Having the sea as our next door neighbour isn’t entirely burdensome. For the briny waters are the source of an extraordinary variety of deliciously edible treats.

And, no, we’re not talking about soggy chicken nuggets that have been casually tossed into the waves off Carnoustie by an inebriated holiday reveller.

The sea – plus its neighbouring beaches, inland tributaries and lochs – are home to lobster, crab, cockles, mussels and much more in the way of tasty munchables.

All of which are available to sample at a variety of eateries.

The following are our favourite seafood snack shacks, which can all be discovered lurking close to the salty Scottish shores …

HeraldScotland: Oban Seafood HutOban Seafood Hut (Image: FREE)

Oban Seafood Hut

Lobsters are curious looking beasties who wouldn’t look out of place as the monster-of-the-week in a particularly gruesome episode of Doctor Who.

Though unlike the Daleks, lobsters have one redeeming feature – they are delicious.

Actually, having never tasted a Dalek, we can’t deny they might be delicious, too. (Though they certainly don’t look particularly tasty; Dalek probably tastes like sprouts.)

But we digress.

The point we’re trying to make is that lobster is yum, and this is especially true of the lobster at the Oban Seafood Hut, which is sometimes referred to as The Greek Shack.

Tourists and locals rave about the lush lobster, and will only stop raving about it when they start raving about the scallops and crab, instead. (Which are equally memorable.)

Take the goodies away with you, or nosh ‘em on the spot.

Lobster Shack, North Berwick

Another favourite hangout for seafood fanatics intent on sampling the crème de la crustacean of the Scottish nation.

The Lobster Shack, as the name hints, is another hangout known for its excellent lobster, which can be enjoyed in picturesque harbour surroundings. We also recommend the breaded squid, seafood chowder and crab bisque.

HeraldScotland: Lobster Shack, North BerwickLobster Shack, North Berwick (Image: free)


The Seafood Shack, Ullapool

Launched in 2016 by two ambitious young caterers named Kirsty and Fenella, who both have strong links to the nearby waters. Kirsty’s partner owns one of the local boats and catches much of what is served.

Fenella’s family are also in the fishing industry.

As well as running the shack, these two energetic entrepreneurs of oceanic edibles have published their own cook book. Langoustines cooked in a hot garlic and thyme butter is one of the delish dishes worth sampling.

HeraldScotland: The Oyster ShedThe Oyster Shed (Image: free)

The Oyster Shed Farm Shop, Carbost

The sky’s the limit when it comes to sampling seafood at the Oyster Shed Farm Shop, left. Or perhaps we should say the Skye’s the limit, for the Oyster Shed is to be found on that particular Scottish island, in the pretty village of Carbost.

The Shed is known for the high quality of Pacific oysters which are grown in the translucent waters of Loch Harport. Also on offer are excellent smoked salmon, mussels and scallops. Expert advice is offered in shucking oysters.

HeraldScotland: Reilly ShellfishReilly Shellfish (Image: free)

Reilly Shellfish, Crail

Established in 1974, the North Sea crab and lobster at Reilly Shellfish is cooked while you wait.

And you will probably be quite content to hang around for a while, for the seating next to the harbour provides picturesque views, and the serving staff are friendly and garrulous.

Once the food arrives you won’t be disappointed. The crab rolls are especially wowsome, and everything is friskily fresh; from boat to belly – there’s hardly any time in between.

Nanny’s, Shieldaig

This seafood snackery was originally little more than a corrugated tin shed. But even a corrugated tin shed can dream of bigger and better things, and Nanny’s is now a niftier operation, entirely. The seafood has always been excellent – and remains so.

The lobster and langoustine are locally caught in Loch Torridon. Baked goods and traditional breakfasts are also on the menu.

The Oyster Bar, Ellenabeich

This family-run business looks on to the pretty village square of Ellenabeich.

There are also great views of the Isle of Mull, Scarba and Jura. Though don’t get too wrapped up in the scenery, for most of your concentration should be firmly focused on the food, which evolves intriguingly throughout the seasons, and includes west coast mussels in white wine and langoustines served cold and whole with salad.

READ MORE: Scotland's best restaurants of the year - Ron Mackenna's round up

Kishorn Seafood Bar, Kishorn

Local fishermen drop their catch right at the door of the Kishorn, and very soon afterwards it’s frolicking about in the customers’ lucky mouths.

Specialities include hand-dived scallops, Squat lobster, langoustine, oysters and crab.

If you prefer a little bit of everything, try the legendary luxury pie, which is stuffed with langoustine, scallops, crab and mussels.

The Seafood Bothy, Stonehaven

What do you get when you mix a horse with a critter from the ocean? Probably some sort of merhorse, which is similar to a mermaid, only far more likely to win next year’s Grand National.

The folks who run Stonehaven’s Seafood Bothy aren’t in possession of a merhorse (as far as we know) though they have managed to blend equine with brine by housing themselves in a converted horse-box, which is located on the pier of Stonehaven harbour.

It may not be the most glamorous of locations, though what it lacks in splendour it makes up for in quirky charm and friendly service.

The Bothy serves terrific street-food which arrives fresh from the business’s own boat, the Even Less.

An ever-adaptable menu depends on the day’s catch, though favourites include pies, wraps, baguettes and seafood salad platters.

The seafood nachos and prawn burritos are especially flavoursome.

The Creel Seafood Bar, Isle of Mull

HeraldScotland: Taylor Swift is a seafood fanTaylor Swift is a seafood fan (Image: FREE)

To ensure success for your restaurant or snack shack, it’s a good idea to get a celebrity endorsement. For example, a certain chippy in Glasgow is rumoured to be the favourite hangout of Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran

Alas, it’s not the famous pop star Taylor Swift who frequents the establishment, merely a local ne’er-do-well named Taylor, whose surname isn’t even Swift – that’s just a description of his powers of acceleration when the local constabulary are chasing him and his pet dachshund (who, of course, goes by the name Ed Sheeran).

Meanwhile, the Creel Seafood Bar on the Isle of Mull can actually boast a genuine celebrity fan: actor and TV star Robson Green, who appears in a video on their Facebook page, extolling the delights of the lobster. All of the produce is caught fresh in the waters surrounding Mull and Iona, and Robson clearly knows what he’s talking about when it comes to a certain crustacean.

We also recommend the smoked salmon pate with oatcakes; crab claws; and mussels cooked in wine, cream and garlic, served with a buttered roll.