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Favorite Restaurants?

My husband and I are going to be in Scotland in August. We've got our trip and accommodation set, but in the Rick Steve's guide, he recommends making reservations for dinner in August, in particular, if you are in Edinburgh or Skye. The last time I was in Scotland I was studying abroad as a 21 year old, so even though I went around the country, I didn't exactly eat out often or at the nicest places. The guidebook has a bunch of recommendations that I'm considering, but I'm interested in other opinions, especially if anyone is a native!!

In particular interested in Skye and Edinburgh recommendations (saw the other few posts on Edinburgh so I've got a decent idea of what people like but would always love more suggestions) so I can hop on reservations, but open to recommendations in other places we are staying (near Luss/Helensburgh, Inverness, Aberdeen, and Glasgow). At least one night we want to go to a traditional pub, and we are pretty into fine dining (we've done 3 or 4 of the michelin starred restaurants in Chicago, I noted the). We probably won't eat out every night, so budget is very flexible! Just want to hear places that people loved.

For what it matters. In Skye we are staying not far out of portree (Sniznort), in Edinburgh right by Holyrood Palace, and in aberdeen/inverness/glasgow within easy(10-30 min) walking distance of city center. We're both 27 so we are fine with walk/uber/bus and we will have a car the whole time.

Posted by
100 posts

If you can get a reservation at the Three Chimney's in Skye, I highly recommend it. Especially if you can splurge for the Kitchen Table, which seats 6 and is literally in the kitchen. You would probably want to take a taxi there if you plan to drink, it can be a bit far away, but totally worth it. Such a special treat.

Posted by
64 posts

A couple of years ago, we had dinner at Scran and Scallie, a gastropub in Edinburgh, and it was delicious:
Looked up their website and they're still going strong. In description, it states that it was developed by a team behind the Michelin star restaurant The Kitchin and Kitchin Group of restaurants. It is not on the Royal Mile but was well worth the taxi trip for my husband and I.

Posted by
941 posts

Hi, rmg643,

Since you're going to be in Aberdeen, I'd recommend the Newburgh Inn in Newburgh (be sure to visit the beach), and the Creel Inn in Catterline (see TripAdvisor reviews), for restaurants. For traditional pubs, you can't beat the Prince of Wales or Ma Cameron's, although both can get pretty noisy!

Bon appetit!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
3319 posts

If you want a splurgy dinner in Edinburgh I highly recommend The's in a 16th century house and still retains many original features. Excellent service and food. Just up at the top of the Royal Mile near the castle.

Posted by
1863 posts

I second Scran & Scallie, had a wonderful meat pie there. Also, Aizle is a nice dinner out. Both in Edinburgh.
In Inverness, RocPool is very good and in Portree we enjoyed the Granary.

Posted by
527 posts

I live on Skye, dine out often and send my B&B guests to places, so I think I have a pretty good handle on what's good right now. Here are my top suggestions based on where you are staying.

  1. Lochbay. Has 1 Michelin star. Run by chef Michael Smith and his French wife Laurence. He was executive chef at The Three Chimneys and won them a Michelin Star before leaving 3 years ago to set up his own place. The absolute best of Skye seafood and meat, imaginatively prepared without being overly fancy. Three course and five course (tasting) dinner menus. Situated right next to the sea in a converted cottage. My favourite place (and I've eaten in many, many fancy restaurants across Europe and North America).

  2. Edinbane Lodge. Hot on the heels of Lochbay, this place is run by chef Callum Montgomery, who trained in some very good restaurants. He and his wife have totally renovated what was a run down old hunting lodge, into a very special restaurant with rooms. They do a 7 or 8 course tasting menu. It is very, very good. They are in the Michelin guide and I don't think it will be long before they have a star. A wonderful addition to the Skye foodie scene. DO NOT confuse this with the Edinbane Inn, which is opposite and is a very basic pub, albeit with good live music twice a week. However, the food at the Edinbane Inn is going downhill fast and I wouldn't send guests there now.

  3. The Three Chimneys. No longer has a Michelin star and has just changed ownership. Chef Scott Davies seems to be set to stay so the food will still be very good, but in my opinion not as good as the two places I've mentioned above. Service can be very patchy indeed (bordering on the amateurish) as they find it very difficult to retain servers (probably due to the remote locate and lack of cheap rental accommodation on this part of the island).

  4. Ferry Inn at Uig. A very good pub, serving local produce and decent beers. You would need to reserve at there are not many tables.

In Portree itself there are a number of restaurants - best to check Trip Advisor as things change pretty quickly there in terms of what is currently good. In my opinion there is nothing particularly stand out and I've heard that most places in Portree no longer take reservations for small parties, so there can be lines out of the door.

I hope this helps.

Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
90 posts

I agree that Edinbane Lodge on Skye is a very good place to eat. Also recommend Seamus pub at Slig hotel. Do not recommend Skeabost Hotel for dining on Skye.

Posted by
572 posts

I also recommend The Mustard Seed in Inverness. We were lucky to have a late lunch there without reservations. It was amazing!

Posted by
360 posts

I'll toss in a third vote for Scran & Scallie in Edinburgh, which was a recommendation from a friend of ours that's living there now. What makes that meat pie amazing is it comes out with a bone in it and when they take it out (as part of the presentation), the marrow oozes out into the rest of the pie. Yum! Even though it's a more casual restaurant, I would try to get a reservation, as we were there on a weeknight and had to sit at the bar. We also tried The Kitchin (the michelin-star from the same chef) for lunch and thought Scran was better. Edinburgh was our last stop in a three-week UK trip, so we were fairly tired of the local fare -- if you need a break and you're near the theater district, we really liked Frizzante and Bar Italia for authentic Italian food (owners of both places are from Italy).

In Inverness, we liked The Kitchen (this name is apparently common?), which was a recommendation from our B&B host. It was one of our better meals in Scotland and is a little more elevated with their food (but not four-star formal). It was packed on a weeknight, so you should get a reservation.

Posted by
51 posts

A side favor: Can you recommend any fast (but good) food options in Portree? We'll be passing through as part of a Rabbies tour. I believe they allow about 1 - 1.5 hours for lunch, but if the weather allows, we prefer to explore the town, and stretch our legs, rather than spend much of that time in a restaurant. Thanks!

Posted by
527 posts

Portree - fast food. Well you could grab a sandwich or salad to take away from the bakery next door to the Granary restaurant, or there's a sandwich shop at the other end of the main street, just along from the Post Office. You could also get take away fish and chips. And then take your picnic down to the harbour and eat it down there. Alternatively there's Cafe Arriba, which is above a yarn shop and has lovely views out across the harbour and decent lunches too. Service is pretty swift but there's sometimes a line to get a seat. Hope this helps.
Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
9859 posts

We had an unbelievably good dinner at Scorrybreac a couple of years ago. They take online reservations. In fact, it was our best dining experience in a 2 week trip in Scotland. We reserved several weeks in advance and as Skyegirl mentioned, there were lines everywhere of those who did not reserve. We also enjoyed Seabreezes very much and again, they take reservations.

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks all! This is very helpful. Now come decisions. Definitely appreciate the suggestion for cheap eats as well, always nice to have options!

Posted by
426 posts

Highly recommend Aizle too in Edinburgh~ was there in May and it was fabulous!