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Top 5 Restaurants in Scotland

Scottish Haggis Table Setting For A Burns Night Dinner With A Royal Stuart Tartan Napkin Copyright Norman Pogson © Norman Pogson / Shutterstock
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Top 5 Restaurants in Scotland

story by: Jo Wedlock

Scotland – just the name conjures up images of misty lochs, haunting music and good heartey meals of haggis.

It’s fair to say that historically, Scotland is not renowned for its food in the same way as countries such as Paris and Florence, but in recent years Scottish cuisine is really coming into its own.  The sophistication now, in restaurants such as the Ubiquitous Chip in Glagow’s West End has taken the traditional meal of haggis neeps and tatties (Haggis, Parsnip and Potato) and brought it well and truly into the 21st Century.

So where to go to find such delights you may well ask?  Some lucky House of Travel specialists make it their mission to travel to these far flung destinations in search of wonderful food, fine wine and a great experience.  With over 70 outlets around the country and countless agents who travel the world, we’ve combined their foodie stories to make a list of our top 5 places to eat while in Scotland.  We want to keep the Scottish experience of food in the mix for your enjoyment so have avoided many of the wonderful ethnic restaurants while compiling this list.

Make sure you include some, if not all, of these traditional or modern twists on a good Scottish meal when you next travel to these mystical Isles;

 

Glasgow’s Ubiquitous Chip – 12 Ashton Lane, West End, Glasgow.
Located in the funky and fashionable Ashton Lane in Glasgow’s West End, this is one of the best restaurants in the country.  Using local produce and giving an upmarket and modern twist to traditional favourites, this is a favourite spot for locals as well as events and functions.  The restaurant has a casual brasserie as well as a fine dining section and tacked on next door is the ‘wee chip’ – a small smoky pub that specialises in fine whisky and bar food.  One of my favourite places to eat in, well, anywhere!  It’s quite pricey so make this a special occasion if you are eating in the restaurant, or frequent the wee chip as often as you like!

Arisaig Restaurant – Merchant Square, Glasgow.
Arisaig Restaurant is a smartly presented, traditional yet modern Scottish bar & restaurant, located within the stunning courtyard of the historic Merchant Square. The owners and chef got their inspiration for this place during childhood holidays to the West Coast Village of the same name.  Arisaig offers the best of Scottish cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere with friendly service. Enjoy a relaxed meal in our downstairs restaurant or 'people watch' with a glass of wine on our cobbled terrace. As with all good restaurants, the menus offer the finest locally sourced produce.

Scotts– Troon, Ayreshire
Both Scotts in Troon (walking distance from the Royal Troon golf course) and its sister restaurant Elliots in Prestwick not far from the airport, are great places to dine out.  They’ve stepped up the regional cuisine to allow a modern and sophisticated ‘wine bar’ type atmosphere in suburbs that are much more famous for pubs and ‘chippies’.  My favourite at both these restaurants is the sizzling fajitas – not Scottish I know, but they do also offer a lovely modern Haggis on a whisky sauce with beautiful mashed potatoes – worth a try!

The Grain Store – 30 Victoria Street, Edinburgh
When eating out in Edinburgh it's not unreasonable to expect the very best Scottish meat and fish. The Grain Store consistently delivers, with its venison, beef and lamb being fresh and cooked beautifully. The upstairs setting sums up all that is great about Edinburgh: stone fireplace, an intimate dining room, moody lighting, bare-brick walls and views of picture-perfect Victoria Street. The prices are pretty good value (about 15quid for a lunch) and, unlike some of the more modern restaurants – you still feel like you are very much in Scotland – just a lovely upmarket version!

Port Na Craig Restaurant – Pitlochery
Port Na Craig Inn and Restaurant in its dramatic and tranquil setting will really knock your socks off.  This is Scotland at its finest – both in the setting as well as the gorgeous food. The restaurant, together with its conservatory offers an intimate place to dine. In summer you can enjoy outside seating set on the banks of the river, when al fresco dining is idyllic. Port Na Craig offers warm and friendly service.
All dishes are freshly prepared and cooked to order using fresh Scottish and local produce and their local home grown herbs rhubarb and apples – yum!

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