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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. From bistro café brunches by Aberdeen beach to delightful cafes tucked away in the city centre, we've selected the best places to eat in Aberdeen for romantic dining, casual drinks and family lunches.

Check out our travel hub for more guides with recommendations on the top restaurants in each city. We have guides for other UK cities, such as Leeds, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast.

Best restaurants in Aberdeen at a glance

Rustico
Kid-friendly, casual dining

This '50s-style trattoria spans several floors and always seems busy but, thanks to its neat little alcoves, it's as suitable for date night as it is for party night. A family-run Italian, the portion sizes are generous, the waiting staff notably friendly and the menu extensive. Highlights include linguine with king prawns and parma ham sautéed in white wine, saffron and garlic; homemade pork ragu with rigatoni; and Sicilian-style lamb meatloaf. Two course lunch menu for £10.95.

Cafe 52
Casual dining

Offering al fresco dining, outdoor heaters and blankets, Cafe 52 is the most continental of Aberdeen restaurants. Now in its 23rd year, it's a favourite spot for locals and tourists alike. The menu features a mix of meat and vegetarian options, including dishes such as curried hake tartiflette with cream and goat's cheese and marinated Scottish beef with chermoula. Mains, £11.

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Carmine's
Casual dining, cheap eats, kid-friendly

This is a traditional, low-key Italian café on Union Terrace run by the big personality that is Carmine. 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.

The Ashvale
Casual dining

The Ashvale is a bit of a local institution, and it's here you can take on the city's famous 'Ashvale whale' challenge: finish a one-pound haddock fillet by yourself and enjoy a second one on the house. The family-run Great Western Road restaurant has been open for more than 30 years, dishing up fish straight from Peterhead Market. In 2015, The Ashvale’s Stuart Devine received an MBE for his services to the seafood industry and to charity work – so it’s more than just a case of lip-smackin’ fish and chips. A meal deal consisting of haddock, chips, mushy peas or curry sauce and a drink costs only £9.90.

Hammerton Store
Casual dining

This food store and deli is a lovely space in which to find cookbooks, art and ceramics and to stock up on edible goodies. Browse aisles of local and organic fruit and veg, meats, baked goods, wine, gin and real ale. Open seven days a week.

Cup
Casual dining

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

Newton Dee
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. Newton Dee Bakery's range of goodies are freshly baked on the premises using traditional techniques, and there's also a store and café on site.

Buchanan's Bistro
Casual dining, kid-friendly

Head towards Royal Deeside and make sure to stop off at Buchanan's Bistro, where the collective of self-taught cooks care about the nutritional value of their food as well as how it's sourced. They bake fresh cakes, biscuits and bread every day, ferment their own yogurt, brew beer, cure and smoke meat and vegetables, and pickle and preserve any surplus. If traceability and sustainability are keywords in your dietary vocabulary, Buchanan's Bistro is a must. Mains from £5.50 to £14.

Conservatory Restaurant
Special occasion

The five-star Marcliffe Hotel and Spa, set in 11 acres of grounds, is home to the enticing Conservatory Restaurant. As well as serving local game and beef, the Marcliffe has a distinctive seafood menu that features Shetland scallops; North Sea shellfish bisque; Peterhead monkfish; and North Sea cod. Seafood mains from £22.

Bonobo Cafe
Casual dining, cheap eats, kid-friendly
This relatively recent addition to Aberdeen's café scene is a workers' co-operative and a completely vegan eatery. Diners can take away or eat in, choosing between the rustic indoor space or the charming rooftop garden, complete with herbs, vegetables, flowers and pond. Try a full Scottish breakfast – featuring seitan sausages, scrambled tofu, tattie scones and veggie haggis – washed down with a coconut milk latte. Brunch is available in full or half portions from £6.90.

Foodstory
Casual dining, cheap eats, kid-friendly

Foodstory offers healthy eating with flavour and flair. Head here for locally sourced food, tasty brewed coffee and regular events including yoga and life drawing classes. It makes for a great alternative stop in the city centre. Lunch from £4.50.

IX Restaurant
Special occasion, kid-friendly

Executive chef Kevin Dalgleish has put The Chester Hotel on the map with this two-time AA Rosette-winning restaurant. Making the most of the local larder, mains include Dornoch lamb with morels and Jersey Royals and slow-cooked beef cheek with mushroom gratin. The contemporary setting, complete with theatre kitchen, adds to the experience. Two courses for £37.50 or three for £47.50.

Ross Bakery
Cheap eats

The pies at Ross Bakery on Chapel Street are close to legendary. The macaroni pie and the mince and mealie pie, in particular, turn the heads of visitors. The former is a popular carb-fest, while the latter usually begs the question ‘What’s mealie?’ The answer: white pudding. Pies from £2.20.

Moonfish Cafe
Casual dining, special occasion

Located on the cobbled medieval streets of Aberdeen’s Merchant Quarter, Moonfish Cafe dishes up a focused menu of quality dishes. Suitable for fine dining or a casual get-together, its menu includes roasted skate on the bone with peppercorn & sea truffle sauce, and sirloin of beef with broccolini and roast garlic. Also notable is its gin menu, featuring tipples such as The Botanist from Islay, Saffron from France and Junípero from San Francisco. Two-course dinner, £32.

Maggie's Grill
Casual dining, kid-friendly

This chilled eatery on Holburn Street serves up unpretentious barbecue and Cajun food. Savour spicy staples like Texas-fried chicken, poutine, Cajun-blackened salmon and howlin’ wolf chilli in a laid-back café atmosphere. The kids’ menu includes popcorn chicken and BBQ pulled pork. Mains from £13.45.

The Silver Darling
Special occasion

Named after the precious herring catch, this is the place to be on a summer evening as ships sail into the harbour and dolphins frolic in the sea. The menu aims to showcase the best of Scottish produce, with dishes including seared Shetland scallops, lightly smoked Loch Fyne salmon and breaded North Sea haddock. Mains from £15.

Almondine
Special occasion

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. Order an afternoon-tea to enjoy at home for £22.50.

Four foodie places to try

Cocoa Ooze

Smiling chef piping chocolate

Try a tasty chocolate-making workshop at this Granite City chocolatier.

Gourmet Cheese Co

This small cheesemonger stocks cheeses from around the world, plus accompaniments like honey, chutney and oatcakes.

BrewDog

The debut venue of this craft beer brand opened in Aberdeen in 2010. See where it all started.

More city guides and delicious travel tips

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The best places to travel in Newcastle

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

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Travellers are advised to read the FCO travel advice at gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice for the country they are travelling to.

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