Where to Eat in Aberdeen #EatLocal

Monday 7 November 2016
This post is a wee bit of a step away from my usual Recipes and Edible Adventures. It's about something that has become increasingly apparent and important in recent weeks and months. Aberdeen has long been secure in a bubble of wealth, but with the falling oil price that bubble has burst. The effect is being felt across the board and has been very visible with heartbreaking recent closures of a number of food related businesses in the city. 

Below is my attempt thus far at a list of Independent Cafe's and Restaurants currently operating in Aberdeen City. There will undoubtedly be places that I've missed out - please, please do tell me about them and share the love. There may also be differences of opinion over what constitutes a local independent eatery. If you feel I've included something that shouldn't be here for some reason then feel free to give me a heads up about that too. I should also point out that inclusion on this list doesn't mean an endorsement from me, although I've included some of my photos from establishments where I have eaten at. I'm now very tempted to try and work my way through the whole list!

Of course it's not just local cafe's and restaurants that need our support, bars, retailers and local business in general is very much feeling the pinch at the moment. Chains and nationals do of course contribute to the local economy but I'd urge you to try and step away from the city's many generic coffee shops and shopping center chain restaurants and discover and support some of the hidden gems of the Aberdeen dining scene.


Cafe Culture
Foodstory, 13-15 Thistle St
The Cat in the Window Cafe, 14 Netherkirkgate
Sweet Mumma's Kitchen, Arch 11, Palmerston Rd
Long Dog Cafe, 66 Claremont St
Kilau, 57-59 High St
Cup, 9 Little Belmont St and 16 Thistle St
Haar Rock Coffee, 81 Charleston Rd N
Books & Beans, 22 Belmont St
Cafe Cognito, 39 St Swithin St
Corner Tree Cafe, 3 Whitehall Rd
Teasel & Tweed, 85 Rosemount Viaduct
Parx Cafe, 19 Rubislaw Terrace
The Hub Cafe, 12 St Swithin Street
Contour Cafe, 47 The Green
The Kitchen Works, 7 Summer St
Terroir, 371 N Deeside Rd
Cari & Co Victorian Tearoom, 55 N Deeside Rd
Coppa Coffee, 40 St. Swithin Street
Hammerton Store, 336 Great Western Rd
Tea Zone, 1-3 Justice St
Prego, 33-35 Fountainhall Rd
The Coffee House, 1 Gaelic Ln
Richmond Street Deli, 65 Richmond St
Go Green Community Cafe, Ruthrieston Community Centre
Tempo, Bon Accord Centre

Belmont Filmhouse Cafe, 49 Belmont Street
Cakes, Coffee and Mhor, 123 Holburn St
The Cult of Coffee, 28 Esslemont Ave
Spin, 10 Littlejohn Street
Cognito Deli, 245 Union Grove
Thyme Out, 569/571 Great Western Road

The Long Dog Cafe

Ice Cream & Sweet Treats

Casa Di Gelato, 194-196 King St

Shakes 'n' Cakes, 149 Spital

Crolla's, 60 Rosemount Pl

Aye Scream, 667 George St
Almondine, 39-43 Thistle St
Cocoa Ooze, 24-28 Belmont St

Mad Penguin

Dining Out
Moonfish Cafe, 9 Correction Wynd
Howies, 50 Chapel St
Musa, 33 Exchange St
Cafe 52, 52 The Green
Bistro Verde, Unit 1-2 The Green
The Braided Fig, 39 Summer St
Silver Darling, 43 Pocra Quay
Fusion, 10 N Silver St
210 Bistro, 210 Market St
Tippling House, 4 Belmont St
Rye & Soda, The Academy, Belmont St
99 Bar & Kitchen, 1 Back Wynd
Soul, 333 Union St
No. 1 Bar & Grill, 1 Queen's Terrace
The City Bar & Diner, 37-39 Netherkirkgate
No. 10 Bar & Restaurant, 10 Queens Terrace
The Albyn, 11 Albyn Pl
Granite Park, 8 Golden Square
The Atholl, 54 King's Gate
The Mariner, 349 Great Western Rd
Dutch Mill, 7 Queen's Rd
Ferryhill House, 169 Bon-Accord S
Dizzy's, 70 Carden Pl
Scotch Bonnet Bistro, Unit 2 Jesmond Dr, Bridge of Don
Mains of Scotstown, Jesmond Square
The Howff, 365 Union St
Pan Asia, 64 Bridge Street
Cafe Harmony 21-23 Bon Accord Terrace

No. 10 Bar & Restaurant

Sandwiches and so on
Melt, 58 Holburn St
Bagels & Stuff, 42 Thistle St
The Breadmaker, 50-52 Rosemount Viaduct
Grub Fresh Food, 148 Spital & Exploration Drive & 59 Schoolhill
So, 269 Union St
Haigs Food Hall, 45-51 Schoolhill


Italian & Pizza 
Carmines, 32 Union Terrace 
Rustico, 62 Union Row 
Caio Napoli, 10 Bon-Accord Cres 
La Lombarda, 2-8 King St 
Poldinos, 7 Little Belmont St 
Virginias Cafe, 231 Rosemount Place 
Mi Amore, 80-82 Huntly St 
Borsalino Restaurant, 337 North Deeside Rd
Nick's Pizza, 15 Back Wynd 
Mamma Pizza, 11-13 Belmont St
Aperitivo, 15 Bon-Accord St 
Pasta Plus, 119 Rosemount Pl
DaVinci Ristorante Italiano, 1 Alford Lane


The Jewel in the Crown, 145 Crown St 
8848, 347 Union St 
Shri Bheemas, 15-17 Belmont St
Cafe Bombay, 144A N Deeside Rd
The Nawaabs, 33 Summer S
Arthi's, Caledon Lounge, Garthdee Rd
Monsoona, 20 Bridge St
Ambal's, 4 Bridge St
Nazma Tandoori, 62 Bridge Street
Rishis, 210-212 George St


Muchacho, 9-11 Rose St 
Fresh Mex, 145 Holburn St

Chinese & Thai
Zen Oriental, 16-17 Bon Accord Crescent
Yangtze River, 8 Bridge St
Manchurian, 136 Causewayend
Sabai, 470 Union St
Thai Seasons Cafe, Hazeldene Road (Old Dobbies Garden Centre)
Madam Mew's, Unit 11, Aberdeen Market, Market St
Siam Cottage, 13 Castle St
Saigon, 29a Crown Terrace

Rendezvous at Nargile, 106-108 Forest Ave 
Nargile, 77-79 Skene St 

World Food
Maggie's Grill, 242 Holburn St 
Christos Greek Taverna, 14-20 John St 
Little Malaya, 25 Inverurie Rd
Gurkha Chef, 5 Palmerston Rd
Goulash, 17 Adelphi
Josephine's,18 Holburn St

Yatai Izaki, 53 Langstane Pl
Yorokobi by CJ, 51 Huntly St
The Sushi Box, Unit F6, Aberdeen Market

Cafe Boheme, 23 Windmill Brae
Cafe Montmartre, 58-60 Justice Mill Ln 
Yatai Izaki

Meat & Burgers 
Jack's Steakhouse & Grill, 25 Crown Terrace 
Angus & Ale, 55 Schoolhill 
Boozy Cow, 67 Langstane Pl 
Filthy Gorgeous, Netherkirkgate 

The Kitchen Works
At the Beach 
Sand Dollar Cafe, 2 Esplanade
Washington Cafe, 3-4 Esplanade
Pavilion Cafe, 5-6 Esplanade 
Inversnecky Cafe, 7-8 Esplanade 
Cafe Coast, Beach Blvd 
at the Pier, Esplanade, Sea Beach

The Cat in the Window

We must support local independent eateries in Aberdeen - and elsewhere. It really is a case of use them or lose them. Collectively we have the power to make a difference with where we choose to eat out. #EatLocal

Rye & Soda


  1. Great post. Everywhere I could think of was on there I think. Except maybe Thai Seasons Cafe (https://www.facebook.com/thaiseasonscafe.aberdeen/) do you have them? I haven't been (because they have slightly erratic opening hours and whenever I'm up there they seem to be shut) but it's run by a friend of a friend and is apparently really ace.

    1. I've never been but have heard of them, at the old Dobbies Garden Centre I think. I really want this list to be a living resource with new discoveries and openings added. Just hope I don't have to delete any due to closures.

  2. The following are local independent sandwich shops, both on Thistle St and very good (esp the former): West End Chocolates & The Eatery

    1. Hi Kelly, As far as I know they are both take away only? Happy to be corrected if this is not the case.

  3. Great idea - also on the list should be Keywest in Westhill - a little unknown gem - great service and great pub food.

    1. Thanks, unfortunately Westhill is in the Shire rather than City and for this post that's where I've drawn the line.

  4. Thanks - very useful post. 🙂
    The lovely Richmond Street Deli is missing from the list.
    There's also a really nice sweetie and ice cream shop called Humbug on Rosemount Place.

    1. I'll add Richmond St Deli to the list. From the look of things Humbug is take away only so not one for this list unless you can tell me otherwise?

    2. Went to the Richmond Street deli for the first time this week. What a lovely place - it is now top of my list of favourites. Love it!

  5. This is such a great idea and thank you for sharing! Equi's on Rosehill Drive is another one for the ice cream and sweet treats section.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I checked and they are take away only.

  6. Fantastic post. As a recently retired couple, we are making more effort to go out for coffee, lunch etc and so we have been making a point of trying out a lot of the smaller independent places. One of our favourites is Crolla's on Rosemount Place - great coffee for only £2. But I've just discovered there are quite a few of them in Scotland. So I presume it is part of a franchise?
    BTW one of our favourites for lunch is Corner Tree Cafe on Whitehall Road - fab soup andsandwiches!

    1. Thanks for leaving a comment and I hope that this list has provided you with some new places to explore. Crolla's in Aberdeen is a locally owned franchise of the other two Scottish parlours in Glasgow and Wishaw.

  7. Any thoughts about adding a wee bit about what they serve e.g. I'm really keen to find Vegan places to eat in Aberdeen (or places that can adapt their food to make it vegan...) ACE list...!!

    1. I'd love to but it would be rather a mammoth task! I have been updating to add links to Facebook pages for all so hopefully that will help.

  8. Davos de los Trios Cantinas12 January 2017 at 22:13

    Great to see the list. Casual dining is so fraught with 'satisfaction risk' in Aberdeen so with the recession perhaps we'll see quality eateries, like other cities, vying for custom. I can never understand why there is no dedicated vegetarian restaurant in Aberdeen. A decent veggie restaurant builds its own faithful clientelle. We live in hope! Perhaps the List needs to reflect fair critique of prices, service and menus.

    1. I take on board your point about a fair critique of prices, service and menus however that would be a huge task to take on and I've no desire to be either a critic or turn this post into an alternative Tripadvisor!

    2. Davos de los Trios Cantinas20 January 2017 at 16:00

      Fair point indeed Claire. You provide a good service to highlight various eateries as they emerge - and hopefully do well and prosper.

  9. I'm sure i didnae see Rosies' Cafe on yer list. It's a wonderful, friendly wee cafe that also does takeaway. The big breakfast is fantastic (i speak from multiple experiences!) and the rest o' their menu is full of fine foods made fresh on the premises.
    It's also a big supporter of mental health work and charities.
    Rosies' is on the corner o' Rosemount Place and Esslemont Avenue

  10. Great post, more places to make my way through. I'd add manchurian to chinese/thai, the best dishes at great prices. Takeaway and sit in.

    1. You had me doubting myself there but as I thought they're already on the list #shouldhavegonetospecsavers

  11. Wow, what a great resource and a load of work, so thankyou for your effort. We love Cognito Deli which is just down from their cafe. You are dead right about the use it or lose it; we have lost our local coffee shop in Culter and the Mannofield one has also closed unfortunately. Keep up the great work! ;-)

  12. What about the Washington cafe at the beach? Hardly fair to mention the rest and not that one.

  13. You must include the restaurant at the Chester Hotel!

  14. Tell me your five favourite city centre restaurants? Coming through soon with my sister and need inspiration x

    1. Oooh tricky one!
      Yatai, Almondine, Foodstory, 8848, The Kitchen Works.
      Would be different if you asked me again next week.
      Enjoy your time in the Granite City

  15. Bev Bistro on Holburn St is a hidden gem
    - all home cooked food :)

  16. Carriages @ The Brentwood Hotel is very good


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