Fine food in the Scottish Highlands
The Highlands of Scotland is a pristine environment that is a natural store cupboard of the finest food and places to eat. With rolling green pastures and clean fresh waters, the Scottish Highlands is widely regarded as nature’s larder – from healthy Aberdeen Angus cattle to venison and oysters plucked from crystal clear sea. It is a little wonder then that restaurants and chefs emphasise their use of the freshest local ingredients in their cuisine.
Far from the stereotypical stories you may have heard, there is a wealth of award-winning restaurants in every part of the Highlands. Fine food is now the norm wherever you look for a place to eat. And so it should be with so much of the finest ingredients right here on our doorstep. No matter what time of year you choose to visit you will be guaranteed a wide selection of seasonal foods that take taste to a new level of freshness and flavour. Indeed it is this very great diversity that has inspired a whole new generation of chefs to get creative in the kitchen and translate this natural abundance of goodness into an eating out experience not to be missed.
It is little wonder that this corner of the British Isles has attracted so many top flight chefs to relocate to gain access not only to fresh local produce but also to spectacular scenery that is unrivalled. This means that today there is a well ingrained culture for food excellence in the kitchen and front of house. Eating out is a pleasure to savour for the flair and versatility of the cooking that is done with passion, care and a firm focus on fresh,local, seasonal produce. Presentation is all. The first bite is with the eyes, and you won’t be disappointed. Either with the food or the surroundings that range from intimate bistros and eateries to plush hotel dining rooms. Driving all this forward is an array of industry awards that reward excellence throughout the food and drink business in the Highlands. These are hotly contested.
But the secret of local produce in the Scottish Highlands is the close knit nature of the place itself. Seafood, for example, will in all likelihood have travelled no more than 20 miles to reach your plate. The chef will know each and every supplier by their first name. The chef will know intimately the provenance of each ingredient, the name of the boat, its skipper and the bit of coastline from whence the seafood came. It is only through this level of local knowledge and trust that restaurants the length and breadth of the Highlands can create dishes that are easily among the finest you can get anywhere in the world.
Food critics find the region magnetic and come here to sample – and rave – about the food, the scenery, the surroundings and friendly service. Television crews are regular visitors in search of mouth watering ingredients and the cooking that is inspired and admired in equal quantities.
Some of the places where you can enjoy the food on offer in the Scottish Highlands
- Abstract – Rising Star in the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland, unique blend of French culinary expertise and superb local produce.
- La Tortilla Asesina – Spanish Restaurant & Tapas Bar , Cafe, Delicatessen, A La Carte Menu, Weekly Salsa Night. Family friendly.
- The River Cafe and Restaurant – Sitting on the banks of the River Ness, offers excellent cuisine made from fresh local ingredients.
- Cafe 1 – famous for it’s good food, polite staff & warm welcome.
- The Mustard Seed – intimate and pleasant dining experience. Menu that combines traditional, Scottish and European cuisine with innovative and contemporary influences.
- Jeera – open kitchen Indian Restaurant.
- Jimmy Chung’s – bar and Chinese buffet. Help yourself from a mouth-watering array of 20 starters and 40 main courses – and go back for more.
- Lanna – authentic Thai cuisine. Many of the dishes can be prepared to your requirements and liking.
- Aspendos – Aspendos is a modern and stylish restaurant that serves Mediterranean and Turkish food in Inverness – polite staff and great service!
- Riverhouse – dedicated to sourcing and using only the finest seasonal and sustainable produce from around the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, whenever possible.
- Zizzi - Four local themes have been the inspiration behind the design of the new restaurant: the historic River Ness, boats, whiskey distilleries and Macbeth
- The Kitchen -The glass-fronted restaurant on the River Ness has stunning views of Inverness Castle, three dining rooms and a roof terrace.
- Rocpool Rendesvouz - A busy city-centre brasserie with sleek contemporary interior, riverside views and an energetic atmosphere
The Black Isle
- The Anderson – Award winning restaurant and bar in Fortrose.
- Sutor Creek– “Scotland the Best” listed, café/restaurant inCromarty.
- North Kessock Hotel– waterfront location overlooking Inverness, five minutesfrom city centre.
- The Royal Hotel – lying on the tip of the Black Isle in Cromarty.
- Higher Ground Coffee House – home baking, teas, light lunches of delicious filled ciabatta rolls and homemade soup. In Muir of Ord.
- Ord Arms Hotel Restaurant – a family run hotel situated in Muir of Ord offering a variety of chicken & game, fish, oriental, continental and vegetarian options.
- Eilean Dubh – small restaurant in Fortrose
Loch Ness area
- The Glass Restaurant – The Struy Inn – a short distance from Glen Cannich and the National Nature Reserve at Glen Affric.
- Fiddler’s – Good food served simply. Salmon, beef , game, award-winning haggis, hearty casseroles, generous fresh salads & delicious char grilled steaks. Winners of the SLTN Malt Whisky Bar of the year for the last 3 years. Over 600 Whiskies to sample!
- The Steading Bar – Bar & Restaurant is an old converted farm building situated between Drumnadrochit and Cannich.
- The Boathouse Restaurant – Set in the grounds of the 300 year old St.Benedict’s Abbey, there could be no more idyllic setting to enjoy delicious, locally sourced food.
- The Bothy Restaurant & Bar – Relax by the fire while you watch the boats go through the famous canal locks.
- The Grouse & Trout Restaurant - Scottish and international cuisine; relaxing ambience and unhurried service.
Aviemore & the Cairngorm National Park
- Roo’s Leap Restaurant – fresh ingredients cooked to order, and a friendly efficient service with a laid back Aussie attitude.
- Culdearn House – an experience to remember. Log fire, candlelit tables, attentive service and simply some of the best food Scotland has to offer. Award wining fine dining. In Grantown on Spey.
- Craggan Mill Restaurant – enjoy the very best of local produce, freshly prepared by an award wining team and served in a picturesque watermill. In Grantown on Spey.
- The Cairn Hotel – situated in the centre of Aviemore, houses an immaculate Restaurant renowned for its imaginative and extensive menus.
- International starters- a twist to the usual dining concept.
- Royal Tandoori – fully licensed in Aviemore
- The Mountain Cafeuse some of Scotland’s best local produce to create healthy, wholesome & interestingfood with a Kiwi twist. Award winning stylish coffees, delicious breakfasts, superb lunches & fresh homebaking
Gairloch & the West Coast
- The Torridon – whether it’s tradition, romance or a sociable dinner with friends or family, The Torridon Restaurant provides first class service. By Achnasheen.
- Melvaig Inn – Family restaurant, cafe and bar in Melvaig.
- The Seaforth – pub by the pier – Publican Seafood Pub & Publican Pub of the Year 2006, SFI awards The Seafood Pub of the Year 2007.
- Creelers – This multi-award-winning restaurant is run from what is little more than a shack by David and Ann Wilson who are famous for their absolute commitment to quality and consistancy.
- The Three Chimneys – is a top Scottish restaurant matching fresh local food with luxury 5-star accommodation, a romantic location and beautiful sea views
- Lochbay Seafood Restaurant -The restaurant is a tiny, intimate bistro situated in the historic village of Stein on the shores of Loch Bay, with wonderful views over to the Outer Isles.
- Coruisk House – local venison and the very best Angus beef, as well as vegetarian fare, ensure eating at Coruisk House will be an experience we know you will enjoy.
- Castlemoil Restaurant -Whether you are in for a quiet meal, or one of our special food theme nights you can be assured of the excellent service you would expect form a quality restaurant.
- Red Skye Restaurant – aims to provide a wonderfully relaxed yet creative dining experience, using locally sourced produce cooked by our head chef Campbell MacFadyen to a high standard
- Kyle Hotel – We are renowned for our fine dining and you can savour the best of Scotland’s larder in our ‘Old Chapel Restaurant’
- Tingle Creek Hotel – has a lovely restaurant where you can dine and overlook some of the most breathtaking sea views across to the Isle of Skye and Raasay.
- Balmacara Hotel – Local seafood and game is our speciality, which combined with high quality tableware and linen we hope will provide you with an evening that befits the surroundings of our victorian themed dining room.
- The Glenview – At Glenview we take great pride in our food and we strive to create honest, natural and tasty dishes making everything on the premises with care, simplicity and attention to detail.
- The Stein Inn – Whether choosing a bar snack, light lunch or a full three-course evening meal, the emphasis is on good, wholesome food at affordable prices
- The Kinloch Lodge – Kinloch is justly famed for its marvellous food and is Skye’s only Michelin-Starred restaurant
Fort William & Lochaber
- Crannog – Savour the best of west coast seafood with Crannog
- No4 – No4 offers an outstanding lunch menu and superb evening a la carte complemented by an extensive wine list chosen to provide the ideal wine to suit every taste.
- The Inverlochy Hotel – The menu features modern British cuisine which is internationally recognised by all major guides. We have been awarded AA 3 red Rosettes and 1 Michelin Star.
- Russells Restaurant – Serving outstanding cuisine with fresh local game and a selection of seasonal produce, Russell’s is an AA award winning restaurant
- The Ballachulish Hotel – The award winning Bùlas Bar & Bistro is one of the best restaurants in the Glencoe and Fort William area and is the setting for a unique eating out experience.
- The Lochy – You can enjoy a sit down meal, or you can order takeaway from The Lochy Bar.
- The Lime Tree – We think we have the best food and the best value for money meal you can buy in Lochaber!
- The Grog and Gruel – We aim to provide an imaginative and interesting menu at affordable prices. That doesn’t mean we’re the cheapest in town, but it does mean that we’re serving great food at sensible prices
- Sammy’s Fish & Chips – We have been serving our famous fish and chips for almost three decades and have built our reputation by not compromising on quality or service
Strathpeffer & Dingwall
- The Red Poppy Restaurant – An ideal location for an intimate dining experience or a much larger party
- Dingwall Tandoori – As one of the longest running Indian restaurant in the Highlands, Dingwall Tandoori has been providing excellence and choice from a varied menu
- The Kinkell House Hotel – We operate a Table d’hote menu which changes daily, along with an A la carte menu based on traditional Scottish and Seafood dishes.
- The Ben Wyvis Hotel – You will be spoilt for choice at our Scottish Highland restaurant.
- The Kincraig Castle Hotel – Modern classic, but inspiring dishes, using the best seasonal produce, procured from the Highlands of Scotland
- The Coul House Hotel – We are looking to offer both contemporary Scottish cuisine that utilises local and international produce and ingredients, and also some more traditional favourites
- The Richmond Hotel – Enjoy the friendly atmosphere at the bar or relax in one of the comfortable couches in front of a cosy fire.
- First Pizza Direct – Orders for Collection are usually ready within 15 minutes. Deliveries usually arrive within 30 minutes, but please allow up to 1 hour at peak times.
- Tulloch Castle – You will be welcomed to dine in out Turrets Restaurant where only the best Highland produce is freshly prepared for you by our chefs
Dornoch & Sutherland
- Dornoch Castle Hotel - Dornoch Castle has an excellent reputation amongst the local populace and visitors alike and is now recognised as one of the premier dining venues of the north and has retained Rosette status for the past 4 years.
- Mansfield Castle - Dining at Mansfield Castle is a memorable experience. The elegant dining room boasts wonderful picture windows overlooking the castle grounds which are floodlit at night.
- Shin Falls – Open daily for light refreshments, with delicious, seasonal home-made meals served from noon – 2.30pm (3pm on Sundays).
- The Royal Golf Hotel – The Royal Golf Hotel in Dornoch offers quality bistro style dining in the Conservatory Restaurant with its magnificent views across Royal Dornoch Golf Club to the Dornoch Firth itself.
- Luigi – By day a cafe serving Lavazza coffee, homede cakes and soups, fresh salads, seasonal specials, by night the menu is contemporary European with an emphasis on Scottish seafood and locally sourced ingredients.
- The Tongue Hotel – promises to deliver… a taste of Scotland, utilising fresh local produce available from a natural Scottish larder.
- The Benloyal Hotel – the dining room has everything you would look for in a restaurant. Magnificent views of the Kyle of Tongue, Ben Loyal, Ben Hope and the ruin of Castle Varrich accompanied by wonderful food and a well balanced wine menu.
- Royal Marine Hotel - exquisite menu will excite and delight food lovers and can be best described as modern Scottish cuisine with a strong highland influence.
- The Oystercatcher Restaurant – small, intimate, quality seafood restaurant based in Portmahomack. We would advise that you book if you wish a table.
- Kincraig Castle Hotel – Modern classic, but inspiring dishes, using the best seasonal produce, procured from the Highlands of Scotland, await you at our Restaurant within Kincraig Castle Hotel.
- The Marine Hotel Invergordon
- The Storehouse – delightfully set on the shore of the Cromarty Firth in the heart of Munro country