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The best places to eat, drink and be merry when enjoying the best of the north-east

The Bay Fish and Chips
The Bay Fish and Chips

The north-east is home to many bars, pubs and restaurants serving up traditional favourites as well as contemporary flavour fusions.

Whether it’s a romantic meal for two at a peaceful country house, or something a bit more energetic with tempting drinks and music, there’s plenty of unique spots to be found in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to create a memorable experience.

As part of VisitAberdeenshire’s Rediscover Your Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire campaign, we have rounded up a selection of popular eateries and bars to try out, as well as nearby hotel suggestions. But be sure to check for the opening hours of the business ahead of your visit.

The campaign – involving The Press and Journal, Evening Express, Society and Original 106 – also has its own dedicated section on the VisitAberdeenshire website, where people can explore blogs with ideas for things to do.

It’s no surprise that more than 80 north-east venues have been awarded “Taste Our Best” accreditation by VisitScotland, with many others appearing in the Michelin Guide.

For unrivaled quality food, diners can pay a visit to the Atholl Hotel on King’s Gate, Aberdeen, Palm Court Hotel on the city’s Seafield Road, Meldrum House, Oldmeldrum and The Highlander Café Bus by Aberdeen beach.

People needing a place to stay while in the city could visit Aurora Guesthouse, Great Western Road or Jury’s Inn at Aberdeen Airport, Skene House on Rosemount Viaduct, or Ardoe House Hotel and Spa on South Deeside Road.

But it’s not just exceptional food on offer in the region. Bars specialising in craft beer, whisky, gin and cocktails fill the city and make a perfect start, middle or end point to a trip.

For those looking for a true Scottish bar experience, the traditional pubs in villages around Aberdeenshire are the perfect place.

These venues include The Stack Restaurant and Bar on Dunnyfell Road in Muchalls, Fife Lodge, Sandyhill Road, Banff and the Station Hotel in Portsoy.

The city centre is a popular choice for those looking to experience the area’s nightlife.

The city’s granite mile – otherwise known as Union Street – and joining streets are lined with some of the best and most stylish bars around.

They are known for being the perfect spot to be entertained with stand-up comedy nights, live music and performing arts, from Fierce Bar on Exchequer Row and Soul Bar on Union Street to The Esslemont on Union Street Ma Cameron’s on Little Belmont Street.

Venturing out of the city, there are also a number of increasingly popular eateries and bars providing entertainment there.

They include The Lodge on the Loch, Aboyne, Loch Golf Centre, Aboyne the Banchory Lodge Hotel on the town’s Dee Street, The Bay Fish and Chips on Beach Road in Stonehaven, The Commercial Hotel, The Square, Tarland, and Tor-Na-Coille, Inchmarlo Road, Banchory.

Those looking to stay for the weekend to admire more of the north-east’s picturesque scenery and indulgent cuisine can stop by Cairngorm Lodges, Logie Coldstone, Aboyne, Downie’s Cottage, Tomintoul and West Gallaton Farmhouse at Stonehaven.

If glamping, camping or caravaning is preferred, then there is Aden Caravan and Camping, Station Road, Mintlaw; Ballater Caravan Park on Anderson Road in Ballater; or the Howe of Torbeg at Glen Gairn, Ballater and Ythan Valley Campsite, Smithfield of Ythanbank, Ellon.

For more information on the walks listed, visit

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