North Hop

North Hop Guide - Eat, Drink, Sleep, Do Dundee

Saturday 11th August 2018

So, Dundee is officially where it is AT at the moment, and if you didn't know that then quite frankly where have you been hiding for the last 6 or so months?

People keep asking "So why Dundee?" for the next North Hop festival and it is actually a really easy question to answer...Dundee is fun, vibrant, sunny (they don't call it #sunnydundee for nothing!), up and coming and it's food/drink and independent business scene is absolutely buzzing! That's why we have put together this handy wee guide of places to discover in Dundee...


BUBU - 'Eat Well''s in their name and they most certainly live up to it! Open 7 days 8am (9am on Sunday's) till 6pm they are the perfect shout for breakfast, brunch, lunch or even an early dinner. We LOVE their egg pots and their hot boxes, but their salad boxes are definitely worth a shout too! Everything is super fresh and prepared/served fast so perfect for folk on the go...

Muchacho - Only been open a few weeks but already gaining a strong following and some great reviews Muchacho on Nethergate is definitely a great shout if you love Mexican food! Their focus is on the authentic flavours, tastes, colours and sounds of Mexican street food and stepping into their premises you immediately get that feel, and it is for this exact reason we are delighted to have them featuring at Spirit of North Hop Dundee this November!

Bird & Bear - Since opening last year Bird & Bear has firmly placed itself on the map as one of the best places to eat (and drink!) in Dundee. Their menu is extensive and offers something for everyone and the fact that brunch menu is served until 4pm daily, AND their kitchen stays open till 11pm in the evenings it's a complete winner! We are excited to be teaming up with the Bird & Bear team in/around the festival so watch this space for more info coming soon...

Tailend Dundee - The fish n chips institution that began in St Andrews swam its way across the Silvery Tay to dish up an array of seafood delights to the good people of Dundee! These guys source all their products as close to home as they can find them and work with Scottish producers and independents to make sure everything is as local and fresh as possible. Their Dundee restaurant offers both sit in and take-away.

Daisy Tasker - Named after a much loved 14-year old weaver who organised social activities for the jute mill workers, Daisy Tasker is the new restaurant from Hotel Indigo offering up a contemporary spin on traditional Scottish dishes using as much local produce and fresh ingredients as they can. The restaurant itself is an impressive space with high vaulted exposed-brickwork ceilings creating a light and airy but character-filled space.

MAS - And because, quite frankly we can never have enough Mexican food in this world we couldn't miss out this Dundee institution! Mas is an independent Mexican restaurant and bar serving up delicious and punchy home-made delights, ice cold Mexican beers, and of course, frozen margaritas! The vibe is laid-back and they always keep some tables free for walk-ins, but also offer 'tacoway' for those wanting great Mexican food on-the-go.


3 Session Street - Another newbie but a goodie! 3 Session Street is Dundee's only late night cocktail lounge, open 5pm till 2am Tuesday till Sunday and soon to be adding late night food to their offering. Possibly one of the prettiest (and most Instagram'able) back bars in Dundee with pretty tasty serves to match. Owners Dan and Chris have carefully curated a unique cocktail list to stand out from the crowd with clever twists on some of the classics.

The King of Islington - Not the typical bar you'd expect to find on Union Street but follow the Latin/Cuban/Caribbean sounds through the un-marked doorway and you will find yourself in sugarcane spirit heaven! This bar may be small but it packs a fair punch, the walls are adorned with classic, colourful posters and The King can shake up a mean cocktail. And that's exactly why you'll find them at Spirit of North Hop Dundee with a colourful pop-up bar!

71 Brewing Tap Room - If beer's more your scene then head off the beaten track a little (worth the walk, we promise!) to check out 71's super-cosy beer-filled tap room! Now open Mon to Weds 10am-6pm, Thurs and Fri 10am-10pm, Sat 12pm-10pm, and Sun 1pm-6pm, with their own delicious beers and guest beers on tap as well as a banging bottle shop selection. Brewery tours also available and don't miss them and their winter beer garden at the festival!

Draffen's - Dundee's best worst-kept secret...head down Couttie's Wynd, through 'the' door, down the stairs and immerse yourself into 1920's prohibition times! This speakeasy now has it's own billboard poster, complete with piano at Dundee Train Station and the bar crew are as every bit friendly and fun as the poster depicts. Enter Draffen's with an open mind and the bartenders will not disappoint!

Tom's - This place is so new we haven't even had a chance to check it out yet, but, we have heard great things and seen epic Insta pics! Classing themselves as a Pacific Cocktail Parlour their speciality lies in Pacific inspired cocktails...think hard liquor, strong garnish game, and flames. They are sister venue to TheWestHouse and are located in Dundee's Cultural Quarter where you'll find no shortage of great bars and restaurants!

Daily Grind - For the morning after coffee shop hangs we highly recommend you hit up Hard Grind! Brought to you from the guys behind Hard Grind barber shop and Abandon Ship Apparel this modern coffee bar has a great atmosphere and very unique decor, and is manned by super-friendly staff who know their stuff. Open 7 days, cuts, clothing and coffee, what more could you want?


Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa - Naturally with this being the chosen venue for Spirit of North Hop Dundee this November it's going to be good one! At North Hop we're all about unique style and finishing touches, something that this hotel has plenty of. Having now stayed in both the standard rooms and the suites we can confirm you are guaranteed to have a great nights sleep and you will also go home with a new friend, Mick the Apex Duck!

Hotel Indigo Dundee - One of Dundee's newest hotels we were delighted to see that Hotel Indigo have once again drawn inspiration from the hotels surroundings and strong history to create a totally individual delight! Strong elements of Jam, Jute & Journalism, Dundee's 3 J's can be found throughout the hotel with a very industrial yet elegant feel. Expect bare-brick walls, hardwood timber floors, and bespoke linen, treats for all the senses.

Urban Quarters - 'For Work, Rest & Play' it's easy to see why these are our chosen apartments for North Hop Crew HQ the weekend of the festival. Handily located on South Tay Street these individual apartments each have their own look/feel and offer comfort and luxury in equal measure. We love the small touches like popcorn machines and Netflix, giving a true home from home feel. Keep your eyes peeled for some fun UQ x NH action coming soon!


Maggie's Penguin Parade - Currently invading Dundee and surrounding areas these colourful penguins have created quite a stir and a unique way to discover the city. As well as being an amazing sight and great fun for all the family the parade is in support of the very-worthy Maggie's Centre who offer free practical, social and emotional support for people with cancer and their family/friends. Pick up a map or download the app to discover the trail...

V&A Dundee - Ok, so it's not technically open yet but how could we possibly miss the V&A, Dundee's most talked about attraction EVER, out of this go-to-guide! Opening on the 15 September 2018 with a star-studded opening weekend line-up. This one-of-a-kind museum located within Dundee's Waterfront Development will showcase design from around the world through a series of exhibitions, galleries, installations and learning spaces.

Oh Hello - Another brand new opening this week, the fabulous Honey Pop (lifestyle blogger) and Abandon Ship Apparel have teamed up to bring an awesome new vintage lifestyle store to Dundee. We only got a chance to take a sneak peek of the shop prior to opening last weekend but from what we saw this shop is worth a visit! The space has cleverly been set up to also host small events and we look forward to seeing what they have planned...

Foxlake Dundee - For those adrenaline junkies amongst you Foxlake is the place to be! Located in the City Quay, Foxlake is an exciting new water-sports facility and is Scotland's first urban aqua park. As well as the aqua park they offer wakeboarding, ringo and paddleboarding. They welcome parties and groups and we can see this going down a storm for those looking for an alternative team-building day out.

Open/Close Dundee - One of the really cool aspects of Dundee that has grown and flourished over the last few years is their Street Art scene (you know how much we love a bit of Street Art at North Hop!) and one of the driving forces behind this is the Open/Close Dundee team. Their passion is brightening up the otherwise dull/overlooked nooks and crannies of the city. They now have two trails, City Centre Trail and Stobswell Trail so go check them out...

Phew, what list, and by no means is this list exhaustive, Dundee has many more sights and delights to offer so get out there and discover it for yourself!

Please note that super early bird tickets for Spirit of North Hop Dundee have now SOLD OUT and early bird tickets are only available until 31 August 2018...