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Ten places to try local seafood on Argyll’s Secret Coast

Ten places to try local seafood on Argyll’s Secret Coast
Bordered by two pristine stretches of water, the Kyles of Bute and Loch Fyne, Argyll’s Secret Coast is renowned for its seafood. Sea bass, cod, haddock, scallops, mussels, lobster, crab, oysters, langoustine and razor clams are all caught locally and feature on many menus. Here are ten places to enjoy a Scottish seafood feast on Argyll’s Secret Coast.

The Oystercatcher is a pub and restaurant on the east banks of Loch Fyne at Otter Ferry. The location is pretty unbeatable, as it sits right on the beach looking out over the loch. Newly renovated, it’s a fabulous place to relax and enjoy locally sourced seafood. The oysters are provided by Ballimore Oysters, located less than a mile down the loch. Local mussels and crab also feature on the menu. In the bar you'll find a wide selection of Scottish craft beers as well as an extensive list of single malt whisky and small batch gin.

Just along the road is the Kilfinan Hotel, a relaxed country hotel with a cosy feel. Expect good, honest food using fresh, locally sourced ingredients and plenty of fresh seafood. Try the king scallops pan seared with crispy bacon, butter and sage leaves served in the shell.

Portavadie, also on the banks of Loch Fyne, is another fabulous place to sample the local seafood.Enjoy waterfront dining in the fabulous Marina Restaurant and Bar where you can feast on scallops, mussels, salmon and other fishy delights expertly prepared. The trio of smoked Loch Fyne seafood is delicious.For hearty portions of home-cooked food, including excellent fish and chips, head to the Lodge Kitchen and Bar.

In the village of Tighnabruaich, there are a number of excellent eateries serving up local seafood.

The Royal an Lochan has an enviable location on the seafront in Tighnabruaich with views across the Kyles of Bute. You’ll find fresh seafood served in a modern Scottish style. Top Scottish chef Tom Kitchin said in the BBC Good Food Magazine that his ideal meal would be feasting on fresh, Tarbert-landed langoustines here! The Deck Restaurant is perfect for a special occasion while the Shinty Bar is the place for pub grub.

Botanica is a fantastic restaurant and wine bar located in the heart of Tighnabruaich. The owners Michal & Leoma are passionate about using local ingredients in the dishes, as well as foraged food. Loch Fyne seafood features on the menu and is lovingly prepared by Michal. Expect simple, but innovative cooking, that lets the quality of the ingredients shine through.

Wellpark Hotel has a wonderful seafront location with stunning views across to the island of Bute. The Wardroom Restaurant offers fine dining in the most elegant of surroundings. Try the Tarbert scallops served with celeriac puree and crispy prosciutto for starters.

Pretty much all the restaurants and pubs serve up delicious haddock and chips. The Kames Hotel does it very well in relaxed, family-friendly surroundings. Check out the specials board for seasonal dishes using local shellfish and seafood, as well as the catch of the day.

Head around the coast to Colintraive to discover the Colintraive Hotel, an award-winning coastal hotel with a fantastic gastro pub and restaurant serving all that is fresh from the area. Try the fresh Kyles of Bute langoustines (caught in the bay in front of the hotel by Colin McCarthur) pan-fried with with garlic butter or the super succulent king scallops hand dived from Loch Fyne, served with Stornoway black pudding. The linguini pasta pescatori with mussels, crayfish tails and king prawns is excellent too.

Of for something different, why not enjoy a cruise with Argyll Cruising where local seafood, fresh from the pristine waters of the cruising grounds, takes centre stage? A highlight for many is the chef’s famous Tarbert seafood buffet with the freshest crab, lobster, langoustines and more!

If you fancy cooking up your own seafood feast, then catch the ferry to Tarbert from Portavadie to pick up a seafood box or choose a live lobster from Prentice Seafoods located by the ferry terminal at Tarbert. The seafood is fresh, local and good value for money. Lobster, prawns, mussels, clams, cockles, brown crab, velvet vrab, king scallops, scallop meat, and squat lobster tails are all on offer, depending on the season. You can also call ahead and arrange for your seafood to be sent over on the ferry. Call 01880 821136.

Find out more about eating out on Argyll's Secret Coast.
Mussels at the Royal HotelPrawns at the Colintraive HotelPortavadie
Argyll Cruising Botanica Kames Hotel
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