Header image by Claire Baillie
As my time here comes to a close I thought it would be a good idea to pull together my favourite places to go in Dundee, so here are my recommendations! They’re mostly places to go for food and drink (ofc) but there are some other things in there too.
Also I’m definitely due to finally write a blog post about Dundee since it’s been two years…
If I had to pick one absolute fave place in Dundee, it would be Gallery 48 because it’s probably the restaurant I’ve been to the most. It’s a great space – colourful, spacious and good vibes plus the tapas is delicious and most importantly they have a spicy cocktail on the menu so obviously I have to keep going back.
It’s also an art gallery with artworks on the wall, that you could purchase if you want, but make for good conversation starters too. My absolute fave things on the menu are the baked goats cheese and fig, the garlic broccoli and the chilli grapefruit margarita.
Birchwood Food Emporium
Birchwood is definitely a winner – it’s an organic café and food shop. The food shop is perfect for picking up those boujie farm shop items or niche world foods ingredients. Also if you want to get sustainable refills of dry ingredients and washing up products then their ‘refillery’ is amazing.
Birchwood is ideal for taking someone with dietary requirements as most things on the menu are veggie or vegan and they have loads of great gluten free options. I’ve had some great hot chocolates and chai there, their cake rack always looks beautifully enticing, and they have delicious lunch food.
I love this shop – it’s the perfect place to go if you’re looking to get a gift for someone (or to treat yourself). Kist is an independent shop that stocks loads of local artists and producers stuff from prints and jewellery to candles and natural skincare. It’s actually such a challenging shop (in a good way) because there’s so much good stuff that you’ll end up feeling so stuck on what to choose.
It’s always a good time walking along Perth Road popping into the wee shops and cafés and I’d say Kist is the highlight of Perth Road for me. The other day I went for a wee lunchtime browse and accidentally treated myself to a new pair of art deco brass earrings and a gorgeous print by Jagoda Sadowska which is gonna look great in my new flat.
Blend is another lovely coffee shop fave of mine. The great thing about it is that on Wednesdays and Thursdays they are open until 9pm, which is amazing for somewhere to hang after work. It’s full of cosy vibes, comfy sofas, and is definitely a place where lots of people come to work or study.
Their brunch/lunch menu is great and I gotta tell you – they sell a Jaffa Hot Chocolate (yes, as in Jaffa Cake) which is *chef’s kiss*.
The Wine Press
Wine. Charcuterie. Cocktails. What more could you want?
I’m a sucker for a wine bar and The Wine Press has a really lovely vibe. It’s super cosy and a lovely space to meet up with a friend and catch up over cheese and wine. Definite recommendation because I’ll definitely be back whenever I can.
The Newport Bakery
When this opened up around the corner from work it was all anyone could talk about and for good reason because everything is feckin’ sublime. Another spot to pick up locally produced luxury products in their shop but the real star is the pastry case full of treasures.
It’s actually incredibly hard to ever decide what to get because it all looks so good, from savoury pastries to sweet tarts, it all looks, smells and tastes so good! Their bread is also amazing and a great treat to take home with you.
The Newport Restaurant
And from the same company, run by Masterchef Jamie Scott is the most amazing restaurant right on the River Tay which makes for a stunning view. This is definitely a big treat dinner because it’s quite pricey but such an amazing experience! We went the other day to celebrate my new job and had the 8 course tasting menu with matching wine flight and it was all incredible.
I think it’s so fun to treat dinner as theatre sometimes – especially when evening leisure opportunities are limited. We spent a good 3 hours at the Newport eating and watching the sunset over the Tay.
The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum
Everyone loves a museum, right? Especially one as beautiful as the McManus. It’s free to enter of course and wandering through the galleries is a great way to spend an hour. There’s a real mix of stuff inside celebrating Dundee’s history and it’s just a lovely space to be in.
Beautiful and calm surroundings, Aussie treats available to buy and an extensive menu that caters to loads of dietary requirements – I really like The Bach. It’s right across the road from the McManus as well so makes for a good weekend combo. Good for brunch and lunch, my personal favourite is the Crispy Chicken Bao Buns and the other day I got a Bounty Hot Chocolate which was delicious!
The last two years in Dundee have been an interesting adventure for me – unfortunately sandwiched between the wild Covid lockdown times. It definitely has its limitations when you’re used to being somewhere bigger but it has a cosy homeliness and a creative culture that make it a really great city. I’ll definitely be back to visit pals and, of course, to keep up with what’s happening at Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre.
I’m always up for hearing more suggestions: where’s your favourite spot in Dundee?!