects the simplicity and brilliance of their menu. This consists of a vast array (12-page menu!) of craft beers and a wide range of fried chicken-based comfort food. Whether you’re a craft beer veteran or a newbie, Beer and Bird have cultivated a great environment where welcoming and knowledgeable staff are on hand to help you to discover beers you will love.
Also, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, don’t fret! Their menu also has a range of food options suited to a variety of dietary needs and choices. Beer and Bird’s seitan burgers have a brilliant reputation for being ‘just as tasty’ as their fried chicken.
Opening hours: 12 pm-11:45 pm seven days a week.
Food served: 12pm-2:30pm and 5:30pm to 9pm.
Not dog friendly
What originally started in 2012 as a small burger spot in a shipping container in Truro has quickly and impressively developed into a country-wide chain called Hub Box. Their St Ives bar and restaurant called ‘Hub’ is exactly what you expect from their brand. A cool, unique place to sip on a craft beer or cocktail, tuck into a delicious burger and enjoy the scenic views across the harbour.
It’s a favourite among locals, tourists, craft beer enthusiasts, burger lovers and much more. With an enviable array of craft domestic and international craft beers on the menu, complemented by a delightful range of burgers, hot dogs, seafood, nachos and ‘dirty’ fries — we’re pretty confident you’ll be more than satisfied.
Opening hours: 9 am until late seven days a week.
Food served: 11:30 am to 10 pm.
Undoubtedly among the most popular bars in St Ives and somewhat of a mecca for gin lovers, The Firehouse is not to be missed. The Firehouse is a bar and grill in the heart of Fore Street, serving a range of exceptional food, including brick-fired pizza and flame-grilled steaks. However, as we mentioned, the gin bar is where the Firehouse really stands out from the crowd. They are self-proclaimed specialists within the ‘wonderful world of gin’. Their bartenders match a selection of specialist gins with their own dehydrated fruit garnishes and various tonics.
While there’s nothing quite like an expertly mixed G&T, we recommend sampling one of their ‘Cornish Garden’ cocktails. The moreish mix of Cornish gin, cucumber, elderflower, ginger beer and fresh mint is a treat for any discerning cocktail connoisseur. But don’t get us wrong, this is much more than a place for cocktail and gin lovers — it’s a brilliant allrounder where the needs of many are not only met, they’re exceeded.
Opening hours: 11:30 am until late seven days a week.
Food served: 12 pm-3 pm and 6 pm until late.
Sea Room is a family-owned bar, under the umbrella of the St Ives Liquor Co, where there’s a genuine passion for high-quality spirits and offering a welcoming, enjoyable environment. They serve a range of award-winning food, craft beers, wine and creative cocktails — and they’re situated right on the harbour front. Meaning they are one of the best bars around for getting a feel for modern yet traditional life in a small Cornish town.
Also, they have an online store offering a wide range of spirits, glassware, apparel, mixers and gift boxes. This is much more than your everyday family-owned bar. It’s a leading Cornish spirit brand that happens to own a phenomenal local bar. If you’re on holiday in St Ives and are looking for a place to make your friends back home envious, look no further.
Opening hours: Open every day from 12 pm-11 pm
The Rum and Crab Shack specialise in.. you guessed it, rum! This bar and restaurant offer a tremendous selection of rums from all over the world. Not to mention an extensive menu of light bites and a variety of tasty main courses, with vegan options available and a kids menu.
They have established an excellent reputation for being a bar that serves delicious cocktails, but also for having a menu that helps customers navigate the vast array of spirits to find something they’ll love. As the Shack says, ‘rum is a mix of ideas, tomfoolery and experience.’ We’d recommend sampling a ‘Drop the Anchor’, an indulgent mix of chocolate, coconut and (of course) rum.
Opening hours: 12 pm-11 pm seven days a week.
Food served all day.
The Lifeboat Inn is a harbour-side pub offering food, drinks, comfort, hospitality and fantastic views by the bucket load. Enjoy the sound and warmth of a crackling log fire and homely decor as you overlook the lifeboat station and St. Ives Harbour.
They serve a wide range of locally brewed beers from St Austell, all of which are suitable for vegans. However, the cask ales are not vegan-friendly. If you plan to stay for some grub, we’d recommend pairing your vegan pint with the South Indian vegetable curry — you won’t be disappointed.
Opening hours: 8 am to 11 pm seven days a week.
Food served: 8 am to 9 pm.
This two-level traditional pub can be found on the charming back streets of St Ives, drawing you in with a warm and welcoming local atmosphere. They offer a selection of draft ales and lagers such as the award-winning Cornish favourite, Doom Bar Bitter and Korev Cornish lager. Vegan customers can quench their thirst at The Union Inn with a pint of Cornish Rattler cider, which is made without any animal products or processing aids.
The Union Inn is located on Fore Street, a hustling and bustling street where you can enjoy a variety of local artwork and lovely local stores. However, if you need to escape the abundance of foot traffic, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by their humble and enjoyable local pub experience.
Opening hours: 11am-midnight Monday to Saturday, 12pm-11pm on Sundays.
Food served: 12pm-3pm and 5:30pm-9pm.
Are you visiting St Ives in the near future? Carbis Bay Holidays offers a range of incredible accommodation to suit a wide range of needs and personal requirements. Book your dream Cornish holiday in St Ives today.