A Chef’s Guide To The Isle Of Skye

By Ellie Smith

1 month ago

The island's best foodie hotspots


With its fairytale-like waterfalls, quaint fishing villages and rugged peaks, the Isle of Skye offers some of the most beautiful scenery in Scotland. But it’s also a hotspot for foodies – unsurprising given its bountiful natural larder. Think fresh seafood restaurants, cosy cafes, gastropubs and Michelin-starred fine dining, all dotted around the island’s idyllic landscapes. Here local chef Calum Montgomery, owner of restaurant-with-rooms Edinbane Lodge, shares his recommendations for the best restaurants on the Isle of Skye.

Calum Montgomery

Chef Calum Montgomery, 34, knows the island well, having been born and raised there. He is the chef-owner of Edinbane Lodge, a 4 AA Rosette restaurant offering casual fine dining, set within a historic 16th century hunting lodge. It has won multiple awards over the years, including Restaurant of the Year at the 2023 Scottish Excellence Awards, with a menu championing locally sourced ingredients from the land and sea surrounding the restaurant, served tasting-style.

Best Restaurants Isle Of Skye: Calum’s Pick

Café Cùil, Carbost

Café Cùil, by chef-owner Clare Coghill, offers a unique take on a Scottish brunch menu in a relaxed atmosphere. The ever-changing board of exciting seasonal specials are always banging, crafted by someone who really cares about local produce. Look out for the langoustine brioche roll.

Cafe Cuil, Satran, Carbost, Isle of Skye IV47 8SU, cafecuil.com

Calum Montgomery

Calum Montgomery

Birch, Portree

I love Birch, a specialist coffee house and roastery on the island. Come for the coffee, stay for the food. Owner, Niall Munro, has some crazy flavour combos in his artisan sandwiches, but I haven’t had a bad one yet. They’re so interesting and so different. Such a great spot to visit in my hometown of Portree, to grab a coffee and a sandwich to take away and explore the village. Or, sit back and relax with their scrambled eggs on sourdough and speciality coffee in the Nordic-like surroundings. Now and again he’ll have doughnuts from the Skye Bakehouse or home baking from his mum. I love it. 

Bayfield Rd, Portree IV51 9EL, birch-skye.co

Loch Bay Restaurant, Stein

Skye’s longest standing Michelin star, at a beautiful, refined seafood restaurant. When you walk through the doors, you may think you’ve stepped into a portal transporting you to a French neighbourhood restaurant. In actual fact, you’re in the hands of an accomplished French trained chef, cooking the best of Scottish produce – including shellfish from the loch you can see from your dinner table. Michael and Laurence have created a beautifully authentic space in their multi-award winning restaurant. I try to eat here at least once a year. It’s a treat every time. 

1 Macleods Terrace, Stein, Isle of Skye IV55 8GA, lochbay-restaurant.co.uk

The Hungry Gull, Staffin

If you are hillwalking the Old Man of Storr or the Quirrang in the north end of the island, then there is no better place to refuel than the Hungry Gull in Staffin. Try the gull burger with hand cut chips and take some home baking away for the road. The daily specials are great too, and often worth taking away for your walk. 

Staffin, Portree IV51 9JU

Edinbane Lodge

Edinbane Lodge

Lean To Coffee, Breakish

I can’t drive past Lean To without stopping for a cappuccino and one of their cinnamon sourdough buns. The building is deceiving – a lot of folk mistake it for being shut, as it has no roof! But don’t let that fool you, this is a quality coffee and cake stop.

8, Ashaig, Isle of Skye IV42 8PZ

Seaflower Skye, Portree

Now for something a little different: how about all of Skye’s incredible seafood, at source, on the sea, served by the family that caught it for you? Ewen and Janice Grant have created a truly one-of-a-kind experience here in Skye. Set sail from Portree Harbour, aboard their luxury catamaran, for a beautiful journey across the Sound of Raasay. Stop off on the Island of Rona for a walk and return to the boat by Rona Harbour for the freshest shellfish lunch you’ll find anywhere. Langoustine, lobster and crab are served with chilled white wine, while you soak in the panoramic views over the sea to Skye. This boat trip is truly unique, as you will see your lunch being caught by captain Ewen’s brother David or father Yogi, on one of their two family fishing boats. I can’t recommend this enough. 

2 Fisherfield, Viewfield Rd, Portree IV51 9EU, seaflowerskye.com

The Dunvegan, Dunvegan

A one of a kind restaurant on Skye that cooks all of their produce over fire: Argentinian-inspired cooking techniques while using the best of our local larder in a relaxed setting. If you’re lucky enough to visit Skye during shrimp season, then you might just get a chargrilled platter of them here at The Dunvegan, caught by Loch Bay Shellfish.

Main Street, Dunvegan, Isle of Skye IV55 8WA, thedunvegan.com

Scorrybreac, Portree

A beautiful restaurant by Calum Munro, named after his family home. Once known for its tasting menu format, Calum now cooks small plates with the same ethos of maximising flavour in all of his dishes. Head upstairs for a foraged cocktail and enjoy incredible views of Portree bay in the intimate bar space above the main restaurant.

Scorrybreac Restaurant, 7 Bosville Terrace, Portree IV51 9DG, scorrybreac.com

Find out more about Edinbane Lodge at edinbanelodge.co.uk