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Food and Drink

23 north-east bars, cafes and restaurants that opened in 2023

My list includes everything from north-east bakery The Bread Guy to The Atrium, Ballater's Fish Shop and North in Peterhead. reports.
Karla Sinclair
Estabulo lights up in purple and pink. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson
Estabulo lights up in purple and pink. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

The past year has seen a line-up of new north-east restaurants, bars and cafes open their doors – to the delight of foodies.

From venues serving up fresh seafood to bars offering a host of creative cocktails, there’s no denying that we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to food and drink in the north-east.

Here are all the 2023 openings that The Press and Journal has covered. Be sure to pop them on your must-visit list.

Cammies

Kicking off our 2023 openings is Cammies, which reopened under new ownership in January after a £1.2million investment.

The restaurant had a two-month-long soft opening before the grand opening in March, and it is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Address: Cammachmore, Stonehaven AB39 3NR

Lobster and crab dishes
Lobster and crab. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

Aspire

Over in Portsoy, Aspire also welcomed its first customers in January.

Located in the former church on Seafield Terrace, the business is the brainchild of Jill Christine Mair who wanted to open a restaurant from the age of 12.

Aspire allowed her dream to become a reality.

Address: Seafield Terrace, Portsoy, Banff AB45 2QB

The interior of Aspire, inside a former church
Inside Aspire. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

The Atrium

Independent restaurant chain Howies boasted a popular eatery on Chapel Street that closed in 2020 as a result of the pandemic.

But it reopened in February after a change of ownership — now run by Ryan Clark and his family — and it’s fair to say they gave it quite the makeover.

Address: 50 Chapel Street, Aberdeen AB10 1SN

Braised shin of beef served with mash and veg
Braised shin of beef. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

Juiced

I was delighted when I heard that a new smoothie and juice bar was launching in March in Peterhead.

Mum-of-five Leanne Dalgarno kitted Juiced out with an eye-catching graffiti wall as the main feature, and it also serves smoothie bowls, milkshakes, health shots, frappes, and more.

Address: 49 Broad Street, Peterhead AB42 1JL

A smoothie from Juiced
Juiced launched in March. Image: Wullie Marr/DC Thomson

North

But the good news didn’t stop there for the Blue Toon in March.

Bar and restaurant North, based in the old North School building, opened with the plan of being a rival to the nightlife of Aberdeen.

Address: King Street, Peterhead AB42 1UH

The interior of North
North is based in the former Peterhead North School. Image: Wullie Marr/DC Thomson

The Fish Shop

The last Saturday in April marked the grand opening of Ballater’s restaurant Fish Shop, located in the former Rothesay Rooms.

The 40-cover restaurant was the latest venue of Artfarm, the company behind The Fife Arms in Braemar as well as London’s Mount Street Restaurant and The Audley Public House.

Address: 3 Netherley Place, Ballater AB35 5QE

Inside The Fish Shop
Inside The Fish Shop. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Estabulo

Back in Aberdeen, Brazilian barbecue restaurant Estabulo became the newest addition to the string of food and drink spaces in Union Square in April.

It incorporates a Gaucho-style of dining in which waiters prowl the venue with skewers of freshly-grilled meat, ready to slice off a hunk for customers.

Address: Guild Street, Aberdeen AB11 5RG

Estabulo in Union Square
Estabulo opened in Union Square in the spring. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

The Bread Guy

Thriving bakery firm The Bread Guy opened its fifth north-east branch, as well.

Located on Aberdeen’s Hazlehead Crescent, the team received the keys to the property in March and it opened a matter of weeks later.

Address: 5 Hazlehead Crescent, Aberdeen AB15 8EX

One of the directors at The Bread Guy, Gary McAllister standing outside the shop
One of the directors at The Bread Guy, Gary McAllister. Image: by Scott Baxter/DC Thomson

Fearless Coffee

Jumping into May, cousins Dmytro Yurchenko and Valentyn Tkach were a force to be reckoned with when they opened the doors to Fearless Coffee.

The business’ name is inspired by the Ukrainian struggle against the Russian invasion as well as the “fearless nature of locals in the north-east of Scotland.”

Address: 213 Rosemount Place, Aberdeen AB25 2XS

Carrot cake from Fearless coffee
Expect high-quality coffee and cake at Fearless Coffee. Image: by Scott Baxter/DC Thomson

Just Greek

Arguably one of the most exciting openings of the summer was Just Greek in Westburn Park.

Officially welcoming customers at the start of June, the main product is authentic Greek gyros. However, it also serves burgers, fries, salads, and vegan and vegetarian options.

Address: Cornhill Road, Aberdeen AB25 2DF

Just Greek serves gyros
Just Greek serves gyros and much more. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

Hot Sushi Bar

Also in June, we were introduced to Hot Sushi Bar. And yes, hot sushi is on the menu…

The business runs a takeaway and delivery service. However, talks have been underway with the council to open an outdoor dining area.

Address: 16 Esslemont Avenue, Aberdeen AB25 1SL

A selection of sushi along with some Kimchi and wasabi on a serving board
Items sold at Hot Sushi Bar. Image: Supplied by McLachlanPhotography

Dough and Co

The opening of Dough and Co in August was a welcome addition to the bustling Belmont Street, known for its lively atmosphere and a wide variety of bars and restaurants.

Formerly the Melt cafe, it specialises in fresh handmade doughnuts.

Address: 13 Belmont Street, Aberdeen AB10 1JR

Dough and Co in Aberdeen
Dough and Co is located on Belmont Street. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

Cookie Cult

Being a fan of all things sweet, I was equally as excited when Cookie Cult opened that same month.

Based in the former Cafe Orka, the 672 sq ft unit is set across two floors with the upper level featuring a display counter and seating for eight people.

Address: 12 St Swithin Street, Aberdeen AB10 6XD

Four treats from Cookie Cult
Cookie Cult specialises in loaded cookies and home bakes. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Heavenly Desserts

And the sweet theme continued.

Heavenly Desserts officially welcomed customers on Union Street in mid-August – becoming the chain’s fourth store in Scotland and 51st in the UK.

Address: 206 Union Street, Aberdeen AB10 1QS

Heavenly Desserts restaurant in Aberdeen
Heavenly Desserts on Union Street. Image: Cartwright Communications

La Casa Burrito

Since August, Westhill residents and visitors have been able to order a range of Mexican dishes — including burritos, rice bowls and nachos — at La Casa Burrito.

The food truck is based on Prospect Road at the Arnhall Business Park.

Address: Prospect Road, Westhill AB32 6UF

A takeaway box from La Casa Burrito in Westhill
La Casa Burrito is based in Westhill. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

Teenie & Stam’s Bar (TSB)

Over in Turriff, the doors of Teenie & Stam’s Bar (better known as TSB) were officially opened.

The bar hosts live music performances, streams live sports, and offers a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

Address: 12 Main Street, Turriff AB53 4AD

Cally Hosie, Christine Hosie and Mark Milne
Cally Hosie, Christine Hosie and Mark Milne. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

ShapeShifters

Moving swiftly on to September, we were introduced to ShapeShifters, a new cocktail bar and escape room experience.

The new-look venue features a large bar area and several escape rooms with different puzzles and difficulties.

Address: 15-17 Windmill Brae, Aberdeen AB11 6HU

A bartender making a cocktail
Try out one of Aberdeen’s newest venues, ShapeShifters. Image: ShapeShifters

German Doner Kebab

A space on Aberdeen’s Union Street became the ninth Scottish German Doner Kebab location this autumn, alongside others in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and Dundee.

Ever since opening its doors on Wednesday, November 1, there have been queues out the door on several occasions.

Address: 118 Union Street, Aberdeen AB10 1JJ

A range of German Doner Kebab dishes and drinks.
A range of German Doner Kebab dishes and drinks. Image: Supplied by German Doner Kebab

Shot ‘n’ Roll

Shot ‘n’ Roll opened around the same time, too, in the former Debenhams premises in the Trinity Centre.

The local brand sells freshly-baked and loaded cinnamon rolls — supplied by The Bread Guy — and specialist coffee.

Address: Trinity Centre, 155 Union Street, Aberdeen AB11 6BE

A selection of Shot 'n' Roll cinnamon rolls including Oreo and Biscoff flavours
A selection of Shot ‘n’ Roll cinnamon rolls. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

SugarBird Wines

SugarBird Wines, based at The Burns Pavilion in Union Terrace Gardens, finally opened for business too.

Occupying the pavilion’s two floors, the upper and lower level each feature a bar and table seating, while the lower floor is available to reserve for event bookings.

Address: Union Terrace Gardens, Union Terrace, Aberdeen AB10 1NJ

The interior of SugarBird Wines in UTG
Have you made a booking at the new venue yet? Image: Tibbatts Abel/SugarBird Wines

Pirates Pizza Shack

Charlie and Sam Reid, owners of Pirates Pizza Shack, expanded their business in November by opening an eatery on Fraserburgh’s High Street.

The brand has garnered an army of loyal customers thanks to its mouthwatering Neapolitan pizzas.

Address: 6 High Street, Fraserburgh AB43 9AR

Mr Reid stands with his arms folded to the read of his brightly coloured van.
Sam Reid. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson.

Shorty’s Cafe & Gelateria

Located in Aboyne’s former post office, Shorty’s Coffee Shop and Gelateria is the latest addition to the Aboyne food and drink scene.

The space offers a varied menu, including all-day breakfasts, light bites, lunch dishes and a range of sweet treats, including Shorty’s ice cream.

Address: Charlestown Road, Aboyne AB34 5EJ

Rocky road from Shorty's Coffee Shop and Gelateria.
Rocky road from Shorty’s Coffee Shop and Gelateria. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

Resting Brunch Face

The latest food and drink outlet in Aberdeen’s Trinity Centre opened its doors just a few weeks ago. Already, Resting Brunch Face has proved a hit with locals.

Based in unit 10, between We Too! and Clintons, the space took just two weeks to transform and boasts a capacity of 40.

Address: Unit 10, Trinity Centre, 155 Union Street, Aberdeen AB11 6BE

A filled breakfast bagel with fried egg, sausage, bacon and beens
A filled bagel bun. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

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