St Andrews is not big city and we definitely don’t have world famous chefs or new hipster restaurants popping up on every corner (as the commotion around the opening of Burger proved), but we do have nice restaurants like Forgans, Rocca, and Vine Leaf that provide decent fare around town (and, if you’re feeling especially posh, you can dine out at the Old Course Hotel or the Fairmont).
But obviously, these options can get boring, and if you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, the really good bus and train services (especially since the Forth bridge is fixed, hooray!) around Fife and to Edinburgh can whisk you somewhere fun and not too faraway for a weekend out of the Bubble for something tasty and different.
Here are some of our personal “out of the Bubble” restaurants favorites at Spoon that we definitely think you should check out on your next weekender:
1. Oink Hog Roast, Edinburgh
Located seconds away from Royal Mile (there’s also a second location on Canongate near Holyrood House), Oink is run by a group of farmers from the Scottish Borders who provide a novel farm-to-table takeaway option. They don’t have much variety outside of their hog (pork) rolls, so this isn’t a great place to take your vegetarian (or more squeamish) friends– they even have an entire roast pig displayed in their windows.
But if you love pulled pork, you’ll dig this place. If you’ve got friends visiting from out of Scotland who want to try haggis, too, they’ll even put a bit into the hog roll (which is a much better option than ordering a plate of haggis anywhere else).
2. Sangster’s, Elie
Michelin starred Sangster’s is the perfect way to end a day exploring nearby Leven. The husband-wife culinary team has a nice, more affordable set menu starting at £22 for set lunches and from £30-40 on set dinners depending on the amount of courses you’d like.
Sangster’s also serves some nice traditional Scottish fare, so it’s the perfect place to take your parents to when they’re in town for some seared Ross-shire scallops or Isle of Mull & Tobermory matured cheddar cheese to prove just how Scottish you’ve become (this goes especially for the Americans).
3. Annapurna Gurkha’s, Kirkaldy
You can get to Kirkcaldy a few minutes by train from Leuchars for even just a little dinner out of town (and to get away from seeing your ex).
Serving traditional Nepalese and Indian fare, it’s a pretty good option for ethic food, and sports serious TripAdvisor bling after it won their coveted Certificate of Excellence award. If you’re craving some curry and tandoori dishes, you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for here.
4. Craig Millar at 16 West End, St Monans
One of the most beautiful restaurants with one of the best views ever doesn’t even scrape the top ten reasons to eat at 16 West End. This restaurant was written about and raved by the Scotsman, which said “the ingredients that have made it [a] rip-roaring success are still in place.”
Focusing primarily on locally harvested seafood, the restaurant was recently re-opened two years ago after a remodeling and renamed after it’s longtime executive chef Craig Millar. You won’t be disappointed– Millar has previously been named the Seafood Chef of the Year, and sets a stellar menu.
5. Burgers and Beers Grillhouse, Edinburgh
I know, I know. I was beginning to sound like your mother when I was going on about those fancy Michelin starred restaurants with their fancy chefs and awards. But don’t fret. Now that we’ve covered where to take your parents out when they’re in town, let’s get down to the seriously good stuff– the burgers and the beer.
Both of which this grill house does a seriously good job at preparing. Order a sky high piled burger with all the goodies (you can even make a custom burger if you want) along with their nice selection of beers, ales, and ciders, seconds away from St. Giles on the Royal Mile. My friends and I have tried, tested, and love this place. Make sure to get the mac and cheese fritters on your burger. You’ll melt.
6. The Pantry Edinburgh, Edinburgh
The best part of the day is breakfast. The Pantry helps make it so good. Feast on avocado toast with poached eggs, order a macchiato and watch the world go by, or pick a sugar coated pastry.
You can’t go wrong. If you’re willing to make the regular trip out, you can even get on the mailing list for their monthly supper club parties to share a nice meal and meet new people.
7. Sol y Sombra Tapas Bar, Dundee
We love to hate on Dundee, but admittedly, there are a dearth of tapas bars in St Andrews, and this is a problem the Sol y Sombra Tapas Bar (unfortunately) located in Dundee can help out with. While it’s probably a good idea to drop hints that they move to St Andrews with the manager/owner while you’re there, you may not run into much luck on that front, so just move on to enjoying your well deserved tapas.
#Spoon Tip: Please don’t actually drop hints that they should move to St Andrews. We are joking. Don’t be that guy.
8. The Cellar, Anstruther
This forward thinking restaurant embodies the weird and the wonderful worthy of any new fusion hipster hangout from New York to Tokyo, and we totally dig it.
With dishes from their trademark oyster tempura to their seriously fatty Scottish angus (which comes in an undercooked block, of all things)– it’s every foodie’s absolute dream, and total Instagram gold as well.
9. St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese, Pittenweem
Perfect for a wine and cheese tasting or a light lunch in the country, this place embodies what is seriously good about Scotland and is worth a trip in the sunshine or in the rain.
Their “Anster” cheese is homemade and you can even watch the cheese being made if you go the right time of the year! Their coffee shop, the Butterpat, has amazing views of the Firth of Forth.
10. Anstruther Fish Bar, Anstruther
No trip to Anstruther is complete without a visit to the famous Anstruther Fish Bar. A favorite stop for tired Fife Coastal Path walkers, this iconic restaurant is not only picturesque but also has some of the best fish and chips in Scotland (but is it better than Tailend or Cromars? You decide.).
11. Cocoa Tree Cafe, Pittenweem
A little chocolaterie and cafe located in the heart of Fife, the Cocoa Tree Cafe is the brainchild of the Pittenweem Chocolate Company, and boy is it good… Enchanting and a perfect place for afternoon tea and pastries with your besties, it’s the perfect day getaway and beautifully paired with a short coastal walk.
12. Bruach Bar and Restaurant, Dundee
The Bruach may possibly have the coolest cocktails out there. Seriously, as good as The Adamson, or even better.
Am I for real? Guess you’ll have to go out to Dundee and see for yourself, but I’ll let you in on a tip: if you go, book a cocktail making class (£25 for 90 minutes and 3 drinks, or £30 for 2 hours and 4 drinks). You’ll seriously wow your friends at the next flat party with your sweet new skills.
Who’s down for a road trip?