Food and Drink

The North Highlands are a culinary heaven for food lovers or ‘foodies’!


With natural local larder right on our doorstep, the North Highlands boasts rich fertile farmland, sea facing coastlines, glistening lochs, deep water fish ports as well as roaming game and foraged foods throughout the sparsely populated landscape. Enjoy the mix of fine dining, authentic eateries, smokeries, farm shops, chocolatiers, craft breweries and distilleries created from the land, larder and history. 

If you need to hire a vehicle or purchase any supplies check out the following stores:  
NB: Please note that all our itineraries are based on suggestions alone. If you would like a more comprehensive option please head to our interactive map. Please check before the availability of businesses during off season. Remember to pre book meals/distillery/brewery tours and other activities in advance (some tours offer more than one language)


*The legal drink-drive limit in Scotland is lower than anywhere else in the UK: 22 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. If you are the designated driver and visiting  breweries and distilleries across the route, many of them will provide samples for your to enjoy back at your accommodation provider or on your return home.
*Make sure to check our
road safety section of our website – particularly how to drive single track roads!
*Watch out for wildlife and farm life who also like to roam these roads!
*Make sure dogs are kept on leads.  Adhere to the
Scottish Outdoor Code. Wear sensible clothing and footwear.


  Scotland is internationally known for its food and drink. It’s no surprise that food and drink are at the forefront of our festivals and events each year. From farmers markets and shows to gin festivals, whisky festivals, beer festivals and music festivals. See below a a list of events happening in and around the North Coast 500 (For farmer's markets across the NC500 see here) :

**Burns Night (Every 25th January) ** Inverness Whisky and Gin Festival (22nd April, 2017, Inverness) **Highland and Moray Food and Drink Festival (May 27th 2017, Inverness) **Black Isle Show (2nd and 3rd August, 2017, Black Isle) ** Jocktoberfest (1st and 2nd September, 2017, Black Isle) **Dornoch Whisky Festival (27th to Monday 30th October 2017, Dornoch)

Food and Drink Banner Image courtesy of
Chanterelle Kinkell Restaurant 

Inverness to Torridon (approx. 110miles)

  Taste your way around the North Coast 500!

  We hope you enjoyed the eye-popping scenery to Inverness – a taster into what awaits you along the North Coast 500!

  Not only will you experience spectacular scenery along your travels but our rich culture and history. We are particularly proud of our food heritage;  it is at the very core of our culture. What do you think of when you hear the words ‘Scottish food and drink'’? Haggis, Whisky? Well, rest assured we have an extensive range of Scottish cuisine, see how many Scottish delicacies you can tick off the list.

  Did you know that Whisky accounts for 80% of Scotland’s food and drink exports and is Scotland’s national drink?

   Kick start your journey from Inverness, the capital of the Highlands! Travel through the picturesque villages of Beauly and Muir of Ord before stopping off at your first distillery on route, and also one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, Glen Ord Distillery (pictured).

   Watch their distillers at work creating a magical malt whisky which is sweet, fruity and subtly spicy on the palate.   With a number of tours to choose from, why not take the Grain to Glass Tour? A unique opportunity to see a working drum malting. Followed by a tour of their distillery and a taste of 4 different whiskies where the barley is provided by their maltings.
  (This tour must be booked at least 1 week in advance, please contact the distillery on 01463 872004 or – minimum of two people, maximum of eight)
For your fist Highland dining experience, join Coul House Hotel (pictured). Their range of dining options include both contemporary Scottish cuisine and some more of the traditional favourites whether you fancy lunch or afternoon tea there’s something for everyone to relish.

  Back behind the wheel and a short distance after leaving the village of Contin are the spectacular Rogie Falls. Burn off those calories with a short walk through the woodland to the impressive falls. Depending on the time of year you can forage for wild blaeberries and during August and September there is an excellent opportunity to watch wild salmon leaping upstream.

  Onwards through Garve you will enjoy the stunning drive west, notorious for its dramatic natural scenery, combining: rugged mountains, remote glens and mysterious lochs – in addition, the perfect ingredients for some truly outstanding food and drink. From wild game, seafood, shellfish to beef and lamb.

  Roughly an hour’s drive from Garve, you will take on the infamous climb over the Bealach na ba to Applecross.  The curvy mountain pass boasts the greatest ascent of any road climb in the UK, rising up to 626 metres (2,054 ft) above sea level. Got a head for heights? Similar to that of the Alps, the single track road consists of steep hair pin bends and switch backs and the odd sheep from time to time.
(Travelling by motorhome? If it is more than a standard VW T5 conversion (ie about 16 – 18 ft in length), please do not go over the pass, take the alternative route -A 896)
  As you drive over the Applecross Peninsula to Torridon, be sure to stop off at Applecross Smokehouse at Kenmore, overlooking Loch Torridon and the Torridon Mountains. Enjoy some delicious smoked salmon, sea trout, shellfish, pâtés and cheeses hand crafted in a modern artisan smokehouse. Why not have some delivered on your return home while you reminisce over your NC500 tales?
  Call yourself a ‘foodie’? Scotland is a world class destination renowned for using fresh, local and sustainable ingredients.

  You will feel close to the land and in tune with the seasons when you stay at The Torridon (pictured), choose between their luxury hotel and traditional family Inn . They pride themselves on trying to source the best produce and you can be sure of its provenance and that the produce could not be more local. You will be delighted to find the Torridon kitchen garden and farm playing such a prominent part in their menus.

  The Torridon Hotel has a 3 rosette dining restaurant offering daily changing 3, 4 or 7 course menu. Why not experience their ‘Ultimate 7 Course Tasting Menu’? Following your meal enjoy petites fours and a digestif in their award winning, and supremely relaxing whisky & gin bar. Perhaps a ‘whisky nosing’ and sample tasting from their selection of over 350 single malt whiskies?

  For the best Scottish pub food check out the Torridon Inn, they also offer a selection of up to 6 real ales from Scotland at any one time. Be sure to try the ‘Torridon burger’, acclaimed by one Scottish food writer as “the best burger in Scotland!”

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