Visiting the picturesque Dumfries and Galloway in the southwest of Scotland means visiting some of its most exciting restaurants and cafes. Whether you’re looking for a spin on the traditional or a quirky coffee house to while away an afternoon, here are some of the best places in the county to eat.
On the beautiful harbour of Portpatrick is the charming Port Pantry, specialising in hot drinks and homemade sandwiches, cakes and scones. During the day you can stop in for lunch or browse their downstairs deli – and in the evening, why not ring up their pizza takeaway service for a delicious meal you can enjoy at home.
Established in 1868, John Gillespie & Sons Bakery is the oldest bakery in Stranraer – and still serves delicious breads and bakes to customers every day. Baking fresh, high-quality food each day, you’ll want to pop in for a loaf or two – or try one of their famous sandwiches.
Family-run and owned, Home Restaurant in Dumfries believes the best meals you’ll get are at home – so they named their restaurant exactly that! Home specialises in seasonal dishes made using local produce, with weekly changing menus meaning you’ll always get something new to try whenever you visit.
Founded in 2017, this charming and intimate restaurant is just two miles from Portpatrick. Owners Emma & Nick have decades of experience in the industry and now get to bring modern British food with a twist to their dynamic menu.
Regarded as one of the best restaurants in southwest Scotland, The Limetree at Hartfell House takes a more relaxed approach to ‘fine dining’. On the ever-changing menu, you’ll find the best quality ingredients from the local area with a charming atmosphere to savour it in.
A family-owned village pub on the Isle of Whithorn – just on the coast – you can enjoy traditional pub fare while looking out over the harbour. Quality seafood is prominent on the menu thanks to the inn’s enviable location and its selection of meat and dairy products are all sourced from within a twenty-mile radius of the inn.
Overlook the Irish Sea as you indulge in a seafront meal. Serving everything from breakfast to dinner, the Harbour House in Portpatrick serves traditional British and Scottish food made with fresh, local ingredients. They also have dedicated menus for vegetarians and gluten-free visitors.
A 2021 TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice spot, Fig & Olive in Stranraer has a menu of fusion-inspired dishes, exploring flavours and dishes from Australia to North America. A local community favourite, it’s also a great spot for individuals on special diets, including Coeliac and dairy-free.
Retaining their traditional roots as an Inn, The Globe offers contemporary gastropub menus from chefs with experience in three Michelin starred restaurants between them. Found on the Dumfries High Street, the inn is packed with history – famously, a popular spot for poet Robert Burns to relax, eat and ponder the world.
It’s not unusual to see a queue forming outside this bakery – and once you taste the bread, you’ll realise why! An artisanal bakery in Kirkcudbright, the made-to-order sandwiches are probably the reason you’ll come back for more – made fresh every day, however you like it. Don’t forget a sweet treat to go with it.
A cosy spot in Kirkcudbright, Mulberries is only open during the summer months – so if you’re visiting for holiday, it’s a great spot for lunch or for afternoon tea. Offering a varied menu of sandwiches and sweet treats, they often have lunchtime deals if you want somewhere to stop into and refuel.
If you can bear to step away from the boutique, bookshop and gallery, Designs Café is a must-visit in Castle Douglas. If the weather’s warm, you’ll want to try their Cream of Galloway ice cream or milkshakes. For the colder days, their wide selection of soups, hot drinks and sandwiches are sure to fill you up after a day of exploring the town.
Relax with a continental inspired coffee in Castle Douglas at Streetlights. Family-run, the coffee house takes a unique approach to its baking, creating soups, sandwiches and sweet treats that play with flavour – but are sure to give you a dose of comfort on colder, rainier days.
Blend Scotland and the Mediterannean together – and you’ve got the menu at The Selkirk Arms in Kirkcudbright. Modern, bistro-style food made with high quality, local ingredients, you can stop by for a relaxed lunch or indulge in a luxury dinner inspired by the county itself.
Winner of the 2019 Best Restaurant: Dumfries & Galloway at the Retail Business Awards, this charming restaurant in Kirkcudbright offers a small, but carefully curated menu. Using high quality, local ingredients from Galloway suppliers, the restaurant has attracted diners from all across the world.
Whether it’s breakfast, light bites or a sit-down dinner menu you’re looking for, the team at the Townhead Hotel Bar and Restaurant in Lockerbie have something for everyone. Their meat and seafood are all sourced locally from ethical suppliers – and the restaurant has been awarded a VisitScotland Taste Our Best accreditation.
With menus created by a team of award-winning chefs, the Clachan brings both fine dining and gastropub classics to the table. Found in St John’s Town of Dalry, seasonal produce influences the menu, from the locally sourced meat and fish to fruit and vegetables used at their most delicious.
Settled next to Mill Burn – Scotland’s smallest Royal Burgh – in New Galloway, The Smithy focuses on creating homemade, healthy and locally sourced food for visitors. This family-run café and tearoom emphasises sustainable practices, so you can be sure your meal hasn’t had to travel far to get to the kitchen and onto your plate.
If you’re in the area of Castle Douglas, you’ll want to step into The Ship Inn at No.1 Fleet Street. Open for lunch, afternoon tea and dinner from Wednesday to Sunday, the food used in the restaurant all comes from local sources, including meat from award-winning butchers Halls & Ballards and Cream o’Galloway dairy products.