Looking for a guide to the best cafes in Aberdeen? Here are my favourites!
Your go-to guide to the best independent cafes in Aberdeen…
I recently went on a little solo trip up to Aberdeen for a couple of days. One of the things I really wanted to do during my stay was to step outside of the city centre and really get under the skin of the so-called Silver City.
And one way I did that was by visiting some of the best breakfast spots and cafes in Aberdeen. I was really impressed! Whether you’re looking for vegan cafes, a cosy nook to curl up with a book and a slice of cake, or dog-friendly places to grab a bite, I was genuinely blown away by the places to eat in Aberdeen.
What is Aberdeen known for?
But first up, a little introduction to Aberdeen. You might know Aberdeen for a few things…
Oil money. Folks going ‘off-shore’. Its steely grey exterior. I have to confess that until recently I had a pretty surface deep opinion on Aberdeen. Despite living in Dundee for the last few years, I’ve never spent much time there. In fact, it’s really only been a quick pitstop on the way to Shetland (where my boyfriend is from). All I’d really done until now is mooch around Union Square and grab dinner at Nando’s before rushing off to catch the ferry.
There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. However, this time I wanted to get a sense of the ‘real’ Aberdeen beyond the shopping centre, sparkling granite, and off-shore identity. On this trip I soaked up the charming cobbled streets of Old Aberdeen, discovered the jaw-dropping street art tucked away in various nooks and crannies, and enjoyed working my way through the menus of the independent, quirky, and cool AF cafes dotted around Aberdeen.
I’m currently working on a long post which will cover ALL the best things to do in Aberdeen. But, for now, this is my guide to the best cafes in Aberdeen! Get ready to be hungry in approximately 3, 2, 1…
My favourite cafes in Aberdeen
Where is the best place to get a vegan breakfast in Aberdeen? Well, funny you may ask, because stylish eatery and 100% vegan cafe Bonobo Café is certainly a very strong contender. With a vegan fry up, vegan benny, and various other tasty-sounding vegan options on their menu you’ll be spoiled for choice here!
Bonobo Café was my first stop when I arrived in Aberdeen. Why? Well, I’d had a peek at their menu on the train up and loved the sound of their smoked tofu eggs benedict, and so I knew I had to try it asap! When I arrived at Bonobo Cafe it got even better when I discovered they have an amazing tranquil rooftop terrace. It’s absolutely beautiful too. Painted bright turquoise and with leafy hanging baskets and potted plants dotted around I honestly felt like I could be on holiday. The fact that the weather was ridiculously hot also helped – it was the perfect little sun trap!
So what was the food like at Bonobo Café? It was great! The tofu benny was delicious and I gobbled it down along with an iced Americano which also hit the spot. If you have a sweet tooth they also have loads of cakes on the counter to tempt you. There’s everything from fondant fancies to carrot cake to decadent chocolate brownies.
Although it was really busy when I was there (they mentioned they were short-staffed and did seem run off their feet) I thought the service was warm and welcoming throughout. A big thumbs up from me!
Bonobo Café address:: 73-75 Skene St, Aberdeen AB10 1QD
If you start searching for good cafes in the Granite City the one name that comes up over and over again is Foodstory. It was in every blog I read so I knew I definitely wanted to try it! Launched through a Kickstarter back in 2013, Foodstory in Aberdeen is known for its great selection of vegetarian and vegan food. Serving breakfast, lunch, and a variety of delicious cakes, it’s a slice of hipster paradise with twinkly fairy lights and lush concrete walls.
But is Foodstory as good as everyone says it is? Well, there were a couple of niggles. It was a little confusing trying to figure out where to order your food. There was a big queue of customers in front of the counter when I arrived which I thought was people getting takeaway food. However, after asking a staff member it turned out that’s where everyone had to queue. I was a bit surprised at this, considering most places are doing table service right now.
So at this point I was a little unsure as to whether I’d be telling you that Foodstory didn’t live up to the hype. However, the food was so good I can’t do that. I wasn’t sure what to order but I ended up having a vegetarian pastry that came with your choice of salad. I opted for the chickpea, aubergine, tomato and feta salad. All in all, as far as stylish vegan cafés in Aberdeen go, Foodstory ticks a lot of boxes.
Foodstory address: 11-15 Thistle St, Aberdeen AB10 1XZ
The Long Dog Café
Looking for a dog friendly café in Aberdeen? You’re in luck – the clue is in the name with The Long Dog Café. The café is actually located right next door to The Long Dog Boutique which stocks dog food, dog treats, and dog harnesses and jackets. So it’s the perfect place to treat your dog, and yourself!
On the subject of treating yourself, The Long Dog Café is most famous for its freakshakes. They come in all sorts of flavours and look amazing! How does a Biscoff, Kinder Bueno or Unicorn flavour freakshake sound? However, on my visit to The Long Dog Café I was more interested in the breakfast options.
I stopped off here my second morning in Aberdeen after an early morning walk and I was starving. My initial impressions were great: friendly service, cute décor, and a great menu. As soon as I saw that they had bacon naans on the menu I knew I had to order one. The bacon naan comes with two dips, tzatziki and a spicy firecracker sauce, which were the perfect combination of hot and cool. There are also bagels, breakfast rolls, and cakes on the menu – and there’s a full list of vegan options, including a vegan sausage roll.
One final thing, I should also mention the décor which is super cute. If you want a cool background for your food pics you’ll definitely find it at The Long Dog Café. Expect marble table tops, cosy booths separated by navy wood panelling, leafy wallpaper, and floating shelves with cute prints and potted plants. It’s so pretty!
The Long Dog Café address: 66 Claremont St, Aberdeen AB10 6QY
Another vegan-friendly café in Aberdeen is BioCafe. It bills itself as being the home of healthy and fresh food, but definitely don’t go in thinking the food is going to be dull. It’s pretty much the complete opposite!
Everything on the menu sounds delicious. There are breakfast treats such as scrambled tofu, gluten-free waffles, and peanut butter and jelly on toast as well as an extensive lunch and dinner menu. This includes items such as keto-friendly buddha bowls (salad bowls to you and me) and Korean kimchi burgers. And it’s not just hype either. If you’re wondering how is Biocafe rated, it gets five stars on Tripadvisor, so it’s definitely worth a visit.
It’s also a great place to spend time in, with some on point decor. Expect to see artfully mismatched tables, exposed brickwork, leafy potted plants, and a dark ceiling that gives it a sense of cosiness even on a summer day. It was busy when I was there, and so I had to settle for perching on one of the stools at the window and people watching – which I actually rather enjoyed. They do have additional seating downstairs however, FYI.
As it was the middle of the day I just stopped off for a quick coffee. They have a whole array of coffee on offer – everything from turmeric lattes to bullet coffee, which is made with ghee butter and coconut oil here. I opted for a matcha latte, which gave me just enough of a caffeine boost to complete the last part of my Aberdeen adventure. As far as coffee shops in Aberdeen go, this is a great one!
BioCafe address: 39, Rosemount Viaduct, Aberdeen AB25 1NQ
The Craftsman Company
The Craftsman Company is located in the centre of Aberdeen, only a few minutes-walk from Union Square. It’s officially termed a ‘coffee and ale house’ but I’d heard good things about their brunch menu and so I wanted to try it. They have an all-day brunch menu and they also serve sandwiches, pasta salads, pizza and ‘poke bowls’ – which seems to be a salad bowl! Also, if you’re looking for gluten free food in Aberdeen come here. They have a whole dedicated gluten-free menu which looks awesome! But what did I order?
Well, I plumped for the tempting-sounding Turkish Eggs: poached eggs. dill yoghurt, chorizo oil and toasted bread that’s perfect for dipping. Honestly, it was so good! I also really enjoyed the relaxed vibe here. The décor is cool, with steampunk stools and rustic tables mixed with tiles and exposed stonework – very much my kind of place!
I’ll be totally honest here: I was a little apprehensive about going to The Craftsman Company. I’d read a couple of reviews that said that staff were rude and the service was poor. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth in terms of my own experience! I found the staff super warm and welcoming. In fact, every time a customer walked through the door I wasn’t sure if the staff knew them personally, because they were just so friendly. So there you go! I always prefer to try things and make up my own mind rather then relying on reviews.
The Craftsman Company address: 2 Guild St, Aberdeen AB11 6NE
The Sand Dollar Café
This one came courtesy of a recommendation of a colleague (and local) about where to eat in Aberdeen. As you walk along the promenade at the beach you’ll clock a cluster of cafes. Theres’s Café Ahoy, Inversnecky Café, The Pier and and even the Highlander Café Bus a little further along – that’s a café in a double decker bus by the way! I decided to stop off at Sand Dollar Café for a quick refresher after wandering around nearby fishing village Footdee. It’s unfussy and offers a relaxed dining experience with tables and chairs spilling out onto the street.
To me it has a real light and airy beachside café vibe with wooden flooring, pale grey walls, and paintings of nearby locations (such as Footdee) by local artists on the walls. Really nice!
You can get breakfast and lunch at The Sand Dollar Café, and there’s an array of choice for you… although it is on the carb heavy side! Choose from burgers, bagels, sandwiches and wraps – and try not to be tempted by all the freshly baked cakes and pastries on the counter.
I wasn’t overly hungry at the time so I went for the berry smoothie, made with blueberry, raspberry, banana, chia seeds, coconut water and almond butter. It was lovely, although retrospectively I would have liked to try a bit more of the menu. Next time, perhaps!