As we explain in more detail on our food page, Shetland has a very well-stocked larder, with outstandingly good fish and shellfish and particularly tasty lamb. One speciality that’s worth trying is reestit mutton, prepared by steeping a joint of meat in brine and then air-drying it, traditionally in the rafters above the fire. As well as being served in bannocks, it’s used as the base for a delicious potato soup, especially around Christmas and New Year.
Other highlights include the Shetland Black potato, carrots, kale, cabbage and turnip, and even some locally-grown strawberries. Milk is produced by a number of dairy farms and local butter, cream and Shetland cheeses are available. You can try a range of local beers, too, produced at the small, family owned brewery in Unst that’s the most northerly in the UK. For the sweet-toothed, fudges, toffees and chocolates are also made in Shetland.
In Shetland, as elsewhere in Britain, the range and quality of the food available has improved enormously over recent decades. It’s easy to find the best of all this produce, cooked with care and well-presented. There’s a good range of places to eat, from restaurants specialising in the most ambitious local cooking to fish and chip shops offering fish as fresh as you’ll find anywhere. Vegetarian diets are generally well catered for.
We’ve provided a list of eating places below, but it doesn’t reflect one of Shetland’s best-loved traditions, namely Sunday teas. During the summer months, on most Sunday afternoons, two or three village halls scattered around the islands offer wonderful spreads of home-baking accompanied by unlimited cups of tea or coffee. The whole enterprise is voluntary and the profits go to charity. The only problem is that you may feel full for a week.
We hope that you’ll enjoy sampling the very best of Shetland’s cuisine.
Lerwick & Bressay
Grand Hotel Restaurant, 149 Commercial Street, tel. 01595 692826. Enjoy Shetland food at its best. An extensive range of creative dishes.
Queen's Hotel Restaurant, 24 Commercial Street, tel. 01595 692826. Fresh local produce prepared by a skilled team of chefs, right on Lerwick's historic waterfront.
Monty's Bistro, 5 Mounthooly Street, tel. 01595 696555. Taste of Scotland Award. All fresh ingredients highlighting local products, home made rosemary bread and desserts. Innovative modern cuisine.
Isleburgh House Café, King Harald Street, tel. 01595 692114. Tastefully decorated café: beautiful views of the flower park. Wholesome food and healthier options. Hot and cold meals, snacks and vegetarian selection.
Cafe at the Marts, Shetland Rural Centre, Staney Hill, Lerwick, tel 01595 697252. Concentrating on home cooking & local produce, a selection of soups, pies, rolls & pasties, home bakes, snacks and drinks will be available daily. Open Mon-Fri 8am-2pm, eat in or take away.
Central Café, Islesburgh Community Centre, King Harald Street, tel. 01595 692114. Fresh sandwiches and cakes, hot and cold meals available throughout the day.
The Great Wall, Viking Bus Station, Commercial Road, tel. 01595 693988 (restaurant) or 696344 (takeaway). Chinese/Thai Restaurant which serves cuisine from from the Far East, specialising in tasty traditional Thai platter.
Golden Coach Chinese Restaurant, 1-3 Commercial Road, tel. 01595 693848. Exquisite cuisines from Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and China. All food is freshly prepared and Monosodium Glutamate free.
Hay's Dock Café & Restaurant, Shetland Museum & Archives, Hay's Dock, tel. 01595 741569. Whether it's Sunday brunches, evening meals, afternoon teas or business lunches, Hay's Dock specialises in using the best local ingredients, simply cooked and beautifully presented.
Mareel Cafe Bar, Mareel, Lerwick, tel 01595 74 5500. Mareel's cafe bar offer a wide selection of teas, coffees, other hot and cold drinks, bar refreshments, and light snacks, so go along and enjoy a fabulous view, a comfy seat, and some delicious food and drink.
Gurkha Kitchen, 33 North Road, tel. 01595 690400. Wide variety of Nepalese and Indian cuisine freshly cooked and available 7 days a week for lunch, evening meal or takeaway.
Coffee & Keetchin, Harrison Square, tel. 01595 690606. Choose from a range of different hot and cold beverages, also a selection of paninis, bagels, salad boxes, fruit boxes and more.
Fort Cafe & Takeaway, 2 Commercial Road, tel. 01595 693125. Fish and chip shop serving fresh local fish daily.
Happy Haddock, 59 Commercial Road, tel. 01595 692414. Fish and chip shop selling fresh fish daily.
Skipidock Inn, Toll Clock Shopping Centre, 26 North Road, tel. 01595 696865. Variety of breakfast and lunches available daily.
The Olive Tree, Toll Clock Shopping Centre, 26 North Road, tel. 01595 697222. Deli lunches available 6 days a week.
Peerie Shop Cafe, Esplanade, tel. 01595 692817. Fresh lunches and snacks available Mon-Sat.
New Harbour Cafe, 2 Merran Moads Steps, Esplanade, tel. 01595 695271. Open early for breakfasts and serving lunches daily.
Da Muckle Cafe, Clickimin Leisure Complex, Lochside, tel. 01595 741000. Serving lunch and snacks throughout the day.
Kveldsro House Hotel, Greenfield Place, tel. 01595 692195. Choose from a selection of meals cooked using fresh local produce. Open for lunch and evening meals. Traditional roast menu available on Sundays.
La Piazza Bistro, 88 Commercial Street, tel. 01595 696005. Wide selection of Italian and European dishes available after 5pm.
Osla's Cafe Bar, 88 Commercial Street, tel. 01595 696005. A great selection of freshly cooked food. Available for lunch and evening meals.
Raba Indian Restaurant, 26 Commercial Road, tel. 01595 695585. Choose from a variety of traditional Indian dishes, available for lunch, evening meals and takeaways.
Shetland Hotel, Holmsgarth Road, tel. 01595 695515. The new Waterfront Bar & Grill serves delicious lunches and evening meals and is also a perfect retreat for those just wishing to have a drink and soak up the atmosphere. Beltramis, on the ground floor, is the lounge bar where you can access the internet on their PCs or your own device.
Lerwick Hotel, 15 South Road, tel. 01595 692166. Brasserie Restaurant has a wide choice of dishes for lunch and dinner in a relaxing setting. They also offer a seasonal seafood menu.
Flames Grills & Bites, Commercial Road, tel. 01595 697453. Teas, coffees, and a wide range of food including pizzas, pasta, burgers, curry and paninis. Open 9am - 10pm. Euros accepted. Relaxed atmosphere.
Maryfield House Hotel, Bressay, tel. 01595 820207. Renowned for a wide variety of seafood dishes and bar suppers. 5 minutes from Lerwick to a warm welcome from family and staff of the Maryfield.
Phoenix Restaurant, Herrislea House Hotel, Veensgarth, Tingwall, tel. 01595 840208. Relax in the country house ambience and enjoy homegrown meats complemented by local seafood and produce. Freshly cooked to order. Bookings must be made prior to 5pm.
Scalloway Hotel, Main Street, Scalloway, tel. 01595 880444. Open daily for lunch and evening meals, with a great menu based on high quality local produce including lamb, beef, fish and shellfish.
Bonhoga Gallery Cafe, Weisdale Mill, Weisdale, tel. 01595 745750. Open Tues-Sun for a selection of homemade snacks and lunches.
The Spiggie Hotel, Scousburgh, Dunrossness, tel. 01595 460409. Food is served in bar and restaurant. Shetland seafood/shellfish are their speciality. Delicious puddings and homebakes.
Sumburgh Hotel, Sumburgh, tel. 01950 460201. Quality food from local producers. Specializing in seafood which is available all year round. Fine selection of wines.
Sumburgh Airport Cafe, Sumburgh, tel. 01950 460683. Serving breakfasts, snacks and hot meals throughout the day.
Hoswick Visitor Centre, Hoswick, Sandwick, tel. 01950 431406. Teas, homebakes and light lunches available daily.
Burrastow House, Walls, tel. 01595 809307. Honest, straightforward food made using the best ingredients including local lamb, fish and seafood.
Shetland Cheese Ltd, Skeld, tel. 01595 860202. There is a small cafe at the creamery serving filled rolls, cheese platters and refreshments.
Community run Cafés operate in Walls throughout the summer months only. Mon & Wed at Germatwatt Centre, Walls from 11am to 4pm, Fridays at Walls Methodist Church Hall 11am to 2pm and Sunday at Walls Regatta Club, 12noon to 4pm (June, July, Aug).
Busta House Hotel Restaurant, Brae, tel. 01806 522506. Dine by candlelight in the Pitcairn room or relax in the 18th century bar. Superb cuisine, fine wines, mature malts. Local and home-grown produce a speciality.
Pierhead Restaurant and Bar, Lower Voe, Voe, tel. 01806 588332. Offering a good selection for lunch and evening meals.
Da Mish, Graven, Sullom Voe, tel. 01806 242715. Offering various types of coffee, all day breakfast, cakes and scones baked daily and light lunches to evening meals. Also houses an art exhibition and local craft display. Open daily, all year.
Braewick Café, Braewick, Eshaness, tel. 01806 503345. Set in a picturesque location, with freshly prepared food using own croft-reared beef, pork and lamb with vegetarian options also available. A selection of tasty homebakes also served daily. Open March-December. Closed Tuesday & Wednesday.
Brae Hotel, Brae, tel. 01806 522456. Coffee shop open daily for sandwiches, cakes and drinks. Bar meals available at lunchtime or in evenings. Open all year.
Mid Brae Inn, Brae, tel. 01806 522634. Open for lunch and evening meals, serving a wide variety of freshly cooked dishes.
St Magnus Bay Hotel, Hillswick, tel. 01806 503372. A wide variety of meals prepared using fresh local produce.
Frankie's Fish and Chips, Brae, tel. 01806 522700. Excellent selection of local fish and seafood.
Drumquin Guest House, Brae, tel. 01806 522 621. Offering a range of home cooked meals, freshly made sandwiches and salads, home-made Soup, quiche. With a selection of desserts, coffee, tea and homebakes aswell. Evening meals available on booking. Open daily 10am-6pm
Island of Yell
The Hilltop Bar, Mid Yell, tel. 01957 702333. Under new management and refurbished in 2014 the Hilltop Bar is open 6 days a week serving snacks and evening meals.
Old Haa, Burravoe, tel. 01957 722339. A selection of delicious homemade sandwiches, soups and cakes. Open end April-Sept. Closed Mondays.
Various - There are often food nights in various community halls around Yell i.e chinese or fish & chip supper nights. Please refer to our Events calendar to see if anything is on during your visit.
Island of Unst
Saxa Vord Restaurant, Haroldswick, tel. 01957 711839. Enjoy Shetland's finest local produce (fish, shellfish, lamb, pork and beef) cooked simply and very well in Britain's most northerly restaurant. Advanced booking requested. Serving Sunday lunches and evening meals.
Baltasound Hotel, Baltasound, tel. 01957 711334. The Baltasound Hotel’s Restaurant, a finalist in 2012 Highlands and Islands Restaurant of The Year, invites you to taste the finest cuisine where all meals are prepared fresh to order using the best quality products Shetland has to offer. Opening 6pm – 9pm (high season) bookings advisable. For the availability in low season please contact us or check our website (www.baltasoundhotel.co.uk) or facebook page (www.facebook.com/Baltasound) for the upcoming events.
Final Checkout, Baltasound, tel. 01957 711666. The Final Checkout shop/cafe serves hot snacks and drinks. Homemade soups and homebakes are also available.
Pie In The Sky, Belmont, tel. 01957 711486. The "big red bus" at the Ferry Terminal serves hot food, delicious snacks & homemade Fetlar 'Craafit Ice Cream'. Open Mon-Thurs 6am-6pm, Fri & Sat 6am-10pm and Sun 10am-4pm.
Island of Fetlar
Fetlar Cafe, tel. 01957 733369 (Robert, Fetlar Developments Ltd). The hall has a cafe which is open May - August, 11am-4pm Mon-Sat and 12-4pm Sun with occasional evening dinners.
Island of Whalsay
Oot Ower Lounge, Livister, tel. 01806 566658. Golden Kitchen Chinese open Friday, Saturday & Sunday 11am-1am. Eat in or takeaway available 1pm-10pm.
On This Site
From Other Sites
- Shetland Lamb can be bought online and delivered direct to your door