The Best Places to Eat by the Sea in Aberdeenshire
THE BEST PLACES TO EAT BY THE SEA IN ABERDEENSHIRE
For me, there’s nothing quite like eating on the coast. Endless open views, refreshing sea spray, the sound of peaceful wave ripples – true tranquility.
We’re spoiled by 165 miles of stunning shoreline here in North-east Scotland and taking it that step further, are the glorious places to dine along the way.
So, anchor up and get ready to set sail, here are just some of my coastal eats that you need to have on your list.
The Seafood Bothy
Setting up shop on Stonehaven’s historic harbour, The Seafood Bothy serves up fresh seafood straight from fishermen’s net.
Think meaty lobster, loaded baguettes, seafood nachos, mackerel pate – it’s all up for grabs with its ever-changing weekly specials. Its revamped retro horsebox parks up every Friday to Sunday ready to keep locals, sight-seers and paddle boarders stuffed to the brim with seafood delights. Need I say anymore?
The Silver Darling
A restaurant that never lets me down is The Silver Darling. With panoramic views of Aberdeen’s stunning coastline, a dinner here at sunset is something truly magical – and if timed right, you might even spot some dolphins leaping at the neighbouring harbour mouth.
Flipping seafood cuisine on its head with inspired takes, you’ll remember every minute of your meal. During my last visit I was entranced by the tempura oysters and as for the side of crab straw fries – I don’t think I stopped for breath.
There’s always room for dessert in my book, but with sizeable portions on offer, I always struggle to find room. Coconut creme brulee, I will have room to order you one day.
Liberty Kitchen at Grey Hope Bay
Just over the harbour mouth, you’ll see the archway of Torry Battery where something exciting is bubbling away. Known locally as a prime spot in the city to catch a glimpse of bottlenose dolphins, Greyhope Bay is rallying the community to engage with the marine world and transform the location into a must visit destination in the North-east.
With plans to home a cafe, dolphin viewpoint and education space in the years to come, Greyhope Bay promises a new lease of life to the area which has been much overlooked. Until then, the vintage Liberty Kitchen parks up every weekend serving up fresh artisan coffee along with plant based cakes and savoury snacks to wet the appetite of visitors ahead of its kitchen residency when the cafe opens its doors. I’m a sucker for a biscuit, especially a Viennese Whirl, and the ones crafted here look positively delightful!
The Quayside Gourdon
You can’t beat a fish and chips takeaway with a seaview and The Quayside always makes the top of my list. Feeding the masses through its restaurant and chip shop, no matter your craving, there will be something to float your boat here.
A jumbo sausage supper is my usual chipper go to but when I visit it’s always a seafood order to try all its freshest seafood delights. The soft shell crab burger is never far from my mind and slap a slice of pineapple in there (yes I am a maniac), and you’re in for a taste sensation. It’s been a while since I’ve visited and I’m beelining straight for the lobster supper on my return.
The latest addition to the Aberdeen beachfront is the Foodstory Hut. You guessed it, this new business is the love child of the wholesome Foodstory which is a local food celebrity in these parts, being the first of its kind in Aberdeen to fly the vegetarian, vegan and eco-hero flag high.
Taking its staple vegan bakes, New York deli style stuffed sandwiches and chill coffee house vibes to Aberdeen Beach, a slice of Foodstory magic adds even more vibrancy to the bustling boulevard. If the carrot cake is on the go, order it immediately – and order more than one slice, it will be gone in seconds.
The Cullen Bay Hotel
A place that holds many happy childhood memories for me is the quaint coastal town of Cullen, right on the cusp of Aberdeenshire. Beach holidays abroad weren’t a thing for my family growing up, Cullen beach was our equivalent and never a dull moment was had, despite the near hyperthermic water temperatures.
If I was to don my dookers and take a dip in the nippy choppy waters now, I’d be heading straight to the Cullen Bay Hotel to see away those chills. With unrivalled views of the Moray Firth, this is your place to order up a piping hot bowl of Cullen Skink packed with fresh haddock, crumbling potatoes encased in a devilishly creamy soup. Some days you can be lucky enough to order a seafood dish made with fish caught from the shore that very morning.
As the name suggests, it is in this little coastal town where the recipe was first created centuries ago. Initially made with beef shavings the recipe quickly changed tack when beef became scarce in the 1800s and locals looked to a more available good to add to their prized recipe. And the rest, as they say, is history.
The Cock and Bull
Balmedie Beach is no stranger to me offering towering dunes and expansive sands as the backdrop to my many dog walks. Just minutes away from this untroubled escape is The Cock and Bull which brings the atmosphere of a cosy country inn with wooly throws, stag horns, the most endearing wood burning stove and of course a nod to the sea with washed up wood additions to some of its furniture.
The tributes to the coast don’t end there, the menu is no stranger to seafood with specific focus on the Catch of the Day options which are a regular feature on the menu. Two words: buttered lobster *sinks into seat*.
If seafood isn’t for you, fear not, you’ll be kept well stocked with a whole host of hearty options including chicken strip burgers, BBQ brisket and mac with dirty fries, Korean cauliflower and the finest meat cuts. Oh and the chips, don’t forget the chips. Super thick cut bad boys here – I’m under good authority from my girlfriend’s mum that these are not to be missed.