The first Aberdeen Restaurant Week of 2023 has been hailed the most successful event yet, with the highest number of participating venues and thousands of diners flocking to take advantage of special menus and offers.
More than 50 restaurants, cafes and bars across Aberdeen took part in our two-week event, which ended on Sunday – but several venues have decided to extend their offering for a further two weeks! A second event is being planned for later in the year. Many of the cafes, restaurants and bars had enjoyed a huge increase in bookings during January, which would usually be quieter after a busy festive season. Hundreds of posts and reviews have been shared on social media channels, with customers sharing recommendations and photos of their favourite dishes. Each venue was asked to curate a special offering, from delicious tasting menus to sharing platters with a glass of wine.
Highlights included exclusive Burns Suppers at Siberia on Belmont Street and The Esslemont on Union Street, as well as a wide range of cuisines, from Scottish fare to sweet treats, street food, tapas, vegan, Thai, Indian, modern British and Italian dishes. The Esslemont is among the venues which have decided to extend its special two-course offer until February 12 following an “amazing” two weeks.
Blogger Nikki Morris-Laing, who runs the Nikki Eats the World blog, visited several restaurants over the fortnight.
“I visited a couple of old favourites and a couple of newbies, including The Terrace at HMT. The space has been beautifully redeveloped and is such a wonderful addition to Aberdeen’s dining scene – with amazing views over Union Terrace Gardens too!
“An initiative like Aberdeen Restaurant Week is really great for giving new restaurants like this a platform to reach new diners. I love that the initiative has evolved over the years and has now been extended to become a ‘foodie fortnight’ – giving both the restaurant and the diner even more opportunity!
Amore Italian Restaurant offered a set dinner with a drink for £20. Emad Elnawaisre of the Huntly Street eatery said it had been very busy.
“Aberdeen Restaurant Week was very good to us and we were very busy over the past weeks, with many customers visiting us for dinner from the set menu. We are thrilled with the response and would recommend to other venues to take part in future Restaurant Weeks,” he said.
Aberdeen Inspired first brought the concept to the city in 2018. Chief Executive Adrian Watson said: “Aberdeen Restaurant Week has been another amazing success and we have had fantastic feedback from the restaurants and cafes who took part, as well as customers who have taken the opportunity to eat out over the past two weeks. “This event drew the largest number of participants and we were pleased to be able to support more than 50 different restaurants, cafes and bars, including several which had not taken part before and a number of brand new venues in Aberdeen.
“Attracting people into the city is a fundamental part of our work and this is a great way to increase footfall as well as supporting the hospitality industry through the traditionally quiet period after Christmas. We are delighted to see some of the venues have also chosen to extend their offers.”
Mr Watson added: “We will be running another Restaurant Week later this year and hope to see similar numbers signing up.”
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