Customers who have sampled the culinary delights of the islands have had their say on the top places to eat and drink there.
If you want to get a sense of an area’s culinary scene, you need look no further than TripAdvisor reviews.
Below, we’ve collated the top 10 of all types of restaurants in the Hebrides, based on the number of five stars they’ve received out of all their TripAdvisor reviews from customers past and present.
Despite the Highlands and Islands being in tier 1 currently, these areas are suffering from a lack of tourism and footfall so several of these restaurants may be temporarily closed, offering takeaway only or operating under reduced hours so it’s best to check their websites or social media pages for more information.
You can look at the TripAdvisor list here, which matched up with the list below at the time of writing.
10. The Boatshead Restaurant
Address: 81 Cromwell Street, Stornoway HS1 2DG
Tel: 01851 702 109
TripAdvisor rating: 4.5/5 from 490 reviews
Profile: Located in The Royal Hotel, the Boatshead Restaurant is one of the top restaurants to visit in Stornoway. With a view looking out over the harbour, it’s one of the town’s best places to unwind with a glass of wine and take in the sights. With a menu filled to the brim with seafood and other local produce, it makes sense that the Boatshead is one of the top 10 places to visit on the Islands.
9. Sam’s Seafood Shack
Address: A859, Rodel HS5 3TW
Tel: 01859 520 444
TripAdvisor rating: 5/5 from 76 reviews
Profile: Based in a caravan on the A859 near Rodel, Sam’s Seafood Shack isn’t to be missed if you’re ever on the Isle of Harris. There is something for everyone, including pizzas on a Friday and an array of fish dishes throughout the week all served up in takeaway boxes so you can sample the local foods while taking in the beautiful scenery. The shack is usually open from 12pm-4pm or until they are sold out.
8. Uig Community Centre Cafe
Address: Community Centre Eireastadh, Crowlista, Aird Uig HS2 9JE
TripAdvisor rating: 4.5/5 from 123 reviews
Profile: Sadly the Uig Community Centre Cafe, despite being a popular place to dine, will be closed until April 2021, so customers aren’t able to enjoy it at the moment. However, all is not lost as the community centre itself is doing regular takeaway nights, information for which can be found on their Facebook page.
7. Hebridean Toffee
Address: Castlebay, HS9 5XD
Tel: 01871 810 898
TripAdvisor rating: 4.5/5 from 198 reviews
Profile: There is nothing quite like a bit of home baking and that’s something the Hebridean Toffee company does well. At their toffee shop on the Isle of Barra, they also have a cafe, which allows customers to enjoy a selection of baked goods, some handmade tablet, the occasional seafood and some hot drinks. There is also a gift shop so you can take some goodies home to your loved ones after your visit.
6. Castlebay Post Office and Macroon’s Tea Room
Address: Pier Road, Castlebay, Barra HS9 5XD
Tel: 01871 810 312
TripAdvisor rating: 4.5/5 from 148 reviews
Profile: Serving tea, coffee and home baking to the local community, Macroon’s Tea Room in the local post office is a great place to take a break or meet some of the locals. You might even be lucky enough to meet resident dog-in-charge, Spud.
5. North Harbour Bistro and Tearoom
Address: North Harbour, Isle of Scalpay, Harris HS4 3XU
Tel: 01859 540 218
TripAdvisor rating: 4.5/5 from 725 reviews
Profile: At number five on the top eateries is North Harbour Bistro, which announced back in the summer that it won’t be re-opening again until 2021 and that the team will be working elsewhere on Harris, meaning the normal offering from the Bistro can still be enjoyed albeit from a slightly different location. Menus are released regularly on their Facebook page, so it’s worth keeping an eye out if you want to sample some of their fine fare.
4. Skoon Gallery
Address: 4 Geocrab, Isle of Harris HS3 3HB
Tel: 01859 530 268
TripAdvisor rating: 5/5 from 452 reviews
Profile: Currently closed until 2021, the tearoom at Skoon Gallery is ever-popular with locals and visitors alike who enjoy looking at the gallery’s vast array of paintings while tasting some delicious homemade delights. A sample menu can be seen below for when they are back up and running again in the new year, and which also shows why they’re so popular – should we choose the Cranachan or the scones?
3. Harbour Kitchen
Address: 5 Cromwell Street, Stornoway HS1 2DB
Tel: 01851 706 586
TripAdvisor rating: 5/5 from 147 reviews
Profile: Having closed due to the restrictions back in October, the Harbour Kitchen is yet to announce when it will reopen but we hope it’s sometime in the near future so we can get back to tasting some stunningly-delicious dishes like these. With a menu showcasing the best of local produce they also have options for vegetarians, vegans and those with a gluten intolerance.
2. Uig Sands Restaurant
Address: Uig Lodge, Near Stornoway, Isle of Lewis HS2 9ET
Tel: 01851 672 396
TripAdvisor rating: 5/5 from 160 reviews
Profile: Another one of the Islands’ restaurants to have closed in recent weeks, Uig Sands is hoping to reopen its doors in 2021. When it is open, however, it’s undoubtedly worth popping in, even just to admire the stunning views across the sands and marvel at the amazing food presentation.
Address: 6 Pairc Niseaboist HS3 3AE
Tel: 07388 366 361
TripAdvisor rating: 5/5 from 93 reviews
Profile: Hosting personal catering services and a chocolate shop on the Isle of Harris, family team Chris, Nicola and Baby Freya have been wowing tastebuds for years and it’s no surprised they take the top spot on the list, especially since every single review they have on Trip Advisor is a 5 out of 5.
Though they haven’t been able to offer their catering services in the usual way, they have been putting together an array of chocolate-based goodies for all your foodie friends and family members to sink their teeth into at Christmas. Take a look at their website to find out how you can get your very own flavour at home.
More in this series…