Cornwall LivingIssue #71

Feeling a little peckish

We pay a visit to Cornwall’s first gourmet fried chicken restaurant, Beer and Bird, in St Ives.

With our table booked for 7.30pm we arrive a bit early and take a welcome stroll though St Ives on a lovely, calm and picturesque evening to work up an appetite. The tide is high and the sea like glass as there’s hardly any wind – a blessing following the recent snow and gales. 

“It’s so nice to find a restaurant that offers a comfortable setting with exceptional food.”

Set right in the heart of St Ives, we find the entrance to Beer and Bird up a small steep lane, just off the main street. Welcomed by our lovely waitress, who is very quick to greet us, we are shown straight to a cosy booth table. We eagerly peruse the quirky, brown paper menu that is full of locally sourced craft beer options – a truly individual offering and in honesty a very welcome change.

The bar and restaurant is filled with couples and families enjoying and I soon realise that the food is not the only star of the show here. The bar is as much of an attraction as the restaurant. It seems it’s a true favourite with individuals living and staying near by. Easy to understand why, when there is over 100 varieties of beer alone on offer, in bottle, cask and keg. Not to mention the hand-crafted ciders and the back bar featuring over 30 gins, 20 rums and 40 whiskies!

Once we are settled, our waitress is immediately on hand to offer advice on what we might like best and steers my dining partners towards a strong traditional Cornish Scrumpy – 7.6% to be exact – but advises them jokingly to go steady! Beer and Bird prides itself on its knowledge when it comes to locally-sourced Cornish beers and ciders – it definitely broadens my understanding.

On to the food… we are spoilt for choice and I am keen to see whether this family-run restaurant is going to live up to its reputation. For starters, we share the ‘Fully Loaded Nachos’ – made up of homemade tortilla chips topped with salsa, guacamole, sour cream, jalapenos, mozzarella and cheddar cheese aplenty! A portion I am glad I am sharing amongst the three of us. The men tuck into some ‘Crispy ‘shrooms’ that certainly live up to their name. Both dishes ooze flavour and we’re feeling quite full already.

For mains two of us play it a little safer, choosing the ‘Classic Bird Burger’ whilst the other goes all out with the ‘Smokestack Lightening Burger’, a favourite for those who love bacon, smoked cheese and barbeque sauce. The mains arrive and it’s safe to say that along with the starter, the quirky presentation and flavours are second to none – a definite win-win for anyone wanting a comforting plate of crispy fried chicken and chips coupled with plenty of style and fresh flavours.

Upon finishing our huge plates of chicken, I am keen to speak with the waitress and learn more about their recipes and what makes them so unique. I should have guessed, but along with their locally-sourced craft beers, they also source their Cornish free-range chicken from a family-run farm in north Cornwall. The waitress goes on to tell me that part of the secret behind their food success involves marinating their chicken in buttermilk before it’s enveloped in their special breading recipe.

Whilst we finish our drinks, we talk through our experience – we can only found compliments and joke about how we can’t quite make room for dessert. It’s so nice to find a restaurant that offers a comfortable setting with exceptional food. As we prepare to leave, we thank our accommodating waitresses and bar men for their exceptional service and make our way out into the cobbled streets of St Ives. 

Feeling full and set to end the evening on a relaxed note, we once again enjoy a short picturesque stroll to the car, talking about how we would not hesitate to recommend or revisit. As keen, fine food diners in west Cornwall, we’ve explored some fantastic locations and I think it’s safe to say this might have just crept up there amongst our favourites.

"It’s so nice to find a restaurant that offers a comfortable setting with exceptional food."

Sample Menu



Sticky Wings (gf)
Cornish free range chicken wings tossed in your choice of our homemade sauce (Sticky BBQ/ Sweet & Sour/ Raging Coq Hot Sauce)
4 wings £6.95
8 wings £11.95
12 wings £14.95

Chicken crackling £2.95
Crunchy free range chicken skin sprinkled with Cornish sea salt.

Crispy 'shrooms (v) £5.95
Slices of juicy portobello mushrooms lightly breaded and fried - perfect with our homemade aioli.

Jalapeño poppers (v) £5.95
Whole jalapeños stuffed with a blend of mozzarella and Cornish cheddar cheese: lightly breaded and fried till golden brown.

Fully Loaded Nachos (v) £6.95
Homemade tortilla chips topped with salsa, guacamole, sour cream, jalapeños, mozzerella and chedder cheese. Add pulled chicken or pulled jackfruit for £3


Cornish free range buttermilk fried chicken cooked in our state of the art 'Henny Penny' pressure fryer.

Small bucket (gf) £9.95
3 pieces served with house fries.

Large bucket (gf) £14.95
6 pieces served with house fries.

Boneless tenders (gf) £10.95
Succulent chicken tenders served with house fries.

Our free range buttermilk fried chicken burgers are built using a toasted St Ives bakery bun, fresh salad and our homemade bird sauce. All served with house fries. (Make your fries filthy for £2)

Classic Bird Burger £10.95
Keep it classic. Focus on the bird. Add cheese for just £1.

Pulled Coq Burger £11.95
Succulent slow-cooked pulled chicken, melted Cornish cheddar and homemade coleslaw.
Why not add a buttermilk chicken breast for only £4?

Raging Coq Burger £13.95
The more you try to finish off - the harder it gets. Melted chedder, coleslaw, jalapeños and our seriously hot raging coq sauce.

Bacon Blue Bird £14.95
Smoky black strap bacon, sautéd mushrooms and melted blue cheese.

Alligator Pear Burger £14.95
Made with the finest alligator pears (thats avacado to you and me).
This burger has homemade guacamole, bacon and melted Cornish cheddar.

Smokestack Lightning Burger £14.95
You'll be howlin' over this burger. Bacon, smoked cheese, homemade coleslaw and beer-battered onion rings. Topped with homemade BBQ sauce.

Waffle Burger £14.95
Feeling naughty? Why not try our (frankly ridiculous) waffle burger.
Bacon, swiss cheese and Sriracha mayo served between two freshly griddled Belgian waffles. Comes with a pot of maple syrup.

Big Bird £18.95
Ludicrously big, double bacon, double chedder, double onion rings and of course - double breasted. Drowning in BBQ sauce.

Our range of delicious vegetarian and vegan dishes are every bit as finger lickin' as our Chicken!

Roasted squash, red pepper and pine nut salad (vg) (gf) £7.95
Roasted butternut squash, charred corn, red onion, mixed leaves, roasted red peppers and pine nuts toasted in a citrus vinagarette.
Add chicken or halloumi for £3

Hello you Halloumi burger (v) £11.95
A fried halloumi burger with salad and bird sauce. Topped with guacamole, a beer battered tomato and homemade salsa. Served with house fries.

Hail Seitan Burger (vg) £11.95
Our own recipe vegan 'fried chicken', salad, vegan mayo and melted vegan cheese. Served with house fries. Add pulled jack fruit for £3.

The BBQ Jack Burger (v) £11.95
Slow cooked bbq pulled jack fruit, melted swiss cheese, coleslaw and salad. Served with house fries. (Can be made vegan on request).

Mac n' 3 Cheese (v) £9.95
Our creamy, rich mac and cheese made with cheddar, swiss and blue cheese. Served with house fries.


Fries £2.95
Sweet potato fries £3.95
Filthy fries £4.95
Pulled Coq fries £4.95
Coleslaw £2.95
Guacamole £3.95
Corn on the cob £2.95
Mac n' 3 cheese £3.95
House Salad £2.95
Onion Rings £2.95
Southern Gravy £1.95


Go on treat yourself!

Maple waffles £5.95
Freshly griddled waffles, topped with Cornish clotted cream ice cream and drizzled with warm maple syrup.

Holy fudge waffles £5.95
Freshly griddles waffles, Cornish clotted cream ice cream and fudge pieces. Lathered in caramel sauce.

Nutcase waffles £6.95
Freshly griddled waffles, vanilla ice cream, sliced banana and gooey peanut butter. All drizzled with chocolate hazelnut sauce and sprinkled with chopped nuts.

Local Cornish ice cream
A selection of local ice cream and sorbets.
£2.00 per scoop