Where to eat on Islay (Scotland) between drams of whisky?
I'm looking for some advice on where to grab a good meal on Islay. Doesn't have to be fancy at all (we are also going to Oban, Glasgow and Isle of Skye, so we'll have plenty of upmarket places later in the trip). We're staying near Laphroig/Port Ellen, but can get around to other towns.
I figure there have to be some 'hounds out there who've done this whisky pilgrimage, and yet nothing comes up on a search.
There are a few good options near/in Port Ellen:
- the newly opened The Islay Hotel in Port Ellen has a very nice restaurant for both lunches and evening meals. I've only had lunch so far and was very happy with the venison burger
- for lunch one of the best known options on Islay is the Old Kiln Cafe at Ardbeg distillery
In Bowmore again a few options:
- I'm hearing good things about The Holy Coo.
- If take away is an option try The Golden Dragon for Chinese.
- I haven't been personally for a long time, some people were quite happy with the Harbour Inn
In Bridgend the Bridgend Hotel offers good meals. Haven't had evening meals recently, but was very happy with the lunches and hear similar things from others.
In Port Charlotte the Port Charlotte Hotel has already been mentioned, you can get both pub and restaurant meals.
I've had a few good meals in the Port Askaig Hotel recently.
Depending on when you're planning to go, booking is advisable during the tourist season and in particular over the weekends.
There are Indian restaurants in both Port Ellen and Bowmore. As I'm not a fan of Indian food I can't comment on either. There are regular curry nights in the Ballygrant Inn which to my knowledge are quite popular, again I can't comment on it.
These are some of the standards which come to mind, hope this helps. Let me know if you have questions and I'll try to answer (first post here, hope this site sends notifications)
I went last summer on a long whisky trail, and spent a few days on Islay. To be honest, I was disappointed that such a popular destination was a bit weak in the food stakes.
Anyway, pub eating seems to be the benchmark. We ate at the pub in Bridgend and it was fine. There was a smart looking restaurant in Bowmore on the dead end to the boat ramp in the centre of town that looked promising but pricey. Port Charlotte was good, the pub there was very big and very popular and the food was pretty good. There's also a small cafe that turns into a simple restaurant on an evening on the left as you head into Port Charlotte before the bridge - it was probably the tastiest food we had but it is just a cafe with a few options on the board. Had a pleasant soup at Kilchoman.
We didn't eat at the Port Ellen end of town. The accommodation is usually pretty well plugged in to what there is.
And you need to book - even pubs.