Planning a trip to Tayside? Here are the amazing cafes in Dundee you should definitely visit!
A heads up: there are so many gorgeous cafes in Dundee that you might not know about.
I lived in Dundee for nearly ten years and during that time I got to know the city really well. A sh*t ton of money has been invested in the city over the past few years and one of the results is that more and more cafes popping up in the city. Many of these cafes and breakfast spots are quirky, independent, and serve delicious food. They’re also local institutions!
In my list you’ll find:
- The best brunch spots in Dundee
- Where to grab lunch on the go
- Where you can find rainbow bagels in Dundee!
Oh, and the cafe I want to visit again for its super almond butter and berry compote-topped oats.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at the cutest cafes in Dundee…
Best for: crowd-pleasers in the trendy west end of Dundee
Location: 302 Perth Road Dundee DD2 1AU
It’s a Perth Road institution that draws the crowds for breakfast every weekend.
I think I may have mentioned cute café Pacamara in my post on 25 things to do in Dundee already. However, it’s worth including again because if you’re looking for somewhere for breakfast in Dundee Pacamara really is the place.
As I mentioned, it’s located on the Perth Road, which is in the west end of Dundee. It’s a little bit of a walk if you’re coming from the city centre but Dundee is a small city so it’s not too bad. It’s maybe around 20-25 minutes from the centre. Pacamara is worth it anyway, as the food is amazing – it’s also a great starting point for exploring some of the independent shops nearby.
One thing to note: Pacamara is always busy. I used to run past it on weekend mornings and was always having to dodge past the clusters of people outside waiting for a table to be available. However, it’s busy for a reason, and that’s because, as I mentioned, it’s one of the best brunch places in Dundee. I also have it on good authority that the coffee is very good.
So what is on the menu at Pacamara? Well, it’s your usual fare, but done really well. They have waffles, eggs and bacon, Colombian eggs, French toast, and a full cookie brekkie. I opted for the bubble and squeak benny this time around, made up of poached eggs, bubble and squeak fritters (all made in-house), and silky smooth hollandaise slathered on top. I also ordered an extra topping of black pudding and bacon crumb. Beautiful!
If you get one of the window tables you can people-watch like a pro while you’re eating, which is always my favourite thing to do. Just writing this has made me want to go back immediately, so if you are looking for some cool cafes in Dundee for breakfast or brunch, definitely add Pacamara to your list!
Breakfast is served: 9.30am-11.30am, lunch menu thereafter
View their menu here
The Flame Tree Café
Best for: their amazing rainbow bagels
Address: 20 Exchange Street Dundee DD1 3DL
If we’re talking about cafes in Dundee you have to visit the Frame Tree Cafe. This is the home of the rainbow bagel. I know, I know, we’re entering peak Instagram territory now, but you can’t go to this place and not order one, because they look amazing. And I found that they taste just as good as they look!
The Flame Tree Café is located on one of the coolest streets in Dundee – or downtown Dundee as it’s sometimes called – and it’s also one of my personal favourites. Why? Well, Exchange Street is lined with independent shops, cafes and restaurants.
There’s the Cheesery, cute new café The Selkie, a comic book store, and Daily Grind Coffee – as well as Rancho Pancho’s Mexican restaurant on the corner, which always wafting amazing smells when I walk past.
You’re also just a stone’s throw from the V&A museum, the town square, and lots of other bars and restaurants. It’s right in the heart of the buzz.
So what kind of food is on the menu at the Flame Tree Café in Dundee? Well, there’s freshly made soups, paninis, wraps, and ‘stuff on toast’, such as avo, mushrooms, and beans. There are also a ton of tempting cakes and traybakes. They all seemed to be staring at me from the counter and saying eat me when I went up to order.
I managed to resist and ordered the BLT rainbow bagel. There are a host of fillings to choose from for your bagel – cream cheese, Nutella, jam, bacon, vegan cream cheese, and more. The hardest thing was just making a decision on what to have on it!
Oh, and if you’re into food that looks good on the gram they also have an array of milkshakes and cute coffees – the beetroot, turmeric and matcha latte options sounded really intriguing to me. I also wanted to give a shout-out to the staff who were super lovely! Definitely stop by for a very yummy experience.
Flame Tree Cafe opening hours: 10am-4pm
View their latest menu
Best for: freshly made salad and sandwiches on the go
Location: 5A Bank Street, Dundee. DD1 1RL
Heads up, this place is more of a deli and lunch place and they don’t have any seating inside. So really not a cafe at all.
However, I broke the rules because I loved two things about it: the beautiful decor and how fresh and delicious the food looked. I didn’t get a chance to eat here this time, having stopped by for a takeaway coffee after having breakfast somewhere else.
It was the decor that got me in… but then the freshness of the food that really impressed me. While our coffees were being made I couldn’t help but marvel at all the yummy for lunch. There are signature sandwiches, salads, soups and a number of interesting sides – such as smoked salmon and prawn roulade. The tomato salad and pomegranate salad looked particularly tasty.
Oh, and of course, there are cakes, all presented on stylishly on-trend slate boards.
That seems like a good ‘in’ to talk about the décor at Tayble Deli. I’m quite into interior styling, and when we came to Tayble I just spent a lot of time just looking around and drinking it all in for inspiration.
It had it all: parquet flooring, white metro tiles with dark grouting, navy blue paint and lots of rustic charm – apples crates and shrubbery and a little nod to the location with Dundee marmalade ceramic jars.
Located on Bank Street, Tayble Deli is in the perfect spot if you work in the city centre and need to grab something for lunch. If you’re looking for an alfresco location to eat your lunch then I would recommend the Howff graveyard just around the corner – if that doesn’t sound too ghoulish that is.
It dates back to 1564 so there’s loads of history and character, and there are also plenty of benches dotted around to sit down.
Breakfast is served: there’s no breakfast, but it’s open from 10am-3pm
View their menu here
Best for: classic brunch dishes with a kiwi twist
Address: 31 Meadowside, Dundee, DD1 1DJ
The Bach has been a central pillar in Dundee’s brunch scene for a while now, and it’s unique in the fact that it has Kiwi roots. Yes, the owners are originally from New Zealand, which gives a fresh take on brunch in the city.
I hadn’t been to The Bach in a year or two but one thing I was reminded of when I tried to get away with a walk-in table is that it’s as popular as ever. I actually got turned away here the week before because there were no tables available, and I had to come back the week after.
So top tip number one, if you want to visit The Bach at the weekend then book a table online – which you can do here.
The Bach is in the city centre in Meadowside, literally across the street from the McManus Gallery and the DC Thomson headquarters (home of the Beano!) and only a couple of streets away from the high street.
It feels laidback and nothing is too ‘done’ in terms of the interior styling. I really love the industrial materials incorporated into their décor, such as the corrugated iron panel next to our table. With Dundee being such a post-industrial city, it feels like a nice fit.
If you can get a seat upstairs I’d recommend it. It felt super chilled up there in comparison to the bustle downstairs and if you can grab a seat by the window it’s also a prime people-watching position. My favourite activity, obviously.
Anyway, onto the food. As I mentioned, the Bach is a Kiwi-style café. There are nods to that heritage throughout – with the mince on toast option on the menu being one – but for the most part it offers up all the brunch and breakfast options you’d expect.
I opted for the Bich of the Bach this time around, which is essentially a veggie-cooked breakfast. It comes with halloumi, hash browns, tomato, mushrooms, wilted spinach, eggs, and their own Bach-style beans – sweet, smoky chickpeas that are very tasty.
If you’re looking for laid-back places to eat brunch in Dundee, definitely make a visit to The Bach.
Brunch is served: All day – 9am-4pm
Take a look at the menu for The Bach here
Bird & Bear
Best for: their amazing hip hop brunch
Address: 2 Whitehall Crescent, Dundee, DD1 4AU
Let’s just put it out there: Bird & Bear is one of the best all-rounders in Dundee.
Whether you stop by for breakfast, lunch, cocktails, dinner or drinks and dancing late on into the evening, I’ve never been disappointed when I’ve visited here. So what do I like most about Bird & Bear? Well, the food is great for a start.
Next up is, ding, ding, ding… the décor. From the huge curved copper bar, green metro tiles, hanging bird cages, and jewel-coloured velvet chairs, this place has everything I like about design. Even their menus are beautiful, having been designed by Dundee maker Whimsical Lush.
You may be thinking that Bird & Bear doesn’t exactly sound like a café. You’re right. It’s not. But… and it’s a big but, if we’re talking about great breakfast and brunch spots in Dundee then I couldn’t not include it. Why?
Because Bird & Bear does an AMAZING hip-hop brunch at the weekend. Now, I’m speaking as someone who doesn’t even particularly like hop hop music, but I know many people do. Beats, bloody Marys, and good food are surely the perfect way to bring yourself back to life after a big night out, and Bird & Bear gets it spot on.
So what did I order for my breakfast at Bird & Bear this time around? I ummed and ahhed over the chorizo hash, the stack of fluffy American pancakes, and the full-on fry-up. I eventually plumped for the classic eggs benedict.
It was honestly the best eggs benny I’ve had in a long time. The hollandaise sauce was heavenly – so rich and buttery and decadent – and the eggs were perfectly runny. Take me back here please.
Breakfast is served: from 8am, 7 days a week
Best for: brunch + beach walks before or after
Address: 234 Brook Street, Broughty Ferry Dundee DD5 2AH
A confession: my pet peeve is when I read blogs about the best places to visit in Dundee and half the places on the list are in Broughty Ferry, which is a cute fishing town a couple of miles away.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Broughty Ferry. However, I also appreciate that often when you’re searching for cafes in Dundee you actually want to find, you guessed it, cafes in Dundee. However, I am big fan of Forgans in Broughty Ferry so I wanted to include it, but only with the loud and clear disclaimer that it’s NOT IN DUNDEE.
From the moment I stepped off the street into their impressive entrance with its cobbles, twinkling lights, rustic crates filled with fresh flowers and even a lush, leafy, living wall, it was working for me. Inside it was just as stylish, with metro tiles, leather stools and a shabby chic bar.
The food went down well with me as well. I actually ordered not one, but two, brunch items. I could say I don’t get out much, but that’s not even true – I don’t even have an excuse. Anyway, I started with eggs benedict which was not bad at all.
But the second course of French toast with maple syrup was even better. I have an aversion to too much streaky bacon being served with French toast. However, this came with two slices of back bacon which were cooked perfectly. I would definitely love to stop by again and check out the menu for lunch and dinner.
If you do want to visit Forgans on your trip then Broughty Ferry is a mere bus journey away. You can get the 10, the 73A and a few other buses from the city centre and it should take you around twenty minutes. Oh, and there’s also another Forgans in St Andrews if you’d prefer to make a trip there instead.
Brunch is served every weekend until 12 midday
View their menu(s) here
The Birchwood Food Emporium and Cafe
Best for: hipster vibes in the heart of the city
Location: 28-32 Commercial Street Dundee DD1 3EQ
Onto my favourite cafe in Dundee. This place is a real find and I can’t believe it took me this long to visit! Located on Commercial Street in the city of town, just opposite Waterstones, The Birchwood Food Emporium and Cafe is gorgeous inside and out.
The rich dark paintwork, wooden floors, cosy cushions and faux shrubbery dotted around the surroundings create a really cosy, rustic atmosphere that you just want to spend time in. The branding is also just really slick. It’s the kind of place Dundee has been calling for years. I’m just glad it’s arrived, and the good news is that the food more than lives up to the surroundings.
The Birchwood Food Emporium has a few unexpected cards to play in its breakfast menu, which was certainly very welcome from me. Cinnamon doughnuts, a fully vegan cooked breakfast, and build-your-own sourdough toast are just a few examples.
I went for the build your own porridge. It comes with a choice of toppings including fresh blueberries, mixed seeds, banana, peanut butter, and lots more. I opted for the fruit compote and almond butter, which was a dreamy combination. The portion was more than generous so this filled me up for pretty much the entire day.
My boyfriend opted for the full breakfast, as per usual, which he also raved about. Having tasted how creamy and delicious the scrambled eggs were I will definitely be returning. I need to work my way through the rest of the menu!
Oh, and to pick up a loaf of that cheese and chilli bread that was looking at me the whole time. Yes, there’s a whole selection of delicious-looking food for sale at The Birchwood too – hence its Emporium name – and you really will be spoiled for choice. I just can’t wait to go back as soon as possible!