A Foodie Tour of Edinburgh

The dining and drinks scene in Edinburgh is as fascinating, gorgeous and exciting as the crags, people, history and architecture that make the city. I lived in the Scottish capital for three years, following the recommendations of local foodies and taking tip-offs from fellow newcomers in search of good scran and a wee dram. Beyond the battered Mars Bar washed down with an Iron Bru (which I secretly loved), I enjoyed some of the best dining experiences of my life.

A bold statement, right? If you have a trip to Edinburgh planned, or are a resident in search of somewhere new to try, this guide presents some of the best places to back up my claim that Edinburgh is one of the best cities to eat out in right now.

Brunch and Lunch

 

Mimi's French Toast

French Toast Photo By Mimi’s Bakehouse

Mimi’s Bakehouse

63 The Shore, EH6 6RA

Mimi’s Bakehouse is a family-run, award-winning bakery that invites guests to indulge in all the good stuff. Winner of ‘Scottish Craft Baker of the Year’, Mimi’s is mostly known for its cakes, tray bakes and afternoon teas. But the bakehouse does a pretty damn good brunch, too. Tuck into sweet or savoury French toast, a hearty veggie or meaty breakfast, or a fruity granola bowl. Finish the way Mimi would want you to – with a mimosa!

Hemma

73 Holyrood Road, EH8 8AU

Part of the popular Boda Swedish bars and restaurants group in Edinburgh, Hemma translates to ‘home’. Scandi meets Scot in the brunch menu, with haggis (meaty and veggie options) and tattie scones appearing alongside lingonberry jam or avo, pea and mint smash on toast. Coffee is provided by Swedish company Johan and Nyström or you can treat yourself to a cheeky Swedish spritz with Prosecco. Tack.

Dinner

Dinner at The Gardeners Cottage in Edinburgh

Hogget with barley carrot and charred baby gem. Photo by The Gardeners Cottage.

The Gardener’s Cottage

1 Royal Terrace Gardens, London Road, EH7 5DX

Perched on a wee slope of grass that leads up to Calton Hill, you’ll spot Gardener’s Cottage and maybe one of the chefs tending to its herb and vegetable gardens. With a changing daily menu that uses seasonal home-grown ingredients, the cottage serves impressive seven-course meals. The social dining experience is intimate and special, with shared long tables and comforting background music provided by a vintage turntable.

The Scran and Scallie

1 Comely Bank Road, EH4 1DT

Michelin-chefs Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack – who run the city’s fine dining behemoths The Kitchin and Castle Terrace, respectively – opened The Scran and Scallie in the affluent Stockbridge area. Expect proper pub grub but with some fancy finesse, like the Highland beef burger, Jerusalem artichoke and pearl barley risotto, and sticky toffee pudding. A post-dinner walk around the surrounding streets provides for serious property envy.

Coffee and Cake

Best cupcakes in Edinburgh

The Love Box. Photo by Cuckoo’s Bakery.

Cuckoo’s Bakery

150 Dundas Street, Edinburgh, EH3 5DQ

Cuckoo, cuckoo – it’s time for cake! Cuckoo’s Bakery has won ‘Best Individual Cake in Scotland’ at the Scottish Baker of the Year Awards for the last three years running. The Sticky Toffee Pudding cupcake is a personal favourite, but it’s the classic Raspberry and White Chocolate cupcake that brings home the awards. The cakes taste just as divine as they look (especially that frosting!), and there are plenty of gluten-free options to try too. The bakery also experiments with seasonal recipes, so look out for limited edition bakes around Easter, Valentine’s Day, Halloween and Christmas.

The Manna House

 22-24 Easter Road, EH7 5RG

A low-key hit with locals in the Meadowbank area, The Manna House is a bakery and winner of Scottish Fresh Produce Retailer of The Year 2012. Prepare to go a little weak at the knees as you step into the quaint shop and the smell of freshly baked breads, pastries and savoury delicacies hits you. Manna House serves a good frothy coffee too – the perfect accompaniment to an almond croissant or a sweet brioche enjoyed over the day’s newspaper or a good book.

 

Drinks

Cocktails at The Roseleaf

‘Pot-tails’ Photo by The Roseleaf

The Roseleaf

23/24 Sandport Place, Leith, EH6 6EW

The Roseleaf is my pick of the relaxed bars and pubs in the emerging Shore area, with its comfort-food menu and cutesy cocktails in teapots – or ‘pop-tails’. Look around and you’ll spot a weird but wonderful array of hats on the walls, ready to be worn at one of the Mad Hatter’s tea-parties that take place here. Treat yourself to a pop-tail or two, such as the Breakfast Club (vodka, elderflower, mint, lemon and pink grapefruit) or the Rose Garden (gin, apple, rose liqueur and cucumber).

The Dome

14 George Street, EH2 2PF

The smell of cinnamon and mulled wine will lure you through The Dome’s fairy-light clad columns during the festive season. Step in and you’ll be wowed by the fancy foyer with its towering Christmas tree, Swarovski crystal chandelier and glass dome. Grab a comfy couch in The Front Bar and nibble on some of the posh popcorn that’s usually served with drinks from the wide whiskey, cocktail, gin and wine menu. It’s a Christmas tradition for many.

What to do there

The good thing about overindulging in Edinburgh, is that you’ll easily burn it off while exploring the city. Spend the morning trekking up Arthur’s Seat for panoramic views, take a peaceful stroll along the Waters of Leith, take in the hustle and bustle of historical Royal Mile, trace the beginnings of Harry Potter, get a genuine fright on one of the ghost tours and let your hair down at a cèilidh. It’s as magical at Christmas as it is charming in the summer, so it really doesn’t matter what time of the year you visit. Just remember to pack your waterproofs and woollies whatever season it is…

These are just a small handful of suggestions on where to eat out in Edinburgh. What’s your favourite place in this beautiful city? Let us know in the comments box below.

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WRITTEN BY:
Hollie Richardson

South London based freelance writer and copywriter, on a mission to find the city's best almond croi...

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