14 Best Restaurants in Aberdeen and the Northeast, Scotland

Rothesay Rooms

$$$$ Fodor's choice

The Old Royal Station, built for Queen Victoria and restored after a disastrous fire in 2015, now houses Rothesay Rooms (formerly the Carriage). The upscale restaurant serves a carefully curated menu with an emphasis on locally sourced game, meat, seafood, and vegetables.

Station Sq., Ballater, Aberdeenshire, AB35 5RB, Scotland
Known For
  • Lunan Bay asparagus
  • Wark Farm lamb and Hill of Gellen pheasant
  • local regional produce
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon.–Thurs. No dinner Sun.

The Silver Darling

$$$ Fodor's choice

Huge windows overlook the harbor and beach at this quayside favorite in a former customhouse, long one of Aberdeen's most acclaimed restaurants. The French-inspired menu focuses on fish: try the crab bisque with samphire to start, then move on to a lavish seafood platter of scallops, mussels, langoustes, prawns, and cockles.

Café 52


This artsy café-restaurant has an innovative menu, an atmospheric dining room with open kitchen, and covered outdoor seating. The menu features veggie options such as mushroom falafel, grilled halloumi with crushed walnuts, and barley fricassee, as well as lots of imaginative Middle Eastern-fusion meat and seafood choices. No matter what you order, local produce makes it tasty and fresh. The handsome restaurant is in a silvery granite building with exposed-stone walls, huge windows, and shiny black tables.

52 The Green, Aberdeen, Aberdeen City, AB11 6PE, Scotland
Known For
  • tagine-style slow-cooked beef casserole
  • oyster mushrooms with buttered barley, calvados, and lovage
  • cash-only policy
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun.–Tues.

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Copper Dog

With its reclaimed woodwork and mismatched wooden chairs, rows of malt whisky bottles, decorative oak barrel-ends, and walls hung with prints, the Craigellachie Hotel's bar-restaurant is an edgy blend of cozy and shabby chic. The menu is equally relaxed, with dishes such as locally produced gourmet sausages, rumbledethumps (a casserole of baked potato, cabbage, and onions), and an outstanding platter of Scottish cheeses with housemade chutney, all of which can be matched with regional craft beers.

Cullen Ice Cream Shop


In summer it can seem as if everyone you see in Cullen is licking a cone from the Ice Cream Shop. There's only a handful of flavors but they are all made on-site. It also sells an abundance of old-style Scottish "sweeties" (candies) that may be novelties to visitors from elsewhere.

40 Seafield St., Cullen, Moray, AB56 4SW, Scotland
Known For
  • old-fashioned charm
  • house-made vanilla ice cream
  • vintage Scottish candies



A bright, breezy vegetarian and vegan café-eatery, Foodstory pulls in a loyal crowd to graze on its healthy, freshly made breakfasts, lunches, and wonderful cakes. Expect organic breakfast and brunch choices such as superfood porridge, scones, and filling dishes such as vegetarian hot pot. Lunch options include a daily-special light dish, soup, rolls, pies, wraps, and heaped salads. Recycled chairs, tables, wooden panels, and tiles give it a homey kitchen-canteen feel. In addition, Foodstory is proud of its zero-carbon and zero-waste credentials. It also offers yoga and meditation classes.

Gordon Castle Walled Garden Cafe


With light streaming through the large windows onto the wooden tables and rattan chairs, there is an airiness and freshness to this eatery. Fish landed just a few miles away on the Moray coast is a good bet, as are the long-aged steaks. Either way, be sure to finish with a seasonal fruit panna cotta: there's elderflower in June and raspberry and strawberry in July and August, all from the estate's walled gardens, which you can visit.

Linda's Fish & Chips


This casual place serves the freshest fish, caught in nearby Buckie and cooked to crispy perfection (gluten-free batter is available, too). There's a seating area inside, but it's best for takeout. You can walk down the hill and head toward the harbor for some benches with sweeping views: a nice spot for a meal.

54 Seafield St., Cullen, Moray, AB56 4SW, Scotland
Known For
  • fish battered to perfection
  • surf and turf burgers
  • deep-fried squid rings



This elegant yet relaxed seafood restaurant can be found along a medieval lane next to St. Nicholas Kirk. Mains may include freshly caught sea trout, halibut, or hake served with imaginative accompaniments such as celeriac with seaweed. The sophisticated atmosphere of the dining room is enhanced with striking landscape photography and somber lighting. A gin bar serves craft distillations and cocktails.

9 Correction Wynd, Aberdeen, Aberdeen City, AB10 1HP, Scotland
Known For
  • baked scallops with parsnip, chorizo, and pine nuts
  • sophisticated atmosphere
  • craft gin cocktails
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon., Reservations essential



This modish fish restaurant has remarkably reasonable prices for the quality of the food and size of the servings. Try the rich Cullen skink (a creamy smoked-haddock soup), a pint glass of fat prawns served with mayo and oat bread, or some freshly fried squid with a lime sauce, all beautifully presented on wooden boards.

The Ashvale


Ask anyone about this long-established place and the response will probably be overwhelmingly positive. Fish-and-chips is the specialty, and the secret-recipe batter is now the stuff of legend. Finish the Whale—a gigantic fillet of battered haddock with fries —and you'll be rewarded with a second one free. The decor is basic; think wooden chairs and tables. Ashvale also has siblings in Elgin, Ellon, Banchory, and elsewhere in the northeast.

42–48 Great Western Rd., Aberdeen, Aberdeen City, AB10 6PY, Scotland
Known For
  • "The Whale" (a giant one-pound haddock fillet)
  • tender locally sourced steaks
  • free meals for those under age five

The Quaich

The friendly Quaich is a local favorite, serving great cakes and other baked goods, outstanding full Scottish breakfasts, warming porridge, and a plethora of snacks and sandwiches. Unusual dishes include a salmon omelet and haggis panini.
85 High St., Fochabers, Moray, IV32 7DH, Scotland
Known For
  • imaginative omelets
  • stovies with pickled beets
  • tempting cakes and pastries
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon.

The Ship Inn


This former coaching inn is exactly where you want to take nourishment after a bracing walk from Dunnottar Castle. Refurbishment has taken away much of the history, but wood paneling and rattan chairs make it comfortable, and huge new windows provide views of the harbor. The mixed grill is worth the splurge.

Yatai Izakaya


The slick facade and glowing red interior might be a little intimidating at first, but the smiling staff is approachable and happy to help you choose the right blend of flavors and textures. The menu includes dishes like kushiyaki-style skewers of aged sirloin steak, sushi, miso soup, and salad.

53 Langstane Pl., Aberdeen, Aberdeen City, AB11 6EN, Scotland
Known For
  • octopus balls
  • sushi platters
  • cash-only policy
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Reservations essential