From steakhouses in converted Georgian buildings to coffee house gems, fine dining at budget prices, and traditional Scottish produce; there's a bit of everything to tingle your taste buds in Stirling.
So, if you haven't sampled Stirling's eclectic food scene yet, here are some quirky restaurants and eateries to get you started.
Fletcher's is an independent family run restaurant set inside an atmospheric Georgian building and just a 5-minute walk from Stirling city centre. Offering a warm welcome, an exciting array of dishes and taste-bud-tingling cocktails, it's a great foodie location for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Browse the menus, which are created using local produce from suppliers such as Skinners of Kippen Butchers, Wild Hearth Bakery and Eggilicious Eggs, to name just a few.
Rated in the 'Top 10 Restaurants Worldwide' by TripAdvisor 2020 and winner of 'Best Burger in Stirling' at the Restaurant Guru Awards 2020, Brea is something special. Showcasing fresh, locally sourced Scottish ingredients and turning them into delicious masterpieces, tuck into some of best dining delights that Scotland has to offer. Featuring seafood from the west coast and islands, home grown produce from local suppliers, and complete with a selection of Scottish spirits, ciders and craft beers, book a table here for the ultimate food lover's experience.
Named after Austrian Head Chef Hermann Aschaber, Hermann's uses the best of Scottish produce to create a quirky menu that also captures the Austrian favourites of schnitzel and strudel, with a variety of freshly prepared dishes to suit every taste. Located in Stirling's Old Town near the castle, cosy up in front of the roaring fire in winter, and enjoy scenic views from the restaurant.
4. Friend of Mine
Head along to Friend of Mine with the family or some pals and tuck into some delicious brunch creations. Created by three friends who have a love for food, you're guaranteed a delectable eating experience, from fry ups and waffles, to tofu bao, fruit loaf, kale bowls and more to choose from. Offering healthy food, veggie and vegan options and a warming atmosphere, it's a great place for everyone to enjoy.
5. The Birds and the Bees
Who doesn't love some good, hearty pub food? Combine with a creative array of drinks and cocktails and you have the perfect setting. The Bird and the Bees is an award-winning modern bar and bistro set in a quaint converted farm steading just a stone's throw away from the iconic Wallace Monument. Relax by the roaring fire, enjoy a coffee in the lounge, or sip a refreshing glass of wine in the pretty garden terrace.
Dating all the way back to 1787, this grand old building is home to the traditional and cosy Portcullis. Boasting a warming atmosphere complete with good, hearty food and an extensive drinks selection, you can't beat pub lunch or dinner.
7. Darnley Coffee House
We all love coming across a wee hidden gem of a coffee spot, and Darnley Coffee House is just that. Tucked away on the cobbled streets of the old town below Stirling Castle, sip on a warming cup of your favourite coffee, grab a bite to eat from their delicious and varied menu, such as soups, cauliflower cheese, bangers and mash and amazing home baking too.
8. The Inn at Kippen
If you love fresh, locally sourced food that can be traced back to its root, award-winning The Inn at Kippen does just that. This warm and friendly traditional village inn prides itself on offering the best food that Scotland's natural larder produces, from veg to meat and more. It also boasts a dog friendly bar, cosy restaurant and rooms, all nestled in the beautiful Stirling countryside.
9. Mhor Bread, Callander
The smell and taste of freshly made bread is hard to beat. Mhor Bread is a quaint bakery, shop and tearoom in Callander that uses Scottish milled flour in their bread, which is made fresh on-site every day. Buy and take home tasty sourdough, giant meringues, stonking wee pies, and elegant patisseries. Or head through to the tearoom, take a seat and enjoy a slap-up breakfast, hearty lunch, or a great cup of Illy coffee and cake - they are all about simple, delicious, local food.
*Please note the tearoom is currently closed due to Covid-19 measures.
10. The Pier Café
A beautiful lochside location on Loch Katrine, The Pier Café does not disappoint. Work up an appetite by cycling from Trossachs Pier, or head for a cruise on the loch on the SS Sir Walter Scott Steamship before heading in for some delicious food. Tuck into the homemade scones and cakes which are freshly made onsite daily, peruse the breakfast menu where you will find quality local produce, or stay for a three-course meal. The Cullen Skink is to die for and the haddock is cooked fresh from the North Sea.
11. Venachar Lochside
Another gem with a view, Venachar Lochside boasts a peaceful setting where you can hire boats for fishing, or head for a tranquil stroll. Indulge in a spot of contemporary dining with award-winning Scottish cuisine served up in a picturesque, idyllic setting. Browse the drinks menu where a wide selection of Scottish craft spirits and ales are on offer.
We hope this has whet your appetite and inspired you to get out and experience Stirling's quirky food and drink scene. Find out more about food and drink in Scotland, or plan your own city break. Share your quirky food experiences with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and share your favourite spots on our iKnow Community.