But'n'Ben. Just 200 yards up the road from The Lucken as you enter Auchmithie. Excellent sea food and meat dishes with an emphasis on local quality ingredients. Lovely home made deserts. Great selection of local beers and wines. Informal and cosy, tends to be busy at weekends. Best to book.
The Old Brewhouse, at the harbour in Arbroath (3 miles) is a nice place for lunch/dinner. It’s cosy with good pub grub. Not surprisingly fish (and of course smokies!) feature large on the menu.
Smithies on Keptie Street in Arbroath is slighty off the beaten track (a few minutes walk from the harbour) but well worth the detour! It's a quirky deli that does tasty soups/sandwiches and mediterranean platters. It sells a wide variety of speciality gins as well having an impressive cheese counter. With friendly staff and vintage decor it's a lovely place for lunch or dinner.
If you fancy good old fish n chips then Marcos at Arbroath harbour is very good. It only does take away, but you can always sit at the harbour side and watch the boats…just be careful the seagulls don’t steal your supper! The home-made ice-cream is yummy! (my favourite is the kiwi ripple).
Spinks. Visit Spinks at Arbroath harbour and see the arbroath smokie being made, and of course you can buy them there too! They are easy to find, just follow your nose!
Charleton Fruit Farm. Near St Cyrus. (15 miles) Charleton-fruitfarm.co.uk. (Head into Montrose, and follow signs for the A92, it’s a couple of miles out of Montrose). Great fun to pick your own strawberries. This farm has a lovely tea room with casual lunches and delicious home-made cakes. There is a large play area for kids but that’s far enough from the tables not to be intrusive if you don’t have wee ones. There’s also a farm shop with local produce and gifts. It’s near Steptoes ( see under "Culture" ) so could be combined with a bit of antique/junk shop browsing!
Quayside (West Quay, Gourdon, Montrose DD10 0JZ ) (25 miles) does take away but you can also sit in upstairs with a great view over the harbour. It serves excellent fish and chips but also crab salad and other seafood specialties. It gets really busy, so if you want to sit in it’s best book, particularly at the weekends. Gourdon. (off the A92, through Montrose and St Cyrus and keep going.
Drovers Inn, (Memus near Forar, DD8 3TY) (25 miles) with two woodburning stoves this is a lovely cosy place that serves good food with an emphasis on local fish and game. (We love the quirky decor!). There is an interesting menu using herbs from their own garden featuring old favourites like steak and fish n chips alongside pheasant and some imaginative vegetarian options.
Visocci's at Broughty Ferry. (17 miles) A family run Italian restaurant serving great pasta and pizza. Try the seafood dishes, delicous! This is a casual, family friendly restaurant. Their homemade ice-cream brings visitors from miles around to queue round the block! It's a firm favourite of ours. And you can always walk off the calories exploring the myriad of independent shops, visit the castle or just take a stroll along the promenade.
The Jute Cafe at Dundee Contemporay Arts. (21 miles) It’s not far from Discovery and serves excellent food. The gallery also stages various exhibitions/events and during the summer they run Family sessions. They are free and let youngsters/ paint/draw/make models etc.
Milton of Crathes, (51 miles) near Banchory in Royal Deeside, it’s a lovely place to visit with it’s craft shops, art studio and restaurant that serves delicious lunches/dinners. There is also a steam railway that does short trips to and from Banchory and a railway carriage tearoom.
The Arch Bistro , (25 miles) in Fettercairn is nice for a casual lunch and the hotel. Also in the same village, The Ramsay Arms, does more up-market pub grub.
Tolbooth Restaurant in Stonehaven (37 miles) is an up market restaurant overlooking the harbour. Excellent seafood and meat dishes.
Marine Hotel in Stonehaven (37 miles) A lovely habour side pub/restaurant with an interesting menu, heavy on fish and seafood. Mid range prices with friendly staff. The hotel brews its own range of beers, delicious! The restaurant upstairs has tables with views of the marina and in the summer you can eat outside, Scottish weather permitting!
Clattering Brig tearoom, (28 miles) near Cairn O Mount is a nice place to stop. It serves casual lunches/high teas and home-bakes at reasonable prices. This is a little little further afield on the road to Royal Deeside. The clue is in the name! Home to Balmoral Castle (and several others) of course! The drive across the Cairn O Mount is spectacular with a view point where it’s said that on a clear day you can see seven counties.
Rock Salt and Snails, (58 miles) in Ballater, within Royal Deeside, a deli and cafe that does lovely food with the emphasis on local cheese/game and home bakes.
Roos Leap In Montrose. (13 miles)An Australian themed restaurant ( no alligator or emu on the menu! ). Good value, healthy hearty food for big appetites. Family friendly. We loved the Thai chicken salad with butternut squash fries. They also do pizzas, steak and Tex-Mex.