The 7 Best Places to Eat and Drink in St Andrews

Top après golf spots in the Auld Grey Toon!

St Andrews is a town where the influx of visitors and tourists per capita is surely beyond that of any other settlement in the UK. It also has the required the local amenities to more that satisfy its many guests. Boasting numerous restaurants and pubs, there are enough to quench the thirst and quell the hunger of even the most demanding of culinary tastes. For a wee place in Fife, there’s a lot of drinking and eating to be had and here are seven of the best, ranging from fine dining to ice creams!

       1. Dunvegan Hotel

The Dunvegan Hotel is frequently cited as being one of the game’s most famous and popular 19th holes and one where Bubba Watson could probably hit a wedge from the hotel bar to the 18th green of the Old Course. Extremely welcoming and friendly, the hotel is the perfect location for a post-round pint or two. When it comes to food, you can choose from a spread of popular snacks in the bar or tuck into steaks, Scotch lamb and seafood in the hotel’s informal “Claret Jug” restaurant. Both are reasonably priced and will help you digest the sublime experience of having just played the game’s most revered layout! 

What really makes the Dunvegan, however, is its history and intimacy that combine to create a wonderfully appealing atmosphere. With the entire walls (and ceiling) decorated with framed photographs of the great players that have dropped in over the years, it’s fun to just sit and point out the faces ranging from Arnold Palmer to Tiger Woods.

  1. Jigger Inn

It would be easy for this characterful old lodge, with the gargantuan Old Course Hotel sat adjacent, to be dwarfed by the domineering building that it shares land with. However, what it lacks in size it makes up for in charm. The Jigger’s traditional Scottish interior and stunning location alongside the famous Road Hole, rightly make it one of the finest and most recognised watering holes in golf.

The Inn prides itself in its classic food menu from traditional Scottish fayre, to curries, pasta, sandwiches and burgers. But what makes the Inn so distinct, and more than just a very pleasant establishment to enjoy a fine meal, is its extensive variety of beverages. Furthermore, when the sun is shining there is nothing better than to take your drink outside to the seating that overlooks the 17th fairway of the Old Course and enjoy the breathtaking view that is one of the most photographed in golf. 

  1. Swilcan Restaurant

Situated on the upper floor of the Links Clubhouse, the Swilcan is an immaculately presented and high quality restaurant that serves golfers who have played the Old, New and Jubilee Courses. However, non-playing visitors are more than welcome, and it is regularly busy on an evening with folk walking out from the town to this delightful hotspot.

The food on offer varies from light snacks to popular Scottish and international dishes such as steaks, salads and fish, all of which are consistently of an excellent standard. The venue itself provides groups with various kinds of seating, from regular tables in the centre of the restaurant for larger groups, to the comfortable sofas on the outside that enjoy the finest views across the whole expanse of the St. Andrews Links. In fact, the Swilcan is worth visiting for the view alone!

  1. Vine Leaf Restaurant

Based in the heart of the town, the Vine Leaf is among the most popular and highly regarded establishments in St Andrews, offering a considerable menu ranging from locally sourced seafood (including St. Andrews Bay Lobster) to the very best in Scottish beef and lamb, in addition to gourmet vegetarian dishes. There really is something to satisfy even the most varied of tastes.

The restaurant also boasts its own cellar, and is consequently able to provide an extensive variety of fine wines to complement the dishes. These have been personally sourced from the world’s leading vineyards and producers, and combine to make a true culinary experience in what is comfortably one of the finest places in the Auld Grey Toon to spend an evening.

        5. Tailend Restaurant

When visiting the British seaside, you would be doing yourself a disservice not to indulge in that most traditional of dishes – fish and chips. Situated on Market Street in the town, Tailend is an award-winning restaurant that offers the best that you can get. Having recently been listed as the number one in Scotland by the National Fish & Chip Awards and one of the top 10 in the UK, it has the credentials and quality to back up that reputation.

Always busy with locals and tourists, there is consistently a relatively lengthy time to queue in line. It’s worth it however as everything is made to order with care and attention, which ensures that excellent standard you would expect. Furthermore, the sit-in part of the restaurant is licensed to sell alcohol, guaranteeing that an evening spent in the Tailend is a wholly pleasing one.

       6. Eden Restaurant at Eden Mansion Hotel

Those prepared to travel should head to the Eden Restaurant located about four miles outside of St. Andrews at the stunning five-star Eden Mansion Hotel.  It offers a lavish and traditional service in its three dining areas, taking you back to an era that has been immortalised in the likes of the popular television series Downtown Abbey.

The mansion can be traced back to 1860 and has retained that period grandeur and opulence. It overlooks the Eden Estuary from secluded and beautiful grounds, which, if you have time, you should explore before sitting down to a dinner selected from a luxurious menu featuring the highest quality in beef, lamb, chicken and seafood, and presented to you by attentive and knowledgeable staff.

For anyone who likes to dress up and treat themselves to something special, the Eden Restaurant is a must-visit during your time in St. Andrews and certainly worth the trip.

       7. Jannettas Gelateria

You may, at a struggle, find better fish and chips than at the Tailend, but you most definitely won’t find tastier ice cream than at Jannettas, located at the top end of South Street near the Cathedral. It boasts dozens of flavours, giving you and other ice cream aficionados optimum flexibility, countless combos, and the wonderful ability to customise your creation in numerous ways. It’s obvious why the queue is invariably outside the building.

On the inside, there is also a fine café that has a capacity for 36 diners. Breakfasts and sandwiches are available, but it’s the stunning ice cream sundae and delicious milkshakes that make it a worthy visit. For anyone with even the slightest hint of a sweet tooth, Jannettas is something you must experience at least once, but you’ll likely go back for more. The golf however should rid you of any excess calories!

When you visit St Andrews, you’ll soon realise that even if you are not quite performing on the golf course, there are lots of other delights to experience in a town that will keep you coming back again and again. These eateries and drinking holes are just a selection of them!

If you’d like to experience the wonders of a golf vacation in St Andrews then please contact Golfbreaks.com. We have been booking trips to Scotland since 1998 and have a wealth of knowledge on St Andrews and the surrounding areas. And as always, our aim is to save you time and money!

Kieran Clark

Author, Kieran Clark.

I began playing golf at the age of five on the Isle of Bute in Scotland. It was the start of a relationship that hasn’t waned, with it becoming a mission to tick off as many courses as possible, with the Old Course at St. Andrews being my favourite. I love everything that it represents. After securing a degree in history at the University of Stirling, I have attempted to establish a career as a freelance golf journalist to express my love for the game and Scotland. And I relish any opportunity to share that adoration with anyone willing enough to read.