Garafad, Staffin.

The Columba 1400 Café can offer diners everything they want – top quality food, a warm atmosphere and sweeping views from their table looking towards the Trotternish Ridge.

The attractive white-washed traditional looking Columba 1400 building is sited in central Staffin on the site of the old Church of Scotland Glebe ground and opened its doors in 2000.

It is perched just above the Kilmartin River, an historic Thomas Telford Bridge and the Staffin War Memorial. From almost every spot in the café the Columba Centre offers a commanding look out to the Ridge, which includes the famous Quiraing, Hill of the Red Fox and the Old Man of Storr and is the longest in-land cliff in the UK.

Columba 1400 is an award-winning social enterprise and charity which welcomes young people, and parents, teachers and carers, from all over the UK, and abroad to develop confidence and leadership building skills. Its work has been lauded by the Scottish Government and HRH The Princess Royal is the Columba 1400 Patron.

The Columba café is the first on the left as you enter the main door. The café has light streaming in from the plethora of windows and there is an open oval space above the diners’ heads with a second level.

Table service is provided in the ambient space by the friendly staff and there is an extensive menu providing everything from soups, snacks, lunches to evening meals which are enjoyed by locals, students and visitors.

Head chef Alex Matheson and his team also prepare homemade baking. A scone with jam or cream and a coffee or tea in the outside terrace while you bask in the sunshine, or light drizzle is a fine way to spend an afternoon. Each day there is a fresh specials menu which is displayed on the café wall.

A sample of the Columba food on offer is published below and the full eight-page menu can be downloaded, here: Cafe Menu

A little something to start…     

(Available all day)

  • Soup of the Day, served with our own homemade treacle bread £3.55
  • Cullen Skink creamy Scottish chowder made from smoke haddock served with homemade bread £5.95
  • Smoked Venison, served with an apple and plum chutney and oatcakes

And something more… available 10am to 5pm

  • Soup of the Day £3.55
  • Paninnis: choose two fillings. Tuna mayo, bacon, onion, haggis, chicken pickle, Cajun chicken, ham, cheese £5.95
  • Baked potatoes or baguettes: please choose two fillings Prawn marie rose, beans, chicken, bacon, pickle, cheese,Cajun chicken, tuna mayonnaise £5.95

Lite Bites

  • Columban Open Sandwich: red onion chutney with roasted peppers topped with goats cheese £6.95
  • Steak Sandwich: Rump Steak served on a ciabatta with smoked cheddar, salad and mustard mayo on the side £8.25

Columban Favourites

  • Beef Burger: 100% Aberdeen Angus £7.25
  • Chicken Burger: three strips of southern fried chicken £7.25
  • Veggie Burger: a medley of vegetables, shredded potato in breadcrumb £6.95

Cheese, bacon, BBQ sauce, onion rings, pineapple etc available for extra 50p

Main Meals… from 5pm

  • 8oz Rump Steak: served in a variety of ways including Green peppercorn sauce/roasted garlic butter/Cajun style £13.95
  • Chicken, Bacon & Leek Casserole: with a creamy tarragon sauce, potatoes and seasonal vegetables £9.75
  • Breaded Haddock: with French fries and seasonal salad £9.25
  • Steak & Skye Ale Pie: with baby potatoes and seasonal vegetables £10.95
  • Scottish Haggis, Neeps and Tatties: with a creamy whisky sauce £9.75 
  • Vegetable haggis, Neeps and Tatties: with a creamy whisky sauce  £9.75
  • Sweet chilli chicken noodles: with prawn crackers and crisp salad £9.75
  • Veggi Chilli Noodles: with prawn crackers and crisp salad £9.75

Why not treat yourself?

A Columba Cream Tea including a homemade scone served with fresh cream and preserve and tea/coffee only £3.95 

Eating your meal and soaking up the views, at all times of the year, from the café, is a big attraction for customers. There is free public Wifi and the café is fully licensed including ales from the Skye Brewery, based in Uig, across the Quiraing road.

After your meal why not take the stairs to the gallery above the café and learn more about the history of the site and interesting photographs from the local community. The café is a popular attraction for local people and often used for functions such as birthdays, retirement dinners etc. There is a footpath from the café which takes you through Garafad common grazing down to the Staffin Beach where you can search for the famous dinosaur footprints.

Visitors staying in Staffin in self-catering or B&B accommodation also make their way to the Columba and contribute to the lively and welcoming atmosphere.

Don’t just take our word for it though. Have a read of the glowing reviews of the Columba Café on TripAdvisor:

Opening times: March to October, Monday to Friday, 10am to 8pm. Winter; shorter opening hours, please check website or phone ahead.

Directions: from Portree, the cafe is 17 miles north from Portree on the main A855 road and is well-sign posted. Take a right before crossing the Kilmartin River bridge in the 40mph section of road. From Uig, the cafe is only 9 miles away over the spectacular single-track Bealach/Quiraing road. Turn right at the Brogaig junction as you descend from the Quiraing and the cafe is approximately one north, turning left after passing the bridge.

Contact details: phone the Columba cafe on 01478 611407; e-mail or write to Columba 1400 Centre, Garafad, Staffin, Isle of Skye IV51 9JX

The Columba Cafe on Facebook:

Further information about Columba 1400 and its work can be found at: