Places to Eat
There are many cafes, restaurants, hotels and bars catering for all tastes and budgets dotted throughout the island. Some of our current favourites include:-
Ardbeg Distillery Old Kiln Café
A great spot for lunch and very popular but at busy times it’s worth the wait for a table! As well as a varied menu ranging from snacks to full meals it also does Specials each day and you can accompany the delicious home cooked food, often using local produce with a wee dram too! Of particular note is their unique Peat Smoked Mash…to die for!
The modern Gaelic College building right on the Loch houses a very good café producing home cooked snacks, meals and cakes at very reasonable ‘untouristy’ prices. Don’t worry, the friendly staff won’t expect you to speak Gaelic but the menu is helpfully translated in both languages, so you could always try!
Don’t let the strange name put you off popping in for coffee, home made cakes, sandwiches, soups and scones, well worthy of their fame! The bacon and maple syrup scones are just one of their more unusual varieties, but very moreish. It’s a friendly little café come gift shop and a very good place to stop off when in Bowmore.
Monday to Saturday
- 0900 to 1700
- 1200 to 1700
The Machrie Hotel
This is a recently modernised and extended luxury hotel which has been beautifully furnished using the palette of Islay colours with a distinct modern twist on the traditional. It’s worth popping in for coffee just to sit on their sumptuous sofa’s in front of roaring log fires, admiring the views of their Golf Course and the Big Strand beach and Loch beyond as well as the modern artwork within. Their food is usually very good too, modern and more casual style dining but in a fab ‘special occasion’ type setting.
Kilchoman Distillery Café
A great spot catering for those fancying lunch or coffee and cakes whilst touring the remote North West coast. It has a range of delicious home cooked cakes (including some featuring their Whisky!) as well as soups, sandwiches, Jacket Spuds and specials of the day. A popular favourite that is always on the menu is their Cullen Skink which is arguably the best on the island! As well as having a good gift shop, friendly staff and of course being a distillery it’s also worth noting the water at the table as well as that used in the loos, peat infused!
Islay House Hotel
An impressive historic white building looking very much like a Scottish Castle! It doesn’t disappoint inside either, being a high class hotel tastefully furnished and decorated as well as being a popular destination for Afternoon Teas and a restaurant priding itself on using local produce too. A lovely spot for a treat!
Port Charlotte Hotel
A traditional style well respected and loved Scottish hotel perched right on the shores of the Loch, so has amazing views from the back of their bar, restaurant, terrace and conservatory in particular. Through most of the year they have a bar as well as a more fine dining style restaurant menu focussing on local produce. From Easter until October they also have very good local musicians performing traditional music in their bar on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. During busy times both bar and restaurant tables usually need to be booked in advance. The bar, although cosy with an amazing log burner, is also regarded as having one of the best Whisky selections in the world!