St Andrews is the premier destination for lovers of golf and Scottish history, offering the world’s most notorious golf course and an awe-inspiring landscape of beachfront and 14th-century castle ruins. Pub culture is big in this cobble-stoned seaside town, as is succulent home-style cooking. Most menus boast what locals consider everyday staples: fish, potatoes, and beer. There may be little in terms of experimentation, but authentic Scottish eats promise to warm the heart just as much as they insulate the stomach. From pints of frothy cool Guinness to thick, luscious slices of shepherd’s pie, the grub is simple, hearty, and always delicious.
Breakfast: Start your day off with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and an order of eggs Benedict at Mitchell. If velvety hollandaise isn’t your thing, order the full Scottish breakfast for a savory smorgasbord of plump sausages, cured bacon, and buttery potatoes. The coffee here is brewed pungent and strong, and there’s a gourmet delicatessen on the side that serves specialty items such as lobster pâté, truffle oil, and local organic produce.
Lunch: Between tee times, grab a quick bite at one of the many sandwich and salad bars around town. Butler & Co offers a whimsical menu of wacky wraps that are warm and grilled to perfection. You can’t go wrong with favorites such as The Godfather and the Classy Chick, or you can create your own wrap stuffed with salty antipasti, creamy cheeses, and gourmet condiments like their tangy harissa. If you’re looking for a healthier option, run across Market Street to Zest 2 Go where you can feast on fresh salsas, roasted vegetables, crunchy lentils, and a banana smoothie for dessert.
Dinner: Seafood in Scotland is some of the freshest and meatiest in the world, thus making a trip to this seaside town devoid of at least one helping of fish unforgivable. Naturally, the best place to go is The Seafood Restaurant, which is draped by the backdrop of the North Sea and marmalade-colored sunsets during the evenings. There are crab legs to be dipped, creamy lobster bisques to be slurped, and flaky fillets of buttery flounder to be licked off your fingers. Servings are heaped and plentiful, so prepare for a little belt-loosening.
Drinks: St Andrews is defined by its vibrant pub culture. Though there are numerous watering holes littered throughout town, The Central stands out as the best place to grab a foamy pint or sip down a tumbler of honey-hued whiskey. This bar displays an impressive selection of brews and spirits, though frilly cocktails are for the most part unheard of. On quiet nights, the mood is often nostalgic and romantic. During football season, however, you can expect crowds of rowdy fans cheering around TVs that hang overhead. In summer, head over to the R Bar in the Rusacks Hotel, where you can enjoy pitchers of Pimm’s abounding with fresh fruit and a view of the golf course.
Midnight Snack: Kinness Fry Bar has a menu dedicated to scrumptious late-night bites. Open until 3 a.m. on weekends, this is a mecca for those craving a round of fried greasy food with a side of intoxicated banter after a night out. Favorites include crispy french fries smothered in melted cheese, skewers of garlicky kabobs, and their infamous chocolate pizza for those who simply cannot decide between sweet and savory.