A while back, I wrote up some restaurant reviews for our favorite Aberdeen haunts. I thought I’d blog them for my UK pals in case they needed some tips for family visits this summer!
62 Union Row
Aberdeen, AB10 1SA
We tried this on a date night first. Totally awesome! The BEST scallops I have ever had, and Josh really enjoyed the Italian sausage there. We have loved everything we have gotten, but have a few suggestions. First, lunch is a spectacular deal- 6 pounds for ravioli, lasagna, spaghetti bolognese, or linguine pesto. We love the spaghetti and pesto. The ravioli was okay, and the lasagna was good, but we found the portion to be a little small. You also get unlimited bread and butter.
Tip: They rarely have the scallops, but if they do, go for it! That dish was 12 pounds and not much more than other dishes and was definitely worth a few pounds. Every night they do offer a few specials at a reduced rate- great way to try something new.
Parking: The restaurant is off Union Street, right behind Gilc South. You can ride the bus to Union Street or park off Summer Street in a small car park or off Chapel Street in a larger car park.
Also a great lunch option! For 5.50 on a weekday (non-holiday), you can enjoy an unlimited buffet of Asian cuisine. You can choose from chicken, beef, or pork and we were impressed by the great cuts of chicken. The buffet has a great dessert selection, as well, including soft serve vanilla ice cream and a variety of cakes.
Tip: the beach location is substantially better than the downtown location- better selection, easier parking, better lighting, etc. Plus, the restaurant offers a “voucher” program in which each diner gets a voucher and upon receiving 5 vouchers, you get a free meal! The beach location offers the vouchers with the purchase of a buffet meal, but the downtown location requires a drink purchase as well.
Parking: You can park on the beach or in the cinema car park, both for free; downtown, Union Street, across from Gilc South;
402-404 Union St
01224 649 511
This is a gourmet pizza diner. Despite its unpretentious name, the pizzas are delicious, especially if you like thin crust. Pizzas are about 8 pounds.
Tip: If you have Orange as your mobile provider, make sure you take advantage of the Orange Wednesdays. You can dine at Pizza Express and get one meal free with very few restrictions. You just need to Google a coupon and bring it in. Additionally, even though the cinema is a bit spendy, you can couple your meal with a 2 for 1 cinema ticket as well on a Wednesday, and save at both places. It’s a great date night!
Also, sometimes you can get a Pizza Express coupon on the sticker from you parking ticket. Make sure you check it out before you bin it.
Parking: Park in the Summer Street little lot or in the Chapel car park. Parking after 6 pm is free either place.
42 Great Western Rd
Aberdeen, AB10 6PY
Known as the best fish and chips in town, this restaurant is also a great family-friendly place! We love the courses offered here. You can choose from 1, 2 or 3 courses. Josh usually gets chowder, breaded fish, chips, and peas, and then the best warm apple caramel pie with ice cream, cream, and whipped cream ever! I get 2 courses: the fried mushrooms and scampi with chips and peas. We usually share the dessert and waddle away. The wait staff is pretty attentive and very friendly with our kids. There is a boat outside, as well as a play area indoors that makes our meal run a lot more smoothly. Plus, we like that the prices are about 7 pounds, regardless of timing.
Tip: Many of us have learned to like fish through the Ashvale, so don’t write it off because you think you don’t like fish! The desserts are amazing- our 2 faves are caramel apple pie and sticky toffee pudding, both served warm.
Parking: Downtown: the car park is free and right outside the restaurant. There is also a Bridge of Don location, but I haven’t been there.
38 Upperkirkgate 01224 658588
This little French café caught me by surprise! Nice little portions kept me from overeating, but still left me satisfied. My mother-in-law enjoyed an Indian-flavored crepe, and I loved my ratatouille. A nice quick little lunch for 5-6 pounds.
Parking: Schoolhill, in between the 2 malls; probably best to walk from a bus stop or a car park, maybe Loch Street.
Queens Link Leisure Park
19 Sea Beach, City Centre, Aberdeen, AB24 5NR
Also beachside, perhaps the view and unlimited Coke refills are the highlights of this familiar American restaurant. While the usual flavours are still there, the exchange rate is not so favourable.
Tip: Take advantage of the 3-course meal for about 13 pounds and split it. Great for kids in that they get a balloon and even balloon creatures if you’re lucky.
Parking: Beachside- parking in the cinema car park or beachside if you’re lucky enough to find a spot. Either way, it’s free! However, parking will be tight, especially on Wednesdays as a result of the Orange for 1 movie tickets deal.
Cineworld (at the Beach)
Queens Links Leisure Pk, Aberdeen
0871 200 2000
Movie tickets are almost 8 pounds each, so it’s important to make sure you’re excited about the film you’ll be seeing. Interestingly, as you purchase your tickets, you’ll select your specific seats. This can be an advantage or disadvantage, depending upon how early you arrived. If you have easy access to the theater, you can go earlier in the day to ensure you get the seats you want, or you can spend a little extra and purchase them online. People do tend to talk a lot before and during preview trailers, but will quiet down when the film actually starts. You may also find yourself laughing at different things than the Scots. One other thing to note: This particular theatre offers Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, as well as a bar. Yea for the UK! Also, all concessions are self-serve and quite pricey. They offer 2 kinds of popcorn: butter-flavored and kettle corn. There is not a butter dispenser for the popcorn.
Tip: Orange offers their customers 2 for 1 tickets on Wednesday evenings. We only go on Wednesdays because that is quite a savings. Even if you are not an Orange mobile customer, you can borrow someone’s Orange mobile and text 244 and take advantage of this offer. You need to bring the mobile so the cashier can see your text message and enter the code to give you your discount. We also get the student discount with a valid ID and end up paying 4.80 GBP total for BOTH tickets!
Parking: Beachside- parking in the lot is free. Parking will be tight, especially on Wednesdays as a result of the Orange deal.
221 Union St, Aberdeen – 01224 596008
Queens Links Leisure Pk, Aberdeen – 01224 574183
If you’re looking for a taste of home, this is the place! The burgers and fries are just like stateside burgers. I also appreciate a HUGE diet coke with ice that I can refill as many times as I want.
Tip: If money is tight, you might consider super-sizing one combo meal (the one with the more expensive burger) and just buying the less expensive burger on the side. You get a ton of fries and 2 sandwiches that way, but not the price of 2 combo meals.
Note: There is NOT a play area.
Parking: There is convenient parking right outside the beachside restaurant. The downtown location is more easily accessed by bus/on foot.
14 Back Wynd; Aberdeen AB10 1JP >+01224 624800
331 North Deeside Road; Aberdeen AB15 9SN >+01224 863 642
520 Union Street; Aberdeen AB10 1TT >+01224 649900
The Hub; Elphinstone Road; Aberdeen AB24 3TU
Unit 5; Laurel Drive; Danestone; Aberdeen AB22 8HB >+01224 824 431
Whether you’re on campus or downtown, a good subway sandwich can really hit the spot! They also might be the only UK joint to have ranch dressing! Sandwiches are in the 2-3 pound range, drinks are 99p or 1.39. Subway is on campus at the HUB* and also downtown.
This is a favorite haunt for our family. Enjoy a cup of coffee, grab a Subway sandwich, have a cafeteria-style, ethnic meal, or just people-watch. There is also a great little convenience-style shop that has school supplies, post cards, snacks, milk, etc. I frequently take our children just to pass time, as we watch cars and trucks pass by the big windows or chat with the ladies working at the TIKI café. Josh gets a traditional Scottish breakfast on a weekly basis.
Tip: For 5 pounds, you can get a foot long sandwich and a large (refillable) drink. Once again, if money is tight, this is easily shared between 2.