Top 10 Places To Eat In Aberdeen

My Top 10 Places to Eat in Aberdeen

 

I’ve been a student in Aberdeen for three years of my degree so far, and every year I’ve found somewhere new and amazing to eat. At the start of this year my flatmates and I made up our version of a bucket-list of places we wanted to go before they graduate which has spurred me on to try more places I hadn’t been before, and it’s led to a few great discoveries.

 

The Moonfish Café

 

This is the most expensive on my list by some distance I think – the food is spectacular, as is the atmosphere and the service. Moonfish can be quite tricky to find if you’re not familiar with the location- it’s hidden behind Five Guys (another personal favourite of mine) just around from Starbucks after you leave the St Nicholas Centre.

 

The menu changes quite often I believe and I have absolutely loved everything I’ve eaten there. If you’re not a fish lover don’t panic- they have meat and vegetarian options too. The plates are small but rich and full of flavour. A favourite touch of mine are the ‘snacks’ they offer- I had a salmon and black squid ink cracker and a chicken and foie gras mousse the last time I was in which were definitely a highlight of the meal.

 

 

 

Yatai Izakaya

 

This was the first restaurant I ever ate out in in Aberdeen. My Dad stumbled across it on TripAdvisor and booked a table for a meal the night before I moved into New Carnegie in first year. If you are a regular at Nox or Prohibition you’ve probably walked past without even noticing- it’s sandwiched between the two and again is a small restaurant with a great atmosphere.

 

If you are a fan of Japanese food I think you will love it here. The food goes further than sushi- but sushi is available if that’s your preference. The highlight for me are the pork ribs, I’ve yet to taste any better than those I had at Yatai almost four years ago. I’ve been back a couple of times but it can get quite pricey as you pay by small plate, almost like a tapas style Japanese. The manager lived in Japan for years and decided to bring a taste of his travels back to Aberdeen. They serve sake as well as Japanese style deserts- the plum sake sorbet is amazing!

 

Yorokobi by CJ

 

Speaking of Japanese food, Yorokobi serve some amazing sushi- miles better than Yo! Sushi if you’re willing to make the journey to either eat in or take away. One of my best friends had some leftover sushi from a meal with her boyfriend the night before and asked me if I wanted to have some of it for lunch the next day, (thanks Iona!) - so I’ve only had the pleasure of eating Yorokobi sushi outside of the restaurant, but it tasted amazing even after being in the fridge overnight.

 

For me, the fusion rolls were the highlight- they come beautifully packaged, full of flavour, and everything tastes so fresh. They offer a great range of sushi so if you prefer certain things to others, I don’t think you would struggle to get something to suit your taste.

 

One thing to be careful of is that the restaurant is closed for lunch Tuesday to Thursday and is not open at all Sunday and Monday. This is something I learned the hard way after gearing myself up for a mid-week lunch treat, but I ended up discovering somewhere else I love that day instead, Cupcakes by Jo.

 

Cupcakes by Jo

 

Since I was in first year I’ve heard people talk about Cupcakes by Jo but I didn’t know where it was and was too lazy to try and find out. In hindsight this was probably a good thing as I would definitely have been making weekly trips to stock up! My friend and I drove to Crown Street to fill the sushi shaped hole in our lunch time with cupcakes. I was not disappointed. Cupcakes by Jo is a small family business and all the cakes are made fresh that day.

 

They have a huge variety of flavours, I think the traditional vanilla are my favourite. It’s a small shop with a very welcoming atmosphere- you can tell the owners have a real passion for what they do- every cake is beautifully crafted. Their Instagram is brilliant if you want an idea of what they do, I am desperate to get some of their party cakes! They also have ‘unicorn in a jar’ and ‘cookie dough in a jar’ – which look as amazing as they sound, I’ve yet to take the plunge and buy one.

 

 

 

The Long Dog Café

 

If you’ve seen photos from the Long Dog Café pop up on your Instagram feed recently and you’ve not yet paid them a visit, you have much stronger will power than me! The minute I saw a photo of their freakshakes this place went straight to the top of my bucket list. I had to drive as it is quite a distance from my flat in Old Aberdeen, but it was worth the journey, and was quite easy to get parked. You could definitely walk if you had the time to spare and I’m sure if you got the bus up to Holborn Street you’d be able to saunter down without much trouble trying to find it.

 

They have a good variety of flavours and you can have a freak shake hot chocolate if it’s too cold outside for you to think about having an ice cold drink! The freakshakes are also available to take away which is ideal if you only have a few minutes to spare. The shakes are not the only great thing about this place- their cakes and sandwiches are also to die for. A great spot for lunch if you’re spending the day away from Old Aberdeen towards the other end of the city. They also have their own sausage dogs running around from time to time, so you can maybe squeeze a puppy cuddle in while you’re there- or take your own dog if you have one!

 

 

 

 

 

Shri Bheema’s

 

Shri Bheema’s is a very recent discovery for me, and I must admit that when I looked it up on Google I was a little apprehensive because it didn’t look like it would have the best ambience- but once you get up the stairs and into the restaurant the food is incredible. The restaurant is on Belmont Street, and is very easy to locate- unlike a lot of the other restaurants I’ve already written about. Belmont Street was the first location for this restaurant, and in a very short space of time they have expanded throughout the UK. Unsurprising considering the high standard of the food they serve.

 

They have a good mix of mild and spicy curries- so there’s something for everyone, and they’re given a chilli rating so don’t worry about picking something and then discovering it’s far too spicy for you. They also have Indian street food which I had as a starter and really enjoyed. One thing to be careful of is the portion size, my boyfriend and I got a curry and a naan bread each with rice to share- and to say we struggled is an understatement. The price of the food varies quite a lot depending on what curries you order- so if you’re not wanting to spend a lot of money I would check what types of curry are more affordable.

 

Chaophraya

 

Along the same lines as Shri Bheema’s, Chaophraya is easy to locate- it’s in the middle of Union Street just after Union Terrace Gardens, you can’t miss it. If you like Thai food this is the place for you. The atmosphere, the service, the drinks, and the food are all amazing. The first time I went to Chaophraya was in Glasgow for the Saturday lunch menu- when I went in Aberdeen they didn’t have a lunch menu on a Saturday so our meal ended up a lot more expensive than planned, but it was great nonetheless.

 

The food is generally quite spicy but they are very accommodating when it comes to cooking the food without chilli if you would rather a more mild meal. I love the pork starter and I’ve loved all the main courses I’ve had too- you can’t go wrong with the thai green curry.

 

 

 

Kilau

 

Kilau is bang in the middle of our Aberdeen Uni campus, next to JG Ross, and opposite the Taylor Building if you’ve not seen it before. They make brilliant lunch food- their baguettes are fab and they have fillings to suit everyone. Their white chocolate and raspberry blondies are next on my hit list as they look delicious as well. Kilau is a little bit more pricey than eating at Grub or The Hub but I don’t mind paying the extra every once in a while when I want a little treat. You can eat in as well as taking the food away- I’ve only done this once and I went late afternoon so a lot of my top choices had sold out by the time I sat down. This was a bit disappointing but it’s nice to know that all the food is made fresh, so maybe go closer to 12 o’clock if you’re looking to have a sit down meal.

 

 

Cup

 

Cup is one of the first places I was recommended when I moved to Aberdeen. It’s on Little Belmont Street and has Alice in Wonderland themed décor. It’s always busy so more often than not I’ve had to wait about 5 minutes to get a table, but the food is worth the wait.

 

I’ve been more times than I can count, eaten a huge variety of the food they have to offer, and never been disappointed. Their soup and sandwich is my go-to at lunchtime, the banoffee pancakes are great as a sweet breakfast, and I love their black pudding and bacon breakfast rolls. Breakfast is served all day as well which is great if you’ve had a lie in but still fancy breakfast food.

 

The Tippling House

 

Notorious for original cocktails, The Tippling House was always somewhere I heard people talking about. For me the cocktails weren’t the highlight, it was the food. It’s quite a small space, and it was buzzing when we got down the stairs but I’m glad I had booked a table, I don’t think we’d have got a seat otherwise!

 

I went with my family one night when they were up visiting and we got two sharing platters between us. They were great- something for everyone. Not the healthiest food I’ve ever eaten, but it was delicious and we really enjoyed getting to pick and choose what we wanted. From their website I’m not sure the sharing platters are still available, but a small selection of the small plates will probably be just as good!

 

Next on the List…

 

I’ve still got a few places I’d like to try, next on my list is a burger place called Filthy Gorgeous, recently my friends and I experienced some terrible service at the Boozy Cow so we’re looking for somewhere else to get our burger fix. I am also dying to go to Foodstory and the Adelphi Kitchen so hopefully there are more great things to come from the restaurants in Aberdeen. Let me know your fav places in Abs!

All Photos: Carly's Own