Many foodies are aware that Scotland, specifically the Scottish Highlands, is a major destination for fine dining restaurants. The dining scene in the highlands has developed over the years and this has seen many restaurants in the area included in the Michelin Guide.
So, if you’re in the Scottish highlands and want to enjoy dinner at Michelin restaurants, there is much to choose from. Check out our reviews of the Michelin-guide restaurants in the highlands and discover the best food that Scotland has to offer across many different cuisines.
Loch Bay, Isle of Skye
This 1 Michelin star restaurant is situated on the Isle of Skye and is run by the husband and wife duo Micheal and Laurence Smith. Michael previously worked as a chef in classical restaurants and this is reflected in Loch Bay’s dishes.
Loch Bay’s food can be described as Scottish with French influences. Clearly, this culinary tactic has been successful given Loch Bay’s reputation.
It is especially known for its seafood dishes, which are in abundance given the restaurant’s proximity to the sea and access to fresh fish. Besides the food itself, Loch Bay’s atmosphere has also earned it many fans. The restaurant features Harris Tweed chairs and wood-burning stoves which create a homely and comfortable feel.
Three Chimneys & The House Over-By, Isle of Skye
Another product of the Isle of Skye (making it one of the top culinary islands), Three Chimneys & The House Over-By is known for its use of local produce. It overlooks Loch Dunvegan and its serene setting is perfect for guests looking to get away.
Just like the other Isle of Skye establishments, Three Chimneys is renowned for its seafood and other high-quality foods which can come at a steep cost. Interestingly, this quality has been maintained even with the establishment coming under new management.
This came after its previous owners, a married couple, sold it to the Wee Hotel Group back in 2019.
Cross at Kingussie, Kingussie
While Cross at Kingussie is part of a larger hotel establishment, it is more famous as a restaurant. In fact, the chefs at Cross at Kingussie describe it as being more of a restaurant with rooms. Needless to say, customers can expect an explosion of flavour in this notoriously intimate restaurant.
The building it sits in is a former tweed mill and offers a two and three-course menu, as well as its famous tasting menu. Some popular options on the menu include duck, lamb, wild sea bass, and a horde of roasted local vegetables.
All these are served with a generous selection of wine and a truly unique atmosphere.
Applecross Inn, Applecross
Applecross Inn is a Michelin guide restaurant that delivers an authentic Scottish experience. The produce served is sourced locally from all over the country and comes together to create a truly diverse menu.
Besides the staple starters, mains, and desserts, Applecross Inn also has a seasonal menu. These can be enjoyed either inside the inn or outside depending on the time of year. Besides the food itself, Applecross Inn has a renowned selection of whisky, beer and gin. These are served at its pub-style bars.
Anyone visiting this Michelin-guide restaurant can expect not only a unique food experience but also a great ambience. The inn is located in the village of Applecross, which is in the North West Highlands of Scotland. It boasts incredible sea views of the isles of Raasay and Skye.
Should you choose to lodge in the rooms at the hotel, you’ll get daily breakfast and even more of these views throughout the day.
Edinbane Inn, Isle of Skye
Edinbane Inn is not only one of the most popular hotels on the Isle of Skye but home to one of its top restaurants as well. Some of its staple dishes include seafood like squid and mussels, burgers, pies, and pasta. All cooking in the establishment is done with local and nationally-sourced ingredients so you can be sure everything on your plate is fresh.
Head chef Calum Montgomery has crafted a menu inspired by Scottish culture and the food speaks for itself.
The Edinbane Inn is also famous for baking its own bread on site every day and it has seen food lovers travel far and wide for a taste. In fact, booking a table at the Edinbane Inn needs to be done at least two weeks in advance for non-residents.
Garden Cafe, Nairn
While Garden Cafe is in Boath House at Nairn, it is actually an extension of the Sessions Arts Club in London. This beautiful restaurant is on the 16-acre grounds of a Georgian mansion, with the garden supplying some of its ingredients.
According to the Michelin guide, the restaurant serves ‘unfussy, European-influenced dishes’ and is perfect for diners looking to eat a simple, refined lunch. Its wood-fired oven and garden surroundings also make it seem more like something out of a fairytale than one of the world-famous fine dining restaurants.
Building on the legacy of its London establishment, Garden Cafe has certainly earned its place among the Michelin-guide restaurants.
The Dipping Lugger, Ullapool
One of the top Michelin-guide restaurants in Scotland, the Dipping Lugger is both a hotel and a fine dining restaurant. It sits on the shore of Loch Broom and provides an exquisite view of the mountains.
In terms of food, the restaurant has a tasting menu for both lunch and dinner. A major part of this menu is seafood, which is sourced locally. At the head of the restaurant is Chef David Smith, who has worked at many renowned restaurants. The wine selection at the restaurant is also top-of-the-line and contributes to its appeal.
While it is a newer fine dining restaurant, only opening in 2021, it has already achieved acclaim within the food scene.
Coruisk House, Isle of Skye
Another Michelin-guide restaurant on the Isle of Skye, Coruisk House is considered one of the best on the island. In fact, some foodies have deemed it the absolute best in all of Scotland.
Like others on the isle, Coruisk House offers seafood, meats, and vegetables that are sourced locally. The bread they serve is also made on-site by a member of staff. But what is unique about Coruisk House is that it doesn’t adhere to a traditional menu. Instead, the menu changes every day and tends to reflect seasonal offerings.
This means that no visit to Coruisk House is the same as the last and you never quite know what the restaurant will serve. Needless to say, Coruisk House is perfect for foodies with more adventurous tastes.
Scorrybreac, Isle of Skye
While many foodies would be excited to eat at this Michelin-guide restaurant, it is notoriously exclusive, having only eight tables in total. Scorrybreac is named after its head chef’s parents’ home and has breathtaking mountain views and a harbour below.
Its location has an immense effect on its menu, with the meat being sourced locally and the seafood coming from the harbour. Above the restaurant is the bar, with an extensive drink selection which includes whisky, cocktails, and wine.
For many visitors, having a glass of their favourite drink while taking in the mountain views is a perfect end to a Scorrybreac trip.
'Seasgair’ by Michel Roux Jr, Fort William
Translated as ‘warm and cosy’ in the Gaelic language, Seasgair is located in Fort William and is truly a five-star (or in this case, Michelin guide) experience. It is the brainchild of Michel Roux Jr, a famous chef who is no stranger to having Michelin guide restaurants. The meals, based on a five-course menu, are served across several rooms in Inverlochy Castle and these are accompanied by musical performances.
A meal at Seasgair is very much an immersive experience filled with Scottish and French influences. You can expect to have all your senses engaged by the end of the night.
If you are ever in the Fort William area, this culinary experience is certainly not to be missed.
Rocpool Reserve Hotel, Inverness
Nestled in Inverness, the Rocpool Reserve Hotel gives easy access to the city centre and a fantastic culinary experience. Its slinky ‘r Bar’ offers light meals and a wide drink selection but it is its fine dining options that really stand out.
Some of its best menu items include beef, hake, and salmon, while its afternoon tea has proven to be a hit with guests. Its dining area is a vision of quiet elegance and is a staple of the Inverness fine dining scene.
The Scottish fine-dining restaurant scene has no shortage of incredible places to try out. From the family-run restaurants to the establishments attached to luxury hotels, any visiting foodie would be spoiled for choice.
Each restaurant brings something unique to the diner, whether it is locally-sourced ingredients for the freshest meals or views of Scotland’s best natural sights. These Michelin-guide restaurants have more than earned their praise and place at the top of every foodie’s wishlist.