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Food and Drink

Top food and drink openings to expect in Moray, the Highlands and Islands in 2024

The next 12 months are going to be very exciting for foodies in Moray and the Highlands and Islands... reports.
Karla Sinclair
Krispy Kreme has announced the official opening of the new Inverness shop. Image: Shutterstock
Krispy Kreme has announced the official opening of the new Inverness shop. Image: Shutterstock

If you want a sneak preview of the food and drink openings to expect in Moray, the Highlands and Islands in 2024, then I’ve got you covered.

With the help of Press and Journal’s North team member Sean McAngus and his in-depth Planning Ahead content, I have curated a list of the foodie outlets that may be opening their doors in the coming year.

The list is varied with bars, coffee shops and chain outlets in the mix.

Playback Inverness, an axe-throwing bar

Many of us, including myself, have been patiently awaiting the grand opening of axe-throwing bar Playback in the Highland capital.

The Highland Council approved an application for a bar and two roof terraces back in May, and there was word that the space would be welcoming customers a matter of weeks later.

That still hasn’t happened. However, I have high hopes that we’ll be able to visit Playback soon…

Taran Campbell, who is opening Playback Bar on Academy Street. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

Elgin Food Market

The former Gordon Arms Hotel will undergo a huge transformation in the coming year, to say the least.

While the upper floors of the C-listed building are set to be turned into a creative arts centre, the creation of a community store, business units and a food market could take place on the ground floor.

It sounds like an interesting facility for start-up food and drink businesses. What do you think of the plans?

Marketgoers in Elgin back in December 2021.

Krispy Kreme

Back in Inverness, fans of multinational doughnut company and coffeehouse chain Krispy Kreme are in for a treat.

That’s right, it’s opening its own shop right in the city centre, on High Street. It comes after the chain opened a counter at Tesco Inshes back in October.

Krispy Kreme hiring Invernes
Krispy Kreme’s array of treats.

Burghead Coffee Shop

A potential food and drink opening in Moray will be based at Burghead Cottage, which has lay vacant for some time, in the form of a takeaway coffee shop.

Plans to transform the building were given the go-ahead in August. So now, we wait…

Floor plan for the coffee takeaway shop in Burghead.

McDonald’s

Fast food giant McDonald’s has earmarked a site in Aviemore’s retail park for its first venture into the area.

And while many locals were delighted with the new, others weren’t so keen…

A planning application has been lodged with Highland Council to erect the company’s famous golden arches sign at the Santa Claus Drive location, so we’ll have to wait for the outcome.

McDonald's logo
McDonald’s may be coming to Aviemore, folks. Image: Shutterstock

Café at Touchdown Memorial Home for Horses

Moray horse sanctuary Touchdown Memorial Home for Horses is building a community café and meeting place near its base at Mulben.

Set to be open specifically for an event or activity ongoing at the stables, the space will not only enhance the offering at the stables, but also support the work of the charity.

The café’s name is still to be confirmed, but I can’t wait to hear more about it in the coming months.

Chairwoman of Touchdown Memorial Home for Horses Frances Davies with Dave the racehorse. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

The Dunes Larder

Anne and John Allan MacLellan also have their sights set on opening a 24/7 farm shop at North Uist’s Balranald Campsite.

Named The Dunes Larder, it is said to be opening in the spring and stock produce from local crofters.

An architectural mock-up of a long, low building with black walls, a red roof, and a large glass sliding door.
Plans for The Dunes Larder. Image: Supplied by Anne MacLellan

The shop will use a vending machine system, where customers will be able to buy produce at “any time, day or night.”

Not only that, there will also be a space for other people to sell by hosting pop-up shops.

Four people sit in front of a tractor on a sunny day on a croft.
Anne and John Allan MacLellan and their son Archie pose with Countryfile presenter Charlotte Smith on their croft in North Uist. Image: Supplied by Anne MacLellan

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