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From Highland Venison to North Sea Lobster - Dining Out in Inverness

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Beef from the farms, wild game from the glens, fresh fish from the rivers, and saltwater treats from the North Sea - the Highland landscape provides Inverness with a constant supply of prime ingredients. You'll find plenty of local specialties on the menus of fine city restaurants and countryside dining rooms. Trendy local bistros and cafés let you enjoy quiet morning coffees and alfresco lunches right beside the River Ness.

Typical dishes


The coldest, wettest Scottish weather can be remedied with Cullen skink - a hearty, warming soup of haddock and potatoes. And for a truly Highland dinner, try haggis followed by a sweet, fruity clootie dumpling.

Inverness City centre


Down the narrow streets of Inverness Old Town you'll find long-standing, ever-popular family restaurants and newer showcases for talented chefs with modern, cosmopolitan tastes. Locals line up outside Girvans for its lunchtime soups and sandwiches and dinner specials like lamb shanks. Velocity is a very 21st-century development - an artisanal café welded to a bicycle workshop. If you're cycling around town, you can take a break and even get some repairs done while enjoying a freshly brewed "bicyclatte" and a slice of home-baked lemon cake. Then jump right back on the saddle and burn those calories off again.



Inverness riverside


The River Ness bisects the city, with pleasant walkways on both banks where you can stop for lunch indoors and out. At Chez Roux Restaurant at Rocpool Reserve Hotel, you can try Scottish game and seafood cooked French-style and served in a cool, upscale dining room. The nearby River House Restaurant is a tranquil spot for a tasty lunch on the waterfront. The view goes well with fresh lobster from the North Sea and mussels from Shetland, steamed in your choice of sauces.


  • Rocpool Reserve Hotel and Chez Roux Restaurant, Culduthel Road, Inverness IV2 4AG; Tel: +44 1463 240089; Website: Rocpool Reserve Hotel and Chez Roux Restaurant

  • River House Restaurant, 1 Greig Street, Inverness IV3 5PT; Tel: +44 1463 222033


Inverness suburbs and beyond


You don't have to travel far from the city centre to feel like you're deep in the Highlands enjoying old-fashioned local hospitality. On the outskirts of Inverness, near the Caledonian Canal, you can stop off at The Clachnaharry Inn for a long Sunday carvery lunch or quicker gastropub snack. The Jenga-style tower of fat, fluffy chips comes especially recommended. A little farther out, in the picturesque Black Isle village of Cromarty, Sutor Creek Café specializes in fresh seafood and wood-fired pizzas. The Seafood Pizza lets you try both, while the Black Isler comes topped with haggis and bacon.


  • The Clachnaharry Inn, 17-19 High Street, Clachnaharry, Inverness IV3 8RB; Tel: +44 1463 239806; Website: The Clachnaharry Inn

  • Sutor Creek Café, 21 Bank Street, Cromarty IV11 8YN; Tel: +44 1381 600855; Website: Sutor Creek Café


Around Loch Ness


After a day of Nessie-spotting on Scotland's famous monster-infested lake, you can hop back on shore for a hot meal at The Dores Inn. The garden of this lovingly preserved old country pub stands so close to the edge of Loch Ness that you can keep watching for ripples in the misty, murky surface while enjoying your steak or scallops. Fiddler's Restaurant and Café is in the nearby village of Drumnadrochit. It's a popular place to stop off on the way to or from Loch Ness for a hearty lamb and barley casserole or char-grilled cut of wild Scottish venison.


  • The Dores Inn, Loch Ness in Dores, Inverness-shire IV2 6TR; Tel: +44 1463 751203; Website: The Dores Inn

  • Fiddler's Restaurant and Café, The Village Green, Drumnadrochit, Loch Ness IV63 6TX; Tel: +44 1456 450678; Website: Fiddler's Restaurant and Café