If you’re planning a visit to Braemar (and the surrounding areas), then you can rest assured knowing that plenty of superb food and drink spots await.
From an award-winning chocolate shop to cafes and restaurants serving the finest Scottish produce – one of which is based inside a five-star boutique hotel – there’s something for everyone from dawn to dusk.
Here are the businesses to visit for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and everything in between) in and around Braemar.
10am to 11am
We’re starting off on a high with Bridge House Cafe. Yes, it’s one of the businesses to feature on this list that isn’t based right in Braemar, but it’s a great pitstop if you’re passing Ballater first.
The dog-friendly café is open from 10am to 4.30pm Thursday to Monday, and is among the list of must-visit north-east venues under the Watermelon Catering brand.
Breakfast rolls, filled croissants, pancake stacks and full breakfasts are on the cards.
Coffee and cake
11am to 12pm
Roughly 10 minutes away – towards Braemar from Ballater – in Crathie, you’ll find The Highlanders Bakehouse.
There’s no denying that the artisan bakery has a huge following. But please be sure to check the business’ social media channels regarding updated opening days/hours.
I’d hate for you to arrive looking forward to a freshly-baked pastry and coffee for the bakehouse to be closed.
12pm to 3pm
Also in the Crathie area is Tarmachan Café.
While it’s without a doubt a spot I’d recommend for a coffee and a slice of cake (or another baked good), their lunch/brunch options look far too good to pass up on.
Dogs are also welcome, so you can treat your four-legged pals to a treat too.
3pm to 6pm
Whether you’re feeling peckish after visiting some local attractions or aren’t after a snack quite yet, I’d urge you to visit Braemar’s The Chocolate Shop regardless.
Directors Dave Williams and Cathy Anderson handmake their chocolates, which come in a range of traditional and ‘out there’ flavours. There’s something for everyone.
If you have the will power to avoid sampling a chocolate or two while you’re there, be sure to take home a box to enjoy later.
Sticking to a dessert theme, there’s also Shorty’s of Ballater.
It requires another drive, but you’ll find a selection of high-quality ice cream flavours that will satisfy your sweet tooth.
6pm to 8pm
Moving swiftly on to dinner, you can enjoy hearty and wholesome meals – paired with a refreshing pint, cocktail or soft drink – at Farquharson’s Bar and Kitchen.
Located on Invercauld Road, the Braemar food and drink venue is great for anyone after a relaxed dinner.
But if you want a feast for all the senses, then The Clunie Dining Room – located inside The Fife Arms Hotel – is a must-visit.
Here, the finest Scottish produce is masterfully crafted into exquisite dishes that celebrate local, fresh and seasonal ingredients.
Dinner is served from 6pm to 9.30pm Monday to Saturday. On Sundays, you can tuck into a wood-fired Sunday lunch from 1pm to 3pm.
Clachan Grill is an option for those of you passing or visiting Ballater later in the day.
It occupies a converted steading by the River Dee with great views, cosy dining and quality Scottish fare. And there’s a bar as well if you fancy a tipple or two.
8pm to late
Speaking of drinks, The Flying Stag – The Fife Arms’ public bar – has plenty on offer.
Expect a vibrant atmosphere with live entertainment, and lots of local beers, Scottish whiskies, spirits, and more.