Inverness has an outstanding choice of restaurants – better than most of Scotland’s cities. As well as the usual chain restaurants such as Zizzi . Brewer’s Fayre and Pizza Express, it’s known for its great selection of locally owned and managed places to eat.
Some favourites are listed below. Most are modern European/Scottish, unless it says otherwise.
There are a host of good restaurants on both sides of the river – a short walk from the station. If you eat early you can get there and back on the train but double-check the times as they do change.
Rocpool Just to confuse you there are two – but our favourite by far is the one in town on the river. We’ve never had a bad meal there. Interesting dishes, great service, brilliant produce. We love it!
The second is Rocpool Reserve. In a hotel up from the Castle, it’s an Albert Roux restaurant. Good but pricey and not a patch on the original one on the river in our humble opinion.
Contrast is the restaurant within the Glenmoriston Hotel and has a great view across the river. Excellent food and good value at lunchtime. Lots of local produce – venison, seafood etc, with a bit of flair. Has a big outdoor seating area.
River House, this restaurant, specialises in fish, and they really know how to cook it to perfection. As a bonus, it’s next to one of the oldest and loveliest buildings in Inverness – Balnain House.
Prime is a pretty good restaurant with emphasis on local produce – steaks and seafood.
Waterfront Pub is a gastropub with a great reputation. We’ve never been, but we hear good things about it. Reasonably priced.
The Mustard Seed and The Kitchen, two restaurants with the same owner on opposite sides of the river. The Mustard Seed is a fabulous conversion of an old building and worth going for that alone. In the summer, you can sit out on the balcony looking out across the river. In contrast, the Kitchen is a stunning modern building. Great food with local produce and everything from seafood to burgers.
There are some good places to visit in the city centre itself:
Café One Bistro is on Castle Street and offers good local produce, some direct from the owner’s croft. Their Malteser crêpe is a bit of a local legend. Lunch is particularly good value.
Fig and Thistle on St Stephens Brae has great value, Scottish food with flair. The staff are always great, and their puddings are exceptionally good.
Also, on St Stephen’s Brae is the wonderful Velocity vegetarian café, Cheese and Tomatin pizza and Little Italy – all excellent in their own way.
Sam’s on Church Street is the best Indian restaurant in the city. Great food, great service, great décor and Sam himself is a well-known character in the town.
Black Isle Brewery Bar, also in Church Street, has the best pizza and is a really friendly place – lots of shared tables, although now all socially distanced. They have a rooftop bar which is fun.
McGregors Bar at the foot of Church Street and Academy Street is one of the newest bars in the city and has good food and regular music. It’s owned by Bruce McGregor of Blazin’ Fiddles fame if you enjoy Scottish traditional music. Has an outdoor courtyard seating area.