What are the top locations for a culinary exploration of traditional Cornish pasties?

Cornish pasties are as synonymous with Cornwall as its rugged cliffs, stunning beaches, and thriving artist communities. These hand-held pastries, brimming with a delicious blend of meat and vegetables, have a rich history as the staple food of Cornwall's tin miners. Today, these pasties have gained global recognition, and have become a part of Cornwall's cultural identity. This article will guide you through the top locations for a delightful culinary exploration of traditional Cornish pasties.

A Glimpse into the History and Tradition of Cornish Pasties

Before embarking on a gastronomic journey, it's essential to gain an understanding of the food you're about to savour. Cornish pasties have a history that dates back hundreds of years when they were a convenient and wholesome meal for miners. Filled with a hearty blend of meat, potatoes, swede, and onions, encased in a robust pastry shell, these pasties were a miner's lifeline to sustenance amidst the hard labour.

The primary ingredient in a Cornish pasty is skirt steak, a robust and flavourful cut of beef that remains tender even after hours of slow cooking. This is combined with diced potatoes, swede, and onions, all seasoned with salt and pepper, and encased in a shortcrust pastry that is crimped at the edges, creating a seal that locks in all the flavours.

While many pasty shops across the globe might try to replicate this traditional food, nothing beats the taste of a pasty made in Cornwall. The key to this lies not only in the ingredients and technique but also in the local atmosphere, which imparts a unique flavour to the pasty.

Finding the Best Cornish Pasties in Cornwall

Finding the best places to sample authentic Cornish pasties can be an adventure in itself. Cornwall is dotted with countless bakeries and pastry shops, each claiming to serve the best pasties. However, a few stand out for their adherence to tradition, use of local ingredients, and mastery of the art of pasty making.

The Cornish Pasty Bakery in Padstow is one such place. Known for its consistent quality, this bakery has been making pasties the traditional way for generations. Each pasty they serve is a testament to their dedication to keeping the Cornish pasty tradition alive.

Another bakery that has earned a reputation for its delicious pasties is Philp's Famous Pasties in Hayle. Despite the shop's modest appearance, it is a local favourite, attracting both residents and tourists. The pasties here are known for their generous filling and perfectly baked crust.

If you are in the St Ives area, make sure to visit Sarah's Pasty Shop. This bakery is a tiny gem in the heart of the town, serving freshly baked pasties that are packed with flavour.

Experiencing Pasties in Devon

While Cornwall is the birthplace of the Cornish pasty, neighbouring Devon has its unique take on this traditional food. Devon's version often features a slightly different blend of ingredients and a unique crimping style.

Chunk of Devon is a renowned pasty place in Devon. This bakery is known for its innovative pasty flavours, alongside the traditional varieties. Their pasties have won numerous awards, and for good reason. Made from locally sourced ingredients, these pasties offer a fresh and flavourful experience.

Another spot to try in Devon is The Devon Pasty Company. This family-run bakery prides itself on its hand-crimped pasties, made from scratch every day.

Street Food and Cornish Pasties

Street food culture is vibrant in Cornwall, and Cornish pasties are a significant part of it. Street food stalls are a great way to experience the local food scene and get a taste of authentic Cornish pasties.

One popular spot is the Pasty Presto food truck in Falmouth. Known for its mouth-watering pasties, this food truck is a local favourite, serving traditional pasties as well as variants catering to vegetarians and vegans.

For those exploring the county, markets like the Truro Farmers Market and the St Ives Farmers Market are must-visits. These markets not only offer an array of fresh local produce but also have several stalls serving freshly baked pasties.

Whether you opt to savour your pasty at an established bakery, a quaint local shop, or a bustling street food stall, you're sure to find your taste buds delighted by the rich and comforting flavours of the traditional Cornish pasty. So, next time you're in Cornwall or Devon, embark on a culinary exploration and relish in the delightful experience that only a true Cornish pasty can provide.

Traditional Cornish Pasties and Picnic Spots

There are few things more enjoyable than savouring a delicious Cornish pasty while basking in the stunning landscape of Cornwall. Some of the best places to relish a traditional Cornish pasty are the idyllic picnic spots scattered across the county. These are perfect locales to unwind and enjoy the rich, hearty flavours of the pasty amidst the serenity of nature.

The picturesque Gear Farm is one such place. Located in the Helston area, the farm offers not just a spectacular view but also serves excellent Cornish pasties. The pasties here are made using locally sourced ingredients, contributing to their authentic taste. The farm has its bakery, known for its quality produce.

Another splendid picnic spot is the Chough Bakery in Padstow. Overlooking the beautiful Camel Estuary, this bakery is known for its flaky, golden-brown pasties packed with a hearty filling.

Rowe Cornish in Bodmin is another must-visit. They have been baking pasties for over 70 years and their recipe, handed down through generations, is a closely guarded secret. The pasties here are a blend of traditional steak, potato, and onion, enveloped in a crusty, flaky pastry.

The Evolution of Cornish Pasties

Even though the traditional Cornish pasty has remained relatively unchanged over the centuries, contemporary Cornish bakers are not afraid to experiment. They have successfully introduced new variations of the pasty, adding to its rich culinary tradition while keeping its essence intact.

Proper Cornish, a renowned pasty company in Bodmin, offers an array of innovative pasty flavours including chicken, leek and chorizo, and cheese & onion — a vegetarian favourite. Despite the modern twists, they ensure the pasties adhere to the traditional baking methods.

Ann’s Pasties in The Lizard, is another place that has added a contemporary touch to the traditional Cornish pasty. Known for their pasties made with locally sourced ingredients, Ann’s Pasties offers a variety of fillings including vegan and gluten-free options.


Cornwall and Devon are rich in both beauty and culinary delights. Whether you’re a food enthusiast or a casual traveller, these regions offer a chance to embark on a gastronomic journey, exploring the tradition and innovation of Cornish pasties. From traditional steak to modern vegetarian twists, there’s a pasty for every palate.

The key to the perfect Cornish pasty lies in the quality of the ingredients, the skill of the baker, and the love with which it is made. So, whether you choose a pasty from a renowned bakery, a local pasty shop, or a street food stall, the experience is sure to be deliciously memorable.

Whether you're a local or a visitor, the traditional Cornish pasty is a must-try. It represents not just a culinary delight but also the rich cultural heritage of Cornwall. So, the next time you find yourself in this beautiful county, remember to treat yourself to a traditional Cornish pasty. It's an experience you won't want to miss. Happy exploring!

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