Ultimate Foodie Guide: EdinburghBy Uma Nayer
Edinburgh is Glasgow’s older posher sibling. Whilst Glasgow is a quirky host to the latest foodie trends, Edinburgh is packed full of cool, classy and established restaurants. From an eclectic vegetarian restaurant to a Scottish BBQ joint and the UK’s most inventive gelateria, Edinburgh is a serious foodie destination.
Breakfast is serious business at the Blue Bear Café. It’s an all day event at this super friendly café. Even better news – the kitchen only cook with seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. The only problem is, there is so much deliciousness on the menu, I’m never sure what to pick, Eggs Rebecca gets my vote. You will get major food envy in here. Blue Bear’s flat white is the best in Edinburgh.
Where: 9 Brandon Terrace, Edinburgh EH3 5EA
Its official, Edinburgh loves Brunch. Urban Angel serves an all day brunch until 5pm, so don’t worry if you’ve over indulged on the whisky the night before. This basement café will see you right, with some really exciting dishes. The porridge with cacoa nibs and goji berries, breathes new life into the traditional Scottish oats. Plus, the green mango smoothie is guaranteed to brighten even the most dour of days. Best to arrive early or book ahead.
Where: 121 Hanover St, Edinburgh EH2 1DJ
Nile Valley Café
Popular with students, this hidden gem is an exciting find. The décor is basic, but the food is anything but. Fresh, bright and diverse, there are plenty of Sudanese dishes to try out if you fancy something new. As well as the more recognisable falafel and chicken wraps, all bathed in Nile Valley special sauces. Its BYOB, which helps keeps the bill reasonable.
Where: 6 Chapel St, Edinburgh EH8 9AY
Photo Credit: edinburghfestival
A Scottish smokehouse combining Texan BBQ techniques with the flavours of Scotland. Be sure to get stuck into a meat feast at this fast food joint with a conscious. All the meat is locally sourced, and the menu has a sense of humour. The sauces are based on iconic Scottish drinks – Irn Bru BBQ sauce, Whisky Jerk and Buckie (Buckfast) Broon sauce deserve a special mention. Vegetarians, have the option of another Scottish classic – Smoked Veggie Haggis.
Where: 20 Holyrood Rd, Edinburgh EH8
Photocredit: Reekie’s Smokehouse
After years of research my findings can now reveal that this family run restaurant serves up the best pizza in Edinburgh. Cooked on a wood fired oven, with gluten free options available and delicious toppings. Stick to the pizza and you will not be disappointed. Lunch. Done.
Where: Various locations
Photocredit: La Favorita
Tea and Cake
In beautiful Bruntsfield, you’ll find the perfect place for an afternoon re-fuel. The cakes or kuchen here are so authentic, that you may find it hard to resist the urge to break out into A level German when placing your order. The café is filled with the most stunning array of cakes and tarts, you’ll want to try them all.
Where: 185 Bruntsfield Pl, Edinburgh EH10 4DG
Just a few minutes walk from the bustling Royal Mile, is this quiet and stunning building, which is a working library for solicitors. Afternoon tea here is unique, not only because the venue is so graceful, but also because the menu is so different to the typical fancy hotel fare. There is plenty of food, and the emphasis isn’t just on cakes but also on savoury food. The atmosphere is relaxed and calm, perfect after a day of exploring.
Where: Signet Library, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 1RF
Photocredit: The Colonnades
If I had to live in a bar, it would be this one. Considering it’s a basement bar, Copper Blossom is incredibly light and beautifully decorated – think country garden chic. The cocktails are pretty clever too, they serve a clarified Bloody Mary, where all the colour is taken out of the tomato juice, here’s the science (ish) bit, they use a machine that would normally be in a lab not a bar. Fancy.
Where: 107 George St, Edinburgh EH2 3ES
Down a spooky staircase in the Old Town, you will find this cosy, dark bar. Its got a magical atmosphere enhanced by its location in an old Victorian pump house. The staff are friendly and shake up seasonal Scottish cocktails. Try to book one of the vaults for dinner.
Where: 9 Advocates Close, Edinburgh EH1 1ND
I still dream of Ondine even though its been months since my last visit. The super fresh seafood and classy atmosphere will have you hooked. Sit at the bar and feel sophisticated as you indulge in squid tempura and the smoked salmon blinis. Special mention goes to the welcoming staff, they make the Ondine experience even more memorable.
Where: 2 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1AD
Photo Credit: Ondine
The menu at David Bann is eclectic, and guaranteed to satisfy even the most committed carnivore. Vegetarian food presented beautifully, in rather swish surroundings. Must try the chips (classy I know, but they are amazing), the stir fry vegetable noodles with tofu and chickpea cashew nut koftas. The best vegetarian restaurant in Edinburgh, plus it’s a great date place.
Where: 56-58 St Mary’s St, Edinburgh EH1 1SX
Photo Credit: David Bann
Mary’s milk bar is one of the coolest and creative gelateria in the UK. With ice cream cone lights on the wall, the most inventive flavours (pear and gorgonzola anyone?) and a gorgeous instagrammable view of Edinburgh castle. This should be on everyone’s foodie bucket list.
Where: 19 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2HS
Photo Credit: Mary’s Milk Bar