£ – Cheap, under £15
££ – Inexpensive, £15-25
£££ – Medium, £25-35
££££ – Expensive, more than £35
Price of an average dinner per person with a starter, main course and dessert, excluding wine coffee and extras.
This is a great Edinburgh restaurant nestled in the Old Town. It’s not the hippie Cranks type of veggie restaurant and is patronised by vegetarians and meat eaters alike. As a meat eater this reviewer has enjoyed Christmas nights out and birthdays here for years. My favourite is the Beetroot, Apple and Dunsyre Blue Pudding. I know, it doesn’t sound the best, but it truly is a dish to desire. The desert menu is fab, try the ginger and lime ice cream with orange cake or the whisky pannacotta. Satisfying for even my sweet tooth. On a weekend go for the hearty vegetarian Sunday lunch with all the trimmings, including Sunday papers, served until 5pm.
The Dogs/Amore Dogs
This Hanover Street eatery has become a firm favourite with the local populace, serving great value but delicious food championing the very best of Scottish ingredients. The atmosphere is bright and light and the service equally so. Next door is Amore dogs – same deal but with an Italian slant; grills, pizza, pasta and salads.
Genuinely authentic French country cooking makes this first floor restaurant a must-do for all foodies. Not to be confused with its sister restaurant, L’Escargo Bleu in Broughton Street (which sometimes serves horse meat, so beware). Everything is French; the cooking, management, wall posters and monocrome prints, the service and background French music make this a Francophile’s dream. Get a window table and gaze down on the passing traffic. Most of the ingredients are sourced from Scotland with the rest imported from France. You are invited to “Mull over the menu with a glass of Apéritif Poire William or Ricard and you will find dishes that are simple, traditional and in rhythm of the seasons”. The Lapin chasseur or Poisson du jour are favourites, or pop in on a Tuesday evening and try the raclette.
Overlooking the waterfront in Leith this historic pub offers some of the best dining of any pub in Edinburgh, with awards to show for it. The dark wood and nooks and crannies make for a genuine Leith pub experience. The food is simple, with an emphasis on seafood, but on Sundays also features slow cooked lamb and beef, which two Parisian friends declared the best they had tasted anywhere, ever. The wine list offers a good selection of wines by the glass as well as reasonably priced botttles. Booking advised.
There are has been a Vittoria on Leith Walk since 1970 when it was established by Alberto and Dina Crolla. Before going through the front door, it’s worth considering which menu will suit you. Two adults will want the lunch menu – top class dishes from £6 to £8. The A La Carte menu is pricier but here is the Vittoria secret for people with kids. With every adult eating from the Al La Carte menu, you pay £1 for a child with a choice of 3 courses. That means you can eat fine Italian food for 2 adults and two kids for £40 or so. The staff are invariably warm and friendly without any awful toadying. The Frittura di Pesce Misto Platter is an astonishing array of the very best fresh seafood – enough for two. Steaks are cooked perfectly to your liking and kids portions are ample and as good quality as the adults – the perfect family restaurant.
Fishers on the Shore
This reviewer has dined here on several occasions and never been disappointed. This, the original Fishers, nestled on the end of the restaurant-lined Shore in Leith, is set in a 17th century watchtower. The two smallish dining areas, the round room and the bar of the restaurant, offer an intimate dining experience in a historical setting, with outside dining in the summer months. Its sister, and much larger, restaurant, Fishers in the City, offers a city-centre, contemporary, vibrant alternative, but both offer a great atmosphere and fabulous seafood sourced from Scotland’s waters. The wine list offers a good selection of reasonably priced wines from most wine producing regions of the world.
Situated above the Museum of Scotland in Chambers Street this is one of Edinburgh’s best restaurants, with views to the castle over the rooftops of the Old Town. If you have a special occasion to celebrate this is the place to do it. The winner of several awards for its food and wine the Tower manages to avoid being pretentious while offering a truly stunning dining experience. The ambience is welcoming, the food, with Scottish ingredients to the fore, is outstanding, the wine list balanced and extensive and the service attentive and friendly. Don’t be surprised to see some famous faces among your fellow diners. Not cheap, but worth every penny.
Kampong Ah Lee
Malaysian food is the original fusion food combining Malay, Chinese and Indian strands into one glorious melange of tastes, colours and textures. The cosy Kampong Ah Lee in Clerk Street and its larger sister Kampung Ali in Fountainbridge are one of the city’s best kept secrets, popular with knowledgeable foodies and students. The owner, Mr Lee, and his family offer a truly authentic Malaysian dining experience. Try the roti canai, a hot pastry pancake served with chicken curry sauce, nasi lemak, a mini buffet of coconut rice, chicken curry, sambal and trimmings and the Laksa, a huge bowl of fish soup with noodles and meats.
Honk Kong Yum Yum Diner
There is only one reason to eat at the Hong Kong Yum Yum Diner and that’s the best Chinese food in Edinburgh. At the HK Yum Yum you eat and leave as a never ending procession of customers queue to take your seat. The proprieter is not to trifled with – asking for things that aren’t on the menu is a no no and she has no hesitation asking folks to leave if they’re taking their time and there is a queue. The food is not particularly cheap for a diner but you are getting the very best. The menu has very little similarity to the usual fare of Anglicised Chinese food. You’ll find Ducks Feet, Pig Trotters and much else besides on a menu very much focused on genuine Honk Kong cuisine. The best experience is to be gained by having three or four at a table and sharing dishes. A fantastic diner on Edinburgh’s Southside, highly recommended.