Fort William is a beautiful city nestled between Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the British isles, and the shores of Loch Linnhe. This picturesque setting harbors a number of renowned restaurants, which showcase the fresh ingredients yielded by the surrounding land. We list the top dining spots to try.
Beer lovers should check out The Grog and Gruel; the restaurant has the largest selection of cask conditioned ales in the town and sources them from independent breweries around the country. The name of the restaurant sets a light-hearted tone which is continued in the relaxed ambience inside. The menu has something for everyone, from favourites such as TexMex and Italian cuisine, to more unique dishes such as their wild boar burger. To complete the Scottish pub experience, choose from a range of whiskies, including the local Ben Nevis whiskey.
Crannog is situated on the shore of Loch Linnhe and boasts stunning views of Scotland’s natural beauty. The restaurant began as a local fisherman’s bait shed and was later converted into the iconic establishment it is today. The transformation was motivated by a desire to serve the highest quality of seafood that the British isles has to offer. Dishes are designed to showcase the natural taste and freshness of local products. Try the typical Scottish dessert, Cranachan, which they make with Ben Nevis Whiskey from Fort William’s own distillery.
Boutique Hotel Restaurant, Hotel Restaurant, Restaurant, British, European, French
The Lime Tree adds a modern twist to the traditional dining experience common to the restaurants of the Scottish highlands. The award-winning food elevates local ingredients with originality, pushing boundaries in flavour and texture. As well as being a hotel and restaurant, The Lime Tree also houses its own art gallery called An Ealdhain which is Gaelic for ‘place for creativity’. Artwork from the gallery’s resident artists is on display in the restaurant and the dishes themselves are presented with great attention to detail and aesthetic.
With Britain’s highest mountain towering overhead, the Ben Nevis Inn is the ideal place to recharge batteries after some hiking. The rustic dark wood and stone wall interior complements the breathtaking scenery which lies on the other side of the windows. The menu features local delicacies such as haggis and Cullen skink at great prices. Head there on a Tuesday evening during summer for live music. Patrons are encouraged to bring their instruments along and join the party.
Located in the heart of Fort William, The Stables Grill is an accessible pit-stop for those who wish to visit the town. With a clear preference for Angus and Speyside beef, this steakhouse showcases local ingredients. Their breakfast menu includes classic favourites such as eggs Benedict or venture out of your comfort zone and try the black pudding. Either way, the high quality of the food here will get you hooked on Scottish cuisine.
The Scottish Highlands are renowned for their historical castles and Inverlochy Castle is a particularly iconic example. Dating back to the 13th century and boasting an enviable location at the foot of Ben Nevis, the castle offers a unique and unforgettable dining experience. The interior is as atmospheric as you’d expect from a fortress of its kind and the award-winning food complements the grandeur of the setting.
The unrivalled scenery surrounding The Boathouse makes the drive from Fort William worthwhile. If you’re lucky and visit during warm weather, ask for a table on the terrace for unrivalled views of the Loch a’Choire. The building itself is a converted Victorian boathouse as the name suggests and the rustic interior creates a homely atmosphere. The majority of the dishes are made with ingredients sourced from the restaurant’s walled garden, the farm on the Kingarloch estate or the surrounding waters, guaranteeing freshness and high quality.
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If you want a change from haggis and seafood, visit Sugar and Spice. This unassuming family business has grown to be a favourite among Fort William locals for its authentic Thai food. Curries and stir fries come with a choice of vegetable, chicken or king prawn, so cater for all tastes. The décor is in keeping with the Thai theme but remains subtle and minimalist.
For a lively dining experience, head to The Tavern. This gastropub constructs its menu around popular favourites both from home, such as the steak and ale pie, and abroad in the chilli con carne. The delicious cocktail menu, entertainment and occasional themed nights bring this venue to life at night. However, the Highland vibes are preserved by the rustic decoration which features traditional slate flooring and wood panelled walls.
The Glen Nevis Restaurant is full of historical photographs of the area, reflecting the management’s desire to showcase this beautiful part of the country both in the interiors and on the plate. The menu is built around fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Try the crispy haggis croquettes with chilli jam for a twist on the Scottish delicacy. The Glen Nevis delicatessen allows diners to continue to savour the rich produce of the Scottish highlands even after they’ve left the restaurant.