Moray’s low rainfall and high sunshine records mean sun-ripened barley for whisky, good weather for fishermen, long growing season for kitchen gardens, grass-fed cattle and a host of other benefits for food and drink producers.
Moray Speyside is home to some of the world’s most famous food and drink brands, to more than half of Scotland’s distilleries, to smoked salmon, shortbread and much more. It is a region rich in food and drink heritage, with a strong sense of regional identity. With almost 30% of Scotland’s produce coming from Moray Speyside, it’s no wonder the region is known as Scotland’s Larder.
Whatever the weather, Moray offers something of a treat for foodies – wild salmon, seafood, venison and game, grass-fed beef and lamb, whisky, ice cream and much more.
But it’s not just the traditional food & drink on offer here. The popularity of craft beer and gin has not been overlooked in Moray Speyside. You can visit brands such as Speyside Brewery and Windswept Brewing, take a tour and enjoy learning all about the brewing process. Or why not visit “Against the Grain”, Elgin’s craft beer bar where you will find a whole host of Ale’s to sample.
If you are not a fan of beer, then don’t worry! We also have four fantastic craft Gin producers: Avva Gin, ElGin, Gordon Castle Gin and Red Door Gin, all of which are featured on the Visit Scotland Gin tour. Do you love a cocktail? Then pay a visit to The Dowans Hotel, The Copper Dog or The Drouthy Cobbler to sample not only some classics cocktails, but some unique specials too.
Moray Speyside is also home to the world-famous Cullen Skink, why not visit the Cullen Bay Hotel and enjoy a bowl of World Championship winning soup, it is guaranteed to warm the soul.
In short, there are some great places to eat in Moray, where the restaurants, cafes, bars and inns let the quality of the local ingredients speak for themselves.
Here are our top 10 places to try in Moray Speyside.
The Copper Dog
A great place for those who love a great pub. At the copper bar you’ll find a selection of beers from local craft breweries alongside the familiar favourite ales and a large cocktail list, full of delicious whisky cocktails. The Copper Dog’s food menu is strictly farm to fork. serving fresh, honest, local Speyside produce sourced from within a 50mile radius where possible.
The Bothy Bistro
A hidden gem in the heart of Burghead serving Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner or just Coffee or an Ale. Famed for its locally caught seafood, you will not be disappointed if you stop in for a bite to eat. With a specials menu that changes daily depending on what is sold from the boats at the local harbour that morning, fresh produce is guaranteed!
Bijou by the Sea
Bijou by the Sea is a coffee shop by day and restaurant by night. Proud of their use of locally sourced ingredients and home bakes, all dishes are made fresh on the premises daily, you are sure to be impressed. With a historical fishing harbor less than a mile away, this little gem will not disappoint, with lot’s of local seafood dishes on the menu.
The Rockpool Cafe
Set in the main square of the beautiful coastal town of Cullen, with free parking right outside, Rockpool Cafe is the perfect place for a stop off or to simply relax, sit back, enjoy the food and watch the world go by. Rockpool has a real fresh, contemporary and sea-side feel, and serve delicious locally caught seafood. However, we would highly recommend not leaving here without trying Cullen Skink!
The Dowans Hotel
At the Dowans Hotel you can choose to indulge in a 3 or 5 course Tasting Menu or choose a fine dining experience at their two amazing restaurants. Their menus are seasonal, reflecting all the fresh ingredients that are sourced locally and sustainably: whether it be venison and game from the Ballindalloch Estate, fresh fish from Portsoy or fresh lobster from Lossiemouth.
With a spectacular view of the marina, Harbour Lights offers something for everyone, soups & light bites, a large selection of main courses based on locally sourced ingredients, sandwiches, deserts and a children’s menu. And not forgetting the very popular daily specials board.
The Mosset Tavern
located in the heart of Forres in the peaceful setting of the tranquil Rose Garden and the Mosset Duck pond, the Mosset Tavern is a warming family orientated pub and dining room with a range of fine ales and excellent food.
Gordon Castle Walled Garden
Winners of the Best Eating Experience at the 2018 Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards, Gordon Castle Walled Garden offers seasonal Scottish dishes that are prepared with care using the finest local ingredients. They operate a Plant | Pick | Plate ethos to make the most of their eight-acre walled garden. Whether you fancy a coffee, lunch or a delicious evening meal Gordon Castle Walled Garden is worth a visit.
The Drouthy Cobbler
A charming and modern bar, restaurant and live entertainment venue in the heart of Elgin. With around 150 whiskies, 30 gins, real ales, great wines, coffee & top notch locally sourced food. Sourcing the best possible Scottish ingredients from independent local butchers, fishmongers and veg growers, the Drouthy Cobbler provides minimal food miles with maximum flavour.
Which will you choose?
Whatever your pallet, Moray Speyside has somewhere to suit … find out more here