With chefs around the world clamouring for Scottish shellfish and smoked salmon, there's never been a better time to find out what the fuss is all about right on your own doorstep. With so many options, it's hard to know where is the best place to sample Scottish fruits de mer. Why not take a look at our recommendations and book a table at one of the top five seafood restaurants in Scotland?
2 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1AD
Oyster sellers were once familiar faces gracing the basements and paving stones of the Royal Mile but nowadays, you'll have to book a table at one of Edinburgh's fine restaurants - and there are a lot to choice from - to get your fill. One in particular that stands out in the capital is Ondine on George V Bridge, a stone's throw from the Royal Mile itself.
Having built up a trusted network of suppliers, including hand-dived scallops from Guy Grieves' Ethical Shellfish Company on Mull, and crab and lobster from just along the coast in Dunbar. The main attraction is the oyster bar at the centre of restaurant, and the views of Edinburgh's old town are worth feasting your eyes on too.
Ninth Wave Restaurant
Bruach Mhor, Fionnphort, Isle of Mull, PA66 6BL
You'll be hard pressed to find a restaurant where your waiter and sommelier is also the fisherman who lands the catch of lobster and crab you'll be served at dinner. But that's just what you're discover with a dining experience at the Ninth Wave Restaurant on the Isle of Mull. Owner John Lamont is a local fisherman who uses his own little fishing boat Sonsie to sustainably fish in the waters off this Hebridean jewel.
The fresh, high quality seafood served up is matched by your surroundings in this converted bothy restaurant. Opening is seasonal and only serves dinner but their changing menu of delights like lobster in nettle ravioli and smoked crab cheesecake speaks volumes for itself.
Loch Fyne Oyster Bar
Clachan, Cairndow, PA26 8BL
As the longstanding standard-bearer for Scotland's reputation for fine shellfish, the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar started in auspicious surroundings back in a roadside shed in Argyll in the 1980s. Since moving into an old cow byre at Clachan Farm near the head of Loch Fyne in 1988, it has attracted film stars, politicians, royalty and other visitors from the four corners of the globe.
The seasonal menu uses the best of the local seafood, including Loch Fyne's own cured smoked salmon, Tarbert crab, grilled langoustines, smoked haddock chowder and tempura oysters. You can also stop at the deli on the way out and buy food to enjoy back at home.
North Pier, Oban, PA34 5QD
A modern restaurant on the waterfront in Scotland's seafood capital, Ee-Usk (the word for fish in Gaelic spelt phonetically) is mere metres from the water's edge with views of Oban Bay, Kerrera and out over to the Isle of Mull. If that wasn't enough, the MacLeod family who own the restaurant only use locally caught fish and shellfish, with the latter always delivered to the restaurant alive for freshness.
With a list of trusted suppliers, you can be sure of the provenance; where you choose the mussels, rope grown by Jack Mcgegor on Easdale, or oysters grown from seed by Judith and Hugo Vajk on Loch Creran.
Broomhill Road, Stonehaven, AB39 2NH
In a neuk on the north pier of Stonehaven's picturesque old harbour sits The Tolbooth restaurant. Given the little town's long maritime tradition, the restaurant's setting couldn't be more fitting. Having won many plaudits and awards for its food, the Tolbooth should definitely be on the radar of discerning seafood lovers in the north east of Scotland.
With an ever-changing seasonal menu, the restaurant ensures that you enjoy a taste of Scotland's finest fish and shellfish with contemporary twists; whether it be roasted fillet of hake with roasted pak choi hearts and local crab and lemon risotto or steamed seabass with ginger mash, oriental mushrooms, seared squid and a salsa verde.