Where to Eat in Lochgilphead: The Best Restaurants and Bars

October 27, 2017 Deane Carmody

Lochgilphead /lɒxˈɡɪlp.hɛd/ (Scottish Gaelic: Ceann Loch Gilb [kʲʰan̪ˠ lˠ̪ɔx ˈkʲilip]) is a town and former burgh in Argyll and Bute, Scotland, with a population of around 2,300 people. It is the administrative centre of Argyll and Bute. The village lies at the end of Loch Gilp (a branch of Loch Fyne) and lies on the banks of the Crinan Canal. Lochgilphead sits on the A83 road, with Ardrishaig 2 miles to the south and Inveraray 24 miles to the north-east; Oban lies 37 miles north on the A816.
Things to do in Lochgilphead

1. The Oystercatcher

Otter Ferry, Tighnabruaich PA21 2DH, Scotland Serves Alcohol, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Full Bar, Accepts Visa, Accepts Credit Cards Bar, Seafood, British, Scottish, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Brunch +44 1700 821229
Excellent
55%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
7%
Terrible
6%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 334 reviews

The Oystercatcher

The Oystercatcher is a pub and restaurant on the banks of beautiful Loch Fyne, now open under new management. We offer meals prepared with fresh, local produce and stock a wide range of Scottish craft beer, small batch gin, and whisky in our bar.

Reviewed By Gerald M

We were thrilled to be greeted by charming staff, an airy and stylish interior and stunning views at The Oystercatcher for a recent lunch with friends and family. The staff made our visit, they were chatty, friendly and very welcoming. Aesthetically the room is pleasing, uncomplicated and refreshing. Personally, I found the food quite disappointing, leek and potato soup was starchy and crunchy, we all had the fish n chips which tasted of burnt oil and was very fatty indeed. Skipped dessert as a rude man stood at the bar insulting anyone that walked past. If you can go to The Oystercatcher it’s worth it for the view alone, otherwise it’s nothing amazing.

2. The Westward at Crinan Hotel

Crinan, Lochgilphead PA31 8SR, Scotland Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Reservations British, Seafood, Scottish Breakfast, Dinner +44 1546 830261
Excellent
64%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
9%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 52 reviews

The Westward at Crinan Hotel

Reviewed By Bjorn_Toulose - Glasgow

We ate at the seafood bar not the restaurant. it was fantastic recommend the scallops. They serve white wine by the glass (choice of 4) and have peroni on draught. Very reasonable priced.

3. Kilmartin Museum Cafe

Kilmartin, Kilmartin PA31 8RQ, Scotland Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Reservations, Free Wifi Cafe, British, Soups, Scottish, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Brunch +44 1546 510278
Excellent
59%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 307 reviews

Kilmartin Museum Cafe

Kilmartin Museum Cafe is open every day from 10 - 5 from March to end October and 11 - 4 during November and December. We close from Christmas until the beginning of March each year. The cafe provides lunches, cakes, teas and coffees. Wherever possible, our delicious and wholesome food is prepared on the premises and cooked to order. We cater for special diets on request and there are always vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options on offer. The cafe is on two levels, upstairs in the barn and downstairs in the green oak conservatory with views across Kilmartin Glen. We have wi-fi and daily papers so you can always keep in touch.

Reviewed By 102maggiemay - Scotland, United Kingdom

Visited Kilmartin Museum recently - the Café is comfortable and has a lovely outlook over Kilmartin Glen. The young staff really do need to be given the opportunity of some training in customer service. It costs nothing to greet customers with a friendly smile and a welcome, rather than a dreary indifference!

4. The Tayvallich Inn

Tayvallich, Lochgilphead PA31 8PL, Scotland Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Free Wifi Bar, Seafood, British, Pub, Scottish, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night HK$47 - HK$220 +44 1546 870282
Excellent
65%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 289 reviews

The Tayvallich Inn

Situated in the picturesque village of Tayvallich on the shores of Loch Sween, the Inn overlooks the beautiful natural harbour of Tayvallich bay. At the heart of this small and vibrant community, the Tayvallich Inn has always been a popular meeting place for sailors, holidaymakers, more recently kayakers and all who enjoy our warm hospitality and good food. Established over 30 years ago, the Tayvallich Inn specialises in fresh, locally caught seafood, much of which is landed on our doorstep from the cold, pristine waters of the sound of Jura. Along with seafood we serve other fresh produce, sourcing locally where ever possible.

Reviewed By Seagullnic - Wolverhampton, United Kingdom

I used to regularly eat at The Tayvallich Inn, when I lived in Mid Argyll in the early 1990s. I had not been back there since I left the area.
So I returned this September and was gobsmacked that the place has barely changed.
Still a location and views to die for, and the seafood and hospitality is as excellent as it always was.
What a wonderful journey back in time ... thank you!

5. Rafters

Castle Sween Holiday Park | Castle Sween Caravan Park, Lochgilphead PA31 8PT, Scotland Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible Diner Dinner HK$110 - HK$330 +44 1546 850223
Excellent
51%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 16 reviews

Rafters

Right in the middle of the Holiday Park, and under the very walls of the Castle, buildings which used to be used as the Farm Steading have been cleverly converted with conservation in mind, to provide facilities for a Shop, Restaurant and comfortable Lounge Bar. Bar lunches and main restaurant lunches prove popular also with people who live locally. The restuarant is open every evening except Wednesdays and provides good quality meals at reasonable prices, with a relaxed atmosphere which caters for couples or familys. We also have an extensive carry out menu which is ideal for the nights that you may wish to take a break from cooking. Rafters is very popular and during the main season we would strongly advise that you book a table in advance in order to avoid dissapointment The lounge is a good place to relax after a hard days walking, boating or exploring the area. Under 18s are welcome in Rafters until 10pm and during the summer holidays we often have a childrens ceilidhs on Wednesday evenings, dont worry if your children are unfamilour with the traditional dances as there is always someone on hand to help. Rafters is a very low key establishment which offers a great place to relax and unwind, it does not cater for the loud disco type of holiday market and we are sure that you will find that it compliments the holiday park perfectly

Reviewed By Andrea I - Aberdeen, United Kingdom

I ate the chicken liver starter followed by scallops for main which were devine and a lovely dark chocolate mousse pudding! The service was quick and friendly and the staff were very attentive. Would highly recommend eating here and booking in advance as it seemed everyone already knew how good it was, lucky we booked and even took part in a quiz after eating :)

6. Argyll Cafe

25 Argyll Street, Lochgilphead PA31 8LZ, Scotland Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff Cafe, British, Scottish, Pizza, Vegetarian Friendly Lunch, Brunch, Dinner HK$8
Excellent
36%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
5%
Terrible
6%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 93 reviews

Argyll Cafe

Reviewed By honeycat2307 - Edinburgh, United Kingdom

We called in here on our way through Lochgilphead from the Islay ferry en route to Glasgow. We both had a freshly cooked fish tea with bread& butter and tea/coffee. The cafe is clean, warm and has lovely helpful staff. What's not to like?

7. The Smiddy Bistro

Smithy Lane, Lochgilphead PA31 8TA, Scotland Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Free Wifi Cafe, British, Soups, Scottish, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch +44 1546 603606
Excellent
74%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 243 reviews

The Smiddy Bistro

We are a friendly wee place, meet for proper coffee, homemade cakes and yummy lunches! Lunch served from 12-4. Gluten free and vegan options available as standard.

Reviewed By Bill T - Denny

We had an excellent dinner at the Smiddy on a Friday night. There was a very welcoming atmosphere and although busy, it was still relaxing. The food itself was excellent and very well presented. The staff were very helpful and efficient. There was a real mix of customers from a group of ladies to couples and families. It was a bit of a find in Lochgilphead and to be recommended.

8. Coriander

1 Argyll Street, Lochgilphead PA31 8LZ, Scotland Delivery, Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible Chinese, Indian, Asian Dinner
Excellent
26%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
23%
Poor
7%
Terrible
11%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 67 reviews

Coriander

Reviewed By BrilloMac - Lochgilphead, United Kingdom

I've been here a few times, mainly due to the lack of other options. Decent Chinese and Indian food but I usually find I have quite a wait. A couple of times my order was somehow forgotten about between the counter and the kitchen. BUT...the guys are mostly very friendly and have even crossed the road in the rain to give me my food to save me getting out of the car :)

9. Slainte Bar

Chalmers Street, Ardrishaig, Scotland British, Pub
Excellent
34%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
33%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 3 reviews

This is a lovely pub at the end of Chalmers Street in Ardrishaig, Scotland. They made my mother's wake a wonderful experience and I'd like to share it. Hope you can add them!

Reviewed By RedSnapper40 - Port Hardy, Canada

My brother found this pub and the welcoming owner/operators while looking for the perfect place to hold a celebration of life. It turned out to be a great choice! Aside from being in a beautiful spot beside the Crinan Canal, they prepared a delicious array of food at very reasonable cost for both the service and celebration. They also willingly rearranged a few things so we could do some traditional Scottish dancing (of which we did much and all had an amazing evening here).
I returned several times over the next week to enjoy a few cold ones on the big back deck with family and found the Slainte to be the most welcoming watering hole I've been to anywhere. Be sure to make a stop or two here for cold refreshments and warm welcomes!

10. The Lochgair Hotel Restaurant

Lochgair, Lochgilphead PA31 8SA, Scotland +44 1546 886333
Excellent
30%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
28%
Poor
14%
Terrible
28%
Overall Ratings

3 based on 7 reviews

The Lochgair Hotel Restaurant

Reviewed By VinnyDJV

We were staying in a local cottage for a holiday and this hotel was listed as having a "must visit restaurant" so we decided to pay a visit for an evening meal. I can only assume that the hotel owner is friends with the cottage provider as the food served was terrible.
The place looks very run down with faded painted exterior and cracked window pains. The restaurant is in fact just tables in the bar area and I was literally sat closer to the bar than you could get a bar stool!
The menu choice was small with only around 4 choices of starters, mains and puddings I assumed this was to assure fresh ingredients and cooking to order. Oh no, everything just seemed microwaved or stale. Soggy fish batter, burnt lasagne but worst of all when the desert was served it had a raspberry coolie on top which had gone so rancid it tasted like nail varnish remover and was sent straight back to the kitchen. The worst place I have ever eaten.
The only positive was the young lady that served us, very chatty and pleasant personality.
As buisnesses survive on reputation I think this place needs some serious investment of time and money to have any chance of long term survival.
Avoid!

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