Best Places to Eat in Stirlingshire



Whether it’s a formal dinner or you just need some respite from the camping stove, there are lots of great places to eat in Stirlingshire. There are restaurants in Stirling and Dunblane to suit every taste and every budget, or you could venture further into the countryside to sample Scottish specialities and local produce. Here are the best restaurants, pubs, bistros and cafés in Stirlingshire.

Climb the hill to the castle after a good meal in Stirling (Walkerssk on Pixabay)

The Glasshouse, Dunblane

A mansion house owned by a Scottish sports star with a restaurant nurtured by a legendary Michelin-starred dynasty, you say? Well, that’s what you’ll find at The Glasshouse at Cromlix House. Andy Murray bought the 15-room five-star Victorian manor house in 2013, where he had previously been best man at his brother Jamie’s wedding. The Glasshouse restaurant is now overseen by executive chef Darin Campbell, who also previously worked for Albert Roux in the restaurant's former incarnation as Chez Roux.

Cromlix is a few miles from Dunblane, near the border with Perthshire. The restaurant is a classy dining experience in a bright and breezy setting with an open kitchen where you can watch the team at work. The dishes are a modern Scottish take on classics, making the most of the fabulous produce this area has to offer.

There’s a certain skill to packing for every occasion when camping. If you’re planning an outdoor break, check out all you need to know in our Ultimate Scottish Camping Guide.

River House, Stirling

If you were to skim a stone on the small lake by River House, you could probably reach the hill where nearby Stirling Castle stands. Not that we’d recommend it, as the floor-to-ceiling windows with waterside views would probably not fare well.

This modern, upmarket restaurant prides itself on its gourmet British dishes. There’s also a family section, with plenty of things to keep the kids occupied. They can feed the ducks from the large outdoor terrace that has views of the 12th-century fortification upon the crag above, which is just one of several fabulous castles to visit in Stirlingshire.

Take a look at all the best places to stay in Stirlingshire.

Brea, Stirling

Unpretentious and popular with locals and city break visitors alike, Brea is an award-winning casual Scottish restaurant in Stirling city centre. It has a good choice of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes on either the lunch or dinner menu. There’s also a separate vegan section, plus gluten-free options. 

For the meat-eaters among you, haggis is on the menu at Brea alongside gourmet burgers, steaks and grills. Brea has a kids’ menu, and the restaurant will also prepare smaller portions of the mains so the young ones can try something new.

You’ll simply have to sample Haggis on a holiday to Stirlingshire (Benjaphon Khidhathong on Pixabay)

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The Cotton House, Bonnybridge

With its raft of unusual sightings, the town of Bonnybridge may be the UFO capital of Scotland, but The Cotton House is more about the Far East than far-flung galaxies. With a Chinese and Thai flavour-filled menu, the restaurant delivers Asian classics plus house specials, sizzlers and more starters and soups than you can shake a stick at.  

The Cotton House also has a children’s menu that caters for those with a taste for Chinese, or a choice of British dishes for any picky eaters in your party. The restaurant does takeaways too just the job if you’re camping near Bonnybridge.

Browse the best campsites near Bonnybridge.

Darnley Coffee House, Stirling

Darnley Coffee House may be a little place, but it has a big history, occupying the ground floor vaulted cellars of a rather big house on Bow Street in Stirling. Standing taller than the rest of the residences on this historic street, local legend suggests Lord Darnley, the second husband of Mary Queen of Scots and father of King James VI of Scotland, once stayed here. He probably didn’t, as the house wasn’t built until after his death in 1567, but in the intervening centuries the building was used as a meeting place, tavern and notorious ‘bawdy hoose’.

The coffee house and café is well-known for its toasted sandwiches, jacket potatoes, speciality coffees and homemade fruity cordials. Maybe keep one hand on your order though, as poltergeist activity has been reported here.

The Forth Inn, Aberfoyle

On the edge of Loch Ard Forest and beside the river Forth, Aberfoyle is a Stirlingshire hiking hotspot. That means the Forth Inn is a regular pitstop for walkers and their four-legged friends. The Forth Inn in the centre of Aberfoyle was crowned Scottish dog-friendly pub of the year not so long ago.

The Forth has a huge airy dining room beneath lofty wooden beams, yet it maintains a cosy feel with log burners, solid stone floors and exposed brickwork. There’s also a large outdoor courtyard and kids are more than welcome.

The food on offer at The Forth Inn is of the good honest pub food variety the type that hits the spot after working up an appetite on the walking trails nearby. If you’re holidaying at a campsite near Aberfoyle, the pub operates a free minibus for local pick-ups, so you can leave the car behind and order a drink with your meal.

If you’re planning a walking holiday in this part of Scotland, then take a wander through our guide to the best trails and hill walks in Stirlingshire.

Gabe’s Diner, Stirling

Gabe’s Diner is one of those rare hidden gems. From the outside, this food spot in the centre of Stirling may look like an extended bus shelter (it is situated in a former bus station, after all), but inside there is a tasteful space with wood panelling, carved furnishings and a log stove.

Gabe’s has a homely yet imaginative menu that remains firmly rooted in Scotland yet adds a number of spicy and aromatic twists. Whether you’re seeking a laidback lunch after a morning’s shopping or a bistro evening meal on a city break amid cosy surroundings, we think that this one will hit the spot.

Green Gates Indian Restaurant, Stirling

Occupying a Georgian townhouse, Green Gates is perhaps Stirling’s best-known Indian restaurant. The tastefully decorated interior hints at Indian fine dining in an atmospheric, wood-panelled setting. The Green Gates menu has everything you’d expect from the classics of northern and southern India along with plentiful specials, some of which you may not have tried before. For the kids, there’s a separate menu with milder flavours or British options for those whose taste buds prefer lightly-seasoned dishes. You can also order smaller portions from the mains for the pre-teens with you.

Falls of Dochart Smokehouse, Killin

For a taste of authentic Scottish produce, the Falls of Dochart Smokehouse in Killin lies at the western edge of Loch Tay. Locally caught salmon and cheeses from nearby farms are all smoked on site and can be sampled from the tasting menu. Try a breakfast of farm-fresh scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, plates of hot and cold fish, pâté, cheeses and chutney or a sandwich filled with a selection of the above. All of these goodies can be purchased at the smokehouse shop before a walk through Killin village to see its cascading waterfalls.

Take a look at cheap campsites near Killin in Stirlingshire.

The Falls of Dochart, Killin

Black Bull, Gartmore

The Black Bull is a community-owned country pub in the 18th-century model village of Gartmore. A listed building, The Black Bull retains much of the character that tells of the days when drovers called for a drink after crossing the nearby fording point on the Forth.

These days, travellers are more likely to be heading for Queen Elizabeth Forest or stopping off while walking the Rob Roy Way (fitting, as it’s thought the man himself frequented the inn). Food and drink are served in a ‘proper’ pub setting, and there’s even a stuffed bull’s head above the main fireplace.

Smiddy Farm Shop, Blair Drummond

Handy for those camping near Blair Drummond, the Smiddy is a farm shop stocking fresh produce from local suppliers with a butcher’s counter. A large restaurant is located next door serving meals using products from the shop. Put away the camp stove and feast on a full traditional Scottish breakfast or a Smiddy speciality bacon or sausage roll. There’s a lunch menu too, along with an extensive choice of sandwiches and soups, or simply opt for tea and cakes on an afternoon.

After eating, pick up some essentials and treats from the farm shop to add to your picnic for a day out at nearby attractions like Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park, Bridge of Allan or Doune Castle.

Read on to see what else there is to do in the local area with our guide to the best attractions in Stirlingshire.