When I set out to do the Street Life blog for South Street my first instinct was to strip out the big brands and banks and present the wonderful Independent businesses who make up this fabulous, long stroll down to the River Tay. It kinda worked… but there were still far too many for one little article. And so it was that I decided to bring you a whole page dedicated to the Food and Drink businesses that pepper (sorry!) the street.
Whatever happens to be tickling at your tastebuds you’re sure to find it on South Street; from a Scotch Pie to a Thai Curry, a proper full breakfast to a Bistro Style Burger, it’s all right here. AND you can wash it all down with wine, real ale or a glam girls’ cocktail!
One of Perth’s oldest institutions and the last remaining traditional Fish Tearoom, Holdgates is a proper, old-fashioned chippie using frying methods that have been passed down through generations. They do gluten-free batter and frying on request so coeliac sufferers can still enjoy a fish supper or a battered sausage. Pop in and out and take a stroll down to the river with your chips or sit-in and wash them down with hot tea and buttered bread. I’m drooling as I type and I’ve only just started!
Food from across the continents starts at the top end of South Street with The Himalaya, a Nepalese takeaway that has served the people of Perth for many decades. Right next door is Tabla Indian Restaurant, an award-winning restaurant that also offers a takeaway and delivery service.
If its late night food you’re after than check out the newly opened Kitchen At The Loft. Serving until 2.30pm on Thursdays and 3am on Friday and Saturday nights. The Kitchen brings you after dancing food that has all the taste, quality and standards of its lunch-time equivalent in That Bar. Burgers, pasta and Chicken all available until late!
The Turkish Kebab and Pizza House is another late night revellers favourite, open as it is from noon until late. With pizza, kebabs, burgers, wraps and baked potatoes, they offer something for all times of day and night. Their meat is among a few food establishments in the city which is certified Halal.
Ask anyone from Perth their favourite place for a cheeky wee pie, and the award-winning Murrays The Bakers will surely be your answer each and every time. Now run by Linda Hill, Murrays is a fourth generation bakers and seems only to be improving with age. As well as the amazing Scotch Pies, they are renowned for their pineapple cakes, strawberry tarts, bridies and sausage rolls. You’ll see many a wee white poke holding a hot pie being munched along South Street!
Drovers Highland Butchers specialises in highland beef and Hebridean lamb, reared on Borland Farm in Perthshire. This field to plate operation is owned by the same family with Ken Headsbeath now a farmer, meat packer, butcher and retailer in one. The shop is run by his master butcher and you will find great advice on cooking and choosing the perfect cut for your family. If you’ve never tasted Highland Beef before then you’re in for a real treat; the distinct flavour and lean meat makes for amazing steaks, pies and sausages.
What better way to enjoy a good steak (or sausage roll come to that) than with an excellent bottle of wine? Exel Wines is another award-winning retailer and the home of great wines and whiskies as well as a host of other craft (mostly Scottish) beers and spirits. With a vast selection and something to satisfy any taste and budget, the team are always on the look-out for something a little different to the usual stack 'em high supermarket offerings.
When you want to take the weight off your feet after a day in the town and tuck into a quick bite then Lana's Cafe is a great stop off. Nothing fancy, nothing trendy, just proper, tasty breakfasts, snacks and lunches with a friendly welcome and great price point.
Day time destinations are plentiful in South Street with Giraffe Cafe bringing to life hot homemade soups, fresh sandwiches and wonderful homebaking in their popular, social-enterprise run cafe. Fill your boots and contribute to this great cause!
Right across the street, you'll find one of Perth's best-known and most-loved restauranteur couples, Paula and Herve Tabourel. The pair own and run the rosette-starred, Pig Halle and their big, bold flavours come from the very best in local and French produce. Offering Fixe Prix lunch and pre-theatre menus alongside a stunning choice of traditional, a la carte French Cuisine they have dazzled locals, visitors and critics alike.
Can you tell it's one of my favourites? I really must work on that bias, although to be fair, I am equally enthusiastic about Tabla Indian Restaurant and Mae Ping Thai, both of whom excel in authentic dishes from their home countries.
Praveen Kumar of Tabla is the only ethnic restauranter in our small city to hold an AA Rosette and when you taste the rich, distinctive flavours of his food you will understand why. Using spices from his family's farm in Hyderabad, he prides himself on bringing a true taste of India to Perth. Try the fish done in the Tandoor for something different (my favourite!) or order a few dishes from street food menu and share in a group.
Mae Ping Thai is one of those hidden treasures, with an unassuming front that you may well wander past without a second look. But I'm here to tell you that the Thai food produced here is exceptional and comes courtesy of the talented kitchen skills of our Thai chef; front-of-house is run by her Scottish husband and the welcome is as warm as the food is tasty!
I remember the excitement as That Bar opened over 15 years ago and they have stood the test of time, evolving with the ever-changing pub trends to stay ahead of the perth pub scene game. This time round they've gone back ot their roots with a great food menu to sit alongside their popular bar offer. Tasty bistro burgers, homemade pizzas and rotisserie style chicken will fill you whatever the time of day or night!
Gill featured our next venue in #SmallCityRecipes recently, with their real ale beer-battered Fish proving to be a huge hit. The Tavern prides itself on serving up traditional, tasty, pub grub and welcomes all ages into its tartan themed bar. We love the macaroni!
In this age of responsible drinking, I'm sure I'm not meant to be talking about a drink in every pub, but back in the day South Street made up a LONG section of the Perth Pub Mile! Starting at Cherrybank on the Glagsow Road and finishing at The Isle of Skye across the Queen's Bridge it was a challenge for only the hardier drinkers among us!
It fell foul when sensible publicans started turning away the boozy crowds but illustrates perfectly the abundance of fantastic pubs and bars in South Street.
From the traditional pubs such as Greyfriars, Dickens, The Auld Hoose and The Royal, to the trendy cocktails and world beers of That Bar, you'll find a big, warm, Perth welcome awaits you.
And for the true late night party people, the only place to be seen is The Loft! Open from Wednesday to Sunday, this is the perfect atmosphere for socialising and drinking. Dance to the best party classics, funky beats and modern tracks or try out the relaxing cocktail lounge on the upper level.
South Street may be the perfect place to eat and drink but you'll also find a whole host of Independent retailers that offer hair, beauty, clothes and gifts... Check them out here>>>