Edinburgh Restaurant Guide

Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh is awash with great dining, as the city has one of the highest ratios of restaurants to residents in all of Europe. While venues are filled to capacity during the bustling Edinburgh Festival in August (and reservations are nearly compulsory during this time), the rest of the year a table can be easily had without much hassle. Being a cosmopolitan location, cuisines from all over the world are well represented. Here’s a list of suggested stops, from tea rooms to fish and chip shops to Indian curry houses.

Key: $ = inexpensive, $$ = Moderate, $$$ = Moderate to Expensive, $$$$ = Expensive.

Clarinda’s $
This charming tea room is decorated with vintage porcelain and antiques. Handmade quiche and sandwiches are accompanied by a massive table full of sweets, including wonderful scones and other traditional Scottish cakes.
69 Canongate
0131 557 1888

Namaste Kathmandu $$
Attention to detail and sticking to authentic recipes means Namaste Kathmandu serves up some of the tastiest Indian in Edinburgh. The paneer is rich and creamy; try any of the spinach-based dishes.
17-19 Forrest Road
0131 220 2273

This the best ‘chippy’ in town, fit enough for royalty. No, really – it has been visited by some of the Princes in the royal family. Not only do they do great fish and chips, but the chips and cheese are delightful, as well as the made-to-order pizza. Standing room only; you’ll have to brave the weather outside to enjoy your takeaway.
162 Canongate
0131 557 1092

Monster Mash $
Classic retro and traditional British cuisine come together in this hip and trendy hangout. Bangers and mash is the centerpiece of the menu – check out the sausage of the day – but anything on this hearty set of choices will please.
4a Forrest Road
0131 225 7069

Tempting Tattie $
Tempting Tattie serves up the best baked potatoes in Edinburgh. Portions are cheap, huge, and come with a mound of toppings prepared to order. Try a haggis and cheese baked potato, or maybe the tuna salad or pineapple and cheese for something lighter.
18 Jeffrey Street
0131 556 7690

Pizza Express
Although a chain found throughout Britain, this particular venue of the pizza and pasta conglomerate is found hiding just behind the Scottish Parliament in the former clock tower of the Caledonian brewery. Pizza Express offers a lovely modern venue, often not too busy and the staff are extraordinarily friendly.
111 Holyrood Road
0131 557 5734

Jekyll and Hyde $
Gore, gruesome torture and doom are the theme here at the Jekyll and Hyde. Despite the dark humor involved, this is a great pub to hideaway and relax in the spacious booths. Food is served during the day – a recommendation might be the delicious steak and ale pie, drenched in brown gravy. Warning: as you might expect at a place called Jekyll and Hyde, the toilets are hidden behind a bookcase; see if you can find them.
112 Hanover Street
0131 228 4543

David Bann $$
This is a vegetarian hotspot, with dishes so good even a carnivore would be happy. The vegetarian haggis are considered better than the real thing. At David Bann, reservations are highly recommended.
56-58 Saint Mary’s Street
0131 556 5888

The Elephant House $
Claiming to be the ‘home of Harry Potter’, there are plenty of reasons to pop into this well-known establishment. The view of Edinburgh Castle is fantastic, there is a long list of excellent teas and coffees available, and the food is scrumptious.
21 George IV Bridge
0131 220 5355

First Coast $$
Just a few minutes’ walk from Haymarket station, First Coast is one of the best bistros on the west side of the city. Modern Scottish cuisine is on offer, with every course brimming with interesting takes on traditional dishes. Reservations highly recommended.
97-101 Dalry Road
0131 313 4404

The Witchery $$$$
This is the ultimate Edinburgh gastronomic indulgence, but well worth it. The melt-in-your-mouth beef dishes are complimented by over-the-top atmosphere and top notch service. The wine list is excellent and is built to compliment the impressive menu. Reservations required.
352 Castlehill
0131 225 5613

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