The route takes the cyclist on a magical tour through some of Scotland’s most agriculturally productive landscapes. Depending on the time of year, you will pass fields of barley for the whisky industry, fields of rapeseed providing a brilliant yellow in May.
Along the coast are fruit farms producing every soft fruit from strawberries and raspberries to the darker blackberry. Around St. Monans there is the organic estate of Balcaskie where Lincoln red cattle graze contentedly, and there are various farmsteads away for the main roads. In their season there are carrots and parsnips and every conceivable green vegetable from Broccoli to kale with asparagus in its short season.
Then there are the wild foods to forage, such as wild garlic and chanterelles. Take care on private land to do no damage. The sea shore also has clams and mussels as well as various seaweeds. (You can also find a forager to guide you)
Here are just a few of the food outlets both shops and restaurants you may find on the way, but do let us know of any of your own discoveries in the hidden secret that is the East Neuk.
Roots and Seeds is a little café on Kirkcaldy high street serving fresh simple food, home made baking and a variety of drinks
The Harbourmasters Café in Dysart based in the original harbourmasters house, the café is right on the waterfront with great views over the Forth estuary
The Cottage Window Café in Silverburn Park between Leven and Lower Largo does exactly what it says, served through a window on the edge of the park a lovely stopping off point
Blacketyside Farm Shop East of Leven over the road from Silverburn Park is the first fruit farm on the route and provides a shop for local produce and a café
In Lower Largo we have The Crusoe Hotel where you can make an overnight stop with bike security or there is the railway tavern for a local pint of beer or the Aurrie, a church converted into a café.
In Kilconquhar there is the Kinneuchar Inn serving locally sourced food
Elie has the 19th Hole pub and the Ship Inn the latter over looking the bay where cricket matches are played in the summer
Round the coast is Ardross Farm shop, which sell its own produce from the farm as well as quality produce from further afield
Bowhouse houses a butchery providing meat from the organic estate, a brewery and café. there are markets once a month.
St Monans has Craig Millar a high end restaurant and the East pier smokehouse
Pittenweem offers the West End pub, The Dory a seafood restaurant right down on the waters edge and the Cocoa tree where you get a superb hot chocolate and hand made chocolates
Anstruther has the Dreel tavern and several fish and chip shops
In Crail there is the Shoregate restaurant on the main street and down by the harbour is the crab shack where you can get freshly cooked lobster and crab
Cambo house and gardens between Crail and Kingsbarns feature a café as well as a good resting place!
There are two toastie cheese shacks one on Kinsgbarns beach and the other on the East sands in St. Andrews, watch out for ravenous sea gulls!
There are many places in St Andrews but here are but three, the Tail end in Market street has a restaurant and take away fish and chips. The Saint in South street a great local student bar with eclectic food and atmosphere
And on your way out of St Andrews towards Guardbridge there is the Balgove Larder will provide all your foodie needs,
The Rhynd is a quirky converted farm steading near Leuchars
And in Dundee there is a sister Tail end and the DCA a contemporary arts venue where you can have a meal or drink before heading for the station and return
This little guide is designed to give you a taste of what you might eat in the region. A to buy to eat or cook and B to order in an eaterie.
Seasonality is everything to the quality establishments, so always be aware of the time of year and what is available locally. Seafood and shellfish are always available, as well as some great smokehouses. Soft fruits in summer. Vegetables year round, Beef, lamb and pork all grown in Fife.
There is one cheese company who make “Anster” and “St Andrews Farm house” just ask “What’s available locally.”