On a daily basis, people ask me where they should go for food, so as I am leaving the country for a year here is a little list for you all to keep.
Everywhere that is on this list I have been to at least once and comes purely from personal opinion.
I have tried to put as many options as possible so there is something for everyone.
(In no particular order)
For when you are craving a taco and a margarita, which is me every day that ends in ‘Y’. These are both so good it’s near impossible to get a table:
El Cartel is flavour x 100, although they have a small selection on their menu each option is packed with a punch, my favourite dish is the duck tacos, followed by the jalapeno poppers. Basement, on the other hand, has a very large menu so there will be something on there for everyone, they are also a live music venue and make fresh guacamole at your table. If you can’t manage to get a table at these busy bees there is Wahaca on St Andrews Square – not quite up there in standards but will keep you happy nonetheless.
That is correct I am adding a cinema to my list, and that would be the Dominion Cinema.
Hidden in Morningside this place is an Edinburgh gem, from delicious hot dogs to local ice cream, there is something unique and special about this cinema. Let’s not forget the sofa’s with leg rests you sit on and the option of taking prosecco in with you to the movie. (Oh, and the free pringles)
I have a sweet tooth, a BIG sweet tooth like no other, so when the option for eats is simply just pudding I am very happy with that.
For something large and filling covered in goodness, I would head to Coro the Chocolate Cafe , the interior is disappointing but the Nutella waffles make up for it. If I simply wanted a stunningly delicious ice cream I would head to Marys Milk Bar not only is the vintage style interior beautiful but the staff are lovely and you will leave instantly wanting more. For a quick cupcake, I would pop into Bibi’s on Hanover Street, or a quick froyo I know Frisky Froyo will have my back.
My all time favourite, for cake, is The Sicilian Pastry Shop a family run business that is a tradition in my own family. The cakes are so light and delicious, we love it in our family so much that my Mum’s wedding cake was from here and I have one on every single one of my birthdays.
I am partial to a cocktail here or there, my favourites would have to be Espresso Martini’s, Pina Colada’s and Margaritas.
I’ve been going to Indigo Yard ever since I have been living in the West End (a while), it’s a standard bar/restaurant, but the one thing that takes me back every time is the outdoor area, it’s perfect rain or shine. For something a little bit special, or if you have guests with you in town I would take them to Chaophraya. Although a Thai restaurant they have a fantastic outdoor balcony with beautiful views of Edinburgh and beyond.
For a delicious cocktail created by masterminds, and for a chilled environment head to Lucky Liquor , for something dark and loud – but tasty check out the not so secret, secret, Bramble and for somewhere cosy go to The Last Word. There is also Panda and Sons for those of you who are hipsters.
Pizza is my world, so I have to say I have very high standards as there is so much rubbish out there.
For that family restaurant vibe, I would head to Origano on Leith Walk, this is what I would call a traditional restaurant – it’s tasty and classic and keeps everyone happy.
For a slice the size of my face I would go to Civerinos Slice – this is a big pizza slap in the face and I don’t know who wouldn’t want that. The interior is bright and fun, the pizzas are friggen huge and they have even started to deliver. This is the more casual little sister to the original – Civerinos a little bit more ‘mature’ interior-wise but still as fun and perfect for that pizza void you have in your stomach. The ‘Civerinos’ pizza is my favourite, unbelievably delicious – Oh, and there’s a Nutella calzone.
My favourite meal of the day, because it makes it acceptable to have a drink before 12.
My go-to is Salt Cafe I have only ever had one dish in Salt Cafe, so I can’t vouch for the rest, but their Eggs Benedict with crispy bacon accompanied by a spicy bloody mary is what I like to call heaven. My other go to is The Pantry located in Stockbridge, and now Colinton, is filled to the brim with very young families so it will be noisy, but the food is worth it and the staff are lovely.
For vegan brunch, the waffles at Moon and Hare are delicious, for something for everyone there’s Montpeliers and I have also had a delicious brunch at the Wind and the Willows themed Badger and Co. Oh, and the waffles at Papii are great – I guess I really like waffles?
Something I’m learning to love, and it turns out, not eating enough of.
I was invited to try Ondine and I’m not going to lie to you, I wouldn’t have gone otherwise, but now I couldn’t recommend it enough for fish. Ondine blew me away, I hate oysters, but they made me like them, their salmon was melt in the mouth and their monkfish curry was divine.
I also have to have a special mention for Fishers because I have eaten at each of their restaurants and they are all as lovely as each other. An Edinburgh institution Fishers is a lovely touch to a visit to Edinburgh.
I have coffee running through my veins, no I’m being serious, I have a flat white next to me right now.
My go-to is Cairngorm , if they are busy I will go to Lowdown ,if they are busy I’ll go to Fortitude and if they are busy I’ll go to Wellington. These are all 5 minutes within reach of other, not kidding.
Things I will miss in Edinburgh: my Mum, my cat and Cairngorm. I go so often the staff just say my order to me as I walk up to the till, it’s delicious and consistent. Lowdown, hidden away on George street is the perfect place if you just want an hour to yourself. The staff are chatty and kind, the coffee is to die for and they always have some banging tunes on. Fortitude has divine coffee and their hot chocolates are pretty outstanding. If you want a coffee FAST go to Wellington, you won’t always get the perfect cuppa but 8/10 times you do.
If you want somewhere a little different, head to The Counter there’s something quite special about ordering a coffee off of a canal boat or alternatively head to Filament for some lovely people and bagels.
So comforting, so delicious – easy to get wrong.
I will always recommend Tuk Tuk to people, it has a special place in my heart, this is where my friends and I go for dinner and a natter. Small dishes of delicious curry, BYOB and the prices are so unbelievably good my friend who lives in London nearly had a heart attack.
There’s a pub on every corner of Edinburgh, if you can’t find one – I feel sorry for you.
If I can’t find my Mum, I can find her in Teuchters at the West End, and on occasion, after a Peroni or two I’m partial to a very large mug of Haggis, Neeps & Tatties. The mugs are GINORMOUS, I am not kidding, from Stovies, Macaroni Cheese and Haggis Neeps and Tatties you will not be going home with an empty stomach. After you have had one too many and you are in desperate need of something messy and tasty The Boozy Cow has you covered – that Philly cheeseteak though – omg.
The Scran and Scallie however, is on the other end of the spectrum. Not so much a pub it is more on the restaurant side – The Scran and Scallie is pub grub x 100 – it’s stunningly beautiful plates of food in a homey Scottish setting. It is delicious here, and I couldn’t recommend it enough.
Although they don’t serve food, if you are looking for a drink in a classic pub head to the Malt & Hops , you couldn’t ask for a friendlier crowd.
Healthy / Veggie / Vegan / Gluten Free
I am not healthy, a vegetarian or a vegan – but you gotta kid yourself sometimes.
I could sing Hula’s praises all day, located on one of the most beautiful streets in Edinburgh, Victoria street, it has something for everyone and is decorated so colourfully it makes you forget that it is raining. If you are looking for that insta-worthy picture this is where you come. I find it very hard to walk past without grabbing a smoothie.
I have probably eaten 90% of Grams Edinburgh’s menu. These guys will give you a decent meal that will not only be tasty, but fill you up and make you forget that it is healthy. Let’s not forget the fact that they sell healthy cakes as well, that is correct I did say healthy.
There is also Moon and Hare as mentioned above.
If I’m honest Edinburgh is lacking in the burger department, but if I had to recommend anywhere it would be Bread Meats Bread.
I love buffalo sauce, and Bread Meats Bread has a ton of it. From buttermilk chicken, kimchi and pastrami to siracha and candied bacon – there is probably a burger topping out there for you.
Let’s not forget The Cambridge Bar – so simple yet so bloody good.
Something that I always have to order in a restaurant, because I’ve never quite perfected it myself.
I am a huge fan of Chophouse whether it is their location in Leith or the one at the Waverly Arches they can do no wrong in my eyes. They have knowledgeable staff, a modern industrial interior, and steak on the menu – what more could you want? I have had breakfast, lunch, and dinner here and each occasion was supreme.
There’s just something about Thai food that brightens the soul.
My families favourite is Time 4 Thai – their monkfish curry is unbelievable ( I think about it often), there is also Dusit hidden away on Thistle street, an Edinburgh local favourite. As mentioned before Chaophraya is fantastic and great for visitors.
For something street-foody head to Thing Thai Caravan my first experience didn’t wow me, but people always sing their praises so maybe I went on a bad day.
It makes me sad to think of a world without cheese.
For a glass of wine, a nibble of cheese and slice of delicious meat I will always recommend Pickles , it has a buzzing atmosphere is absolutely delicious and will give you a wide selection of chutneys to accompany your bites – and lets not forget the pickles. At the other end of town, there is Brew Lab although known for their coffee they now open late to serve you wine, beer, cocktails and local meat and cheese – nom nom nom.
For something less nibbley and more heart-attacky grab a cheese toastie from Melt Mongers. You will be full for the rest of the day, and possibly that week too.
When you can’t quite afford what you are about to put in your mouth.
If there is another category you would like me to add in terms of restaurants let me know as I imagine I have left out many as this took me a while to write and I started to get hungry haha.
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