Aberdeen Dining, Drinking and Shopping
The City of Aberdeen is an excellent place for dining, drinking and shopping. The options are virtually endless, catering to varied tastes and influences.
There are hundreds of restaurants in Aberdeen, including dozens that cater to upscale folks as well as many off-beat and out-of-the-way dining places. Perhaps the city’s most popular haunts can be found in the centre of town, including the restaurants listed here.
Established in 1922, La Lombarda on King Street is the oldest Italian restaurants in the city and one of the most popular. Its food is excellent and the ambience is refreshing. The same can be said for Musa Art and Music Café on Exchange Street, a restaurant, café and art gallery rolled into one, and it also offers live music on occasion. Clicking on the link above provides access to a printable map that will lead you to Musa.
Pizza Express on Union Street is a pizza lover’s delight and boasts of a modern setting and reasonable prices. Finally, Little Italy on Holborn Street may be a bit out of the way and a bit pricey as well, but the rustic décor and unique ambience make dining a pleasure.
For great Indian and spicy food, Kury Restaurant on King Street is the place of choice and consistently gets rave reviews in the local media. There are two unique settings within Kury: a chic boutique with a romantic feel that offers a la carte servings and its busting gourmet buffet, which has a contemporary setting and is quite popular for parties of any size and family get-togethers. Kury claims that it was "the first to offer the true taste of India" and they may have a point.
Aberdeen offers two exquisite choices for Chinese food. Jimmy Chung’s restaurant on Union Street, part of a 10-restaurant chain that began in Aberdeen and has stretched all over Scotland, has acquired a reputation for serving the best Chinese food in town and at reasonably low prices at that. Not that there are four Jimmy Chung restaurants in Aberdeen, but the one on Union Street is probably the best. Yu restaurant on Union Street is another fine choice for Chinese delicacies and is easy to find. They have a sumptuous menu and offer special set dinners, lunch and weekday specials.
For travellers who wish to sample food from all over the world and are concerned about their budget, nothing beats The Illicit Still just off Broad Street. Meanwhile, The Basement on Windmill Brae just off Union Street is a terrific American grill that has reasonable prices.
For those who would rather drink than dine, Aberdeen also has options galore like most any other city in Scotland. There are hundreds of bars and nightclubs in the city and, owing to the city’s large student population, many of these places offer special price promotions that extend to everyone, not just the students.
One of the most clubs in town is the Liquid dance club , which is part of a chain that includes over 20 clubs all over the UK. The great allure of Liquid is its signature style and quality sound as well as a breathtaking light show, retro design interiors (complete with giant lava lamps and oil wheel projectors) and excellent customer service.
Other popular nightspots include Moshulu underground club and the upscale Soul in the converted Langstane Kirk. The over-30 set usually converges at the upscale Albyn Bar and Club, which features live easy-listening music, opulent furnishings and fabulous, eclectic food as well as a brilliant design courtesy of Edinburgh-based interior designers Kerr Blyth Associates and architects Canale Associates.
It may look like a run-down hole in the wall, but the St. Machar Bar on High Street, Old Aberdeen is one of the most popular places in the city simply because it is inexpensive, convenient and teeming with university students out looking for a good time.
Snafu is the lone boutique nightclub in Aberdeen and it specializes in house music. Their wide array of sophisticated electronic and live sounds is second to none. In addition, Snafu also boasts of a well-known line-up of local resident performers, including Gene Farris, Funky Transport, Unabombers, Dee J A'la Fu, Harri and Blackbeard as well as popular guest performers such as The View, Rumble Strips and Down The Tiny Steps have all guested.
When it comes to shopping, there are four central shopping centres at the hub of Aberdeen. These are the Bon-Accord Centre (general high street shops), St. Nicholas Centre (general high street shops), The Academy (boutique shops) and the Trinity Centre (general high street shops). Like most other British urban areas, there are also a number of specialty shops to choose from as well as individual shops for major international brands.
The following is a list of some of the city's major shops, their locations and speciality offerings:
John Lewis, Bon Accord Centre/George Street, department store.
Debenhams, Trinity Centre, department store
Marks and Spencer, St. Nicholas Square (off Union Street), department store and supermarket
Next, St. Nicholas Centre/Berryden Retail Park, clothing and homewares
Primark, Bon Accord Centre/Union Street, clothing
GAP, St. Nicholas Square, clothing
H&M, Union Street, clothing
FOPP, Belmont Street, music and movies
Waterstones, Union Street, books
HMV, Trinity Centre/Union Street; music, movies, and games.