St Andrews is one the best small towns in Europe for finding a great meal. The offerings run the gamut, from the award winning Peat Inn and the Old Course Hotel’s Road Hole Restaurant to the quaint Scottish pubs that are so plentiful throughout the town. There is something for everyone.
Here are some favorites:
The Peat Inn – situated just six miles from St Andrews, the renowned cookery has been central to the culinary map of Scotland for more than 30 years, earning three AA stars and boasting a host of accolades including Scottish Restaurant of the Year 2010 and Chef of the Year for kitchen maestro Geoffrey Smeddle. Dating back to the 1700s, The Peat Inn is full of charm with three cozy yet elegant rooms -- making it one of the most romantic restaurants in the area. The elegant offerings are rooted in French cuisine and the service is impeccable. Reservations highly suggested.
The Doll’s House – located one of the best restaurants in town for pure quality of food and service. The restaurant features three course lunch and dinner fixed price meals as well as a full menu. The menu is diverse and very good and the desserts are to die for -- especially the sticky toffee pudding. Reservations highly suggested.
The Glass House – located on North Street, and cousin to the Doll’s House, and nearly as good, this quaint little spot is known for its well-attended 3-course lunches. Nice change of pace, especially if you get caught up in the pub eating rut.
Balgove Larder & Steak Barn – located just as you enter the town near the links and Old Course Hotel, the Balgove Larder is unlike any other eating experience in town. Part restaurant and part farm shop, the Larder features exceptional “feel good’ home cooked meals and in the summer months patrons can enjoy steaks and BBQ chicken outside, sitting at picnic tables in the “Barn”.
Nahm-Jim Thai Restaurant – located at 60-62 Market Street, Nahm-Jim's is one of the unexpected culinary treats of St Andrews dining scene. This award-winning restaurant serves some of the best Thai and Japanese cuisine with the United Kingdom. You’ll not be disappointed in a visit to Nahm-Jim's. Reservations are highly encouraged. Take away is available.
Playfair’s Restaurant – located along the Scores, the Playfair’s a la carte menu, served from 6pm, has a tempting range of dishes from steaks served with chunky hand cut chips and local mussels in a spiced tomato sauce to more exotic specials such as loin of venison served with chocolate oil. Great ambiance and service make this a wonderful place to try traditional Scottish fare with a twist.
The Dunvegan – on the corner of North Street and Golf Place near the Old Course, this is a mandatory pub stop for any golfer visiting St Andrews. The place is chock-a-block packed with photographs of all the famous visitors. The beer is cold and the food is excellent, especially the meat pies and fish and chips.
The Vic – located at 1 St Mary’s Place, this is a completely remodeled upstairs social club and restaurant bar featuring contemporary twists on tradition pub food. New layout is fantastic and the food is very good. Top marks for food (burgers are delightful) and music.
The Whey Pat – the other side of the West Port, next to the Shell gas station: host of St Andrews’ ale festival. Enough said really. Very popular with locals and student societies – the Whey Pat always has eclectic mix of patrons. Known more for its beer than food, it’s the nearest pub to St Andrews Golf House, just a 3-minute walk.
The West Port – opposite Drouthie’s, at the West Port end of South Street: more upscale than other pubs in town, know for its cocktails. Food and service are good. Clientele is more mature and less student focused.
Additionally, there is the Central, the Criterion, The Keys, Golf Place, The Pilmour and the Blue Stane, to name but a few of the other pubs in town. Most of the nicer hotels also have bars or pubs as well, to include the Old Course Hotel, which features The Jigger Inn -- a wonderful little pub that was the former train station master’s house.
Essentially, no matter what you want, where you want to go, or if you don’t know a thing about St Andrews -- you literally can’t walk down the street without finding a pub that you will love.