Nine great local venues for your Grad dinner

7 mins read

So summer is officially here, and graduation is imminent for class of 2017!

While you’re busy with preparations and ceremony arrangements, don’t forget to find a swanky place for your graduation dinner. To help you plan ahead and avoid unnecessary hassle of last minute reservations and over-bookings, here are nine great places for you to have your celebratory post-ceremonial meal with your family and friends.

Whether it’s something uber-classy you’re wanting, or something super-chill and casual, you’ll find something that suits in the below recommendations. Start booking though, as some of these will be gone fast.

Jam Jar Café in Bridge of Allan

credit: DinnerStories

Jam Jar is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, offers delicious, versatile food, and has quickly become a popular destination for its Skinners of Kippen deluxe burger, inventive pizzas, and welcoming atmosphere. It is busy on most days, and absolutely filled up on weekends, so make your reservations nice and early. Check out the menu and details here.


La Cucina in Bridge of Allan

credit: TripAdvisor

This is a rustic, intimate, quaint restaurant, serving authentic Italian cuisine cooked by a hospitable Italian head chef, whom you can observe in the preparation of your meal.

La Cucina serves amazing pizza (like, the best I’ve had in this country), classic Italian comfort food such as lasagna, and various meat and seafood dishes, as well as a good selection of wines. It’s quite a small space, so if you’ve got a large party you’d best reserve asap. Check out the deets here.


The Meadowpark in Bridge of Allan

credit: Meadowpark

Because of its proximity to the uni, The Meadowpark will be a very popular choice, and has already started taking grad dinner bookings. The restaurant menu is varied and fresh, with lots of quirky takes on classic dishes, and the cocktails served here are phenomenal.

The dining area is tasteful and warm, and the log fires complete a thoroughly relaxed and welcoming ambiance. The restaurant has multiple dining rooms, fit for large parties, but book ahead to avoid a hassle since, as I’ve mentioned, this venue has already started to fill up for the night. Find out more here.


Westerton Arms in Bridge of Allan 

credit: TripAdvisor

The Westerton pub and next-door restaurant are a rooted landmark of Bridge of Allan. Serving appetising classic pub dishes, with some Mexican twists, it also boasts  a large collection of wines and ales, loads of dining space, and weekly live music events. For a casual, easy-going dinner and night out, this is a sure bet. Book here.


Vecchia Bologna in Bridge of Allan

credit: i-on Magazine

A large, family-owned restaurant set within a historic, picturesque old Spa building, Vecchia Bologna serves Italian-inspired dishes within a variety of dining rooms, ranging from the casual bistro-type intimate corners to formal function spaces, depending on the occasion.

The prices are reasonable, and the menu is extensive, featuring many Italian classics. This is an excellent choice for larger parties, especially ones with children, as there is loads of space and a large play area. Check it out here.


The Birds & Bees in Stirling

credit: TripAdvisor

A colourful, ranch-type rustic gastro pub, The Birds and Bees is laid-back and quaint, with a wide variety of lunch and dinner options. It is also a 2017 finalist of the Scottish Hospitality Awards, and boasts tremendous steaks, wines, and live events. as well as karaoke. Altogether a wholesome package for a good outing. Look at their menu here.


Hermann’s Restaurant in Stirling

credit: TripAdvisor

Hermann’s is a classic gourmet restaurant serving Scottish and Austrian-inspired cuisine from locally sourced ingredients. It’s located in the heart of Stirling’s Old Town, a minute’s walk from the castle.

If you and your party of friends/family find yourselves wandering about that area and would want to splash out on an indulgent grad meal, this would be the place (make sure to try the Amaretto Truffle for dessert). Check it out.


Cook’s of Stirling

credit: Cook’s of Stirling

Cook’s is an ambient lounge restaurant and bar set in the heart of central Stirling. Its menu is pan-fusion: inspired by lots of different cuisines and cultures, it offers its own take on many traditional dishes.

The rack of lamb and duck confit are absolutely delicious, and reasonably priced at circa £16. The cocktail selection is also worth a try. Additionally, if you’ve got family driving in and needing a room for the night, Cook’s is also a charming hotel. Take a gander.


Brea in Stirling

credit: The List

This bistro-type venue is a multi-award winner, including the 2016 Best Scottish Cuisine award, and attracts folk from all over. The menu is brief and changes often, but ordering anything here is a safe bet on it being a gastronomic home-run.

From burgers, to white truffle tagliatelle, to baked sea bass, there is something for everyone in this popular boutique restaurant. Book waaay ahead with this one, as it is usually full every night. More details here.





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Hi there. I'm Irina, a student/staff member at University of Stirling, studying English and Journalism.

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