The latest installment of Aberdeen’s festival of light, Spectra, kicks off today – and runs until Sunday (February 11).
There will be plenty of dazzling projections, sculptures and installations for all ages to check out (free of charge) during the four-day celebration.
And one thing is for sure, you’ll work up a fair appetite.
Here’s a roundup of all the food and drink spots located near the city centre artworks that I’d recommend visiting for a bite to eat during Spectra.
Dough & Co
The team at Dough & Co are aiming to make your trip to Spectra even sweeter.
Usually, the popular doughnut shop’s opening hours are 10am to 5pm daily. However, these hours will be extended from 10am to 8pm during the festival.
They will also be offering a limited edition Spectra-inspired doughnut, and a free ‘wonky’ doughnut to anyone buying a hot drink.
Address: 13 Belmont Street, Aberdeen AB10 1JR
Common Sense Coffee House & Bar
Located at Union Terrace Gardens, Common Sense Coffee House & Bar will be staying open until 10pm throughout Spectra serving soup and hot chocolate, as well as a special toastie and cocktail (both inspired by the festival).
Be sure to take advantage of the venue’s food offers, such as their £9 sourdough cheese toastie and hot drink deal.
Plus, you’ll get amazing views of the displays in the gardens.
Address: Union Terrace, Aberdeen AB10 1DF
Gio’s by La Lombarda
Next up, I have the perfect option for anyone after a heftier meal and/or Italian grub.
Gio’s by La Lombarda is running a special meal deal for families from today to Sunday, alongside its main menu.
With unlimited garlic bread and a choice of four classic pasta dishes with a salad, it’s a spectacular deal at as little as £11 per person. But be sure to pre-book by calling 01224 453801 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Address: 2, 8 King Street, Aberdeen AB24 5AX
There are plenty of food and drink spots on Upperkirkgate that are well worth a visit, including Mount.
The business opened its doors in 2022, and it quickly became a go-to coffee shop for a lot of locals.
While Mount is usually open from 8.30am to 4.30pm Wednesday to Friday and 10am to 4.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays, the hours will be 9am to 9pm until next week.
It’s also located conveniently close to some of the Spectra displays at Marischal Square and Broad Street.
Address: 6 Upperkirkgate, Aberdeen AB10 1BA
The Pig’s Wings
Just a short distance away from Mount is The Pig’s Wings.
If loaded fries, hot dogs and burgers that are jam-packed with tasty ingredients are up your street, then consider paying a visit to The Pig’s Wings.
I’ve stopped by on a number of occasions, and have left full and (very) satisfied every time.
What would I recommend? Without a doubt the steakhouse special loaded fries.
Address: 22 Upperkirkgate, Aberdeen AB10 1BA
Grub Fresh Food
A few minutes’ away from the Pig’s Wings towards the Art Gallery, you’ll find Grub Fresh Food, which will be open well into tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday evening.
Paninis, wraps, subs, sandwiches and salads are some items to expect on the menu, along with tray bakes, coffees and teas.
The ideal spot to stop for a bite to eat if you’re seeing installations at the art gallery.
Address: 59 Schoolhill, Aberdeen AB10 1JT
Do you love old school sponge? I’ll assume that your answer is yes.
Well, Upperkrust will be serving just that during Spectra, as well as homemade scones with jam and cream, tomato soup, freshly-made paninis, macaroni and beef stovies, chicken fillets, coffee, and hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows.
The staff know how to spoil us.
Address: 44-46, Upperkirkgate, Aberdeen AB10 1BA
Shot ‘N’ Roll
Speaking of desserts, Shot ‘N’ Roll is another great suggestion for those of you with a sweet tooth.
The Trinity Centre spot is opening late from today to Sunday to make sure you’re all kept fuelled during the festival. And there will be a special Northern Lights cinnamon roll available.
Deals include a cinnamon split for £5 or a hot chocolate and any cinnamon roll for £5.
Address: Trinity Centre, Aberdeen AB11 6BE
Resting Brunch Face
Resting Brunch Face is also located in Aberdeen’s Trinity Centre, too, and has quickly become a hot spot for foodies in the city.
In terms of the menu, think pancake stacks, filled bagel buns, full breakfasts, smoothies and coffees. Oh, and a few unique menu items including tattie scone nachos…
The venue will be open until 8pm every night during Spectra, so be sure to pop in by to warm up or enjoy a tasty treat.
Brunch for tea? Well, why not!
Address: Unit 10, Trinity Centre, Aberdeen AB11 6BE