13 Best Restaurants in The Northern Highlands and the Western Isles, Scotland

All the Goodness

$ Fodor's choice

This excellent little bakery–café serves house-made cakes, tray bakes, and pastries, along with artisan coffee and an array of tempting foodie gifts and souvenirs—all to be enjoyed with a stunning vista of Eilean Donan Castle. In summer, the café also displays evocative works by local artist Lorraine Tolmie. It's 8 miles east of Kyle of Lochalsh.

Off A87, Kyle of Lochalsh, Highland, IV40 8DY, Scotland
Known For
  • delicious baked goods
  • superior tea and coffee
  • unbeatable castle views
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon., Tues., and Nov.–Mar. No dinner

Loch Bay Restaurant

$$$$ Fodor's choice

Situated right on the waterfront, this distinctive black-and-white restaurant, where the island's top chefs come to unwind on their nights off, is a Skye foodie favorite. The seafood is freshly caught and simply prepared by renowned chef Michael Smith, with the aim of enhancing the natural flavors of the ingredients rather than overwhelming them with superfluous sauces. The six-course "Skye Fruits de Mer" set menu costs £110 and is constantly changing, depending on what's fresh and available.

Shorehouse Restaurant

$$ Fodor's choice

If you're feeling peckish after a trip to Handa Island, stop at this exceptional restaurant overlooking Tarbet Harbor. It serves freshly caught seafood specialties, from hand-dived scallops and hot smoked mackerel to whole lobsters, in a quaint, maritime-themed setting. To get here, take the minor road off the A894 around 3 miles northwest of Scourie; it's signposted "Tarbet" and "Handa Island."

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Three Chimneys

$$$$ Fodor's choice

Perhaps the Isle of Skye's biggest culinary draw, this old stone-walled restaurant on the banks of Loch Dunvegan serves consistently daring, well-crafted food. Head chef Scott Davies's belief in quality Scottish ingredients is evident in every dish, from the locally sourced game to the sublime Scottish seafood, with most dishes available as part of a multicourse meal or à la carte. When aligned with the chic, minimalist interior—all crisp white walls and exposed brickwork—it makes for a luxury dining experience you won't soon forget. If you're too full to move after your meal, you'll find six luxurious (but pricey) guest rooms at the House Over-By next door. Reservations are essential; book well ahead and reconfirm the day before.

West Coast Delicatessen

$ Fodor's choice

This charming family-run deli serves delicious housemade sandwiches, pies, soups, salads, and hummus to a long line of locals and tourists. It also has great cakes and baked goods. Those in need of takeout supplies will find shelves stacked with gourmet goodies, from smoked salmon and cured venison to farmhouse cheeses and Mediterranean olives.

An Cala Café


An abandoned fishermen's mission (a place where fishermen stayed while in port), situated at the far end of town near the harbor, now houses this pleasant café serving lunch, soup, sandwiches, and house baking. The specials often include fish freshly delivered from the harbor. The building also contains the local archives, a marine center, and a budget 14-bed bunkhouse.

Café Arriba


Up a steep flight of stairs, this laid-back café has window seats with great views over Portree Harbour. It uses only local produce (whatever is "fresh, local, and available") and is a good no-frills option for hearty breakfasts, as well as lunchtime favorites—from locally caught scallops to creamy summer risotto. There's also an especially varied vegetarian menu, and the cakes are great, too.

Cocoa Mountain


A must for those with a sweet tooth, this "chocolate bar" within the Balnakeil Craft Village serves world-class truffles and stunningly rich hot chocolate made in its specialist "chocolate factory," which sources the beans from around the world. There are also sandwiches, cakes, and coffee available.

Deli Gasta


This rustic little deli-café, in an old mill on the edge of Broadford, serves delicious coffee, cakes, and savory snacks ranging from toasted sandwiches and baked potatoes to soups and salads. Come early for the Eggs Royale made with locally smoked Scottish salmon.

The Old Mill, Broadford, Highland, IV49 9AQ, Scotland
Known For
  • tasty sandwiches and bagels
  • charming stone-wall interior
  • delicious coffee from an artisan roastery
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No dinner

Scorrybreac Restaurant


It may be tiny, but this upscale, 20-seater restaurant is packed every night of the week. The vibe is relaxed and informal, while the cooking is imaginative and varied, with unexpected marriages such as coffee-crusted venison or hake with coconut. All the ingredients are locally sourced and very Scottish, enlivened with a light French touch. But at £85 for the evening tasting menu (without drinks), prepare for a sizeable bill at the end of the night.

7 Bosville Terr., Portree, Highland, IV51 9DG, Scotland
Known For
  • inventive dishes
  • gorgeous bay views
  • very expensive for Portree
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun.–Tues. and Dec.–Feb. No lunch, Reservations essential

Skoon Art Café


This renovated croft house café, which is tucked just off the twisting Golden Road running south from Tarbert to Leverburgh, has a simple, delicious menu that changes daily. It serves everything from filling house-made soups to sumptuous smoked salmon to mouthwatering cakes. You can also buy works of art by resident artist Andrew John Craig, along with other handcrafted souvenirs.

4 Geocrab, Tarbert, Western Isles, HS3 3HB, Scotland
Known For
  • simple but delicious fare
  • good tea and coffee
  • wonderfully remote
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon. No dinner

The Arch Inn


This restaurant's simple pub-style menu of sausages-and-mash and fish-and-chips hardly pushes the envelope, but its use of local ingredients, its pretty presentation of dishes, and its appealing waterside seating make it a favorite dining spot among locals. Book in advance if you can, especially if you're visiting on a weekend.

The Bealach Cafe and Gallery


At the eastern edge of the Bealach na Ba, the steepest road ascent in Britain, this lovely café offers sandwiches, soups, and fine house baking against a stunning mountain backdrop. Enjoy the view through the café's large windows or from the outside deck, if weather allows. The café also doubles as a gallery, exhibiting the work of local artists, and has various handicrafts for sale. If you are skipping Applecross, you can get here from Shieldaig simply by heading south on the A896 for 8½ miles.

A896, Lochcarron, Highland, IV54 8XE, Scotland
Known For
  • lovely house-baked cakes
  • friendly hosts
  • views to die for
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues. No dinner