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Oct 6, 2009 10:31 AM

Need Recs for St Andrews and N Berwick/Gullane

Going from states to play golf. What do you recommend? I always like to find the places that are more often frequented by locals than tourists. Primarily want moderately priced places.

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  1. Can't help with Gullane/North Berwick but know St Andrews very well worked there until recently for years. There are loads of bars, restaurants and cafes but not all are great......
    You have to try a pub or two as most of them do food - none of which stand out for fantastic food but you'll get good, honest grub in a number of them. Staff/chefs/owners change so apologies in advance if any of these aren't good anymore. The Central Bar (Market St, slap bang in the centre) serves good beer and you can get some Scottish type fare and it's reasonably priced. I also like the Westport Bar near the Westport on South Street - loads of space - a bit studenty but in St Andrews, everything is studenty and given that the student body is so diverse geographically, it makes it very interesting. I've not been for a long time but Droothy Neebors pub across the road from the Westport is seemingly good too.
    Not the healthiest thing in the world but you have to try fish and chips (or a fish supper as it's known) whilst in this area. That said, there's a lot of arguments about what the best on is in St Andrews as a lot of them don't actually sell proper 'chips'! For a proper fish supper, you'd be best trying to get out to some of the fishing villages in the area called the East Neuk - especially a town called Anstruther.

    The Dolls House Restaurant and the Glass House (both in the middle of town) are owned by the same guy and you get really good lunch and early evening meals (6.95 for two courses at lunch)- have a look here: and it's usually really good.

    If you like fish you just have to go to the Seafood Restaurant: - the location is superb - a glass box sitting on the sea!!! And although usually really pricey, if you don't mind being fed without a choice, they have their usual winter menu running at the moment, lunch - 14.95 for 3 courses - it is beautiful!!!!!!

    Coffee shops/cafes - there are a lot. If you're into real espresso and good espresso, go to Taste, a tiny little hole in the wall cafe on North Street. I am serious about coffee and in my humble opinion, they usually serve the best - that said, it all depends on who is working!!!! Not sure if he's still there but there was a grad student called Chris who was there and he serves the best coffee!!!!!

    There are two main icecream shops in St Andrews - both owned long term by Italian families - Janettas and Luvians - lots of flavours etc etc. I personally prefer Luvians but others prefer Janettas.

    Indian is a huge thing in the UK and there are a few restaurants in St Andrews and the Balaka is the most well known, that said, I don't rate it (sorry!!!). The Jahanghir does goodlunchtime menu but I don't think it shows off their menu at it's best. There is a Thai/Japanese Restaurant - forgot the name, sorry, on Market Street which is actually not bad atall but maybe not if you compare it to Thai/Japanese in a huge metropolitan city.

    The Byre Theatre in St Andrews is pretty good for food (not been for about a year though). Service was sometimes a bit slow but if you're on holiday then you've maybe got more time!

    Macgregors on Market Street is good for snacks, cakes - very simple fare and pretty cheap.

    There's also a pizza express (just off south street) and zizzi's (south street) both very central - both chains but better than usual pizza/pasta chains.

    That's about all I can think off for now - I've probably forgotten some great ones and I didn't know what type of stuff you were after.

    PS. remember to have some Haggis and Stornoway Black Pudding (either within your fried breakfast or in a bread roll for your breakfast in the morning), or, deep fried in a batter (sausage like) with chips in a chip shop - you know you want to!!!

    3 Replies
    1. re: kennymum

      "For a proper fish supper, you'd be best trying to get out to some of the fishing villages in the area called the East Neuk - especially a town called Anstruther. "

      Where you'll find the Anstruther Fish Bar - 2008/9 national winner of the Chip Shop of the Year award.

      1. re: kennymum

        Wow, Kennymum, I'm impressed. And you've pretty much covered the three streets that comprise the tiny village. Personally, I avoid Jahangir as I find it mediocre at its best. (I recall going there for an event dinner and being served bright green naan, which a colleague and I both felt simply tasted 'green'). Balaka is ok, but pricey. For Indian, I'd recommend Maisha on College Street, which is quite good.

        The Thai/Japanese place is L'Orient, and I'd also second it as a choice.

        Also for casual lunch is the Oak Room, which is good. It's on North Street across from Taste.

        In terms of upscale, I'll also recommend Seafood Restaurant for the lovely view and decent meals-- although I've not been blown away. I've only once been to Number 40 on the Scores, but had a really nice meal there.

        Doll's House can be good, but the service can be deadly slow, and I find the fare a bit stodgy. Not to tell you not to go, but to provide a warning.

        If you're able, I'd consider visiting the restaurant at the Fairmont Hotel (on the road to East Neuk). It's a few miles out, but the restaurant there (Esperante, I think) provides a nice meal-- or did, when I was there.

        I will say that Central, Drouthy's and Westport will be busy in general with Uni pop. But Westport becomes more studenty later in the evening. Food is solid, but nothing impressive. And yes, you must be sure to have your haggis neeps and tatties.

        Some might also recommend you go to Fisher and Donaldson's for the fudge doughnut (not what you'd expect).