My 9 Favorite Places for Cornish Pasties in Cornwall

If you don’t know what a Cornish pasty is, it is a shortcrust pastry and traditionally filled with meat and vegetables. Today you can find Cornish pies stuffed with all sorts of ingredients, including curry and vegan pies. The first documented mention of the Cornish pasty was in the 13ththe century, but it’s likely they’ve been around longer than that. They were originally made by Cornish housewives for their husbands to eat for lunch in the tin mines and while fishing.

The robust shortcrust pastry made them a robust lunch to take away while you work. The edges are a thick rolled baked dough that you can grab in one hand and eat on the go. The thick edge of the empanada was designed to be held by men’s dirty fingers and then discarded, although today we wouldn’t dream of throwing away a piece of these delicious empanadas.

Although you can now eat a Cornish pasty anywhere in the UK, there’s nothing quite like eating one in Cornwall, where they were first invented. In no particular order, here are my 9 favorite places for a Cornish pie in Cornwall.

Lavender cakes by the sea in Penzance

Lavender cakes by the sea in Penzance

Photo Credit: Lavender

1. Lavender

penzance

Lavenders is a family-owned bakery and delicatessen in Penzance that bakes and sells traditional Cornish pies alongside many modern takes on the original. Here everything is made by hand, something that is noticeable when you try the empanadas. The empanada menu includes steak and stilton empanadas, cheese and mushroom empanadas, and a whole grain vegan empanada.

There is also a cafeteria on site, so you can have lunch in the cafeteria, buy some at the deli counter, or take your cake and eat it wherever you like. They even deliver their pies all over the UK, so you don’t have to go to Cornwall to eat one, although you should. Lavenders has been baking and selling its pies in Penzance since 1978, and the deli and bakery are still run by the same Lavender family today.

Malcolm Barnecutt cake and coffee

Malcolm Barnecutt cake and coffee

Photo credit: Malcolm Barnecutt

2.Malcolm Barnecutt

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Baked fresh on the premises daily, Malcolm Barnecutt’s pasties are so good that they now have 12 patisseries across Cornwall, and even one on the Devon border. Barnecutts is now run by James Barnecutt, the fourth generation of the Barnecutt family to take the reins. I can only speak for the Newquay branch as that’s the one I’ve been to, but I’m sure every other branch of this bakery is just as good. They also sell sandwiches and pastries, but most people prefer empanadas. The Stilton steak and patty are especially good.

Count House Cafe Empanadas

Fresh out of the oven Count House Cafe Empanadas

Photo Credit: The Count House Cafe

3. The Count’s House Cafe

Geevor Tin Mine Museum, Pendeen

There are many reasons to visit the Geevor Tin Mine Museum. It’s a great opportunity to explore and learn about the history of Cornish tin mining, the industry that once made the area rich. The mine was closed in 1990 and some areas of the site have been left exactly as they were on that day.

But once you’ve been to the mine and learned about tin mining, you’re in for a treat at The Count House Café. Although the cafeteria menu features an excellent vegan section, here they keep it traditional when it comes to empanadas. The empanadas are freshly made every day, and if you buy nine to go, you get one free!

Pro Tip: Traditional Cornish steak and vegetable pies are very popular at this cafe and, as the museum receives many visitors, they sell out quickly. If you want to buy some to go, you have to order them at least 24 hours in advance or the cafeteria can’t guarantee that you’ll get one.

4. Santa Ines Bakery

Holy Ines

First opened in 1905, St Agnes Bakery is one of the oldest bakeries in the UK still operating from its original site. A family business that has been passed down through the generations, St Agnes Bakery still makes its traditional Cornish pies using the same recipe as its great grandparents. They also offer a variety of other fillings in their empanadas, including vegetarian and vegan options, along with scones and other cakes and pastries. There’s quite a variety at this bakery, but the traditional Cornish pies are very good here; you shouldn’t miss the chance to try one while you’re visiting.

5. Philip

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Philps is something of an institution in Hayle. The bakery has a beautiful family history behind which everyone in the area truly vouchs. Bakery founder Sammy Philp started his own fruit and vegetable cart at the age of just 15. He was a savvy businessman, even at such a young age, and with his cousin Everett the baker, the Philps family soon branched out into baked goods.

Everett started making Cornish pies in the 1950s, and Sammy took them to the local pubs, who loved them and began selling them to their visitors. The Cornish Arms was the first pub to sell Cornish pies, and they were Philps pies. Today the bakery is run by Sammy’s grandsons, and they still make their Cornish pies to the same Philps family recipe. The chicken pot pie is especially good here. Philps is dedicated to sourcing the highest quality ingredients, and it really shows in their empanadas.

6. Etherington Farm Shop

redruth

When you first walk into Etherington’s Farm Shop, you’ll notice the emphasis on the meat counter. The butcher’s counter at Etherington’s is certainly predominant; they have such an impressive supply of meats that it’s hard not to be drawn to them. It’s a big butchers counter but as well as this and shelves full of preserves, spices, teas and a mini bottle shop, they also sell the most amazing Cornish pies.

A good Cornish pasty is built on a mix of things. The filling, of course, but also the dough. Shortcrust pastry should be crumbly, but some Cornish pasties don’t have that crumble that a good pasty needs. At Etherington’s, the pastry is what really sets their empanadas apart. The crumble of the dough is perfect! Their empanadas are made with a hundred-year-old recipe that they keep secret to this day.

Empanadas at The Little Bay Cafe

Empanadas at The Little Bay Cafe

Photo Credit: The Little Bay Café

7. The little cafe by the bay

pentewan

When you first enter The Little Bay Café, your eyes will most likely be drawn to the array of amazing pastries. The pastels are prominent and displayed in such a way that you can’t help but linger on them. And the pies are what this cute little cafe is best known for – you could even say they’re famous for their pies, at least in Cornwall. The pies are amazing, and you should definitely try some while you’re there, but don’t overlook the Cornish pies at this seaside cafe.

Everything here is handmade by the owner who is very friendly and will go out of his way to make sure his visitors are happy. The cakes, sandwiches, and pies vary depending on what was made that day, but I recommend an empanada of your choice and a slice of cheesecake.

Pro tip: The cafeteria is dog friendly. Visitors are welcome to bring their dogs at any time and the staff will take care of them – they clearly love dogs. But if you have a dog with you, please be aware that as of March, for the summer season, dogs are not allowed on Pentewan Beach.

8. Morris Patties

newquay

Morris Pasties started life as a butcher in the 1970s. I love the story of how the business changed when they started selling pasties that were handmade by an old lady in nearby St Columb. I couldn’t find the name of this old lady, she may have been lost in time, but she certainly is remembered through these cakes. She made them with a secret recipe, which luckily passed down to the family.

The original owner, Peter Morris, passed away in the 2000s and his son, David, took over. It’s David’s wife, Emma, ​​who makes the pies today. The latest addition to the Morris Pasties line of cakes is the Breakfast Cake. This unusual take on the traditional empanada contains sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, tomato, and baked beans. Definitely worth a try!

9. St Buryan’s Farm Shop

penzance

If you love fresh produce straight from the land it was grown on, you’ll love St Buryan Farm Shop. They have an impressive display of fruits and vegetables that are grown on site or sourced locally. The butcher’s counter is also stocked with meats fresh from the farm or from local vendors. I love a good farm store, but a farm store with a cafeteria is even better.

In St Buryan you can buy some local produce and then have lunch at the cafe. So you can buy your empanadas to take away or relax and eat them while you rest in the cafeteria. The empanadas are freshly made on the spot by hand. The menu is short, but what they lack in choice they make up for in flavor. I recommend the minced meat empanada. Simple, traditional and really good!

To find out more about Cornwall, explore these articles:

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