The 10 Best Restaurants in Loch Ness, Scotland

Loch Ness is the perfect setting for traditional Scottish fare as fresh as you can get
Loch Ness is the perfect setting for traditional Scottish fare as fresh as you can get | © Scottish.Photography / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Jillian Ellis
30 October 2020

When you’ve spent the day hunting high and low for Nessy – aka Scotland‘s most elusive monster – you’ll be hungry to find something real. Enter, the best Loch Ness restaurants, where myth plays sous chef to hearty servings of Scottish food, and drams of whisky wash away any lingering disappointment on the lake shore. Better still? These particular restaurants have rooms upstairs, too, where hotel luxury blends with haute cuisine and your bed is only ever a short stumble away.

The Inch Hotel

Hotel
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The Inch Hotel
Courtesy of the Inch Hotel / Expedia
Set above Inchnacardoch Bay, the Inch Hotel provides some of the best views of Loch Ness. It is a historic country lodge hotel with classic furnishings and a maroon and mahogany decor which imparts an essence of class. The restaurant has won an AA rosette for culinary excellence. Focusing on modern Scottish cuisine, the Inch’s sea bass is a special favourite among regulars.
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Loch Ness Clansman Hotel

Hotel
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Loch Ness Clansman Hotel
Courtesy of Loch Ness Clansman Hotel / Expedia
If fishing is your thing, the Loch Ness Clansman Hotel operates four-hour fishing trips. Any fish you catch can then be cooked for you by the chefs in their restaurant. The trips are run by an experienced ghillie (fishing attendant), so even those without experience can take part. The restaurant looks out onto the loch and is very serious about sourcing their products locally. Guests can choose between a great variety of traditional Scottish and more modern dishes, such as the local haggis bon bons served with a whisky cream sauce starter or the main dish of monkfish three ways: nori-wrapped, beetroot-poached and panko-crumbed.
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The Dores Inn

Bar, Hotel Restaurant, Pub, Restaurant, European, Pub Grub, Wine, Beer, Fast Food, $$$
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Dores Inn, Dores, Highland, Scotland, UK
© Edward Dyer / Alamy Stock Photo

For fast and friendly service in an idyllic location, the Dores Inn is the place to go. On the shore of Loch Erne, this family-run business provides incredible views and a simple menu of traditional Scottish fare. In the car park, the Loch Ness Monster hunter (Steve Feltham) sells handmade models of the monster. Since he has spent a quarter of a century hunting Nessie, he’s sure to be able to answer any queries you may have!

Fiddler’s Highland Restaurant

Restaurant, American, Japanese, British, $$$
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For traditional Scottish food in a lively atmosphere, you can’t go wrong with Fiddler’s. Offering such wonders as chargrilled chicken on Highland haggis with mashed tatties, bashed carrots and neeps, the menu even captures the staff’s sense of humour and the general jovial atmosphere of the restaurant. With an enormous distillery library of whiskies available, the variety is truly astounding – there are whiskies from all over Scotland, such as Auchroisk 1977, Loch Lomond (Grain) or Tobermory 15YO. They have a number of American and Japanese whiskies, not to mention award-winners, too. Definitely the place to go for whisky tasting.

Loch Ness Inn

Inn
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Loch Ness Inn
Courtesy of Loch Ness Inn / Expedia
Winner of several Scottish hotel awards, Loch Ness Inn provides guests with the opportunity to meet locals and eat meals sourced in the Scottish highlands. The venison used in their meals is caught wild in the hills above Loch Laggen. Selling traditional Scotch dishes such as cullen skink alongside haggis bobotie – a Scottish take on the South African dish – customers are truly spoiled for choice. It’s only a five-minute drive from Urquhart Castle and within driving distance of Inverness, Chanonry Point (where dolphins can be seen in Moray Firth) and Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK.
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Rocpool Restaurant

Restaurant, European, $$$
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Rocpool Restaurant
Courtesy of Rocpool Restaurant / Expedia

For a more contemporary feel, Rocpool Restaurant combines international tastes with Scottish produce in artistic meals such as India-inspired coriander and chilli monkfish stir-fry with king prawns, tender stem broccoli and steamed jasmine rice with minted yoghurt, crushed pistachio and lime; or Grecian sweet pea and halloumi fritters with oven-roasted vine tomatoes, spinach and herb couscous and fresh tzatziki. Enjoy a wide range of choices for dessert, including vanilla crème brûlée or white chocolate and coconut cheesecake with glazed banana and butterscotch sauce.

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  • The Boathouse

    Restaurant, Mediterranean, $$$
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    Boat yard and tables on the shore of Loch Ness in Scotland, part of a restaurant called Boathouse Restaurant in Fort Augustus
    © Ashish Agarwal / Alamy Stock Photo
    Specialising in Scottish-Mediterranean food, the Boathouse provides more than the average restaurant. The setting is truly outstanding, as the Boathouse is literally on Loch Ness, with large slats holding it in place right over the water just like a typical boathouse. The Boathouse sits on the grounds of Fort Augustus Abbey, a 19th-century Benedictine monastery with an interesting though turbulent past.

    The Slaters Arms

    Bar, Pub, Restaurant, Spanish, Greek, Mexican, Jamaican, $$$
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    For a taste of more homely cooking, the Slaters Arms is a bar and restaurant with a welcoming atmosphere. Enjoy traditional Scottish treats such as chicken haggis in a whisky sauce with potatoes and vegetables or oxtail braised in red wine with potatoes and vegetables. They also serve food from around the world, including Spanish, Jamaican, Greek and Mexican. Seasonal dishes are also available, such as cullen skink – a thick Scottish soup made of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions – and seared salmon steak with potatoes and vegetables.

    The Lovat Hotel

    Hotel
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    The Lovat Hotel
    Courtesy of the Lovat Hotel / Expedia

    A beautiful Victorian building set in abundant cultivated grounds, the Lovat Hotel was first recorded as being used as a hotel in 1869. The owners strive for an eco-conscious running of the hotel, and as proof they use a biomass wood-chip boiler, and for every hotel room booked in the hotel they give 15p to a Trees for Life scheme. The restaurant in the hotel has won multiple awards in the last few years.

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    The Loch Ness Country House Hotel

    Hotel
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    The Loch Ness Country House Hotel
    Courtesy of the Loch Ness Country House Hotel / Expedia

    With gardens and an exterior that complement the Georgian-style interior, the Loch Ness Country House Hotel is certain to create an unforgettable experience. The staff are very friendly, helpful and genuine. The two-course lunch is highly recommended, and booking is essential. Afternoon tea and private dining are also available.

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    These recommendations were updated on October 30, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.