The best restaurants in Aberdeen
Aberdeen is the perfect short break for food lovers. Discover the best restaurants for Scottish seafood, mince and mealie pies and much more with our extensive guide
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Visiting Scotland's Granite City and want to find the best local eateries? Check out our list of must-try places, where you can sample the finest produce on offer in Aberdeen. From bistro brunches by Aberdeen beach to delightful cafés tucked away in the city centre, we've selected the best places to eat in Aberdeen for romantic dining, casual drinks and family lunches.
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Best restaurants in Aberdeen at a glance
- Rustico - Kid-friendly, casual dining
- Cafe 52 - Casual dining
- The Ashvale - Casual dining
- Madame Mews - Casual dining, cheap eats, kid-friendly
- Nargile Rendezvous - Casual dining
- The Marcliffe Conservatory - Special occasion
- Foodstory - Casual dining, cheap eats, kid-friendly
- Amuse by Kevin Dalgleish - Special occasion
- Moonfish Cafe - Casual dining, special occasion
- Maggie's Grill - Casual dining, kid-friendly
- The Silver Darling - Special occasion
- Almondine - Special occasion, kid-friendly
- Cafe Boheme - Special occasion
- Cup - Casual dining, cheap eats, kid-friendly
- Olive Alexanders - Casual dining, cheap eats
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 a date night as it is for a party night. The portion sizes are generous, the waiting staff notably friendly and the menu extensive. Highlights include linguine with king prawns and parma ham, homemade beef and pork ragu, and Sicilian fish stew. Two course lunch menu for £10.95.
Offering indoor and al fresco dining, outdoor heaters and blankets, Cafe 52 is the most continental of Aberdeen’s restaurants. Popular for more than 25 years, it’s a favourite spot for locals and tourists alike. Expect dishes such as Normandy chicken casserole, hot smoked herring fillet with summer salsa, and oyster mushroom fricassee. Mains all £15.
Casual dining, cheap eats, kid-friendly
When it comes to fish 'n' chips, The Ashvale is a local institution that has welcomed patrons since 1985. 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. Look out for the Teatime Flyer menu (£15.95 for haddock, chips, peas, bread and butter plus coffee/tea), alongside a kids menu (free meals for under 5s) and senior citizens menu.
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Casual dining, cheap eats, kid-friendly
Madame Mews on Summer Street is renowned for authentic Thai flavours in a colourful, informal setting at a great price. Its reputation spread through word of mouth, and a classic pad thai comes in at £9.40.
This Turkish treat has restaurants on Skene Street and Forest Avenue, both offering a mix of traditional hot and cold meze, quality iskender and kebabs. Or choose the Nargile Special – a layered dish of chopped pitta, creamed aubergine and thin slices of marinated lamb (£17.95).
Conservatory Restaurant at The Marcliffe
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, it specialises in local seafood – try Shetland scallops, North Sea langoustines and Cove Bay lobster. Seafood mains from £28.
Casual dining, cheap eats, kid-friendly
Foodstory offers healthy eating with flavour and flair in a bustling yet chilled environment. Look out for tempting veggie options such as vegan saus*ge rolls (£4), sourdough toasties (£6.50) and nutritious brunch bowls (£7.50).
Amuse by Kevin Dalgleish
Chef Kevin Dalgleish's restaurant is a smart, intimate affair that serves modern Scottish dishes with a French influence. A set lunch menu (£33 for three courses) might include east coast crab, steak frites and lemon and lime pavlova.
Casual dining, special occasion
Located on the cobbled medieval streets of Aberdeen’s Merchant Quarter, Moonfish Cafe would be suitable for fine dining or a casual get-together. Choose citrus-cured salmon with grapefruit, fennel and chili, or Isle of Mull cheddar soufflé with creamed leeks and onion relish. Also notable is its gin menu, featuring The Botanist from Islay, Daffy’s from Edinburgh and Aviation from America. Two-course dinner, £32.
Casual dining, kid-friendly
This modern eatery in Marischal Square serves unpretentious barbecue and Cajun food. Savour spicy staples such as chicken and sausage gumbo, southern fried halloumi and howlin’ wolf chilli in a laid-back atmosphere. The kids menu includes southern fried chicken tenders and mac ’n’ cheese. Adult mains from £14.95.
The Silver Darling
Named after the precious herring catch, this is the place to be on a summer evening as ships sail into Aberdeen harbour. The menu showcases the best of Scottish produce, with dishes such as seared Shetland scallops, Cape Wrath oysters, hot smoked Loch Fyne salmon and breaded North Sea haddock. Mains from £15.
With a seasonal macaron menu, a French patisserie selection and a hugely popular afternoon tea, Almondine always feels like a treat. Favourites include the pink peppercorn, pistachio, and maple and bacon macarons. Afternoon tea is £27 per person.
An intimate venue that’s been serving quality French/Scottish cuisine for 20 years. Pick the five-course tasting menu (£85, with a vegan option available), or go à la carte for mains such as wood pigeon, smoked pork belly or artichoke risotto (starting from £17.50).
Casual dining, kid-friendly, cheap eats
A delightful café down a cobbled lane in the city centre, Cup offers a colourful range of iced teas and tea lattes to complement its afternoon teas and 'sweetie wall'. There’s an array of brunch options, plus imaginative children’s dishes such as a brekkie board for £7.95.
This delicatessen and bistro set on the elegant Golden Square offers a mix of brunch, lunch and evening meals. Start the day with banana bread French toast (£9.50), savour a midday bagel stuffed with roast beef and white truffle mayo (£9), and by night try the steak pie with chicken gravy and mash (£15.50).
Five more foodie places to try
The pies at Ross Bakery on Chapel Street are legendary. The macaroni pie is a popular carb-fest, while the mince and mealie pie marries minced beef with white pudding ('mealie').
This small cheesemonger on Rosemount Place stocks cheeses from around the world, plus accompaniments including honey, chutney and oatcakes.
Start the day at MacBeans coffee roasters and tea specialists on Little Belmont Street. Choose your beans, leaves and blends.
A smart wine and craft beer bar on Thistle Street, where guests can hear themselves think! Look out for tasting flights of wine, Scottish gin, whisky and rum, accompanied by antipasti and small plates.
Location, location, location. This café has a simple menu of soup, coffee and cake, but its enviable coastal vantage point at the Torry Battery makes it one of the best dolphin-spotting locations in town.
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