Aberdeen Inspired Nights Food and Drink Festival

Aberdeen Inspired Nights is a new food, drink and cocktail festival in the city of Aberdeen! As a blogger, I was gifted two bands to enjoy the festival so myself and Jamie took advantage of lots of discounted food!

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The festival ran for 9 days and included offers at restaurants and bars all over the city. Since I only moved to Aberdeen a couple of months ago there are lots of restaurants we haven’t had the chance to try. So this event was perfect for us!

To kick off the festival, a night festival was organised to showcase lots of different food vendors from around Scotland. We arrived a little early, eager to eat as much food as possible so went to find some local street art while the vendors set up and started their grills!

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It was nice to visit a new part of the city, see the art and sit in the sun while we could smell the food being prepared. We already knew what we wanted to eat so get ready for lots of food snaps!

Night Food Market

We started out at the CuBao Box, a dumpling and Bao vendor which made the most amazing halloumi bao. We had to wait about 10 minutes for the food to be ready, but it was worth the wait! I tried the halloumi and Jamie had the pulled pork bao. Both were amazing (but I have to say mine was better!)

We decided to share a portion of vegetable dumplings too, which completely exceeded our expectations. Even though CuBao only had a small stall, they steamed and pan fried the gyoza to give them a really authentic taste! We were tempted to buy more, but knew we needed to save room to try other food.

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After our gyoza, we grabbed a drink and tried not to feel too full! The Pizza Geeks had travelled from Edinburgh to serve up themed pizzas (e.g the ‘mario’ and ‘bravehart’ pizzas). Even though we really wanted to try, we knew that we couldn’t eat a full pizza between us. I had tried the Pizza Geeks before too at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival!

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Right next to the pizzas, we couldn’t resist trying out a Melt grilled cheeses. We tried the classic toastie with homemade chilli jam to see just how good their cheese toasties were. The classic included two cheeses and a homemade cheese sauce combined with the optional chilli jam.

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Unsurprisingly, we loved the grilled cheese sandwich! It was cut in half and ready for us to share, the chilli jam was the perfect addition too.

As you can see from the photos, we had a lovely day for the market. There were lots of other vendors from bbq foods to seafood, there was something for everyone. We felt so full from the dough and bread though! We just couldn’t try anything else! Although we did have room for a Brewdog beer in the sunshine before we left.

 

Yatai Izakaya Restaurant

We came back into the city a few days later to go to our favourite Japanese restaurant in Yatai Izakaya for a discounted dinner trip! We love this place because there’s a big menu to choose from, unique dishes and always great specials to try.

We started out with gyoza and edamame as we nearly always do at this type of restaurant!

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As soon as the food is ready it is served, so we always had plenty of food at the table. We chose a sushi special which included flash seared halibut and salmon (it was so soft and fresh) and prawn tempura rolls too.

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After sushi we tried another (unusual) special dish which was a pan friend pigeon dish! This one was Jamie’s choice and it definitely wasn’t my favourite. If you like duck and other meats which can be served rare, I think pigeon would actually be enjoyable. But sadly it just didn’t appeal to me! The meat was served with vegetables and flowers, it looked like a pretty dish even if it wasn’t to my taste.

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Boozy Cow Bar/Restaurant

Once we’d finished out meal, we decided to head to the Boozy Cow next door. This is one of my favourite cocktail bars and the food is fab too. The Boozy Cow has bars/restaurants in Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen, this was my first time in Aberdeen but as a student I visited a few times in Edinburgh.

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Since we had already eaten, we were just visiting for drinks. The Inspired nights wristbands meant that we were entitled to a special discounted cocktail which tasted like fruit salad sweets. We decided to get one of those and a ‘that dude ain’t russian’ coffee vodka and Malteser boozy shake. Both tasted amazing! If you get the chance I would recommend drinks at the Boozy Cow!

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Angus and Ale

Our final food festival stop was on the final day of the festival at Angus and Ale. We had never visited before but were given 10% off our bill with the Inspired Nights wristband. Although it was only a small restaurant, the staff were lovely and there were only a few couples in the restaurant in time for a late lunch.

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We weren’t sure what to expect from here because no one we know has been before. Thankfully our expectations were exceeded and portions were much larger than we had expected.

To start I chose Cullen Skink (if you don’t know that’s a traditional Scottish soup which includes haddock and potatoes), which was lovely. Jamie chose cauliflower wings which were deep fried pieces of cauliflower in a buffalo hot sauce. I couldn’t believe how good the wings were, I hadn’t expected to like them, but next time we visit we will share a portion to start!

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Our starters were huge portions and we knew once we’d finished that we wouldn’t be able to finish our mains! I opted for a small sirloin steak, whilst Jamie had a monster burger called ‘The Big Jock’ which included a beef burger, piece of steak, onion rings, salad and a token gherkin on top!

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As I said, there was no way we could finish all that food, we ate as much as possible before heading off to the cinema for the evening to watch Solo!

It was a shame that we couldn’t have spent more time at the food festival, but of course work and exams meant that we were away from Aberdeen for 2 of the 9 days! I think we did pretty well though and managed to try out plenty of food. I can’t choose my favourite, but I loved getting to try lots of different foods at the market!

Hope you enjoyed all of the food pics, think I need to go for a walk just looking at them all again!

34 thoughts on “Aberdeen Inspired Nights Food and Drink Festival

  1. Reading this has made me hungry haha! I actually had no idea what Aberdeen Inspired Nights was. I’d obviously heard/seen things about it but didn’t understand what it was, so this was very informative in that respect!

    Pizza Geeks sounds amazing! I will need to keep an eye out for them. And I love Boozy Cow for drinks! So good.

    Sounds and looks like you had a great time with lots of yummy food πŸ˜€ x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the event either! Me and Jamie basically turned up and just asked at each restaurant what was on offer! Had a great time though and it was nice that we could go to places we already knew like the boozy cow. We knew what we were getting!!

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  2. That sounds amazing! Very much my style of festival!! So many different types of food to try. I’d have to go for a week just to try everything I wanted to haha.
    That cocktail bar sounds really cool! I’m currently half planning a trip to Scotland this will definitely be added to the list of things to see/go to.
    Menna x | https:mennarachel.com

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m just a TINY bit jealous! I remember a few of the food vendor names from the Edinburgh Fringe, I never had the chance to try them because the queues were way too long. Indefinitely need to stop by Aberdeen on my next trip to Scotland!

    Great pictures! My mouth is totally not watering, nope not one bit πŸ˜… I love Japanese food, Gyozas are my weakness πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Food festivals are something that no one should ever miss out in their life! Reading this post has made me hungry, especially the sirloin steak 😍 It’s my weakness. Glad that you enjoyed your time there! x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. All that food looks incredible especially that grilled cheese, that looks like some real comfort food! I think more citys should do things like this more often it does so much for local business’ and if you’ve just moved there its a great way to get to know the best places to eat

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree! There are so many small food businesses in large cities which people struggle to hear about. I don’t see why they don’t put on annual events to get the word out and let everyone try their food!

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  6. OH MY DAYS! all that food looks absolutely insane! I’ve heard very good things about the Boozy Cow, I just wish they had one down here in Manchester!

    Well done on making me really really hungry!

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  7. That Halloumi Bao looks sooooo good, I’ve never tried a Bao Bun before because there’s not often a veggie option!

    abbiejadewanders.co.uk

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  8. It is not even funny how much my mouth is watering or how bad I want to visit Aberdeen. I mean dude this sounds incredible! Great post girlie, now send me down some of that sushi and gyoza! Maybe also send some of the fruit salad cocktail too tbh….

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  9. I’ve been to Scotland quite a few times, but I haven’t made it as far as Aberdeen yet! It’s quite far away from where I live, but I would definitely love to go one day!
    I would love me a grilled cheese sandwich right now….
    Aleeha xXx
    https://www.halesaaw.co.uk/

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  10. Incredible post Sammy, your photography really is on point!! And a 9 day food festival is my dream, really love your tone of voice as well, so happy for you that you managed to get bands as well – please let me know how you did it. Can’t wait to collab on some foodie content with you soon x

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  11. Just ate dinner and now somehow starving again. Food festivals are my own personal version of heaven, thank you for letting me sit and pretend to eat everything there. That pork belly bao is calling my name. Can you ship it priority mail?

    1 question: What’s a Gherkin?? Please share because it looks awesome and I think whatever it is I may need one. Thanks!

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  12. Reading this has made me hungry! Everything looks and sounds so delicious! I can’t decide what I would want to try the most! How wonderful that Aberdeen hosted this festival. Is it an annual event?

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  13. Wow Sammy! This sounded like an amazing foodie festival πŸ’–. I loved the sound of the Japanese restaurant, sushi is one of my faves. The Boozy Cow is such a awesome name, those cocktails look fantastic! Glad you had such a great time, thanks for sharing your experience. I’m super hungry now! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜˜ xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

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  14. I love these types of series – it’s a great way to promote places in Aberdeen! Love that you took part of it. YUM! Night markets are amazing – you get to try out all sorts of things! The food you bought looks so delish.

    Oh man, you’ve been eating so well with all of these delicious places with food and desserts! Glad you enjoyed them all!

    Nancy β™₯ exquisitely.me

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  15. Food festivals are seriously my favorite kind of festivals! Looks like you bought some really great food, Sammy! Way to make stomach growl, haha.

    PS – I got your letter the other day πŸ™‚ Will reply soon!

    ☼ cabin twenty-four

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