The Best Bars and Restaurants in Fort William, Scotland

Ben Nevis Inn | © Bo Mertz/Flickr
Ben Nevis Inn | © Bo Mertz/Flickr
Photo of Alexander Crow
31 July 2017

Fort William is known as the outdoor capital of the UK and, after a hard day of walking, cycling, kayaking, canyoneering, or skiing, nothing beats sitting down to a good meal and a drink. Fortunately this town is well equipped to handle the influx of hungry and thirsty visitors, offering several excellent locations to refuel! Here are six of the best.

The Lime Tree

Boutique Hotel Restaurant, Hotel Restaurant, Restaurant, British, European, French
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Booking is essential at this hotel restaurant, as it is very popular — and with good reason. The service is exemplary, the menu is primarily delicious Scottish dishes with a French twist, using wonderfully fresh ingredients. The wine list is also highly praised. There’s no wonder The Lime Tree has won several awards.

The Geographer

Restaurant, Seafood, British, European, $$$
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The Geographer is still a fairly new quirky addition to the food options in Fort William, but has already gathered a number of fans. The food here is different to other offerings in the town with, as the name suggests, an international twist on locally sourced ingredients. The wines and beers on offer are also diverse and interesting, and the prices are very reasonable.

Brown's Restaurant

Bar, Hotel Restaurant, Restaurant, European, British
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Brown’s restaurant is located in the modern Nevis Bank Inn, at the entrance to the wonderful Glen Nevis. The attention to detail is spot-on, with excellent touches like iced water being delivered to your table upon arrival. Service is good and the menu full of Scottish produce, such as venison, Highland lamb, and haggis, all served in hearty portions. The drink selection is equally impressive. There are separate lunch and dinner menus and it is best to check whether the restaurant can cover breakfast if you are a non-resident. Booking is advised as this can be a popular spot!

The Crofter

Bar, Pub, Restaurant, Pub Grub, British, Cocktails, Wine, Beer
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This is a traditional pub that serves a wide selection of food. Breakfast is served until 12, after which there is a lunch menu until 6pm, then dinner until 9pm. Options may surprise you, as might the prices, which offer excellent value for money. With a friendly Highland welcome included, and live entertainment on offer, this is a favourite among both locals and visitors.

Crannog Seafood Restaurant

Restaurant, Seafood, British, $$$
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This restaurant is well named, taking its inspiration from the Iron Age dwellings that jutted out into Scottish lochs. The Crannog is a former bait shed that sits on a pier with enviable views and direct access to the freshest of seafood. The mussels here are especially renowned but the menu does feature options non-seafood too. The attention to detail here is brilliant and the fact that diners keep returning is testament to the excellent service.

Ben Nevis Inn

Hotel, Inn
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This is a legendary location in Fort William, nestled at the foot of the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, and is always full of fascinating clientèle. Many people pop in for a drink on their way down from Ben Nevis, only to stay for a meal after seeing other customer’s food (portions are not small)! There is a daytime menu until 5pm and an evening menu served until 9pm, although the bar is open longer and it is quite likely to be full of live and impromptu music, laughter and stories. If you are in Fort William this really is a place you must visit and you can even stay here in the bunkhouse.

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