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    Scottish Foods: Our Pick of Scotland’s Best Restaurants

    10 min read

    By Meike van Krimpen, Content Manager
    More by Meike

    Are These the Best Places to Eat in Scotland?

    After years of painstaking research (eating and drinking) by our trip planners and a tonne of feedback from our clients and guides, here’s our pick of Scotland’s best restaurants, cafes, pubs, delis and other venues where you can grab a delicious bite to eat that showcases the best of Scotland’s growing cuisine.

    Our wee country has come a long way since the heady days of battered Mars bars and deep-fried… well pretty much anything. Scottish food has so much to offer modern-day travellers, with an extensive and varied natural larder and exciting individuals willing to push the traditional boundaries. There can be nothing more satisfying than settling into a mouthwatering meal of local, fresh and hearty dishes after a day of exploring Scotland’s beautiful landscapes and colourful culture.

    Scroll down to see each region’s delicious options or click the link to a specific eatery.

    Our Recommendations

    The Outer Hebrides

    It’s unsurprising that the Outer Hebrides are known in particular for their fantastic seafood. As well deserved as that reputation is, the area is also home to some fantastic smokehouses, distilleries and crofts, which you’ll see reflected in the exciting menus of the eateries we’ve selected below. The unique landscapes have encouraged the inhabitants to source their cuisine creatively over the years, so be sure to try Harris’s famed sugar kelp gin and Stornoway black pudding if you get the chance.

    North Harbour Bistro, Scalpay

    A tiny restaurant with a big passion for fresh local produce and a real talent in the kitchen. We have been getting rave reviews from guides and clients alike who have enjoyed their stunning dishes. See their Facebook.

     

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    Temple, Harris

    Low-key and rustic charm in spades at this friendly cafe in Northton on Harris. The food ranges from delicious home baking to coffee to some fantastic meals prepared with a hearty Hebridean welcome. See their website.

    Cafe Kisimul, Barra

    An eclectic but delicious menu featuring Scottish, Indian and Italian cuisine with fresh seafood at its heart. Great for both lunch and dinner, but the portion sizes are generous so keep that in mind when you want to order just about everything. See their website.

     

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    Langlass Lodge, North Uist

    With an everchanging fresh and locally-sourced menu, the team from Langlass Lodge get their inspiration and ingredients from North Uist’s hills, lochs, sea and shores. Expect seafood, plenty of game, Highland beef and veg to keep all dietary preferences happy. See their website.

    Orkney & Shetland

    With their remote location and harsher climate perhaps you might not expect it, but Orkney and Shetland are both home to absolute culinary gems. The suggestions from guides and the office team can be a blog in itself so here are some samples from both archipelagos.

    The Foveran, St Ola

    Set in an absolutely fabulous location, with amazing views out over Scapa Flow, the Foveran serves up delectable locally sourced and locally inspired meals. See their website.

     

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    Peerie Shop Cafe, Lerwick

    This small, friendly cafe is well worth a visit when on Shetland. Great selection of cakes, scones, soups and sandwiches made fresh daily on the premises each day. See their website.

    Fjara Cafe Bar, Lerwick

    If you’re looking for somewhere with great views, good food and friendly staff, this is the place. The atmosphere is lively and busy, and the food is always freshly prepared and tasty. See their website.

     

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    Skerries Bistro, South Ronaldsay

    Skerries Bistro serves beautifully prepared seafood dishes overlooking the Pentland Firth. Their seafood orientated menu concentrates exclusively on the produce of Orkney waters. See their website.

     

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    The Inner Hebrides

    There’s no region in Scotland that has had quite the food and drink revolution like the Inner Hebrides. With the best of Scotland’s natural larder right at their fingertips, you’ll come across plenty of seafood, game and fresh seasonal produce as you travel through the area.

    Pennygate Lodge, Mull

    Featured in the Michelin guide since 2020, the Pennygate Lodge celebrates Mull’s natural larder with a focus on fresh, local and seasonal. The dining room has limited seating and has an intimate ambience, being both bright but also cosy and welcoming. See their website.

     

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    The Three Chimneys, Skye

    This award-winning restaurant in the northwest of Skye offers a very special dining experience. Surrounded by rugged coastline, the approach at the Three Chimneys is all about sampling Scotland’s rich culinary heritage and the best of local ingredients. See their website.

    Relish, Skye

    This deli offers a veritable smorgasbord of local produce and its own menu of tasty treats. Breakfast, brunch and lunch as well as cakes, coffee and smoothies. There is a takeaway selection for devouring at home or sample something prepared. See their Facebook.

    Peatzeria, Islay

    What can we say? We love wordplay and we love pizza. Peatzeria has a relaxed vibe and serves up – you guessed it – delicious pizzas. The epic lochside setting also makes for great views and the occasional wildlife sighting.  See their website.

     

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    The West Highlands

    The growing popularity of tourism in the West Highlands has seen an increase of varied restaurants, cafes and pubs popping up in the area, each ready to dish out all sorts of tasty nosh.

    Gille Brighde, Diabaig

    This wee restaurant located on the shores of Loch Torridon offers a bounty of fresh local ingredients prepared with a real love of the area. Fantastic seafood and the local venison comes highly recommended. See their website.

    Applecross Inn, Applecross & Torridon

    An absolute gem of a place. Award-winning seafood to die for in a cosy wee pub-like atmosphere bathed in some of the most stunning views of the west coast possible. A real favourite with us. See their website.

     

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    Seafood Hut, Oban

    If you’re ever in Oban and wondering about the giant queue, chances are it’s probably for the Seafood Hut. Iconic with its vibrant green exterior, the Oban Seafood Hut features incredibly fresh and delicious seafood which you can collect to take away or eat outside in the covered seating area next to the hut. See their Facebook.

     

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    The Geographer, Fort William

    This is a lovely little restaurant on the main shopping street of Fort William. A fun spot for lunch and dinner, The Geographer serves street-food inspired meals and is a feast for your eyes as well as your stomach with various geography inspired decorations to admire. Generously filled brioche buns are the highlight. See their website.

    The Central Highlands

    To us, it feels like the Central Highlands have always done food well. With Highland Perthshire and the Cairngorms National Park being classic Scottish tourism destinations, we’ve been blessed with fantastic restaurants at our doorstep and count ourselves extra lucky to be living in this beautiful area that serves up quality game as well as wild berries, nuts and mushrooms. Here are our favourite places to grab a bite after a day out in the hills.

    Andrew Fairlie, Gleneagles

    Within Scotland’s Best restaurants, fine dining at Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles is in a league of its own.  As Scotland’s only 2 Michelin starred restaurant, this is a delicious dining experience in a sumptuous setting to be remembered. See their website.

    The Scottish Deli, Dunkeld & Birnham

    Make sure you head over to the Scottish Deli if you’re ever in Dunkeld where you can pick up a range of Scottish delights. They offer a selection of fresh sandwiches and goodies to take away. During the evening, the deli transforms into a restaurant and wine bar. See their Facebook.

    Alvie Forest Food (Food Truck), Alvie Estate

    This is the ultimate foodie hidden gem: a food truck parked permanently in the car park of the Dalraddy Holiday Park. The menu consists of classic guilty pleasures with a Scottish twist, using locally-foraged and grown ingredients. Daily specials are drummed up around what’s available. See their Facebook.

    KJ’s Bothy Bakery, Grantown-on-Spey

    By the same team as the beloved Mountain Cafe in Aviemore, KJ’s Bothy Bakery was born out of the Covid-19 pandemic. Operating out Grantown, the bakery serves up old Mountain Cafe favourites as well as both sweet and savoury treats, despite no longer featuring a sit-in menu. See their website.

    The Northern Highlands

    The pickings may be slim in this far northern corner of Scotland, but the eateries you do find here are very good. These venues certainly know the importance of hearty and delicious scran after a day adventuring outdoors.

    Lochinver Larder, Lochinver

    Possibly the most popular and infamous eatery within the Wilderness Scotland team, this unassuming cafe and bistro in the village of Lochinver produces some of the most delicious pies on the planet. Sweet, savoury, spicy and with meat, fish, veg and fruit, you name it, they bake it.  We love their pies so much we once ordered over 80… See their website.

    Kylesku Hotel, Kylesku

    This beautiful hotel sits overlooking Loch Gleann Dubh almost underneath the mighty Kylesku bridge. The award-winning food on offer here is sourced locally. Fresh seafood arrives on the pier alongside the hotel and local crofters supply the finest lamb, pork and venison. A foodie oasis along with one of the wildest routes in Scotland. See their website.

     

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    The Seafood Shack, Ullapool

    At Ullapool’s Seafood Shack, expect incredible seafood cooked fresh to order. They have a pleasant outdoor seating area, and if you’re lucky, the gin cabin will be open too. It’s often a long queue for food, but it’s totally worth it. In fact, people are willing to queue in both rain or shine for Seafood Shack fare which says it all really. See their website.

    Stacks Deli Bakery & Coffee House, John O’Groats

    Go as far north as you can on the Scottish mainland and there you’ll find this amazing delicatessen serving delightful coffee, home baking and other goodies. For being one of the few places where you can grab a bite and a drink in John O’Groats, the locals are sure lucky to have this on their doorstep. See their Facebook.

    North East Scotland

    Often an overlooked area of Scotland, you’re in for a treat as this is a prime area for good food. Scotland’s North East has an undeniable advantage on the food scene with easy access to north sea fishing and extensive farmland.

    Bothy Bistro & Bootleggers, Burghead/Hopeman

    This is a lovely bistro in a small fishing village that responded creatively during the pandemic by opening up a mobile bistro stationed at West Beach Caravan Park. Both the Bistro and the food truck serve flavoursome and fresh crowd-pleasers like dirty fries and lobster rolls. See their website.

     

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    Foodstory Cafe, Aberdeen

    A great cafe with great ambience and great intentions. Serving up healthy vegetarian and vegan food, Foodstory caters to all dietary requirements and is packed full of flavour to boot. It can get pretty busy, so keep that in mind when planning your visit. See their website.

    Tayberry, Broughty Ferry

    What’s not to love? Here’s to relaxed, contemporary Scottish fine dining with gorgeous coastal scenery. The 6-course tasting menu strives to showcase the best of Scotland’s varied natural larder. See their website.

    Eat on the Green, Udney Green

    Fine dining in the quaint village of Udney Green. Unimposing on the outside, the interior of the restaurant is opulent in style to match the decadence of the food. The food is exquisite and beautifully presented and the service very welcoming. See their website.

    Edinburgh & Glasgow

    We can’t even begin the cover all the amazing places to eat in Edinburgh and Glasgow, so we won’t try to. Instead, we present our favourite spots we’re sure to hit up if we’re ever in the central belt.

    Scran Bistro, Edinburgh

    This isn’t haute cuisine, this is pure naughty indulgence – everyone’s guilty pleasures amalgamated onto the same menu. Crispy chicken, juicy burgers, spicy wraps, yummy milkshakes, the cheesiest macaroni cheese, loaded nachos, glorious breakfasts and scrumptious sweet treats, you name it, they have it. See their Facebook.

     

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    Stravaigin, Glasgow

    This vibrant, long-established gastro-pub is definitely worth seeking out if you visit Glasgow and also comes Michelin recommended. The atmosphere is spot on, there’s usually a good buzz on and the food is delicious. The menu explores different cuisines but each dish will highlight Scottish ingredients used creatively. See their website.

    El Perro Negro, Glasgow

    No longer Glasgow’s up-and-coming burger bar, now it’s just Glasgow’s best burger bar. They feature beef, chicken and veggie options as well as scrumptious sides. See their website.

    Teuchter’s Landing, Edinburgh

    You can’t really argue with the fun pub vibe at Teuchter’s Landing, a traditional style freehouse. Expect great music, good food & drink and friendly banter. See their website.

    South of Scotland

    The Steam Packet Inn, Isle of Whithorn

    An absolutely delightful pub. Words like excellent just do not do the service, menu or atmosphere enough justice. This pub is much loved so be sure to book ahead but rest assured it’s worth the hype. You can expect honest good food, beautifully presented with attentive service and a pleasant atmosphere. See their website.

    Hunters Stables, St Boswells

    The staff here is unbeatable, the food delicious and it has great character. The menu is vast and a fun fusion of Italian and Scottish dishes, although we recommend the pizza! Described by locals as the jewel in the crown of the borders. See their website.

    The Hoebridge, Gattonside

    A delightful restaurant in a traditional house with wonderful staff. The menu is in tune with the season and the food is beautifully prepared and deliciously presented. See their website.

     

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    Steam Boat Inn, Dumfries

    The food is as tasty as its location is glorious. Overall, friendly service and a menu offering something for everyone make the Steam Boat Inn a real crowdpleaser. See their website.

    Taste Your Way Around Scotland on One of Our Trips

    Meet the Author: Meike van Krimpen

    “Having grown up travelling across the world I've developed an addiction to all things spice and to travel! When it was time to go to university I wandered off to Scotland for a new adventure and now 10+ years later I've not managed to leave yet. Scotland's welcoming culture, beautiful scenery and a Scottish man captured my heart. Moving to Scotland has made me develop a passion for the outdoors and I love heading out for an explore.”

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