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Food and Drink

The food and drink to try if you’re spending the day in Elgin

Get stuck into an array of sweet and savoury delights in Elgin.
Karla Sinclair
One of the tempting tipples you can order at The Cocktail Joint. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson
One of the tempting tipples you can order at The Cocktail Joint. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

In my eyes, few things are better than witnessing the growth of a community’s hospitality scene.

Take Elgin, for example. The town has welcomed a string of thriving food and drink businesses including Humble Burger, Orrin and The Cocktail Joint, to name a few, in the past few years alone.

I touched on this earlier this week as my Town Spotlight series continues. This time, I focused on the Elgin food and drink scene.

Hearing from successful business owners and members of the public, the article touches on what they admire – and dislike – about the town’s hospitality offering, as well as what scran locals and tourists alike can expect to find when in the centre.

The list is lengthy, so I have also pulled together this guide on where to eat and drink if you’re spending the day in Elgin:


8am to 11am

If you want to start your day off right, then pop Symposium on your radar.

Open from 8am to 5pm daily, the menu boasts a variety of sweet and savoury options to tuck into for breakfast.

Symposium is an admired business in the Elgin food and drink scene. Photography credit: Emma Morgan

While there are bagels, sandwiches, salads and plenty of drinks options, I would recommend tucking into a pancake stack. My favourite is the dulce option – fluffy pancakes topped with a rich toffee sauce and whipped cream.

Address: Asda, Edgar Road, Elgin IV30 6YQ

Elsewhere, The Ditsy Teacup is another solid choice for those looking to enjoy the most important meal of the day.

Laura Scott of The Ditsy Teacup. Image: Michael Traill

Its extensive breakfast menu has something to suit all tastes as well as freshly-baked scones, tray bakes and cakes. What’s not to love?

However, please be aware that the café is closed on Mondays and Sundays.

Address: 26 Thunderton Place, Elgin IV30 1BG

Coffee and cake

11am to 12pm

Onto the fly cup – well, if your sugar cravings are kicking in that is.

MNM’s Cafe in Elgin is the second of two branches to be opened by family friends and business partners Megan Mclean and Nicola Mackinlay. The other is located in Nairn.

Both spaces dish out a range of mouth-watering home bakes that make it near impossible to narrow down your choice.

Address: Cooper Park, Elgin IV30 1HS

Bounty cupcakes and Biscoff and white chocolate blondies. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

When I think of Manna, the word vibrant springs to mind.

Regardless of whether you’re visiting the eatery for coffee and cake or a substantial lunch, you’ll be met with colourful and inviting treats and dishes.

Be sure to try one of the team’s fresh juices if you’re not a big coffee drinker.

Address: 5 Batchen Street, Elgin IV30 1BH

Partner and co-owner of Manna in 2020, Mark Russell. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson


12pm to 3pm

You secured your coffee and cake before heading for a galivant around the town centre, and now it’s time for a spot of lunch or brunch.

Badenoch’s reopened its doors under new ownership in March and it has been welcomed back by the community with open arms.

The venue itself boasts a tropical jungle feel while a string of local suppliers in Moray feature across the food and drink menus.

Address: 178-182 High Street, Elgin IV30 1BA

Badenoch’s reopened in March this year. Image: Supplied by Nathan Davies

Over at The Kirkie Bar, you’ll be able to try some top-notch street food dishes paired with an ice cold pint.

Launched by Danny Grant, Nae Bad Food has cemented itself as one of the most popular street food brands in the region.

Be sure to visit while feeling peckish as the menu boasts plenty of burgers and dirty fries with a few twists on classic flavours, among other dishes.

Address: 50 Main Street, New Elgin, Elgin IV30 6BH

The menu at Nae Bad Food features burgers, nachos and dirty fries, plus a few surprises. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson


3pm to 6pm

The Elgin food and drink scene wouldn’t be the same without its Harry Gow branches, located within close proximity to one another.

Hot breakfast rolls, pastries, cakes and biscuits – which are made using recipes honed and perfected over six generations – are among the huge variety of products available.

Harry Gow empire biscuits. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

Trust me when I say that their pies and empire biscuits are out of this world.


  • East Road, Elgin IV30 1XE
  • Edgar Road, Elgin IV30 6YQ

Back over on the High Street, you’ll find The Deli Next Door.

Sausage rolls are available at The Deli Next Door on occasion. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

Run by Faith Houlding, who also owns Elgin café Scribbles, it is aimed to replicate an American-style delicatessen that offers a full-range of meats, cheeses and baked goods. The shop also has a salad bar.

Address: 158 High Street, Elgin IV30 1BD


6pm to 8pm

The time has arrived when shop doors are closing and you’re keen to tuck into your final meal of the day, so it’s important to make it a good one.

You can stop by The Drouthy Cobbler from noon to 11pm Monday to Saturday and 11am to 11pm on Sundays. Plenty of opportunity to try the food and drink menus out, right?

Mac and cheese croquettes with spiced house ketchup and parmesan. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

The laid-back tavern serves seasonal comfort grub and speciality cocktails and coffee in a cozy setting.

Address: 48a High Street, Elgin IV30 1BU

Elsewhere, food and drink lovers have been travelling from far and wide to visit Orrin Restaurant & Bar since it opened its doors at the tail end of 2021.

A scallop dish at Orrin. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

It is another prime example of a venue where you can expect spectacular-looking and tasting food combined with a modern and stylish interior.

Address: 2-6 South Street, Elgin IV30 1LE


8pm to late

If you’re enjoying the Elgin food and drink scene too much to call it a night yet, then pay a visit to The Cocktail Joint.

Known for its unique selection of handcrafted drinks to suit all tastes, it is an increasingly popular hidden bar based in the heart of the town.

Traditional cocktails include a pornstar martini, margarita, bellini and old fashioned, while the Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Eton Mess and Kraken are among the quirky concoctions.

Address: 13 Lossie Wynd, Elgin IV30 1PU

A Breakfast at Tiffany’s cocktail. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

However, if beer is more up your street, then Against the Grain will prove your go-to.

The craft beer shop and taproom has been welcoming customers since June 2018 and continues to build on its reputation.

There are in excess of 150 beers to choose from and more than 50 single-malt Scotch whiskies on its shelves, so good luck with narrowing down your order…

Address: 25 Batchen Street, Elgin IV30 1BH

Against the Grain offers more than 150 beers. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson