As I have lived over a decade in Inverness, it’s been a struggle to pick 10 favourite eating places in Inverness, as I could easily have suggested another 10. Admittedly a couple are just outside Inverness but well worth the journey and clearly we are spoilt for choice.
1. Rocpool Restaurant – it remains my favourite of all since it never disappoints. It’s a modern Inverness brasserie on the banks of the River Ness with a lively atmosphere, exceptional food and attentive service. Reservations are recommended.
2. Dores Inn – 10 miles outside Inverness on the banks of Loch Ness, the setting for this delightful pub is stunning. Whatever time of year you go the scenery is wonderful. This traditional inn with slate floor and wood-burning stove is comfortable and welcoming and the choice of local food and drink is extensive.
3. Mustard Seed – a very well-known Inverness restaurant with a lively atmosphere. The building on the riverside was originally a church and then a book shop and has been transformed into a modern restaurant serving a European menu with Highland influences and in-season ingredients.
4. The Kitchen – in the same theme the Kitchen is owned by the same group as the Mustard Seed and has a similar menu and equally good standards. It is set in a modern glass fronted building on the other side of the river. It has a brasserie style and includes a pasta and pizza section.
5. The Black Isle Bar – my favourite pub in Inverness. This is a welcoming bar with big tables for groups to sit and a friendly atmosphere. They serve craft beer and organic wines. The beer includes stock from their own Black Isle Brewery. They have a simple menu which is mainly wood-fired pizzas with many local ingredients.
6. Girvans Restaurant and Patisserie – an old-fashioned cafe style restaurant in the heart of the city centre. Sometimes there is a queue to get a table in Girvans at peak times but it’s not for long and it’s worth the wait. It has an extensive menu offering good value and it’s open all day. Perfect for a coffee and a strawberry tart while you take a break from retail therapy.
7. The Fig and Thistle – in a central location next door to Girvans, this is a really friendly restaurant serving excellent lunches and dinners and includes traditional Scottish fayre.
8. Cafe One – this is a modern, exciting restaurant situated opposite Inverness castle. They specialise in serving interesting menus with local ingredients, including food sourced from their own farm.
9. Urquharts Restaurant – this is a family run city centre restaurant on a first floor. They serve huge portions of delicious, hearty food.
10. Oakwood Restaurant – about 4 miles outside Inverness on the road to Loch Ness and Fort William. This friendly restaurant with a delicious menu also has a gift shop. It does not have an alcohol licence but they are happy for you to bring your own bottle and do not charge corkage.