Have you ever thought that your local area’s food offering was samey? I did back in the day – before Turriff (my hometown) welcomed some new and well-needed hospitality businesses to its centre that is.
Long gone are the days of soup, fish fingers and chips, baked potatoes and chicken goujons being the only options on the cards. Yes, for kids and adults.
All of a sudden, there was everything from tapas and authentic Indian dishes to cocktails and speciality coffees on the menus of both new and already existing restaurants, cafes and bars.
It’s taken me until today to fully appreciate how much the food and drink scene has evolved over the past decade. More specifically since Covid restrictions eased.
And despite not being raised in the Broch, I can really tell that like Turriff, it’s another incredible example of a north-east town that’s excelling on the foodie front.
‘For a long time every restaurant in Fraserburgh was the same,’ recalls local
Like Turriff, there are some Fraserburgh food and drink institutions that have stood the test of time and remain firm favourites to some members of the community.
Wimpy on Hanover Street, for example, has been on the go since the summer of 1964.
It looks like a lot of Fraserburgh residents agree with this, too – well, going by the responses to a recent Press and Journal social media post, which asked locals to share their thoughts on the town’s food and drink scene and how they would improve it.
“You have a wealth of diverse eating places in Fraserburgh,” one person wrote.
“From the freshest locally sourced fish and shellfish to local meats and veg, Fraserburgh covers all prices and all tastes.”
Another said: “We are just so lucky in a Fraserburgh to have good places to eat.
“Findlay’s Fish Bar & Diner is a real treat for seafood lovers, the Beach Café [has] good food in a beautiful location, and the Heritage Café [has] fine home-cooked quality and lovely staff.”
Special mentions were also given to The Captain’s Table, Peartree Coffee House and Bistro, Nooks & Crannies, Fair Stappit, Dunes Café & Coffee Shop, and Allanshill – located a 10 minutes’ drive away from the town – as well as the monthly producers market.
Dunes Cafe is open 5 days a week (Tuesday to Saturday) 10am to 4pm. Last orders for cooked food is at 3pm. Just turn up or ☎️ 01346 510693 to book or table.#fraserburgh #cabercoffee #freshlymadefood #afternoontea pic.twitter.com/mBxz9ZVhpD
— Dunes Cafe & Coffee (@dunescoffee) January 17, 2022
“It’s definitely improving,” says a resident, referring to the food scene.
“For a long time every restaurant in Fraserburgh was the same, and people would (and still do) loath trying anything new.”
Would you like to see a smash burger place in the Broch? Or how about a Mexican restaurant with cocktails?
They continued: “Personally I’d love to see an amazing smash burger place (like Aberdam, Primal Feast in Glasgow or Smashed JCT in North Wales) or something with a Latin American/Mexican vibe with cocktails (like Bizarron in Glasgow) but that might be too niche for Fraserburgh really.”
Some respondents emphasised the importance of supporting local, while others seem to want… you guessed it, chains.
“Give me a Starbucks and more choices on Just Eat and I’m happy,” read one comment, while another said: “What could be useful would be a Pizza Hut chain restaurant to bring people into town to sit in and eat.”
A restaurant with a kid’s play area, steakhouse and more breakfast options are also in demand, along with a venue serving fresh healthy food – which is what’s on the cards at Gumboots Concept Eatery (Gumboots), among many other things.
Gumboots co-owner agrees that there’s still room for more variety
Gumboots, located on the grounds of Lakeview Garden Centre at Cortes Junction in Lonmay, is run by Terri Crowther, Luis Fonseca and Livinia Price.
It opened its doors in July 2022 and serves “food that is of good quality, freshly-made at reasonable prices, and healthier with European and African influences.”
Terri, Luis and Livinia also aim to be zero waste.
“For the local communities in the surrounding areas of Lonmay, it [Gumboots] is conveniently situated for them to pop in for a coffee or lunch or while visiting the garden centre,” says Terri, who lives in Lonmay.
“For Fraserburgh and Peterhead, there is no other tapas restaurant in the area or somewhere that holds regular barbecues in the summer.”
The trio will be testing out various other eating concepts too, as well as introducing more vegetarian, vegan and healthy options to the menu.
In terms of her thoughts on the town’s offering as a whole, Terri would love to see even more healthy and varied restaurants.
Oh, and perhaps a new bar?
“For instance, a fish/seafood restaurant, a steakhouse, a nice Italian that serves good pasta, a Japanese sushi restaurant, or a vegan/vegetarian restaurant,” she adds.
“The list is endless, but I guess it depends on the local demand for these.
“Our regular place to go was Wetherspoons at the Saltoun Inn before it changed hands, purely because they served cheap beer.
“Most of the other bars in Fraserburgh are dire and not really our thing, but I’m sure the locals would disagree on that.”