An area of the city loved by locals and visitors alike, we profile some of the best places to eat, drink and shop in the fashionable West Port area of Dundee.
The West Port
While the name “West Port” might suggest a maritime link — and it should be noted that Dundee’s water line has changed considerably over the centuries — the Silv’ry Tay never quite got as far as the West Port.
Instead, the name is connected to the time when central Dundee was walled for defensive reasons.
Nowadays, the West Port thrives in its location just far enough outside the city centre to have its own distinct vibe, but close enough to be within easy walking distance of all the main tourist hotspots.
So whether you’re looking to browse some of the coolest independent shops in the country, enjoy a great meal, or hit the bars for a big night out, here’s the SeeDundee guide to the Best of the West Port.
The idea that eating plants mean chowing down on a pile of leaves is dead at Underdog, one of the West Port’s newest ventures. You can enjoy as much junk food here as the meat-eaters with their menu of exclusive 100% plant-based food that’s as far from a salad as you can imagine.
Soya hotdogs, chilli, hoisin coated mushrooms, “fush-fingers,” burgers, including the “cluck-off” which is a mock chicken burger… you get all the guilty pleasures here.
They do half-priced hot dogs every Wednesday along with pub quizzes and live music at weekends.
You can hire out the full place for function and party bookings which is certainly a truly unique venue.
At the Tinsmith it’s all about you.
Early morning? Their breakfasts will set you up perfectly for the day ahead.
No time to spare? Everything is available for taking away.
Coffees also start at just £1.
Whether you’re looking for a family lunch (your dog’s invited too!), a place to kick back and enjoy a cheeky cocktail or two, or a night out you won’t forget, The Tinsmith has you covered.
The wee West Port hotspot boasts live music, live sports, a bustling beer garden and fantastic pub grub, so why not pop down and find out why they are one of Dundee’s hottest venues?
This building has been serving Dundonians as a public house since the 1830s. Newly opened as an Irish bar it provides a unique experience and has such an array on offer. It has stuck to offering classics that would be expected in the former Globe Bar but now has added in the Irish theme.
The menu has all the favourite pub grub on offer but has added in Irish favourites – Bacon Steaks & Colcannon Mash, Jameson Chicken, Irish Stew, Steak and Guinness Pie. They have a nice selection of steaks that you can top with creamy Jameson whiskey sauce.
With live music and entertainment Thursday and Sunday and keeping up-to-date by showing all the latest live sports, this is a great pub to go.
Check out the menu here.
Possibly the coolest shop of its kind in Scotland, and it is on our West Port. It’s not all about glasses here.
Nestled neatly in the cultural quarter of Dundee, optical boutique Spex Pistols is open six days a week.
Fully stocked with a wide variety of designer, vintage and classic frames — they also specialise in bespoke lens design and frame repairs — Spex Pistols offers something for every pocket, personality and profile.
People travel from all over Scotland and the rest of the UK visit the shop, with New York City also one of its biggest markets. With a recent yellow exterior Sooz Gordon makeover, some people say the once often overlooked shop is now visible from space!
As if that’s not enough, it also doubles up as an intimate gig venue — resulting in a shopping experience you’ll never forget. Here’s what some others have to say about Spex Pistols:
“The coolest Spex shop anywhere” – Johnny Marr.
“The best shopping experience this year” – Chrissie Hynde.
“The best shop of it’s kind in the country” – The Sunday Times.
Another brand new place in the growing West Port.
Tam’s cupcakes are produced using a secret recipe which she has created in her nearly 10 years of baking. They are light and airy and delicious. They come in all flavours imaginable and there are GF and dairy free options available. They look incredible too. Treat some friends, or just yourself!
They offer a full breakfast and lunch menu to choose from. Amongst the choices, you’ll find amazing oats and pancakes, soups, hot and cold sandwiches and a wide range of hot food including curries, stews as well as South African treats such as Bunny Chow, Boerewors, Chakalaka and Biltong.
It is family-friendly and has easy disabled access.
They also cater for functions and business events to add that special touch to your event.
Another unique venture in the West Port, Gallery 48 has established itself as one of the best Spanish tapas restaurants in Dundee and recently was the winner of The Scottish Licensed Trade Award for Best Gin Bar in Scotland!
This modern restaurant exhibits contemporary artwork and offers up imaginative tapas dishes, a handpicked selection of Spanish wines, and the best of the best gins. Its daily specials always offer something new to try. The versatile spaces offer diners the chance to eat from a diverse menu of authentic Spanish food and wine while taking in ground-breaking artwork by local and international creatives.
Gallery 48 is not just a stylish restaurant, but also an innovative exhibition space showcasing a range of talent and creative discussion. If you fancy incredible culture mixed with delicious food, then this is the spot for you.
Come and visit Charlie Waffles & Co., suppliers of Dundee’s creamiest luxury ice cream and much more. This is probably the best dairy ice cream you will ever taste!
They are open seven days a week to offer great tasting hot and cold desserts. With over 40 ice cream flavours at once, they have a choice for everyone, rotating their seasonal specials to keep the fresh taste in their parlour. From ice cream, waffles, cookie dough and crepes, they have you covered.
Also, don’t miss out on their unique Bubble Juice. These stunning creations mash a number of different fruits to give you the tastiest and most refreshing drink.
Everything is available to be home delivered as well.
Everyone will know Acanthus on the West Port. It’s been there for 21 years and run by Annabel for 12.
The shop’s stunning interiors and scents lure you in and the service offered is truly incredible.
Not only do Annabel and her four staff members create beautiful arrangements for weddings, birthdays and funerals they were also personally approached with the task of making pieces for the most talked-about building in town – the V&A.
Acanthus are well renowned for their excellent work and the approach for the V&A can only have come from the bespoke work they have done for many events, parties and their growing list of corporate clients.
With the creativity on show, the seasonal flowers on offer and a friendly smile it’s no wonder this shop has been there for so long.
This building has always been known for its cocktails, all the way back to when it was Temple Lane. Here now lies Tom’s Pacific Cocktail Parlour, which offers a large menu of varying styles of cocktails.
Whether you want a gentle daiquiri or something a bit stronger the knowledgeable staff will find the right one for you. They encourage you to try something different and will even make something special for you. Live music and DJs on the weekend make this a great hotspot to start or spend your evening.
They teach you the tricks of the trade with cocktail classes which are perfect for birthday parties or hen parties.
They not only mix drinks but their offering is mixed as they have breakfast and yoga on a Wednesday morning.
On the back of the tremendous success of ‘Snow Bar’, The West House was born. Located in a prime position on the corner of Dundee’s exclusive cultural quarter, The West House cultivates its own niche in Dundee’s vibrant social scene.
They cater to all with breakfast served from 8am express lunch menus and are known for their excellent pizzas.
The West House has an environment that everyone can enjoy, with casual dining options available during the week, along with live DJs over the weekend. They serve excellent food, washed down by stunning cocktails. They have a new cocktail menu coming soon which we are certain will be exciting and worth a try.
Even their functions are awesome with their huge pizza boards and are perfect for baby showers, Christenings, birthdays and much more.
With effortless cool, The West House is Dundee’s “must-go-to” bar.