17 top places to eat in and around the East Neuk of Fife - including The Cellar and Peat Inn

From Michelin Star restaurants to fish and chips by the sea, there's a diverse range of excellent food available within the East Neuk of Fife.

Published 9th Jun 2023
Updated 6 th Oct 2023

The East Neuk of Fife may be a small area consisting of picturesque fishing villages but it is home to some big hitters when it comes to award-winning food.

With two of Scotland's Michelin Star restaurants - The Peat Inn and The Cellar - there's also a range of independent cafes, restaurants, fish and chip shops and delis.

If you're planning a visit this summer or beyond, here are our - and our friends at the Good Food Guide - recommendations of the best places to visit for a delicious bite to eat.

Harbour Café

eat East Neuk Fife
Picture: Harbour Cafe

Writing for the Good Food Guide, James Porteous highlights some of the best places to stop for food within the East Neuk of Fife and top of his list is the Harbour Cafe.

He writes: "Elie hosts the Harbour Café, helmed by ex-Fat Duck and Moro chef Amy Elles.

"Offering up mountains of molluscs, crustaceans and potentially a more unorthodox haddock and fennel sausage roll, the unassuming beachside shed is a check-it’s-open-first summertime attraction, battening down the hatches as autumn squalls blow in across the sands."


Our restaurant reviewer extraordinaire, Gaby Soutar, gave high marks to this charming cafe located within Bowhouse just outside of St Monans.

Of Baern, Gaby writes: "The Baern menu focuses on bakes, which showcase Scotland the Bread’s Flour and veggies from East Neuk Market Garden, and are created by Hazel Powell and her business partner, Giacomo Pesce.

"We wouldn't know how to choose between a massive slab of focaccia, the St Andrew’s Cheddar, nigella and apple butter scone, or even a sandwich with lamb, labneh and sea sandwort, which is supposed to taste like pea shoots or cucumber skin.

"There are lots of cakes to choose from too, including a purple carrot, smoked rapeseed oil and cumin number, or a dark chocolate, porcini and rum tart. No boring old Victoria sponge to be seen."

Michelin Guide 2023: new Scottish restaurants that made the UK list

East Pier Smokehouse

Picture: East Pier Smokehouse

The Good Food Guide rates this St Monans smokehouse, which serves a variety of house-smoked fish, including mackerel, hake and sea bass.

The Shoregate

Picture: The Shoregate

This restaurant opened in 2022, and owners, Nicholas Frost and Damon Reynolds spent 30 intense months refurbishing this 19th century Crail building on High Street North.

The menu has been designed by chef Craig McAllister, formerly of Prestonfield House Hotel.

Reilly Shellfish

Picture: Reilly Shellfish

This Crail seafood hut is famed for its lobster and crab rolls, and is located on the harbourside. It has caught the eye of the Good Food Guide as it features in its best places to eat in the East Neuk.

First established in 1974 , it has become a favourite of locals and holidaymakers. Reilly was named one of the best Seafood Shacks in Scotland and is a 2021 TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice.

Ubiquitous Chip announce Christmas food and drink menu - including festive cocktails and cosy roof terrace

Fisher & Donaldson

Picture: Fisher & Donaldson

This well established bakery is a must visit as it's a favourite for locals and holidaymakers. It has been around for over 100 years, and recently has had a revamp.

Make sure you try their legendary fudge doughnut, or there's the coffee tower, and strawberry Danish, which won Best Viennoiserie in Scotland at the recent Scottish Baker of the Year 22/23 awards. They also serve gluten free options.

Anstruther Fish Bar

Fish and chips by the dock. Picture: Anstruther Fish Bar

This popular chippy is winner of many awards including Fish and Chip Shop of the Year in 2008/09, Scotland's Takeaway of the Year in 2014 and listed in the UK Good Food Guide.

It counts many a famous customer, including Royal visitors, and is ever popular in the summer months.

Visit to enjoy a traditional fish supper overlooking the picturesque harbour.

Two Scottish takeaways feature in Deliveroo top 100 worldwide roundup - including acclaimed Thai restaurant

The Wee Chippy Anstruther

Picture: The Wee Chippy Anstruther

If you don't want to wait for your fish and chips, the Good Food Guide mentioned this neighbouring chippy in Anstruther.

The write: "for those seeking the battered crunch of a more traditional seaside treatment, Anstruther’s Wee Chippie arguably trumps the queues and awards of its more famous, vocal neighbour along the harbour."

Giddy Gannet

Picture: Giddy Gannet

The team behind this cafe, brothers Henry and Will Philip, come from an East Neuk hospitality family as their parents run the Ship Inn in Elie.

Opened in late 2021, the Giddy Gannet offers takeaway, sit-in or bench outside and have classic homebakes as well as sandwiches such as the St Monans Swinger which has pastrami, smoked cheese, gherkin and mustard mayo.

There's ice cream as well, for those warmer summer days by the seaside.

The Cellar

the cellar reopening
Picture: The Cellar

Michelin-Starred The Cellar is a cosy eatery that has flourished under the head chef, Billy Boyter.

The Good Food Guide have this to say: "At the higher end, the reverence for the local larder continues unabated.

"Billy Boyter grew up in the East Neuk and has been impressing at The Cellar in Anstruther for nearly a decade.

"Tucked in a cosy basement in a former smokehouse, his singular tasting menu may feature dishes such as North Sea monkfish in an Arbroath Smokie sauce or a langoustine bun, made with shellfish from nearby Pittenweem, showcasing a modern, fine dining honed during his time as head chef at The Balmoral’s Number One in Edinburgh."

Balcomie Links Hotel

Picture: Balcomie Links Hotel

This newly opened hotel, which is housed in a building that's over 100 years old, has been revamped by Drygate Inns Ltd.

There's a well stocked bar and a restaurant, which served lunch and dinner.

The Peat Inn

eat East Neuk Fife
The Peat Inn, By St Andrew’s. Picture: The Peat Inn

Having won Scotland’s first ever Michelin star back in the 80s, the Inn is run by head chef Geoffrey Smeddle, who takes full advantage of the wonderful region of Fife to source only the best ingredients.

The menu focuses on some of the best seafood and game dishes that this area is famed for.

The Good Food Guide call the Peat Inn 'the grandfather of refined dining in the Neuk.'

The also say: "successive refurbishment has brought the former tavern sharp, vibrant interiors befitting a high standard of dining, while delicately crafted plates including wild turbot baked with lime and ceviche of local lobster speak elegantly of the nearby coastline. Produce grown a few miles inland features throughout."

Kinneuchar Inn

Kinneuchar Inn, Kilconquhar
Kinneuchar Inn

This pub is another favourite of both us here at The Scotsman and the Good Food Guide. Gaby Soutar's review in early 2020 gave the food a 9/10 while the Good Food Guide call the cooking gutsy and exceptional.

They said: "The likes of whipped feta, olives and mint flatbread topped with Jerusalem artichokes from East Neuk Market Garden hint at chef James Ferguson’s Greek heritage, while an ever-changing range of charcuterie is produced in-house from Scottish pigs and cattle."

Craig Millar @ 16 West End

Picture: Craig Millar @ 16 West End

The Good Food Guide also lists Craig Millar @ 16 West End as a place to visit for a meal when you're in St Monans.

They wrote: "The eponymous Craig Millar @ 16 West End has a claim to the best views of any restaurant in Fife, thanks to a terrace that spills out over the Firth of Forth and the seas beyond.

"On winter days, the dining room has the same vistas, just with a little more glazing between your cheese soufflé and the punchy end of a shipping forecast."

Bowhouse monthly markets

Scran bowhouse
Picture: Bowhouse Market Facebook

This monthly food, drink and craft market is held at Bowhouse, just outside St Monans.

Bowhouse aims to connect small growers and producers with restaurants and shoppers, giving everyone better access to local ingredients and produce.

There are on site producers who operate from there permanently as well as others who run stalls on their market weekends.

Launched in 2017, Bowhouse’s monthly market weekends have attracted over 100,000 people.

The Ship Inn, Elie

10 of the best dog-friendly restaurants and cafes in Scotland
Picture: The Ship Inn at Elie.

The Ship Inn has long been regarded as of Scotland’s most iconic pubs and is famous for being the only pub in the world to have a cricket team with a pitch on the beach.

The owners, Graham and Rachel Bucknall, purchased the venue in late 2014.  Following a six-figure investment and major renovation programme in 2015, a 70-cover restaurant has been added to the first floor with stunning views across the bay, six luxurious bedrooms created, and a licensed beer garden opened.

Dory Bistro and Gallery, Pittenweem

Picture: Dory Bistro

This seafood restaurant has quickly become a favourite in the picturesque village of Pittenweem.

With a focus on local, seasonal seafood as reasonable prices, the restaurant is also a gallery.

Because of its location, lobsters, langoustines and crabs are landed less than 40 metres from the front door.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
Copyright ©2023 National World Publishing Ltd
Cookie SettingsTerms and ConditionsPrivacy Policy
crosschevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram