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Here are the shops, cafes and restaurants that make the town of Dunkeld a top food destination

Visit the Gateway to the Highlands for lunch, dinner and treats

Published: July 28, 2021
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We’re already planning a permanent move to Dunkeld, since there’s such a high concentration of food shops, delis, bakers and cafes. Many of these are well-established, but there’s also been a new influx over the last couple of years.

Of course, this town has a supermarket, but you could easily shop exclusively at independent businesses, whether you’re after smoked salmon, a slice of clootie dumpling or cakes baked by a telly star.

ARAN BAKERY

You’ll spot this bakery, owned by former Great British Bake Off 2015 star, Flora Shedden, by the swags of dried flowers above the door. Everything looks so appealing inside that it’s hard not to go on a gluten frenzy and leave with goodies including sourdough loaves, quiche, almond croissants and custard tarts. They also do a sit-in lunch, with options that might include their beans, kale, pancetta and tomato stew, which comes with a doorstop of bread.

2 Atholl Street, www.aran-bakery.com

DUNKELD WHISKY BOX

What’s behind the orange door on Dunkeld’s High Street? Lots of whisky, and other stuff. This 21-month-old business aims to make the amber nectar more approachable, with a huge range to suit all tastes. New arrivals include the Lochindaal 2010, Glenfarclas 185th Anniversary and Kilchoman: Loch Gorm 2021 Edition.

2 High Street, www.dunkeldwhiskybox.co.uk

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THE TAYBANK

This hotel and restaurant’s kitchen menu features dishes including hand-dived scallops, fennel, rocket and beer batter, or venison, shallots, Guardswell Farm greens, chanterelles and game jus. If it’s sunny, you can hang out in their beer garden, just across the road, order from their Box Bar, and eat pizza and burgers.

Tay Terrace, www.thetaybank.co.uk

DUNKELD FISH BAR

Thanks to the return of the Great British Bake Off, it's a malt loaf kind of weekend

Get a chipper from this venue, which made the Fry Magazine’s Top 50 Chip Shops awards this year (and in 2019), along with East Coast in Musselburgh, Sea Salt + Sole in Aberdeen and Fochabers Fish Bar, among others. As well as the usual chipper offerings, they do an artery-bothering Deep-Fried Sweet of the Week, as well as pizzas topped with cheesy beans or fire-pit maple hot dog on a BBQ base.

4 Atholl Street, Facebook: Dunkeld Fish Bar Official

LON STORE

Another beautifully styled venue from Flora Shedden - the unofficial queen of her hometown - except this one is a provisions shop. Splurge on groceries from local producers, including Eastfield Pasta, IJ Mellis cheese, chanterelles, berries, posies from Scottish Cut Flowers and useful (and visually appealing) equipment, like scrubbing brushes and tortilla presses.

Glasgow business owners behind the Thornwood and Julie's Kopitiam to open Ga Ga restaurant

4 High Street, www.lon-store.co.uk

NOVA BOTANICS

Unless you eat a ton of nasturtiums, you can’t fill your stomach with flowers, but you can make your table look bonnie. This shop offers monthly fresh and dried flower subscriptions, and the online shop also features Scandi-chic tableware and linen.

23 Atholl Street, www.novabotanics.co.uk

PALMERSTON’S

This old-school cafe, with its mint green awning, makes its own “bespoke jam”, with varieties including Blueberry and Lavender. You can also sit in for a baked potato, soup, or an open sandwich featuring Dunkeld Smoked Salmon or carvery ham.

27 Atholl Street, www.palmerstons.co.uk

REDWOOD

Visit this new shop for a curated selection of wine, especially from their friends at Californian winery, Groth, plus The Block Hut napkins and tactile hand-thrown pottery. They also offer a picnic-friendly menu of takeaway salads, sharing platters and sandwiches including a simple jambon beurre with Katy Rodgers butter, or roast beef, pickled red onions, tarragon aioli and rocket on a Wild Hearth Bakery baguette.

12 Bridge Street, www.redwoodwines.co.uk

LIVVI’S LITTLE LUNCHBOX

I think Livvi’s lunchbox would have to be quite big, especially if she wanted to fit one of this bakery and takeaway’s head-sized cheese scones in it. They also offer monolithic sausage rolls, in varieties including pork and black pudding, plus cakes, pies, paninis and stacks of empire biscuits. “Comfort food for any mood”, is the motto above the door.

26 Atholl Street, www.livvislittlelunchbox.co.uk

DUNKELD FINE FOODS

This grocery shop and “food shopping experience”, owned by the team behind Dunkeld Smoked Salmon at Springwells Smokehouse on Brae Street, is another new addition to the town. It’s handily open seven days, from 8am-8pm, when you can shop for Arbroath Smokies, Loch Tay Fudge, Dunkeld Smoked Salmon (of course), their own chutneys, Ocelot Chocolate, fancy Torres crisps and a million types of elevenses-friendly biscuit.

3-5 Atholl Street, Instagram @dunkeldfinefoods

THE SCOTTISH DELI

As well as offering deli purchases, like fruit wine from Perth business, Cairn O’Mohr, Glen Lyon coffee beans, a huge cheese counter, and Fungarth Farm Brownie Kits, this place doubles as a wine bar and restaurant, with a Scottish Deli Tapas Menu in the evening. As well as other prizes, it won the Best Scottish Independent Retailer at the Great British Food Awards in 2018. The premises was originally built on the corner in 1809, and has always been a grocery shop of some sort. For over 50 years, it was a deli called Robert Menzies, and, in tribute, they’ve preserved the original sign outside.

1 Atholl Street, www.scottish-deli.com
 

THE CLOOTIE DUMPLING

There is no cuter or more couthy name for a cafe than this. As well as the eponymous treat (£3.50 a slice), which will set you up for a three hour walk along Fiddler’s Path, they serve savoury stuff including broccoli, buttered onion and Scottish mature cheddar tart with apple coleslaw. The daily cakes and sweet options are displayed in their window, and include meringues with whipped cream. Sit indoors, or in their garden.

6 Cathedral Street, Facebook: The Clootie Dumpling

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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