When I first moved to Aberdeen a little over a year ago I examined the internet high and wide to find things to do, places to go, food to eat, you know the drill – I was moving to a town I had never ever visited before. Let alone even heard of! (Well, apart from in a song title by one of my favourite bands!)
So perhaps there are now some fellow expats in this exact situation and by some unknown means the internet has brought you here to find out just exactly what there is to do in Granite City? Well, here are some suggestions from my first year here; which I admit may be very Aberdeen Uni-centered, but that is after all the area where I have been living.
COFFEE/FOOD (VEG FRIENDLY)
Madame Mew, Aberdeen Market Village
Top notch Thai food; massive portions at bargain prices. I am particularly fond of how the quirky decor makes you feel like you are right there sitting on Khao San Road, whilst being in Granite City. On a side note the Market Village is a pecuilar place to have a wander around and look at stuff… There is indeed a lot of stuff there.
Books & Beans, 22 Belmont St
Who does not like to enjoy their cuppa sqeezed in between old books? Personally, I like to visit this café in the early mornings (when one also gets a discount on hot beverages!!) – the window seats are just perfect for people watching aka one of my favourite pastimes.
Melt, 58 Holburn Street
I literally just found this take away grilled cheese sandwich shop the other day but as it turns out they have a vegan melt available! The news shook my world enough to get a spot on the list. Also it is a locally run business, like-button!
At the end of the Esplanade lies Footdee, or Fittie, a old little fishing village with tonnes, I repeat TONNES, of quirkly cute things to rest your eyes on.
David Welch Winter Gardens, Duthie Park
I love these indoors gardens (+ the fact that there is no entry fee!!!) – perfect for the Scottish winters that are far from tropical.
St Machar’s Cathedral/Seaton Park/Brig o’Balgownie
Grab a take away coffee at Grub or Kilau (only two places to serve decent coffee around the campus area), continue up to St Machar’s Cathedral to admire the beutiful stone work interiors before walking through Seaton Park to reach Brig o’Balgownie – one of the oldest bridges in town, if I remember correctly. If you are feeling extra energized on this day (or the weather is clear) why not continue down along the beach and visit Footdee at the same time.
Grampian Health Store, 32-34 Market Street
I definitely have a thing for health stores, I just love the scents that greet you once you enter. This is where I go for my tubs of nutritional yeast, dairy free ice-creams and kilos of nut butter. Prices are generally better than at the health food chains + one just feels better supporting independent shops. And as a bonus the staff are lovely!
Under the Hammer, 11 N Silver Street
A friend of mine recommended this place not too long ago, saying it is a great cosy place to go and without annoying blokes trying to chat you up. Winning! I am also a big fan of the vodka-bottles-turned-candlesticks; only downside would be that it gets a bit loud as the evening progresses due to the stone vault it is in.
CASC, 7 Stirling St
CASC stands for (and specialize in) Cigars, Ales, Scotch and Coffee and they sure know their trade! J loves to come here because of his cigar interest (they have a whole humidor room filled to the brim with wooden cigar boxes) while I just dig their wide selection of world wide as well as local beers and the fact that they make coffee like it was science class.
Slains Castle, 14-18 Belmont Street
This place located right in the city centre feels like stepping into the living room of the Addams family. To reach the lavatories one goes through “hidden bookshelf doors”; quite different from your average pub experience!
I’m still to try out Bonobo, which is -currently- open only on Saturdays, as well as Long Dog Café and recently established Mad Penguin that have been rumored to make a peanut butter and chocolate sorbet (I mean you had me at peanut!!). I expect to explore a whole lot of new places now that I have moved to the other side of the town too.
Are you a fellow Aberdonian, and if so – do you have some epic suggestions to be added to this list?