Inverness the Food Capital of the Highlands

The River Ness at Night

If you love eating out you’ll love Inverness – the food capital of the Highlands. We haven’t counted them all, but there must be well over 50 restaurants and pubs serving food within a 20-minute walk of Inverglen Guest House. We couldn’t possibly list them all here, but what we have done is highlight some of our personal favourites. We do try to visit as many as we can at regular intervals (a tough job but someone has to do it) and if we feel they aren’t up to scratch then they don’t stay on our list.

A word of warning for guests visiting Inverness at peak times – the restaurants are incredibly busy! You will almost always need advanced reservations for a Friday or Saturday evening, and for some places, just about every night is a busy night.

Listed below are some of our favourite Inverness restaurants, cafes and pubs. Click on the name to go to their website:

Why not check out our current Top 10 Favourite Scottish Restaurants in Inverness


Best Inverness Restaurants Close to Inverglen Guest House (within a 5-minute walk)

We have 4 great restaurants within a five-minute walk of Inverglen Guest House as shown below.

The Heathmount – Telephone: 01463 235877. The closest restaurant to Inverglen Guest House (5-minute walk) serving an excellent selection of local produce. A great choice for those not wanting to walk far. They also have a great Gin menu and some great local beers. This restaurant has an online reservation system on its website.

The Fig & Thistle – Telephone: 01463 712422. Just a short walk from the guest house this charming small bistro is a great place for modern cuisine with an intimate atmosphere. Not only is the food excellent, but they are renowned for their superb service.  Not open on Sunday or Monday.

The Corriegarth – Telephone: 01463 22 44 11. Dedicated to producing a broad range of home-cooked food – from good old ‘pub’ favourites to quality, imaginative cuisine.

Best Riverside Restaurants in Inverness (within 10-15 minute walk)

The River Ness and Inverness just before sunrise

One of the great pleasures of Inverness is the River Ness running right through the center of the City. This elegant, fast-flowing river, provides a superb backdrop to a number of restaurants. 

Fine dining is easy to find with Rocpool, The River House and The Mustard Seed all warranting special mention.

The Kitchen (a sister restaurant to The Mustard Seed) is a specialist in all-day bistro type dining and affords those diners with a window seat some of the best views of the river and Inverness Castle.

The Mustard Seed  – Telephone: 01463 2202. A favourite restaurant in Inverness, right beside the river. Always a good range of local Scottish produce.

The Kitchen Brasserie  – Telephone: 01463 259119. Same owners as The Mustard Seed. This restaurant is right on the river with great views over the Castle.

The River House – Telephone: 01463 222033. Small intimate high-quality restaurant right by the river. Specialises in local seafood but has other options. Especially recommended for couples. Not open on Sunday or Monday.

Rocpool – Telephone: 01463 717274. Excellent food and highly popular restaurant in a prime location right by the river. Not open on Sundays. This restaurant has an online reservation system on its website.

Tiger on the Wall: Telephone:01463 232765 / 07496 769905. Situated next to St Andrew’s Cathedral on the banks or River Ness. Tiger on the Wall is a pop-up restaurant that brings you classic Indian and Oriental dishes, two very popular cuisines of Asia. Our authentic dishes, full of exotic spices and flavors, are prepared with the freshest of produce. We hope you enjoy our mouth-watering meals that will spice up your life! Open for dining 7 days a week from 5:00pm to 9:00pm, Friday and Saturday: 5:00pm to 10:00pm.

Prime Steak & Seafood– Telephone: 1463 237377. Combining the best local ingredients with excellent cooking and a talented service team, Prime creates a divine dining experience. Located right beside the river this is a popular choice. This restaurant has an online reservation system on its website.

Best City Centre Restaurants in Inverness (within 10-15 minute walk)

Inverness City centre has a superb and varied range of restaurants. Just take a walk around and take a look at what is on offer and we defy you not to find somewhere that fits perfectly with what you want. We have no idea why Inverness should have developed such a great restaurant scene, but it has and we think you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere of comparable size that can offer the diversity and quality of food that is on offer in Inverness. Enjoy! And make sure you have a spare notch or 2 on your belt.

Urquhart’s  – Tel: 01463 233373. Urquhart’s is a smaller restaurant that is one of our favourite places for a casual meal. Portions are generous so take an appetite. Not open on Mondays.

Cafe 1 – Telephone: 01463 226200. Another superb restaurant offering great Scottish produce. Named as The Best Independent Restaurant in Inverness at the 2019 Inverness BID Awards. Not open on Sundays. This restaurant has an online reservation system on its website.

The White House – Telephone: 01463 226767. Bistro and cocktail bar that is well worth a visit. This restaurant has an online reservation system on its website.

Aspendos – Telephone: 01463 711950. If you love Turkish cuisine you’ll love Aspendos. Generous portions and excellent quality.

Number 27 – Telephone: 01463 241 999. Some of the best pub food you’ll find anywhere. They also serve one of John’s favourite beers – Wolf by Windswept Brewery. This restaurant has an online reservation system on its website.

Sams Indian Cuisine –  Telephone: 01463-713 111. A lovely modern Indian restaurant right in the centre of town.

Chez Roux at Rocpool Reserve – Telephone: 01463 240089. Fine dining that combines Scottish ingredients with a French twist. A great place for a special occasion. This restaurant is a little way from the city centre, but still within easy walking distance. This restaurant has an online reservation system on its website (be careful not to get confused with the online accommodation reservation system).

Best Pubs in Inverness

Inverness has a vibrant range of pubs for all occasions.

Wanting a bar that has great music every night?Hootanany or Gellions may be the place for you. Another superb choice is MacGregors Bar which has music most evenings.

If a superb selection of beer is what you’re after, then The Phoenix Ale House, The Black Isle Bar or MacGregors Bar may be just the ticket.

Looking for something more in the cocktail line, then you won’t go wrong with Bar One, The White House, The Malt Room or Scotch and Rye.

What about great food – Number 27, The Waterfront and MacGregors Bar are superb.

Want to indulge in some great whisky? – Then why not try The Malt Room or The Angels Share – two specialist whisky bars that exude sophistication, They also do a mean cocktail and have some superb Gins.

All of these great places are worth a visit – but maybe not all on the same night!

The Castle Tavern – Telephone: 01463 718178. Pub with real ale and good food. The main restaurant is upstairs and the bar is at ground level. There is also an outside seating area (partly covered).

The Black Isle Bar – The Highland Capital’s premier Craft beer bar with wood-fired pizza oven. They also have a roof garden that is partly covered.

MacGregors Bar – Telephone: 01463 710629. For an authentic highland experience, you will be hard-pressed to find better. A superb range of Scottish food, drink and music. This bar has been named “Best Concept Venue” at the prestigious Scottish Licensed Trade Awards in Glasgow, “Best pub” at the Highland Tourism Awards and “Best New Business” at the Highland Business Awards.  Another bar with outside seating.

Johnny Foxes – Riverside pub that offers a wide range of hearty food choices as well as regular evening entertainment.

Number 27 – Telephone: 01463 241 999. Some of the best pub food you’ll find anywhere. This restaurant has an online reservation system on its website.

Hootanany: – Telephone 01463 233651 – Live music most nights and good hearty Scottish Food.

The Malt Room – The Malt Room is a cosy, intimate and welcoming place where people can come together to relax and enjoy great whisky. 

Bar One – Some of the best cocktails in town.

Gellions Bar – Pub with live music.

Best Cafes in Inverness

Inverness has a fabulous selection of great cafes and coffee shops. From the quirky Velocity Cafe to the Inverness institution that is Girvans, you will find somewhere that is right for you. If great vegetarian fayre ticks your boxes then Nourish or Velocity are the places for you. Indeed, any of the cafes listed below make a great place to chill out and refuel before continuing your Highland adventure.

Artysans Cafe – One of our favourite places for a light bite or just a refreshing cup of tea or coffee

Velocity Cafe (and bicycle workshop) – A quirky vegetarian cafe on the way to (or back) from the city.

Coffee Affair – Check out their fantastic range of sandwiches – we particularly love the Club Sandwich.

Girvans – An institution in Inverness and very popular. Bridges the gap between a cafe and a restaurant. Opens later during the summer for evening meals.

The Red Pepper – Great for coffee and sandwiches.

Nourish Cafe – “Best Vegetarian Establishment” Winner 2015 (Scottish Food Awards).

Restaurants near to Inverness

Although Inverness has a fantastic range of places to eat and drink, there are also some great places further afield. So if you fancy getting away from the city then why not try some of the following:

Benleva Hotel Bar & Restaurant – Drumnadrochit

Fiddler’s Restaurant – Drumnadrochit

Loch Ness Inn – Drumnadrochit (online booking available)

The Lovat – Fort Augustus (online booking available)

The Dores Inn – Dores

The Cawdor Tavern – Cawdor

Alangrange Arms – Munlochy

North Kessock Hotel – North Kessock

The best restaurants can get very busy so at peak times reservations are recommended. We are always happy to make reservations on your behalf.

Best Live Music in Inverness

Live Music
image supplied by Visit Britain

Inverness has a vibrant music scene, with live music available 7 nights a week throughout the year. For more information on where to enjoy live music just go to – Inverness Live Music Scene


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