Famous for its Fringe festival and Hogmanay celebrations, it should come as no surprise that this dynamic city and cultural centre is home to some of the most enticing and exciting eateries on the British Isles. Whether you’re in the mood for a lively night out with your buddies savouring scrumptious spicy foods and sampling the very best boozy beverages, or you are after a more relaxed and sophisticated affair, dining on elegantly crafted dishes that make use of the finest and freshest local seasonal produce for which Scotland is known, Edinburgh’s culinary scene and wide choice of wonderful places to eat out will certainly not disappoint.
Here at Fed Up & Drunk, we’ve made life a little easier for you and have selected ten of our favourite venues you simply must check out in Edinburgh.
Bringing vibrant Mexican flavours to the streets of Edinburgh, this fun and upbeat restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients to recreate the mouth-watering flavours Mexico is known for. Well-suited to big groups, the balanced menu focuses on small tapas-style sharing plates which are as colourful and lively as the restaurant itself. From smaller plates such as tender grilled chicken and avocado tacos and toasted quesadillas, to larger plates like their burritos filled to the brim with slow-cooked pork pibil and Mexican bowls with layers of rice, beans, salsa, and a choice of delicious toppings, you won’t be disappointed by the delicious food on offer here.
This is the closest you’ll get to Mexico this side of the Atlantic. If you’re in Edinburgh and you’re looking for the perfect place to escape to with your family and friends this summer (or any time of the year), you can’t go wrong with Wahaca.
Winner of The Good Food Guide’s Restaurant of the Year award and Gordon Ramsay’s favourite French bistro, 2 AA rosette winning restaurant La Garrigue is a must visit in Edinburgh. Chef Jean-Michel Gauffre has taken his nostalgic passion for his rural childhood in the Languedoc region of southern France and applied it to the rustic, hearty cooking at La Garrigue.
At La Garrigue, ideas for dishes are as bountiful as the herbs that season them. The menu boasts traditional specialities of the Languedoc region which have been updated with a contemporary twist, featuring ingredients sourced by Jean-Michel.
With panoramic views of Calton Hill and handmade shortbread served with after-dinner coffee, there are definite nods to its Scottish location, but La Garrigue remains authentically French at heart.
If you’re searching for a lively and dynamic all-day dining experience with a twist, you definitely need to check out Edinburgh’s Checkpoint on Bistro Place. Hailed as one of the coolest restaurants in Britain by The Times, this excellent all-rounder combines the very best of both a great restaurant and bar.
The restaurant’s eccentric style features exposed light fittings and a shipping container that doubles as a seating area, somehow managing to at once ooze contemporary charm whilst feeling like an extension of your own front room.
Using fresh local produce, Checkpoint offers a refreshing take on traditional food. Try tempting dishes such as their spiced pearl barley, walnut and pomegranate breakfast bowl with fresh coconut yogurt, flat-iron steak served with triple-cooked chips, cherry tomatoes and garlic butter, or one of their classic bowls like their curried mixed lentil dahl with citrus tahini.
Situated in the former offices of The Scotsman and influenced by the famous beer halls of Bavaria, the buzzing Brewhemia is a venue dedicated to the spirit of adventure. On our visit to this exciting venue, we sampled a refreshing grape-fruit infused Schöfferhofer beer whilst a lively band played a selection of sing-along classics in the background as actors dressed as characters from The Wizard of Oz wandered through the crowds, interacting with the customers.
Unlike many other multi-experience venues, the food quality and drinks selection here matches the first-class atmosphere. Try the crayfish cocktail, a delicious helping of juicy crayfish doused in a spicy Bloody Mary sauce, or the sirloin steak that you cook at the table yourself.
Offering a number of settings, from the lively Beer Palace downstairs to a quieter experience on the first floor where there are four more intimate spaces, no matter what you are in the mood for or who you are with, Brewhemia is the perfect place to spend your time.
The ethos at Fishers in the City is a simple one; it’s all about honest food, great service and a relaxing dining experience. Operating out of a converted warehouse on Thistle Street, the contemporary surroundings provide the perfect backdrop to any occasion.
Daily specials and an extensive wine list complement the fresh, seasonal menus which include dishes such as the hot shellfish platter and an ever-changing salmon and seafood platter comprising a selection of ethically sourced local fish which is home-smoked and –cured.
If you’re a seafood lover, the combination of the Fishers favourites menu, fresh local produce and great service will have you coming back time and time again.
Head chef of Aurora Kamil Witek and his small kitchen team’s exceptional culinary skills need to be experienced and not just read about. Kamil is passionate about creating spectacular food that’s both artistically presented and reasonably priced, so if you want to try world-class food but don’t think you have the wallet for it, this little eatery, with its small and intimate 18-cover dining area, will surprise you.
The menu is small and changes weekly, utilizing fresh, seasonal produce, and offers diners five starters, five mains, and three desserts to choose from. Previous dishes such as pork cheeks with lemongrass and langoustine bisque, burnt apple and potato glass is a mouthwatering appetizer and the vegetarian parsnip gnocchi served with Gorgonzola cream, pickled walnuts and cauliflower stems showcase the chef’s impeccable skill.
An award-winning boutique seafood restaurant nestled in the heart of Stockbridge, Kilted Lobster serves the highest-quality, sustainably and ethically sourced Scottish seafood, game and beef alongside delicious vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, along with a carefully considered wine list to match.
Winners at the Scottish Food Awards for their Services to Ethical and Social Causes and featuring in the top ten Seafish and Caterer’s 2018 Seafood Restaurant of the Year, Kilted Lobster continues to make a difference in the community by providing cookery classes, hospitality training, educational opportunities and support for those in food poverty.
Choose from tempting starters like fresh Isle of Mull scallops, smoked turbot Carpaccio, and Rumbledethumps or mains such as the signature dish, Kilted Lobster, prepared and served with samphire butter and perfectly paired with a refreshing glass of house Taittinger Nocturne Champagne.
A traditional yet quirky pub with a sense of humour, The Auld Hoose in Edinburgh is a fun place that appeals to a wide audience, particularly those that love alternative bands such as Black Flag, Danzig, Deftones, Mastodon, Nitzer Ebb and Tiger Army.
Famous for generously portioned pub classics, Tex-Mex treats, and a wide array of vegan and vegetarian options, the menu truly has something for everyone. Try the legendary Hoose nachos with beef or five-bean chilli topped with cheese, jalapeños, sour cream and guacamole, or the pulled pork, chicken, vegetarian or vegan burritos with rice.
Every Tuesday at 8pm, The Auld Hoose hosts a quiz night, and students receive a ten percent discount on all food purchases.
Winner of numerous Scottish Curry Awards, now proudly displayed along the bar, this bright and modern curry house set across from the Playhouse theatre is one not to be missed. Why not try the tender and aromatic tandoori lamb chops to start then move onto the succulent Punjabi garlic chicken masala or the juicy king prawn karahi? You won’t be let down by the wide selection of delicious dishes on the menu, all of which display excellent depth of flavour and a mix of beautifully balanced spices.
For dessert, cool yourself down with scoops of creamy kulfi and an irresistibly sticky gulab jamun – the perfect finale to a truly superb meal. If you love Indian food you’re sure to love Shezan.
A gorgeous Nepalese and Indian restaurant in the heart of Edinburgh’s city centre, the team at Gurkha Café serve authentic Nepalese cuisine, as well as following the latest food trends in Nepal to provide a truly unique dining experience in Edinburgh. To start, dine on momos, lamb choila and kebabs before moving onto Indian classics and gorgeous Nepalese mains straight from the clay oven. Why not try the Himalayan special chilli garlic fish or the lamb khutta beautifully tender lamb leg cooked with traditional Nepalese herbs and served with rice.
With stunningly presented dishes and the chef’s contemporary and distinctive flair, Gurkha Café is proving to be increasingly popular within the local foodie scene.