Surrounded by the freshest waters and prime fertile land, the Orkney Isles are a recipe for good food and the highest quality, locally sourced ingredients. Add the abundance of creative chefs, fishermen and fisherwomen and farmers, and it’s a match made in heaven. From superior seafood to innovative menus, enjoy our selection of the best restaurants and places to eat in Orkney, Scotland.
The Foveran is a winner of an eatery praised as one of the best restaurants in Orkney. With sea views overlooking the historic Scapa Flow, this family-run gem specialises in mouthwatering dishes by award-winning Chef Paul Doull that honour Orkney’s culinary traditions. At the heart of it all is a commitment to authentic, fresh produce – think lobsters, beef, lamb, home-grown vegetables and cheeses – and a strong bond with local suppliers, farmers, fishermen and growers. The result is glorious. Fresh bannock bread is baked daily using stone-ground beremeal flour from the Barony Mill. From the whisky and gin selection to the first-rate food, hospitality, views and sleek, airy décor, The Foveran gets our number one vote.
Helgi’s in the heart of Kirkwall is awash with old-timey charm and delicious dishes. Thought to have some of the friendliest staff in the whole of the Isles, this relaxed traditional pub draws upon Orkney’s Viking heritage with its wood-panelled walls and slate floor. The menu features quality home-cooked comfort food made from top ingredients and an impressive drinks selection, ranging from Orkney beers and cocktails to speciality spirits, malt whiskies and wine. When it comes to the quiz nights, the ambience is golden! Make sure to book a table in advance.
Another mainstay in the Orkney culinary scene, the family-run Hamnavoe Restaurant had heads turning from the moment it first opened its doors in 2003. Intimate and friendly, this tried-and-true eatery opens only during the summer months. The inventive menu showcases traditional Orkney fare, and seafood is the star. With a selection to die for, Hamnavoe is also a magnet for wine lovers. Due to the immense popularity and cosy, romantic nature, make sure to book a table in advance to secure a space. This classy wee spot, located in Stromness, is truly something special.
Effortless modern dining meets laid-back moments at The Commodore. This lively restaurant in St Mary’s, Holm boasts achingly pretty views over Scapa Flow and a well-stocked gantry overflowing with an array of Orkney beers and other tempting elixirs. The contemporary setting is welcoming, while the darts and pool table add an adored fun factor. When it comes to the food, the portions sizes are on point, and the plates feature beautifully presented meals whizzed up from fresh, bright produce. The tapas are a real crowd-pleaser, and the afternoon tea can do no wrong.
Situated within The Shore Hotel in Kirkwall, this restaurant has Orcadian dining down to a fine art and serves up a storm. The fare consists of fan favourites from the catch of the day, such as brown crab, lobster and hand-dived scallops, to tasty lamb, beef and pork dishes. However, the vegetarian and gluten-free options are just as spectacular. Tasteful tartan accents and effortless décor add the finishing touches, with the artful plates stealing the spotlight. This is the kind of ship you don’t want to let sail on by!
No visit to the Orkney Islands is ever complete until the Birsay Bay Tearoom has been checked off that list. This delightful baking icon is brimming with cakes of all kinds, light lunches and snacks. The home baking is the kind you write home about, and of course, all ingredients are sourced locally when possible. Dreamy views out to the Brough of Birsay and Marwick Head are the cherry on top, and there are even binoculars on hand to help investigate the coastline from the table! Located at the northerly tip of the mainland, this modern tearoom has something for everyone.