Documenting My Dinner's top places to eat in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire
8 September 2020
In honour of #ScotFoodFort20 we teamed up with local foodie blogger, Kerry Whyte, aka Documenting My Dinner. Check out her recommendations on where you should eat in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
Are you ready to celebrate Scotland’s Food and Drink Fortnight? From 5th to 20th September, I encourage you to join in by visiting a local restaurant; swapping supermarket shopping for a local butcher or fishmonger; or even tucking into a takeaway from a local restaurant.
I hope you can join in to celebrate our inspirational Aberdonian food and drink heroes.
Here I will provide you with an overhaul of the best places to eat, drink and home foodie experiences in Aberdeen.
Remember, if you share you experience on social media, be sure to use #ScotFoodFort20.
Best place for local produce
Howies focus on local produce in their cosy, bright restaurant located on Chapel Street in Aberdeen. Modern Scottish fare is their speciality where you will find authentic Scottish dishes served in a modern, instagrammable fashion. A map displayed within the restaurant shows where they get their produce so you know exactly what you are getting. I highly recommend trying out their Haggis, Neeps and Tatties, but on the menu you will also find Scottish classics such as Cullen Skink, Scotch Beef Casserole and Sticky Toffee Pudding.
Please note, Howies is currently closed.
Best place for Fine Dining
If you are a fan of fine dining and Masterchef, then you must try Moonfish Café where the head chef is a former runner up of Masterchef: the Professionals. This small, friendly restaurant is perfect if you want to sample the best of the best. Their menu which changes with the seasons focuses on flavoursome and skilful dishes. The current menu’s highlights include Grilled Octopus with Potato Puree, Chorizo and Salsa Verde (Who knew Scottish Octopus was a thing?) and Maple Braised Onion with Potato Gnocchi, Blue cheese and Pecan. They also have an exceptional wine list, focusing on organic and biodynamic wines.
Best place for Traditional Home Cooking
If you are looking to sample what Granny would have cooked back in the day, then McGinty’s Meal An' Ale is the place. A proper pub, you can grab traditional Scottish dishes such as Mince and Tatties, Creamy Macaroni Cheese and Haggis Bon Bon’s served in a casual setting. Slightly further afield, The Ploughman in Peterculter is a family friendly, locally run restaurant who serve a great Roast of the Day, their staple, along with other familiar dishes such as Beef Olives or Scampi with Homemade Tartare Sauce.
Best at-home Food and Drink Experiences
The Sandwich Larder is a company who previously focused on corporate catering. Lockdown, WFH and Zoom means office meetings are currently a thing of the past. The Sandwich Larder previously focused on corporate catering but a necessary shift in focus have meant they have recently launched an at home afternoon tea box. Everything is home made using Gran’s secret recipes and it is absolute treat for a special occasion, or just a Sunday afternoon!
Orchid are yet to open their popular late night bar in the city centre but fear not, as the ingenious lot have spent lockdown launching "Orchid at Home". Thursday to Saturday you can have cocktails delivered anywhere within 10 miles of the bar. Highlights include a Hurricane Punch serving 11, Mango Margarita and the ever popular espresso martini. They have also teamed up with Whitley Neil to offer at home gin tastings.
Mackie’s is an Aberdeen institution and began making ice cream in their Aberdeenshire farm back in 1986. Their first and only ice cream parlour – Mackies 19.2 - can be found in Marischal Square, exactly 19.2 miles from the farm, with a focus on serving ice cream, crepes and waffles. The ice cream in the parlour somehow tastes even better than shop bought Mackie’s and with 30 unique flavours of ice cream including Buttery and Jam; Scottish Tablet and Rocky Road, it is perfect for a Scottish themed treat.
If you want to try out some Scottish fare, you should give local bakeries a visit. Based on George Street, Thains Bakery’s steak pies are unbeatable and you can also get your hands on other Aberdeen specialties including the famous Buttery and the Macaroni Pie. Byron Bakery also deserves recognition for their bakes such as the ever popular Caramac Square. Simple and understated, bakeries like this are a good place to find some good old Scottish comfort food.
Best Local Produce Suppliers
We are so lucky to live in a city, surrounded by countryside, with some of the best produce in the world. Ditch the supermarket this #ScotFoodFort20 and buy local from some of our best suppliers.
For an all rounder local shopping experience with meat, fish and local products in store, JK Fine Foods on Chattan Place is highly recommended and has excellent service to match. Another favourite butcher for high quality beef, pork and lamb is Meet the Meat at Cove Bay. They have an in-store chef who previously worked at Rothesay Rooms and he has recently started a Fine Dine In box: a box containing a three course gourmet dinner to eat at home with menus changing monthly.
If you are into seafood, then check out Peterhead Fish Company and Amity Fish Company for fresh fish deliveries across Aberdeen and Shire. Finally, if Hot Sauce is your thing, then check out Singularity Sauce, a local producer from Tarves.
Aberdeen has a host of international restaurants serving up something a little different. For Indian food, Jewel in the Crown has to take the top spot. For Japanese try out Yatai Izakaya or Yokorobi and for Carribbean there is Tango Turtle. However, one of the most unique experiences can be found at Latinway on Belmont Street. This small eatery serves up Latin American food cooked up by their talented Venezuelan chef. Highlights include Cachapa which is a corn and cheese pancake; Tacos, Fried Cassava Chips and Arepas.
Best of Aberdeenshire
Although Aberdeen itself has a great selection of Scottish eats, venture out into the Shire for even more. Try out the Cock and Bull in Balmedie for superb posh pub grub in a stunning country inn with views of the sea – the seafood platter using Scottish seafood is a highlight. Kildrummy Inn is a hidden gem near Alford, showcasing Scotland’s larder with stunning dishes. For a true luxury experience, head to The Fife Arms in Braemar which uses Scottish ingredients such as Belhaven Smoked Salmon, Scottish Highland Beef and Royal Lochnagar whisky, in their delicious sounding menu.
For seafood lovers, head to the coast at Stonehaven and sample the freshest seafood at the Seafood Bothy, a street food van at the harbour selling the likes of lobster rolls, seafood tacos and mussels.