All you need to know about Aberdeen Restaurant Week February 2020

Thursday 20 February 2020

Post in collaboration with Aberdeen Inspired

I'm delighted to again be partnering with Aberdeen Inspired as an official ambassador for the February 2020 Aberdeen Restaurant Week. I think that it's a fantastic initiative for the city and it has been great to see both restaurants and diners taking the opportunity to embrace it wholeheartedly during the two weeks that it ran in both 2018 and 2019. February see's its fifth incarnation which takes place from Monday 24 February until Sunday 1 March 2020. 

What is Aberdeen Restaurant Week? 
The idea of Restaurant Week was born in New York City in 1992 and has since spread throughout the world arriving in Aberdeen in 2018. It's a week long event where restaurants offer unique fixed price menus, so customers can try many different types of food that may normally be out of their price range or comfort zone.

When does it take place? 
Monday 24th February until Sunday 1st March 2020.

Which restaurants are involved?
There are a record number of 49 restaurants in Aberdeen city centre participating this time round, offering everything from street food to fine dining. Cuisines encompass Scottish, Mexican, Indian, International, Italian, Spanish, French, Thai, Malaysian, Cuban, Chinese and American. You can quite literally travel around the world as you travel throughout Aberdeen.

See the full list of participating venues at

How does it work? 
Diners to choose from two affordable set menus. At lunchtime it's two courses for £10 and dinner is three courses for £20. 

The Braided Fig

What's in it for the restaurants? 
ARW helps to increase footfall at traditionally quiet times of the year, thus boosting the economy. Restaurateurs get a chance to attract new customers by showcasing the best of their menu, cuisine and customer service to impress and encourage you to return. They also benefit from the media exposure and general buzz surrounding the event so it's a great marketing platform for them. ARW is the ultimate win win situation for both diners and restaurants. 

How do I see what deals are available at each restaurant? 
On the ARW website, click on the tabs at the top of the page for £10, £20, Events, Tasting Menu, Afternoon Tea or Cookery Classes. Each individual restaurant on the website has red spots next to their name with £10, £20, E, T, C, A. You can then click through, view and download the relevant menu.


Who's behind the initiative? 
ARW is organised by Aberdeen Inspired who is Aberdeen City Centre’s Business Improvement District. Funded by both levy payers and voluntary contributions, Aberdeen Inspired works hard to help improve and effect positive change in Aberdeen city centre to make the city one of the most vibrant, attractive and fun places to work, live and visit. In turn, increasing footfall and creating a rewarding business environment, in this case for our award-winning hospitality industry. Other Aberdeen Inspired projects include Nuart, Inspired Nights on The Green and Aberdeen International Comedy Festival.

What's new for 2020? 
Cookery Classes and a Street Food Experience Tour. 

New restaurant additions for 2020 include...
The Globe Inn, La Lombarda, Las Iguanas, Mac's Pizzeria, The Essence Indian Cuisine, Shahbaaz Tandoori, Riksha Streetside Indian, Poldino's, Pizza Express, Namaste Delhi The Esslemont and China Town.

Cookery Classes

Chaophraya - £30 per person 
One course cooking class includes a non-alcoholic cocktail on arrival 
Duration - Approx 60 – 90 minutes

Namaste Delhi - £34 for one person or £67 for two people
One starter, two main dishes with rice/naan (drinks not included)
Duration – 2.5 Hours
Namaste Delhi Cocktail Masterclass - £23 for one person or £45 for two people

Pasta at Aberdeen Indoor Market - £20 per person
Pasta making masterclass. Create the dough - cut in shapes - eat your creation
Duration - 2 hours

Revolucion de Cuba - £5 per person
Make your own guacamole masterclass

In partnership with Grampian Escapes & Tours Ltd 

The tour will offer participants the chance to experience some of the exciting new foodie choices on offer in Aberdeen City Centre, discovering a bit about Aberdeen's food history along the way. In addition, you’ll have a chance to meet the hero's behind the chosen eateries, finding out a little bit more about them and their food inspirations.

£34 per person. 
All food and soft drinks are included in your tour fee
Max group size is 16 people per tour - early booking is recommended
Tour is suitable for vegetarians. 

Is everything included? 
Yes and no!
The set £10/£20 menu's don't generally include drinks unless explicitly stated (check out coffee/pot of tea at Di Maggio's, Mojito at Revolucion de Cuba, beer flight at Hop & Anchor, tot of the day at The Tippling House, soft drinks at Melt, pandan drink at Selera Malaysian Bistro and hot drinks at Mackies 19.2) 
So you'll have your drinks bill on top of your £10 or £20 food charge. Some restaurants give you the option to add sides and/or upgrade dishes with a supplement charge. 

What times do the deals operate? 
In general the £10 menu will operate at lunch and the £20 at dinner. However some venues have an all day offering. 
Any restrictions on the dates/times that the ARW2020 offers are valid should be noted on the menus. 

Do I need to book? 
Ideally you should book ahead as soon as possible to guarantee a table at your top restaurant choices for your preferred date and time. In previous ARW's a number of venues have been fully booked well in advance, so to avoid disappointment get the diary out and make those reservations. 

However if you are more flexible with where and when you eat, or want to dine at the larger, more casual or street food venues you can certainly fly by the seat of your pants and walk in on the day/night. 

When booking make sure to state that you want to take advantage of the Aberdeen Restaurant Week offer. Likewise for walk-ins be sure to quote Aberdeen Restaurant Week to receive the correct menu and offer. 

What about dietary requirements? 
Somewhat frustratingly not all of the restaurants have included indications of what diets the dishes on their menus are suitable for. Please do check when you book and with your waitstaff with regards to any allergies, intolerance's or lifestyle choices. They will be able to help you with your decision and advise if adaptations are able to be made. 

From my own perusal of the menus, the best options for those looking for Vegan, Gluten Free and Dairy Free are as follows

Vegan - FoodStory, Hop & Anchor, Revolucion de Cuba, Melt, The City Bar & Diner, Selera Malaysian Bistro, Da Vinci, Howies
Gluten Free - Revolucion de Cuba, FoodStory
Dairy Free - Howies

There's so much choice - how do I decide? 
To help you with your decision take a look back at the reviews by the blogger squad from previous Aberdeen Restaurant Weeks which cover many of the venues participating this time around. For#ARW2020 the blogger ambassador team and Evening Express Society magazine will be featuring previews, reviews and behind the scenes peeks at all the restaurants before and during the week. 

Can I share my ARW experiences on social media?
Yes please do! The official hashtags for the week are #ARW2020 and #comedinewithus
On Instagram you can follow Aberdeen Inspired at @abdninspired Society Magazine at @societyabdn and the #AWR2020 blogger ambassador team at:

Christy from Dinner Stories @xchristybx 
Kirsty @kirstyjarvie
Colin @cfrasisms
Darren and Morven from @wafflingonaboutfood

Disclosure: This is a commissioned post for Aberdeen Inspired. As always, all views expressed are my own.
Thank you for supporting the brands who make it possible for me as a passionate Scottish Food Blogger to continue to share my Edible Food and Travel Adventures with you. I’m super choosy who I work with and promise to bring you only the cream of the crop. 

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