Best Local Restaurant

Best Local Restaurants in Scotland 2023
Published 07 July 2023

Table setting with a view at The Kinneuchar Inn, Kilconquhar - Scotland Best Local Restaurant Award winner.

Our Best Local Restaurant list celebrates the places that are the beating heart of communities around Britain. Using reader nominations as a driving force, we inspected a great number of restaurants in Scotland to decide which ones deserved a place in the 100 Best Local Restaurants 2023. Some are old favourites, others are new to The Good Food Guide, all are brilliant places to eat.

Scotland has a wealth of top-notch restaurants and it’s encouraging to see more and more appearing in The Good Food Guide – not just high-ranking venues but simple, good-value places too. Fife’s Kinneuchar Inn is a classic example of the very best small, local enterprise. We are in complete agreement with the pub’s vocal fan base, who are totally smitten by the generous cooking of fresh, seasonal ingredients; in fact, it makes a particularly impressive regional winner. Where to eat elsewhere? Strong competition comes from the wonderful Palmerston in Edinburgh, and the effortlessly stylish Gloriosa in Glasgow, both epitomising the rattle and hum you expect from a big-city venue. Inspectors were also won over by the lovely, relaxed vibes in more hard-to-reach places – especially The Bothy in Burghead. With its blackboard by the door highlighting local producers, it sums up everything you would expect to find in a Scottish coastal restaurant. 

Best Local Restaurant: Scotland

James Ferguson & Alethea Palmer, proprietors of The Kinneuchar Inn in Kilconquhar, Fife - The Good Food Guide's Best Local Restaurant in Scotland 2023.
James Ferguson & Alethea Palmer, proprietors of The Kinneuchar Inn in Kilconquhar, Fife - The Good Food Guide's Best Local Restaurant in Scotland 2023.

The Kinneuchar Inn

Kilconquhar, Fife

One of a surprisingly small number of true dining pubs in Scotland, the Kinneuchar Inn scores with James Ferguson’s ‘brilliant food’, which draws on the full range of the East Neuk’s formidable natural larder, creating hearty, locally sourced dishes reflecting his own Greek/Italian backstory. The highly seasonal menu changes each day, and it delivered ‘my meal of the year’ for one inspector. Coupled with a ‘warm welcome’ from Alethea Palmer, the inn ‘feels connected to and part of the local scene – whether for a quick pie and a pint or a celebratory blowout’.

A Good Food Guide Reader said:

"Incredible seasonal food which is locally sourced (often from the immediate surroundings), fantastic friendly service, and a beautifully presented space. The menu is always exciting and every time feels like a treat."

Owners Alethea Palmer & James Ferguson said of the award:

"We are both delighted and humbled to receive this award. It’s a testament to our extremely hard working team and our wonderful suppliers. The East Neuk really is natures larder and makes our jobs so much easier. We’d like to thank our loyal customers and everyone who voted for us.”

The Good Food Guide’s Best Local Restaurants in Scotland 2023

Congratulations to all the restaurants in Scotland that have made it onto our list of Britain's 100 Best Local Restaurants 2023. Explore the tiles below to discover who made the list and to read their full reviews in The Good Food Guide.