Spoiled for choice when it comes to fantastic places to eat

Visitors to St Andrews and the East Neuk are spoiled for choice when it comes to fantastic places to eat. I love eating out so it’s probably one of the reasons why I love the area so much. It’s been tough to do and there were some casualties along the way but I’ve whittled it down to my current personal top ten places to eat in the St Andrews and East Neuk area. These are the places I can’t help returning to again and again. Resisting their foodie charms is entirely futile!


Don’t forget to book ahead

Happily, St Andrews and the East Neuk are blessed with lots of fine dining establishments which are worthy of repeat visits if your wallet permits. Amazingly for a relatively small area as of 2015 it has three Michelin starred restaurants. Just don’t forget to book ahead. Here are my favourites:

  • No. 1: The Seafood Restaurant, St Andrews – Flawlessly executed fine-dining, with a seafood focus, and a fabulous wine list. Best appreciated on a sunny day or Summer’s evening due to its stunning sea views: the restaurant is basically a glass box sitting on the rocky St Andrews shoreline by The Scores. (Tel: 01334 479475. Mon-Sun noon-2.30, 6.30-10pm. £22 set lunch/£45 set dinner.)
  • No. 2: The Peat Inn, Peat Inn, near Cupar – Intimate candlelit fine-dining in the country with discreet service and a romantic ambience. Oh and it has a Michelin star as well. Best for a romantic meal for two. Listed in Design Restaurants’ 10 great restaurants to try in 2015. (Tel: 01334 840206. Tue-Sat 12.30-1.30 and 7-9pm. £16 set lunch/ £32 set dinner.)
  • Steak, The Adamson, St Andrews

    Steak, The Adamson, St Andrews

    No. 3: The Adamson, St Andrews – Still quite new on the St Andrews foodie scene but a restaurant which has made a big impression, not least because of its head chef’s Masterchef TV fame. Best for glamorous Saturday night dining with the buzzy atmosphere of people out enjoying themselves. Read my blog for more on why it’s so good. (127 South St, St Andrews. Tel: 01334 479191)

  • No4: The Road Hole Restaurant, Old Course Hotel – The only place I have ever travelled to by limo is all about American/ international luxury with Scottish produce, excellent service and unbeatable views of The Old Course, which is sublime even if you’re not a big golfer. Retire to the Road Hole Bar afterwards to continue the indulgence. You may never want to leave. Read my blog for more. (Tel: 01334 474171. Mon-Sat noon-2pm except not Jan or Feb. Tue-Sat 7-9.30pm. Also open for breakfast.  £16.50 3 course lunch / varies for dinner.)
  • No. 5: The Cellar, Anstruther – Fine dining in a very atmospheric and historic setting right in the heart of the East Neuk’s beautiful fishing villages. Reopened by Anstruther-born chef Billy Boyter and his family in 2014 and cooking up a storm already – so much so that it was awarded a Michelin star in September 2015. Read my blog for more. (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays and dinner only on Wednesdays. 24 East Green, Anstruther. Tel: 01333 310378.)


Get away from it all in the East Neuk of Fife

As a city slicker I love to get away from it all in the East Neuk of Fife with a relaxed bite to eat by the sea or in the country, preferably outdoors in the fresh Scottish air. These are my favourite places for doing just that:

  • Dressed crab, enjoyed outdoors at Crail Harbour Gallery

    Dressed crab, enjoyed outdoors at Crail Harbour Gallery

    No. 6. Crail Harbour Gallery, Crail – Simple al fresco snacks and lunches by the East Neuk’s most photographed fishing harbour with magical views across the Firth of Forth to the Isle of May (blankets are provided!). The dressed Crail crab and cakes are favourites. If you’re very lucky you might even see dolphins swimming by. You can definitely meet the friendly chickens and browse the coastal knick-knacks in the shop and gallery indoors to your heart’s content, while you wait for your food. Daytime only. (Tel: 01333 451896. 7 days from 10.30am. Closes for a month or so in Winter.)

  • No. 7: The East Pier Smokehouse, St Monans – Much like the Crail Harbour Gallery this emporium of simple, fresh local seafood is bang on the coast, this time on the pier in the East Neuk village of St Monans. A Summer favourite which is best in clement(ish) weather when you can sit on the outdoor deck upstairs and enjoy the sublime views. (Lunch and dinner. Closed in Winter except New Year’s Day. East Pier, St Monans. Tel: 01333 40 50 30.)
  • No. 8: Butterpat Coffee Shop, The St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company – More inland than 6 and 7 but still with sea views across the fields is this relaxed coffee shop on the local cheese farm near Anstruther, which I love for a countryside lunch or snack. This is where Anster cheese is hand-made and it is well worth trying in its various forms on the menu. You can browse the shop for some of the cheese (my favourite is the one with chives), great Scottish produce and local arts, crafts and gifts. You can also see the cheese being made in the viewing area. In nice weather the outdoor tables are the place to be, otherwise there is plenty of space in the light and airy interior with fantastic views to enjoy and displays of local art for sale. Expect to meet some of the Friesian cows whose milk the cheese is made from on the way in. (On the B9171 near Pittenweem about 3 miles from Rose Cottage. Falside, Anstruther, KY10 2RT. Tel: 01333 312580. Closes at 4/4.30.)


The perfect end to a walk on the Fife Coastal Path!

  • The Ship Inn, Elie

    The Ship Inn, Elie

    No. 9: The Ship Inn, Elie and The 19th Hole, Earlsferry – Cosy, newly refurbished sister pubs with excellent specials and a la carte pub grub and a convivial atmosphere in the East Neuk’s most upmarket villages, Elie and Earlsferry. The beach is the main attraction here and The Ship Inn makes the most of its beachfront beer garden with popular New Year and summer barbecues and cricket matches. It was awarded AA Pub of the Year for Scotland 2016-17. The 19th Hole (previously called The Golf Tavern) is located beside the highly scenic golf course. (Ship Inn: Tel: 01333 330246. The Toft, Elie.  19th Hole: 5 Links Road, Earlsferry. Tel: 01333 330610)


  • No. 10: The Dolls’ House Restaurant, St Andrews – Long-established Scottish restaurant in the middle of town – a St Andrews favourite and for good reason. (3 Church Square – off Church Street. Tel: 01334 477422. Brunch 10am-12pm from £2.45, Lunch 12-5pm, mains from £10.95. Afternoon tea 12-5pm £16.95. Dinner 5-10pm, mains from £10.95. Kids menu £4.95. Sunday roast 12-10pm £10 per person. Online booking available.)


        Just outside my top “ten” but still worthy of special mention are:

Rocca, St Andrews – Scottish cooking with an Italian twist with a head chef, Jamie Scott, who won BBC Professional Masterchef 2014 (The Links, St Andrews. Tel: 01334 472549),

Mammacita, St Andrews – new fun, trendy Mexican tapas and tequila restaurant and bar (Inchcape House, St Mary’s Place. Tel: 01334 470 500),

Craig Millar @ 16 West End, St Monans – fine dining by the sea in a particularly unspoilt part of the East Neuk (16 West End, St Monans;  Tel: 01333 730327; 3 course set lunch £18.00),

Anstruther Fish Bar – Anstruther’s famous, award-winning chippy, especially to sit-in for the full fish tea experience (42-44 Shore Street. Tel: 01333 310518. 11.30am-10pm), the

Cocoa Tree Cafe, Pittenweem – for its sublime hot chocolate, crepes, waffles and light meals (9 High Street, Pittenweem. 7 days 10am-6pm. Tel: 01333 311495),

Dunvegan hotel – for tasty burgers much loved by golfers (7 Pilmour Place, North Street, St Andrews. Tel: 01334 473105) and last but not least

Steak Barn at Balgove Larder, St Andrews  – as mentioned in my blogpost it’s a Summertime favourite (Strathtyrum Estate, Just outside St Andrews, past the Old Course hotel on the way out to Leuchars. Tel: 01334 898 145).

Happy eating!