Basic food shopping
Supermarkets & general stores
There are three branches of the Co-op on Skye, two in Portree and one in the centre of Broadford by the BP petrol station. The main one in Portree (on the A87 Uig road north of the village) is the biggest, and generally best, of the three, but any of them can provide the essentials of day to day food and drink.
Both Tesco and Lidl got planning consent in 2008 to open branches on Skye. Ten years later, there is no sign of actual store development from either of them
Since 2014, Tesco has been providing a "Click & Collect" service on the island. You can order groceries on-line and then pick them up from one of three collection points - Skye Camanachd on Struan Road in Portree, Uig Community Hall, or Old Corry Industrial Estate (next to Jewsons) in Broadford. They deliver to the collection points every day.
Meanwhile the Co-op is consulting on a plan to extend its current store in Portree and add a petrol station. Believe what you will.
Other general stores on the island that I'd recommend are:
- Dunvegan - Fasgadh Stores
- Glendale - The Glendale Shop and Post Office
- Staffin (Stenscholl) - MacKenzie Stores (the Village Shop and petrol station)
- Uig - Rankins (The Post Office)
- Uig - The shop at the petrol station
Although the lamb and beef at the Co-op is generally fine, there is much better to be had from the local butchers' shops.
Lochalsh Butchers have branches in both Portree and Kyle of Lochalsh. Their meat is, in my experience, unfailingly good. The service is just what you want from a butcher too - the customer is always right. Their prices are very fair for the quality of the meat. My particular recommendation goes to the pork links and the lorne sausage with black pudding. They can be found on the main street in Kyle, and in a portakabin set-up between Howdens and Harbro on the Struan Road out of Portree.
There is also a van from Grants of Dornoch which calls about once a month in each area of the island with a range of frozen, pricey, but first-class meat.
If you have the confidence, go and buy your fish directly from the crew of one of the boats that land their catches at piers all around the island. Shellfish, including hand-dived scallops and wonderful langoustine can often be found that way.
In Portree you can buy from a fine selection at Just Hooked in Leasgeary Road. It's behind the Co-op and then turn left, past Rembrand Timber. They also operate a smaller shop in the lifeboat building at the end of Portree Pier.
Otherwise, there is a wee van that brings wonderful fish and seafood across from the north east of Scotland. It visits different places on different days. You'll get the hang of it...
Fruit and Veg
There are many local suppliers around the island, in particular of excellent salad leaves. You can often find produce at the roadside outside crofts, with an honesty box to leave your money in.
In Dunvegan you can find The Fruit and Nut Place. It's a bit of a run-down looking shed opposite the Misty Isle Hotel. Inside is a selection of fruit and veg, much of it local, together with some unusual wholefoods, spices and preserves. Often you can get some really excellent stuff here.
For serious shopping, a good range of fresh fruit and veg, at good prices, can be had from MacLeods Fruiterers. They are located on the industrial estate in Portree, just off the Uig road.The place is mainly a wholesale business supplying hotels and local shops all over Skye, but don't be put off by appearances. Retail customers are very welcome. (Just watch out for the fork-lift trucks!)