The 6 Best Restaurants and Cafés in Fife, Scotland

Fife's best restaurants and cafés offer delicious local dishes, from smoked fish to homemade scones and cakes
Fife's best restaurants and cafés offer delicious local dishes, from smoked fish to homemade scones and cakes | © Pete Titmuss / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Charlotte Barbour
Contributor31 August 2020

Separated from Scotland‘s capital by the Firth of Forth and surrounded by miles of coastline, Fife rivals the Lothians in beauty, character and – most importantly – eateries.

The birthplace of many historic Scottish monarchs, Fife is famed for its golf courses, beaches, market towns and postcard-pretty fishing villages. It also serves up a medley of delicious dishes, from smoked fish to homemade scones. Here are six local cafés and restaurants your tastebuds can’t afford to miss.

The Rhynd

Cafe, Contemporary

If you want to experience delicious homemade baking in a unique setting, the Rhynd is the place to go. Located on a single-track road towards Tentsmuir Beach, the Rhynd farmhouse and steading was built over a century ago. What is now the café was still a functioning cattle shed until the late 1990s, and you can still see the cows’ rosettes on the wall! Featuring much of the original stonework, timber and roof, the Rhynd offers a glimpse into local history, setting itself far apart from the popular coffee chains further afield. Find a cosy seat in front of the fireplace and enjoy the Rhynd’s homemade selection of sweet and savoury tarts, pastries and freshly baked loaves.

East Pier Smokehouse

Restaurant, Seafood
East Pier Smokehouse fish restaurant,  St Monans, Fife, Scotland, UK
© Kay Roxby / Alamy Stock Photo

Overlooking the harbour in the idyllic seafront village of St Monans, East Pier Smokehouse has become the East Neuk’s go-to for delicious fresh seafood. Signature dishes include hot-smoked sea bass, fish tacos and lobster with tarragon mayonnaise. The menu also includes a great selection of white wines and locally brewed IPAs to nurse on the restaurant’s (hopefully!) sunny rooftop. Due to its popularity, there’s normally a queue for a table, so if you come at the weekend be prepared to wait.

Kitschnbake

Cafe, Contemporary

Lover of eclectic furniture, cake and friendly faces? Kitschnbake ticks all of the above. Based in the small town of Newport-on-Tay, Kitschnbake serves up freshly baked treats to suit every sweet-tooth: from delicious breakfast rolls to what may be the best brownies in Fife. If you get there early enough, you might even nab one of the café’s famous oaties, a baked mixture of Scottish porridge oats, apples, berries and jam. With stunning views out across the River Tay, Kitshnbake offers a (mismatched) front row seat looking over to Dundee’s new addition, the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Balgove Steak Barn

Restaurant, Steakhouse

Balgove Steak Barn draws in locals and tourists alike with its superbly cooked menu offerings as much as its demeanour. Just off the road into St Andrews, this former sawmill pays homage to its past with walls of potato boxes, earthy ground and communal tables made of local beechwood. Enjoy a steak (aged for no less than 28 days) or burgers and sausages made in the on-site butchery and cooked to order on a wood-fired barbecue, washed down with a great selection of wine, or beer from local brewery Eden Mill. The menus at Balgove Steak Barn change often and are rarely repeated, but they always feature the chef’s mix of fresh and seasonally inspired dishes and cuts. As a casual dining spot, there’s no booking system. If you do have to wait for a table, the adjoining bar is a a great place to while away the minutes.

The Courtyard

Bistro, Contemporary
Map View
Venison Stew with Bacon and Onion Dumplings
© Victority / Alamy Stock Photo

This cosy, family-run restaurant tucked down a close in the centre of Cupar’s historical town centre features a varied menu, an ever-changing specials board and a pretty courtyard to enjoy on warmer days. The Courtyard serves up delicious yet affordable seafood, game and vegetarian and vegan dishes in a relaxed dining setting. More typical Scottish dishes include a venison hot pot and chicken with Stornoway black pudding, but thanks to the German-born owner and chef, customers can also enjoy Bavarian offerings like jaeger schnitzel and wheat beers. It’s also just a five-minute walk from Cupar train station, making it ideally situated for visitors to the area.

Pillars of Hercules

Farm Shop, Eco-friendly

Established in 1983, Pillars of Hercules is one of the oldest organic farms in Scotland. A mile outside the quaint village of Falkland, Pillars of Hercules is very off the beaten track. Growing its own salads, vegetables and apples and with its own laying hens, the café offers a great selection of vegan and vegetarian food, as well as whole foods, home baked breads, meat, dairy products and gluten-free options.

These recommendations were updated on August 31, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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