It stands to reason that Cornwall should have some of the world’s best beach cafes but the Cracking Crab
in Polzeath, a relative newbie (doors opened last summer), is taking things to a whole new level.
Of course with a seaside restaurant it’s all about the location and this huge crab shack/American diner jutting out above Polzeath beach would be tough to beat.
The glass fronted view means you can kick back with a latte and still keep tabs on your surf-loving offspring without enduring the cold yourself. Or at least that’s how we handled things on a breezy grey March lunchtime.
This place tries hard without appearing to make any effort whatsoever. From the moment we arrived to pumping Motown (turned out to be the waitress’s immaculately chosen Spotify playlist which veered from Elvis to The Supremes via Morrissey) and those outrageous sea views we knew we were in for a long lunch.
There’s a dressing up corner with a slightly worrying number of fancy dress costumes in adult sizes (let me get this right, parents amusing their children or groups of friends relaxing with a bit of Snow White downtime?).
At lunchtime you’ll find standard beach shack fare – lobster salad, crab sandwiches, hoisin duck wraps but in the evening you can go the whole fruit de mers, dressed crab, king prawn route. And with a huge terrace looking out over the beach where else are you going to head for your obligatory Cornish sunset/sundowner (that’ll be cider then) combination.
The Cracking Crab is sister restaurant to that famous Salcombe institution The Winking Prawn and though this one’s a bit cooler inside (neon signs, wooden floors, good looking bar, a laidback Long Island vibe) the philosophy remains the same. Keep the kids happy, keep the food simple, make sure the location outstrips anywhere else and you’ll be just fine.
I’ve often noticed how Sloanes pick the best holiday destinations (David Cameron I’m looking at you) and Polzeath is no exception. Beautiful beach, great surf, a tiny little North Coast village which still manages to sell incredible coffee. And now they’ve got The Cracking Crab.