Would it be a surprise if I told you the crème de la crème of TripAdvisor’s breakfast category is located in Padstow?
Sitting among the town’s foodie titans, Ben’s Crib Box Café might not be as renowned as neighbours Paul Ainsworth at Number Six or Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant, but thousands of people have decided that it is THE place which offers the best breakfast in Cornwall.
Intrigued by the 382 reviews it got on TripAdvisor – including 360 ‘Excellent’ ratings – I headed to South Quay to find out if Ben Evans’ café is worth the hype.
Ben’s wooden cabin is located on Padstow Town car park, opposite the National Lobster Hatchery, and has breathtaking views of the River Camel.
It has eight indoors tables and is very simple and cosy. On the Saturday I decided to put the café to the test, it was completely full with both locals and visitors. My partner and I felt fortunate that we could even get in.
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We were greeted by Becky, who might well be the nicest human being we have ever met.
Inside, the decor is minimal – picture shiplap on the walls and ceiling, white tables and an open kitchen which is brilliant for any curious customers who want to see what’s going on behind the scenes.
The menu itself, hung on the wall, was comprehensive – smoothies, milkshakes, hot drinks, breakfasts – which you can order before 12pm – and lunch options… there is a great selection to choose from.
With laughter and happy chat as a background noise, my partner and I decided to go for a passion fruit smoothie each. We loved the mango, pineapple and passionfruit flavours. The smoothies were thick and refreshing.
We also ordered a coffee and a breakfast each. I went for a double espresso and Ben’s Breakfast – a classic English breakfast with sausage, bacon, egg, beans, tomato, hash brown and toast.
My partner went for a cappuccino and a HLT – a halloumi, lettuce, tomato and cheese sandwich bap.
We were not disappointed. The food arrived quickly, my plate was huge and, for some reason, I really loved the beans.
My partner loved his breakfast too. The cappuccino was exactly how he likes it and he described the HLT as simple but delightful – and he cleared the plate in less than five minutes.
The bap – he went for a large – was soft, which made eating it easy, and the ingredients remained inside and didn’t fall out all over the plate. The sweet chilli complemented the halloumi perfectly.
For the amount of food and drink and the great service we had, we only paid £25. Sure, it might not be an expense we could shell out too regularly for breakfast, but the quality of the food and the experience were worth every penny.
Ben’s Crib Box Café is clean, very simple, efficient and the staff are absolutely lovely. Ben, who has been in the business for over a decade, has created a convivial place where first-time customers often turn into regulars.
A recent reviewer wrote on TripAdvisor: “Definitely the best breakfast in Padstow and beyond! Ben is an amazing chef and all the food is cooked freshly to order, best locally sourced quality ingredients and cooked to perfection, it just doesn’t get any better.”
We agree. Less is more, and the simplicity is what makes it.
Ben’s Crib Box Café is open Monday to Saturday from 8am.
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