Seasgair - Our top 7 independent cafes in the Cairngorms National Park

Our top 7 independent cafes in the Cairngorms National Park

07 May, 2021

There is so much fabulous choice in the National Park. Find out which are our favourite independant cafes in the area. 

Locals and visitors alike are delighted by the recent re-opening of our favourite independent cafes, many of which are offering more takeaway service and outdoor seating options. With new set-ups, one-way systems, and other appropriate restrictions to ensure our safety, we can still be assured of a very warm Highland welcome and a great cup of coffee at these local gems! Here are our top 7 picks ...

The Bothy Bakery, Grantown-on-Spey

The global pandemic sadly forced the famous and beloved Mountain Cafe in Aviemore to close its doors in summer 2020. With admirable grit and determination, owner and head chef KJ and her team relocated to The Bothy Bakery on the outskirts of Grantown-on-Spey. Pop in for takeaway delicious coffees, cold drinks, breads, cakes, baguettes, soup and more - there are even special homemade dog biscuits! Parking is available just outside, and its wee dog-friendly ‘sitooterie’ is ideal for a pitstop if you are walking or biking along the Speyside Way. And if you’re missing your fix of Mountain Cafe/Bothy Bakery cake slices when you get home, you can subscribe to the Slice of Heaven Club monthly delivery service! Do check the active KJ’s Bothy Bakery Facebook page for up-to-date details, including opening hours.


The Barn, Rothiemurchus

​Located on the Rothiemurchus Estate by Coylumbridge just outside Aviemore, opposite the estate’s farm shop and deli, the Barn is an airy, spacious cafe and takeaway serving breakfasts, daily specials, soups, sandwiches, cakes, coffee and more.

Dogs are welcome in the outdoor seating area, and in the designated indoor seating area. You can also view and buy the artwork on display around the cafe. Open 10am to 4pm, 7 days a week, parking available.


High St Merchants, Grantown-on-Spey

This gem of a cafe and gallery in Grantown-on-Spey continues to be a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike. Pop in for a delicious scone, coffee and cake or tasty lunch and do have a look at the lovely selection of local arts and crafts on display. Also open for dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings. Dogs are welcome in the pretty outdoor seating area. Great customer service and highly recommended! 

For evening reservations, call the cafe on 01479 872246. Bookings are not taken for lunch, however if you phone ahead a table may be held for 15-20 minutes if one is available. Check out the High St Merchants Facebook page for up-to-date details, including menus and opening hours.


Nethy House Cafe, Nethy Bridge

​Located by the bridge in the village, this cafe is an established favourite with locals and visitors. It serves delicious soups and sandwiches, sausage rolls and pasties, daily specials and a mouth-watering selection of home-baking in a warm and welcoming atmosphere, or as takeaway. The broad drinks menu includes artisan coffee from specialty Highlands-based roasters Glen Lyon, and an array of teas and soft drinks. There is on-site parking at the rear and disabled access at the front of the cafe, which is where you enter the current one-way system. A raised decking platform at the rear provides a really lovely spot for customers to enjoy the Scottish sunshine! Very well-behaved dogs are welcome too, inside and out, and there’s a lovely display of local arts and crafts for sale. Check out the Nethy House Facebook page for up-to-date opening hours, and its sister cafe up at the Glenlivet Mountain Bike Trail Centre!


The Gashouse, Boat of Garten

Next door to bike shop Ride Scotland and on the railway platform by The Boat Country Inn & Restaurant, is a very special wee cafe that you simply must visit. It serves excellent coffee, an array of delicious cakes and traybakes, with excellent customer service and attention to dietary requirements. Another fantastic pitstop if you are walking or cycling the Speyside Way.

Currently open Tues-Sat, 10am-4pm, with outdoor seating or takeaway. Check out The Gashouse Cafe Facebook page for up-to-date information including opening hours  - and many photos of mount-wateringly beautiful cakes!



The Old Post Office Cafe Gallery, Kincraig

This gorgeous, family-run cafe in Kincraig was Runner Up Scottish Cycling Cafe of the Year 2020, and it’s easy to see why. A warm welcome, beautiful artwork by artist-in-residence Ann Vastano, great Italian coffee, delicious cakes by the famous Inshriach Potting Shed, tasty lunches and much more. You can sit in or takeaway, and there is also an outdoor seating area where dogs are welcome. A great place to relax and re-fuel on your adventures. Check out the Old Post Office Cafe Gallery Facebook page for current opening hours. 

The Sugarbowl, Kingussie

This lovely coffee and gift shop is a great wee place to stop for refreshments if you are shopping in Kingussie or out for an adventure in the south of the Strath. You can expect a fantastic selection of coffees and drinks, appetising breakfasts, tasty lunches and more, along with friendly service and comfortable seating. Takeaway service is also available. Dogs are welcome in the designated indoor seating area, with access from the King Street entrance. There are a couple of pavement bistro tables available outside on Main Street too. Do check current opening hours on the Facebook page.