Finding a Place to Eat in Edinburgh? Read this.
Who doesn’t like food, right? This post is partially us sharing our knowledge, and partially the final response to when friends kept asking: “I’m in Edinburgh, where should I eat!?” We’ve waddled around looking for the best spots to fill your belly, and we’re happy to share a few of our favourites with you.
Having said that, these recommendations aren’t very “touristy”. You’ll have a tough time finding a place we mention on the Royal Mile near the Castle. We tended to stay away from things on the Royal Mile. Not to say that restaurants on the Mile aren’t just as great (or better) – we simply sought out smaller, more local places!
If you’re looking for the others posts in the Ultimate Travel Guide to Edinburgh Series, we’ll link to them as they are available! Check them out!
Part 2: Our 10 Best Photo Spots in Edinburgh
Part 3: Edinburgh’s Best Bars and Pubs
Part 4: Things to Do in Edinburgh: Free & Paid Activities
Part 5: Edinburgh in a Day: Your Complete One Day Guide to Edinburgh
Part 6: Best Places to Stay in Edinburgh
Part 7: 8 Awesome Day Trips from Edinburgh
Part 8: Coffee Shops in Edinburgh You Have to Try
Best Breakfast/Brunch Spots in Edinburgh
There is a fantastic brunch place called Leo’s Beanery, just on the other side of the hill in New Town. Go there if you’re looking for a cozy place with lots of character.
One of our favourites is The Pantry – Stockbridge. They serve real Canadian maple syrup, so you know they mean business! Conveniently, it’s located near Circus Lane, a famously photographed street. We cover Circus Lane in our post on the Best Photos Spots in Edinburgh.
Places to Eat Lunch in Edinburgh
A great all-around lunch place is The Potting Shed. Located near The University of Edinburgh George Square Campus, they have craft beer, really good chips (or fries for the North Americans), and wifi – should you be a traveller in need!
If you require fresh and quick noodles, Redbox has got your back. Pick your noodle, pick your protein, pick your veggie, pick your sauce. Done. Simple. If you crave the best chicken and avocado wrap in town, however, head to Nile Valley Café around the corner from Redbox in Old Town.
No list of lunch tips would be complete without Oink. There are 3 locations – but the more central ones are one on the Royal Mile down closer to Holyrood Palace, and the other is on Victoria Street heading down to Grassmarket from the Mile. Best pulled pork on a roll – ever. You can’t miss the shops – because they place the full “roasted that morning” hog in the window on display. If you go early enough before the lunch rush, ask for “crackling” which is the pig’s crispy skin. They will add it to your roll for an extra kick of flavour.
If you’re requiring a portable lunch item, head to Bobby’s Sandwich Bar – it’s literally and figuratively sandwiched between shops on the left side of the entrance to Greyfriar’s Kirkyard. So grab a sandwich, Harry Potter Fans! Go early, or else their handmade daily sandwiches may be gone!
For the veggie lovers in the house, we’d recommend David Bann. Located off of Saint Mary’s Street, just off of Cowgate, it’s the place to go for veggie and/or vegan dishes in Edinburgh. We’ve personally never been, but we have had friends go and their reviews have made us commit to a meal the next time we are in Edinburgh!
Favourite Restaurants for Dinner in Edinburgh
If we had a Canadian nickel (or 5p, for UK joke equivalent) for every place we had dinner, we’d be millionaires. That said, we had to try to consolidate the list into a few favourites. If you’re looking for a good, all-around experience of dinner and drinks, we love The Holyrood 9A. Located on Cowgate extended down towards Arthur’s Seat, they offer a really good burger menu. Eric always brought friends visiting from out of town there for one reason: they have deep-fried haggis as an appetizer. Before you go getting all grossed out, it’s absolutely delicious, and it’s the perfect way to try it for the first way. Everything tastes good deeply fried!
If you’re near University of Edinburgh campus in Old Town and craving Thai cuisine, go to Caravan. They do amazing Thai, but there is usually a line up outside – even on weekdays.
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to feel like a kid again, head to Wings. Located off of the Royal Mile down Old Fishmarket Close, it’s a comic book wallpapered place that only serves chicken wings. They offer dozens of flavour combinations so feel free to experiment. The cool part is that if you reserve a table early enough, some of them have classic video game systems which you can play before and after you eat!
Located in the West end of New Town, due west of the Castle, you’ll find Red Squirrel. It’s operated by the same company that does Holyrood 9A, but the vibe of the restaurant is a little different. Very laid back, with lots of good beer choices to wash down your burger.
OX184 is also good for drinks or food, has a great vibe, and it’s very central. It’s located in the heart of Edinburgh down on Cowgate. Oddly enough, it’s also part of the group that’s running Red Squirrel and Holyrood, so ask for a stamp card with your bill and you can claim the stamps at any of the locations for 5 quid off your bill!
Locanda de Gusti is the premier Italian place in Edinburgh… at least, that’s the word on the street. Located in New Town, it’s absolutely delicious, but can run you a higher price tag. Keep that in mind if you’re looking to eat a little cheaper.
That’s all. Did we miss your favourite? Of course we did – I mean, we only named a handful! Try them out, let us know what you think, and feel free to provide us with your favourites in the comments below. We want to try them! Penguins eat a lot.
-L + E
A huge penguin “high wing” to Jess and Lili over at Pinchables for the awesome cover photo from Edinburgh. We’re not foodies, but they sure are! Check out their Instagram for great photos on the best eats in cities around the world. Beware – their page will make you hungry. You’ve been warned!
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