Best places to eat in Aberdeen

Find fresh local seafood, cafés serving wholesome treats and discover mince & mealie pies in Aberdeen. Perfect for foodie travellers wanting a short break.

The Bridge of Dee on a sunny day

Venturing to Scotland's Granite City and want the inside scoop on the best local eateries? Check out our list of must-try places and sample the finest produce on offer in Aberdeen.

Granite Park
Special occasion

Granite Park
Taking its name from the signature building blocks of the Granite City this central restaurant serves a gluten-free, dairy-free and a standard à la carte menu: a refreshing variety. Its private room, accommodating up to 40 diners and overlooking the city’s Golden Square, makes Granite Park an elegant choice for large parties with mixed dietary requirements. Take ‘Tea in the Park’ from £17.50pp, or enjoy a pre-dinner drink in Miro’s Bar on the ground floor. Mains from £16.95.

Rustico
Kid friendly, casual dining

This 50s style trattoria spans several floors and always seems busy, but thanks to its neat little alcoves it is as suitable for date night as it is for party night. A family-run Italian with scenes of Sicily depicted on the walls, portion sizes are generous, the waiting staff notably friendly and the menu, extensive. Highlights include: spaghetti with monkfish, king prawns, squid and fresh mussels; oven-roasted rabbit; and Sicilian style lamb meatloaf. Mains from £8.95.

Yatai
Casual dining

After moving several times, Yatai has settled down at Langstane Place serving a mix of Japanese cuisine often made with Aberdeenshire produce. As well as the usual menu Yatai offers ‘omakase’ (‘trust us’) style dining in the evening. Set a budget for your table, explain key likes, dislikes and dietary requirements to the waiter then leave everything else in the hands of the chef. With new sake tasting evenings, a sake off-licence, and sushi classes Yatai is becoming more than just a restaurant. Omakase from £35pp.

Cafe 52
Casual dining

Cafe 52
With leafy, al fresco dining, outdoor heaters and blankets, Cafe 52 is the most continental of Aberdeen restaurants. Now in its twentieth year the owner has a lot to say about the city and about food. Whilst proudly serving quality meat dishes, it has a strong vegetarian focus including such standout dishes as beetroot falafel, or polenta and mushroom cakes. Its informal tapas menu (served 3-6pm Monday-Friday, from 4pm Saturdays) is another draw. Main courses £12.90.

Carmine’s
Casual dining, cheap eats, kid friendly

A traditional, low-key Italian café run by the big personality that is Carmine, it’s a prerequisite to take the owner and his staff in whatever mood you find them. The café doesn’t take credit cards, and unsurprisingly doesn’t have a website. Children sometimes get a free treat if (and, only if) Carmine wants to spoil them, but the simple Italian fare is available at very reasonable prices. Last orders is at 6.45pm, because the owner wants it that way. Lunchtime three-course menu, £5; book for pre-theatre dining if you're going across the road to His Majesty’s Theatre.

The Ashvale
Casual dining

The Ashvale
The Ashvale is a bit of a local institution where you can take on ‘The Whale’ – a one-pound haddock fillet. Dishing up fish straight from Peterhead market this family company has run its Great Western Road restaurant for over 30 years. Ashvale’s Stuart Devine recently received an MBE for his services to the seafood industry and charity work, so it’s more than just a case of lip smackin’ fish and chips. Haddock with chips and peas, choice of dessert and a pint of lager/export or 175ml glass of wine: £15.95pp.

Hammerton Store
Casual dining

A ‘general food store and deli’, this is a lovely space to browse cookbooks and ceramics, and stock up on edible goodies, including local and organic fruit and veg, meats, bakery, wine and real ale. Hammerton also supports local cooks creating everything from raw cakes to fresh soup.

Cup Café
Casual dining

Cup cafe
A delightful café tucked down a cobbled lane in the city centre, this offers a colourful range of iced teas to complement its afternoon teas; a cool option for quenching thirst.

Newton Dee Bakery
Casual dining, cheap eats, kid friendly

Part of Aberdeen’s Camphill community, this 180 acre site near Peterculter provides residential and work opportunities for adults with learning disabilities. As well as an on-site café Newton Dee’s bakery range is freshly baked on the premises using traditional techniques. Ideal for a family outing, you can visit the farm animals then pick up a sourdough, seven-grain or sunflower seed loaf. 

Buchanan Food
Casual dining, kid friendly

Head into Royal Deeside and make sure you stop at Buchanan Food. Its collective of cooks care about the nutritional value of their food as well as how it is sourced. The team bakes fresh bread, cakes and biscuits every day, ferments its own yoghurt, brews beer, cures and smokes meat and vegetables, then pickles and preserves any surplus. If traceability and sustainability are keywords in your dietary vocabulary Buchanan Food is a must. Also, take in stunning floor-to-ceiling views of the Deeside countryside.

The Conservatory Restaurant
Special occasion

Seafood main course
Offering impeccable service, the family-run, five-star Marcliffe Hotel and Spa, set in eight acres of grounds, is home to the enticing Conservatory Restaurant. As well as serving local game and Aberdeen Angus beef, the Marcliffe has a distinctive seafood menu that features Scottish lobster landed in Aberdeen; jumbo Russian red king crab from Murmansk, Russia; large west coast langoustines fresh from nearby Peterhead; and huge, wild Atlantic tiger prawns. Seafood dishes start at £15.

Bonobo Cafe
Casual dining, cheap eats, kid friendly
One of the most recent additions to Aberdeen’s café scene is Bonobo. Completely vegan, diners can take away, or eat either in a rustic indoor space, or the charming rooftop garden that is lush with herbs and vegetables, as well as decorative flowers and a pond. This workers’ cooperative serves coconut milk lattes, Scottish tattie and onion soup, and the peanut satay wraps are definitely worth dropping by for. Wraps from £4.00. 

Foodstory Café
Casual dining, cheap eats, kid friendly

Cheesecake selection
Vegetarian at lunch, vegan in the evening, and serving vegan and gluten-free cakes all day, Foodstory offers healthy eating with flavour and flair. Also boasting a new coffee bar, juice bar and food shop, this makes a tasty alternative stop in the city centre. Lunch menu from £2.50.

IX Restaurant
Special occasion, kid friendly

IX Restaurant
Executive chef Kevin Dalgleish is putting the Chester Hotel on the map with its two-time AA Rosette-winning restaurant. Making the most of the local larder, mains include roast North Sea monkfish and Mossie's pork (from Moss-Side Farm). The contemporary setting, with theatre kitchen, adds to the experience. The children’s menu includes such grown-up offerings as My First Steak. Mains from £18.

The Sanddollar Café & Bistro
Casual dining, kid friendly

Sanddollar breakfast selection
This bistro café offers great breakfasts and brunches, just metres from Aberdeen Bay. Their overnight oats and porridge dishes are packed with slow-release carbs, the yogurt breakfasts are accompanied by fruit compotes, muesli, seeds and nuts, and the full Scottish breakfast is a traditional, no-nonsense offering. A children’s menu ensures little ones are fed before they hit the beach. Yogurts, porridge and oats for £6.90.

Ross Bakery
Cheap eats

Mealie pie
The pies at Ross Bakery on Chapel Street are close to legendary. In particular, the macaroni pie and the mince & mealie pie turn the heads of visitors. The former is a popular carb-fest while the latter usually begs the question ‘What’s mealie?’ Mealie is just like skirlie – and if that doesn’t help you, just think oats fried with onions. Pies from £1.70.

Moonfish
Casual dining, special occasion

Moonfish main plate
Located on the cobbled medieval streets of Aberdeen’s Merchant Quarter, Moonfish dishes up a focused menu of quality dishes. Suitable for fine dining or a casual get-together, its menu leads with hake, halibut, lamb and asparagus. Also notable is its gin menu, including tipples such as The Botanist from the Isle of Islay, Saffron from France, and Junípero from San Francisco. Two courses for £30.

Maggie's Grill
Casual dining, kid friendly

BBQ chicken
This chilled eatery on Holburn Street serves up unpretentious soul food, barbecue and Cajun. Savour spicy staples like southern fried chicken, gumbo of the day, BBQ pulled brisket, and howlin’ wolf chilli in a laid-back café atmosphere. The kids’ menu includes popcorn chicken and BBQ pulled pork. Mains from £9.95.

The Silver Darling
Special occasion

Herring dish
Named after the precious herring catch, this is the place to be on a summer evening as ships sail into harbour and dolphins frolic in the sea. French chef Didier Dejean has been at the helm since 1986, serving dishes that include brown crab, prawns and pan-fried sea trout with carrot & cardamom purée. Mains from £14.95.

Almondine
Special occasion

Almandine patisserie
With a seasonal macaron menu, a French patisserie selection and an afternoon tea with a waiting list, Almondine always feels like a special treat. Favourites include the pink peppercorn, pistachio and vanilla macarons. Macarons start at £1.15.

 

Five foodie places to try

Formartine’s

Formartine's selection board
Escape the city and head 40 minutes north of Aberdeen, to Formartine’s in Tarves. Enjoy venison from the nearby Haddo estate or foods from their own smokehouse in Methlick.

Cocoa Ooze

Chocolate selection
For luxury chocolate, drop by the café, shop and workshops of this creative Granite City chocolatier. 

The Gourmet Cheese Company

Cheese shop selection
A small cheesemonger stocking more than 60 cheeses from Scotland, England, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands.

Rishi’s

For a rich range of tiffin dishes from medhu vadai (fritters) to epic masala dosas (stuffed rice pancakes), it’s got to be Rishi’s on George Street.

BrewDog

The debut venue of this craft beer brand opened in Aberdeen in 2010. Sign up for the ‘BrewDog Beer School’ for a tasting menu of five beers with complementary cheese and meats.
 

Read our other city guides...

The best places to eat in Leeds
The best places to eat in Glasgow
The best places to eat in Bath

Have we missed a great place to eat? Let us know in the comments below...

All recommendations have been reviewed and approved as of September 2017 and will be checked and updated annually. If you think there is any incorrect or out-of-date information in this guide please email us at goodfoodwebsite@bbc.com.

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