Dining Whilst Making a Difference in Aberdeen

Eating out is always a treat, but imagine if you could treat others whilst treating yourself. This is the concept behind several cafes and restaurants in Aberdeen with a social enterprise side to them. From the city centre to rural escapes, it’s possible to dine in style, whilst helping others. It’s certainly food for thought. At Skene House we’re proud to support The Bread Maker, the first cafe highlighted below, which supplies us with fantastic, fresh gluten free and wholemeal/granary bread. We always strive to support local businesses, but to support businesses that, in turn, support individuals in our community, is a privilege. Take a look at the best social cafes in Aberdeen and shire.

The Bread Maker – Just a few doors down from Skene House Rosemount, ‘The Bread Maker’ on Rosemount Viaduct sells a range of artisan bakery. It’s an ideal stop for picking up a fresh loaf of bread if you’re staying with us and plan to make use of the kitchen facilities available in every apartment. From traditional wholemeal bread to sourdough, oaty bread, malthouse loaf and their renowned Rosemount Brownie, it’s a bread and baking oasis. If you’d prefer someone else to do the food preparation for you there’s a cafe onsite selling sandwiches, soft drinks and light lunches. The Bread Maker provides training as well as social activities to adults with learning disabilities.

  • Skene House Holburn – 12 mins walk
  • Skene House Rosemount – 1 mins walk
  • Skene House Whitehall – 6 mins walk 

Boozy Cow – Whether you’re staying in Aberdeen for business or leisure sometimes a burger just hits the spot. Boozy Cow offers a real meat feast, craft beers and cool cocktails in slick surroundings. Situated on Langstane Place this burger bar stands out from the crowd as its profits go to charity: the aim is to donate £1m annually by 2018. The beneficiaries have included the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland, the Archie Foundation, VSA and the STV Children’s Appeal. Yum!

  • Skene House Holburn – 4 mins walk
  • Skene House Rosemount – 10 mins walk
  • Skene House Whitehall – 11 mins walk

Rosie’s Cafe – On the same street as Skene House Whitehall, Rosie’s started life as a friendly workshop where people who needed a little extra support in life came together to make and sell hand-crafted goods, with the profit going straight back into the charity. In 1999 the cafe opened, continuing to support people with mental health issues to develop and practice work-skills. Rosie’s cafe sells a mean scone as well as hearty soups, and, naturally, stocks hand-crafted products for purchase.

  • Skene House Holburn – 13 mins walk
  • Skene House Rosemount – 6 mins walk
  • Skene House Whitehall – 3 mins walk

Social Bite – Social Bite on Union Street gives customers the option of buying a ‘suspended’ meal – paying in advance for food to provide a local homeless person with a nutritious meal. Many of the staff themselves were formerly homeless and Social Bite helps get them back into employment. Its lunches include soup and sandwiches, salads and hot dishes. Another food fix for anyone in the centre of town, and especially handy for Skene House Holburn as it takes only two minutes to trot up the road.

  • Skene House Holburn – 2 mins walk
  • Skene House Rosemount – 11 mins walk
  • Skene House Whitehall – 9 mins walk

Out of Town Options

Newton Dee – If you wish to venture out of the city then consider a stop at Newton Dee cafe in Bieldside. After visiting the farm animals and perhaps purchasing items at the onsite bakery, coffee and cake in the cafe is a relaxing option. Part of the Camphill Community, Newton Dee offers individuals with additional needs not only somewhere to live, but a place to thrive and develop, learning skills in farming, woodwork or baking. The onsite gift shop stocks a variety of food from the local larder so it’s easy to find some treats to bring back to prepare and savour at home in Skene House.

Fly Cup Catering – This time heading north, Fly Cup in Inverurie sells a sumptuous range of cakes and tray bakes whilst simultaneously teaching its trainees catering skills. The sweetest treat is Fly Cup’s charming play room which makes it a great stop on family days out, and it’s within walking distance of the playgrounds in Strathburn Park.

Skene House is delighted to see such a wide range of cafes, with a charitable angle, so close to home. We offer spacious apartments, in three central locations, with many of the benefits of hotel accommodation. Guests can cook any treats they discover from the local suppliers showcased above in their own kitchen, before relaxing in the privacy of the living room. If visitors wish to explore the city centre then our guests can park in Skene House’s free city centre parking, forget about the car, and explore Aberdeen on foot. Equally if people wish to venture out to the rural destinations then our visitors don’t have to worry about finding parking upon their return. Adding a social enterprise site into an itinerary is a lovely way to sightsee, and we’ve discovered that in Aberdeen it’s possible to have your cake, eat it, and help others at the same time.

To discover more about Skene House accommodation in the heart of the Granite City click here. Call +44 1224 659 392 or email for further information.



27 thoughts on “Dining Whilst Making a Difference in Aberdeen

  1. Talya says:

    I this enterprises which give back in this way should be applauded and it’s great to be able to support them with your custom during a visit in Aberdeen.

    1. Skene House Blogger says:

      The food, such as the bread at the Bread Maker, the tarts and flans at Newton Dee, are excellent too. Very good quality.

  2. Love this idea – I would definitely visit them next time I’m in Aberdeen! Much rather give my money to somewhere that works as a social enterprise than a chain 🙂

    1. Skene House Blogger says:

      Agreed, and individual places often have so much personality too.

  3. Jon says:

    I wish more places did this. I know it’s easier said than done but I think it can make a real difference to those they help!

    1. Skene House Blogger says:

      In many cases it’s giving people actual employment, income as well as the experience. Life changing.

  4. Helen says:

    I love the concept behind these places – I’m always far more inclined to support a business if I know they’re giving back in some way 🙂

    1. Skene House Blogger says:

      It works for everyone doesn’t it.

  5. Oh I love this idea, how lovely when a business pays it forward!

    1. Skene House Blogger says:


  6. Eating local is so important to support the economy. Great post, going to try some of these places out on our next trip to Aberdeen.

    1. Skene House Blogger says:

      Great to hear it. Good food, local food and a charitable angle too.

  7. I’ve never been to Aberdeen. Will think of your list if ever I find myself in the area 🙂

    1. Skene House Blogger says:

      It’s eating local but also contributing. We hope you can head north soon.

  8. Mary Abbott says:

    Would love to visit Aberdeen, what a lovely idea!

    1. Skene House Blogger says:

      It’s a win win!

  9. It’s so heart warming to see local businesses supporting each other – what a fabulous community you have up there!

    1. Skene House Blogger says:

      We are genuinely proud of what goes on up here!

  10. Stephanie says:

    Good to know where the local cake shop is!!

  11. It sounds like lots of great laces are nearby to dine out, great selection of eateries too. Really useful post for those planning a stay.

    1. Skene House Blogger says:

      Aberdeen is quite a foodie city, lots to choose between, and lots of independent eateries that always offer variety.

  12. Nazrin says:

    This is such a cool idea. Its a shame I haven’t seen or heard of anything like this over on my side of the map which is The Midlands. You’ve definitely compiled an awesome list together if I am ever in Aberdeen & wanna check these babies out!

    1. Skene House Blogger says:

      Thanks for that. A good reason to grab a cake!

  13. Eating local is so important and even more amazing when you know you’re making a difference and helping others! x

    1. Skene House Blogger says:

      It’s such a simple idea but it really works. Thanks for dropping by.

  14. Great post. I try to eat local as much as I can. It helps support the community.

    1. Skene House Blogger says:

      You’re right, with or without the charitable angle eating local benefits the community.

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