When days are grey — and they often are in Scotland — it’s the little things that add a smile, like a fluffy stack of chocolate chip pancakes or a perfectly poached egg. As the most important meal, there’s no need to skip breakfast. Think of it as a warm hug in food form! Start the day right with our foodie guide to Dundee’s most raved-about brunching spots.
Cafe, Coffee Shop, British, $$$
Courtesy of Pacamara Food and Drink
Forget the design city status and cool things to do, Pacamara is reason enough to visit Dundee! This stunner of a café puts out gourmet flavours without the mind-numbing pomp. And breakfast is their forte! Fresh, inventive dishes adorn the menu, which more than often, showcases contemporary takes on the classics like peach melba French toast or toasted brioche with free-range poached eggs, sautéed mushrooms and tarragon. Easy vibes, chic chandeliers, world-class eats and to-die-for hash browns.
A trendy home away from home, The Bach’s hip industrial essence complements the ultra-laid-back feel and no-fuss mentality. This bar bistro pays homage to New Zealand, with its Kiwi roots extending to the food and name — Bach (pronounced batch) is a Kiwi term for a holiday getaway home of sorts. Craft coffee meets rock star flavours and moreish brunches, while breakfast options span from trusty go-to picks like Eggs Benedict and beans on toast; to more unique riffs on classics, like Eggs Hebridean, kedgeree, corn fritters and coconut and lime waffles.
There’s something about local neighbourhood cafés that larger alternatives can’t replicate. Parlour Cafe is a cheerful homey eatery with consistently delicious homemade food and great coffee. The breakfast is always just what the doctor ordered, with knock-out tastes garnishing all the old classics. Seasonal produce reigns supreme while the veggie and gluten-free options hit the spot. Parlour’s cult following is a testament to its food.
An independent eatery serving up the perfect blend of healthy and happy, Avery & Co. lives up to its motto of ‘natural, delicious and nutritious’. The light, airy atmosphere makes a fine setting for the dynamic menu, which caters to all kinds, with vegan, veggie and gluten-free picks also up for grabs. Beautifully executed, the elevated dishes do breakfast justice whether it’s the breakfast burrito, breakfast bruschetta on toasted sourdough, or the full-works waffles with a dash of siracha. Filled with fully-licensed fun, the Dundee Marmalade Mojito makes the perfect brunch accompaniment. Thumbs up.
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Talk about a restaurant with a view! Adorned with floor to ceiling windows and pops of charming red brick, Bridgeview Station is housed within an old Victorian railway station, with panoramic vistas sweeping across the Tay estuary. This family-run gastro café boasts fine dining-quality food served in a clean, unpretentious manner. Locally sourced ingredients flourish in noteworthy dishes. The breakfast menu includes the Scottish classics, from hearty filled rolls to the Scots breakfast and homemade granola. Sublime scrambled eggs.
A popular studenty pick with stand-out flair, Braes is a Scandi-style bar suited and booted with lashings of wood. Strategically placed a stone’s throw from the main Dundee Uni campus, drinks range from craft beers to coffee and cocktails. The all-day breakfast menu is the show-stealer though. With plenty of table space to spare, friends can stock up on the American-style chocolate pancake stacks smothered in Nutella, mushroom and egg bagels and of course, the full Scottish with all the trimmings.
Less about food and more about the mind-set, Forgan’s basks on the fringes of Dundee in the charming suburb of Broughty Ferry. From the same minds behind the original St Andrews sibling, this adored eatery champions local artisans and sustainable agriculture. And the result is magic. Good, honest food displayed in elevated dishes that sing to the soul in a gorgeous setting aglow with hanging ceiling lanterns. The everyday brunch menu is simple yet spot on — think filled rolls, full-works fry-ups, poached eggs on muffins and of course, the quintessential French toast with bacon and maple syrup.
The brainchild of leading Scottish independent brewer Innis & Gunn, The Beer Kitchen is one in a million. Stylish digs boast a cool Scandi-Scots essence, successfully setting the tone for the innovative dishes, which are designed to complement Innis & Gunn beers. Both the breakfast and brunch menus are a force to be reckoned with, thanks to stars like the full works, toasted brioche overflowing with tasty fillings, blueberry waffles and the Arbroath Smokie open omelette. The dreamy beer marmalade is made from local Dundee preserve and Innis & Gunn’s oak-aged IPA.