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What food and drink locals want to see in Peterhead (including Domino’s and late-night seafood restaurants)

Opinions varied when the Press & Journal asked Peterhead locals what they liked (and disliked) about the town's food and drink scene.

Steve Buchan of Vegan Bay Baker. Image: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson
Steve Buchan of Vegan Bay Baker. Image: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson

What do you like (and dislike) most about your hometown? It’s a question that many, myself included, use as a conversation starter – whether that be with friends, family, colleagues or someone you’ve met at your local.

To be frank, most of my interest lies with their views on its hospitality scene.

One place that I wasn’t overly familiar with (in terms of its food and drink offering) up until recently was Peterhead.

The Red Arrows display in celebration of Peterhead Scottish Week 2023. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

My curiosity peaked during Peterhead Scottish Week, and Google only takes you so far.

There was one thing for it – ask the Blue Tooners themselves on social media.

Is it controversial to want Frankie & Benny’s and Domino’s branches, or would they benefit the town?

More than 100 residents responded to our question: “Peterhead locals, what do you love about (and want to see improvements in) when it comes to the town’s food and drink scene?”

You can imagine my delight.

However, some suggestions did surprise me.

One person wrote: “Definitely more known brands – Frankie & Benny’s for example.

“Lots of local businesses try but usually don’t last very long.

“No more kebab/pizza/fish and chip shops!”

Frankie and Benny’s at Aberdeen beach was closed permanently in May. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

The Restaurant Group, which owns Frankie and Benny’s, announced the closure of 18 restaurants in May. This included its branch at Aberdeen beach, which was a blow for the Queens Links.

While one branch remains in the city, in Union Square, it does beg the question of how Frankie & Benny’s could potentially benefit Peterhead.

Other food chains mentioned included Five Guys, Wimpy, Pizza Hut, TGI Friday’s and Domino’s.

With Domino’s now considered one of the largest pizza brands worldwide in terms of sales, could it too help attract tourists (and satisfy locals)?

‘I can’t believe folk would rather have mass-produced sh**e than support a local business’, says one respondent

These suggestions didn’t sit well with some, who believe supporting independents is the way forward.

One reader said they couldn’t “believe folk would rather have commercial, expensive, mass-produced sh**e” instead of using their cash to “support a local business with local food”.

It’s likely the local is referring to independent cafes, bakeries and restaurants such as Lettuce Eat Healthy, Vegan Bay Baker, The Hame Bakery and North, to name a few.

Another respondent agreed.

They wrote: “Honestly, there are plenty of good local restaurants in Peterhead that people don’t use.

“It’s sad seeing people crying for a Pizza Hut or a TGI’s when we should be supporting local businesses that are producing way better quality food.”

Could a seafood restaurant prove the perfect catch?

The most highly requested suggestion was a seafood restaurant.

One comment – “A good seafood restaurant with views of the bay” – wracked up 34 likes.

This is something that Jenna Urquhart, who oversees the marketing and digital content at Amity Fish, hears “time and time again”.

Jenna Urquhart and Jimmy Buchan of Amity Fish. Image: Wullie Marr/DC Thomson

However, she says there are a number of businesses in the Blue Toon that serve delicious local seafood. The Dolphin Café and Mission Café were mentioned.

“We have recently added to Peterhead’s food and drink scene with the launch of Amity Seafood Larder,” adds Jenna, 38.

“It’s our own retail shop located in our unit at the heart of the harbour. There is a huge range of fresh and frozen seafood and a great selection of local produce.”

Peterhead food and drink scene is undeniably ‘more diverse’ than previous years, but the people want more…

Jenna, from Fetterangus, went on to say: “Recently the food and drink offering in the town has become more diverse.

“We’ve got the recently opened North, which prides itself on using local suppliers, and Vegan Bay Baker which has enjoyed a successful first year in the town.

There is a great combination of Scottish and Azeri cuisine on the menu at North. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

“There’s a new Mexican fast food takeaway, juice bar [Juiced] and Brew Toon’s new tasting room too.”

With that said, three people said they are after an Italian restaurant, while two believe there needs to be a late-night eatery in Peterhead.

A host of smoothies are available at Juiced, which opened in May. Image: Wullie Marr / DC Thomson

A wine bar, Turkish restaurant and Greek restaurant were also suggested.

“One day Peterhead could be a great town but at the moment we don’t have too many attractions or restaurants…” read one comment.

Vegan Bay Baker: The hot-spot that could pave the way for more vegan-friendly options

With that said, one person put the spotlight firmly on Vegan Bay Baker, run by Steve Buchan.

“We love Vegan Bay Baker so a vegan café or restaurant that is kid-friendly would be awesome,” their comment read.

Roughly 500 people visit Steve’s shop on Broad Street, every week.

Speaking on the matter, Steve says: “We [Vegan Bay Baker] bring choice to the local community.

Vegan Bay Baker butteries. Image: Supplied by Julia Bryce

“It gives people a sustainable alternative to all their favourite traditional bakery items.

“We’ve been told by many customers that we’ve got the best butteries in the toon, so people can have our produce whether they are vegan or just like the products.

“Apart from ourselves, there’s not much vegan options in Peterhead. We do struggle to eat out unless we head over to the Seaview Hotel in Boddam, which has amazing food!”

He went on to add: “We love being in Peterhead and bringing something new and different to the area.”