Dundee Student Venues
1. Art Bar
They don’t come much simpler than this: Art Bar is a bar for arty types. Right next to Duncan of Jordanstone, this small but atmospheric basement bar is one of the key haunts of the city’s paintbrush twiddlers. Resident DJs are on hand to keep things lively, alongside a host of open mics and regular live music. The drinks prices are student-friendly, and the outdoor seating area makes this the ideal spot whatever the weather.
140 Perth Rd 01382227888
While Tonic may be famous for its choice of burgers (fair enough considering they’ll serve up ostrich without even blinking), it’s also a great bar in its own right. Reasonable drinks prices, a great location slap-bang in the middle of town, and a hearty atmosphere add up to make this much more than ‘the place with the mad burgers.’
141 Nethergate 01382226103
Drouthy's like to keep things simple, and it's a policy that works well. Whether you're heading in for a hangover breakfast or settling down for a long and lazy post-lecture evening, expect hearty grub with a few exotic twists, a grand behind-the-bar selection and an all-round warm welcome. The basement also deserves a mention for its eclectic mix of live music.
146 Perth Rd 01382202187
4. Jute Cafe Bar
Once you’ve perused the art on offer upstairs, head down to Jute in the lower foyer of the DCA to chew the fat. The swanky interior and knowledgeable staff make this the best place for a quiet drink to recover from a contemporary art blitz, and the miraculously low volume of the background noise means that a genuine conversation need not result in torn vocal chords.
152 Nethergate 01382909900
5. Duke’s Corner
From the same team as Edinburgh’s Red Squirrel and Holyrood 9A, Duke’s Corner sets out a similar stall with high-quality pub grub and a whole host of tasty beers and spirits. What sets Duke’s out from its stablemates is the regular live music on offer, which comes from local bands from across the musical spectrum.
13 Brown St 01382205052
Intimate, eclectic and enticing; just three of the words being chucked about when consulting popular opinion on one of Dundee's best Turkish eateries. Shunning the strip-lights and beige tiles of various, less vibrant imitators, Agacan is ablaze with local art, and some from its owner and namesake. Expect platters of freshly prepared, expertly seasoned, tastebud-reviving and hangover-diminishing Turkish delights.
113 Perth Rd 01382644227
2. Deep Sea Restaurant
Look past the slightly austere exterior, the dark wood and strange tablecloths, and you’ll see that this is the best place in Dundee for traditional fish & chips. That old-fashioned setting fits right in with the food, and the enduring popularity of the Deep Sea is testament to the quality of the fare. Oh, and they do takeaway if you’d rather grab a seat down Magdalen Green.
81 Nethergate 01382224449
With the feel of a 1950s American diner, Ketchup makes a welcome change from other Dundee restaurants. 2-for-1 offers and lunch deals help keep the prices more than reasonable, and the comfortable booths and retro decor give the place a relaxed and laid-back vibe, as do the friendly staff who won’t laugh when you get mustard all over yourself.
10 South Tay St 08451666020
4. Tartan Coffeehouse
A paintbrush throw from the art school, this gourmet coffee spot combines agreeable Scottish cuisine with top notch java. There are comfy chairs, a convivial atmosphere, and a certain tolerance for those who get so engrossed in conversation that they almost forget about their coffee. The ideal student cafe, then.
53 Perth Rd 01382322338
CLUBS AND GIGS
1. Fat Sam's
One of Scotland’s biggest clubs, Fat Sam’s serves up a range of club nights for students and ‘real people’ alike. Wednesday is the dedicated student night, but the place is always full of scholars taking a well-earned break from their studies/ drinking cocktails out of fishbowls. The attached gig venue, Fat Sam's Live, hosts a variety of bands and solo artists, and the occasional fun-packed PA from reality TV stars.
31 South Ward Rd 01382228181
Another of Dundee’s mainstream nightclubs, Liquid has a number of tricks up its sleeve that make it an enticing proposition. For starters, there’s the size of the place; no accidentally tripping over your flatmates in here. Then there are the booths, which act as magnets for attention while simultaneously keeping out the riff-raff. Oh, and the luxury pods, each with their own bar. Like we said, tricks up its sleeve.
21 South Ward Rd 01382205551
Whatever your musical taste, the Underground won’t disappoint. This basement club has a very, very inclusive music policy, with everything from R’n’B to rock to stuff from the popular music charts. A chic setting and cheap drinks mark Underground out as a good place to finish a night.
25 South Tay St 01382200399
4. The Reading Rooms
Intimate, loud, and adorned with army-style camouflage roofing, the Reading Rooms is a popular choice among Dundee’s trendier music-lovers. It can fill up quickly, especially on big nights such as electro and disco night Book Club and when big-name guest DJs are in town. A truly unique club that’s different from every other in Dundee.
With a two-screen cinema, the aforementioned cafe-bar, and regular high-profile exhibitions, the DCA is the place to go for Dundonians interested in the arts. There’s professional printmaking equipment, as well as a gallery shop for gifts and exhibition materials, and the whole place is a pleasure to be in. The best place for any Dundee art student to go people-watching.
152 Nethergate 01382909900
2. Dundee Rep
Home to one of the country’s most-renowned theatre companies, the Rep also hosts the best touring theatre to be found in the City of Discovery. It isn’t just serious theatre that the Rep hosts, with dance, stand-up and live music all featuring as part of an eclectic programme. Located in the heart of town, grabbing a post-show meal or drink won’t require a huge trek.
Tay Square 01382223530
3. Hannah Maclure Centre
A unique exhibition space on the top floor of the Abertay Student Union, the centre provides a platform for burgeoning artistic talent from around Scotland and further afield. The 72-seat cinema is often used in conjunction with the Centre’s art exhibitions, and the addition of a coffee bar and adjoining rooftop terrace only sweeten the deal.
3 Bell St 01382308324