One of the most common questions I get asked is where to eat in the city centre. The centre of town can be a little daunting as it’s filled with chains and sometimes you can forget about the independent restaurants. I have included two chains on this list but I’ve explained why below! All the rest are independents or small Scottish “chains”. *
Baba – George Street
Levantine small and sharing plates which was one of my top meals of 2018. Offering mezze and grill, the plates are skillfully curated to bring the best flavours from the east. Review.
Lady Libertine – St Andrews Square
Similar to Baba but with more of a bar / party vibe Lady Libertine is housed on the ground and basement floors of the very grand Grand this Edinburgh chain is competing with the big boys!
83 Hanover Street – Hanover Street
× Serving up Chilean inspired plates made with love and Scottish produce, 83 Hanover is quite unlike anywhere I’ve ever been before. I’ve loved every dish I’ve had and just realised I need to get back here pronto. Review.
Six by Nico – Frederick Street
Starting out in the west, this was Nico’s first foray outside of Glasgow and with the chippy menu it was an immediate hit. 6 courses for £29 with a theme that runs for 6 weeks (currently Thai street food). It’s a tasting menu on a budget. Review.
Element – Rose Street
Cosy and family friendly with decent grub in the city centre that doesn’t rest on its location laurels. Classic pub grub done well – go hungry if you’re getting the roast or fish and chips!
Dishoom – St Andrews Square
× *Technically* it’s a chain but it never feels like one. The service and food are always outstanding. Go for the brunch and stay for the lunch…! Very good for dietary requirements. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without bacon naan breads.
Wahaca – St Andrews Square
Again, it’s a chain but the food is consistently good and it’s very child friendly. I think the food is good value and I’m obsessed with their deep fried sweet potato cubes. Ditto good for dietary requirements.
The Scottish Cafe – The Mound
× Run by the Contini team, the Scottish Cafe is nestled under the Scottish National Gallery is not just for tourists. Serving a host of Scottish classics this is a great place to take visitors to the city. Review.
Grazing is the latest restaurant from Great British Menu alumni Mark Greenaway and offers, as you might have guessed, plates made for grazing – or sharing. Some are starter sized and some are main but all are delicious. Perhaps a little more up market than the others on this list, one for a special treat.
Otro – Coates Crescent
× Technically this is West End, but I’m going to make an allowance for it as it’s a stone’s throw really from the end of Princes Street for arguably one of the best roasts in Edinburgh. Review.
Bross Bagels – Queensferry Street
Bross are taking over the world, one bagel shop at a time. Serving Montreal bagels which are superior to their New York counterparts with an array of fillings. Weekend specials keep the menu fresh and exciting. Review.
Nightcap – York Place
And a little mention for Nightcap which is a bar of the coolest order with a speakeasy sort of vibe. Good for nights out with friends and dates alike it’s a little maze of cosy cubbies. They sell food til late. Picture taken from their website.
I hope this list helps next time you’re in town and want somewhere delicious to eat!
* Anywhere I have previously been invited for a complimentary meal has been denoted with a × but they have been included on their merits and not because they were free. I’ve also spent my own hard earned cash in these places on return visits.