From cosy cafés to a spot of fine dining at The Seafood Restaurant, our little town covers pretty much everything you could need. So, when you eventually tire of your hall’s seemingly never ending supply of potatoes, here are some of the best places to check out.
Come, well, quite soon actually, when the Scottish winds are a-howling and the evenings increasingly dark, there’s no better time to head to a café with friends for something warm and milky. Taste, on North Street, does some of the best coffee in town, though be prepared to battle with its loyal hipster-base for a seat – it’s tiny. If you’re hankering for a traditional afternoon tea, however, The Cottage Kitchen on Logies Lane (right next to Pizza Express), comes out on top with its more-ish selection of homebakes. Specialising in all that is local and seasonal, the café also has a savoury menu and an outdoor courtyard for when the sun does decide to come out.
Now back to North Street for Northpoint Café – perhaps St Andrews’s most popular café. Tourists flock here for the royal connection, the Americans amongst us are lured back by the authentic bagels and many an Arts student can’t resist the dangerously convenient location just a few minutes away from St Salvator’s Quad.
Bibi’s, home to cupcakes galore and an apparently very, very good luxury hot chocolate also deserves a special mention, as does Con Panna, which, nestled away, as so much is on South Street, often has a very good £1 deal on scones to take-away.
Best to start with the chic and well-loved Forgan’s on Market Street. Managed by the same people behind next-door Mitchell’s and The Vic, your meal here will go beyond an already extensive menu, with organised Ceilidh nights on Fridays and Saturdays and an informal ‘Host Your Own Roast’ deal on Sundays.
The local chains continue their success through The Doll’s House, The Glass House and The Grill House. All offering good value set menus but catering for Scottish-French, Italian and Mexican cuisine respectively, this trio could be handy for your first date in the Bubble or a night of birthday revelry with friends.
And when the parents come to town, or indeed, when that subsequent date comes around, look no further than The Seafood Restaurant. Perched on the Scores, here you can choose between second-to-none views of the glorious West Sands or the sight of your sophisticated dish being created in the restaurant’s open-theatre kitchen. All that class doesn’t come cheap though, so you’re much better off choosing their lunch menu; you’ll still have just as much choice as their evening offerings for a significantly cheaper price (3 courses for £26.00 at lunch vs. pretty much the same for £48.50 in the evening).
That should be enough wining and dining to keep you busy for a while, but St Andrews still has many more excellent eateries tucked away in its three main streets. A rather tantalizing prospect for the eager student foodie to explore over these next four years…
First published in Owl Eyes, September 2014