10 places to go for a quick bite to eat in Scotland
Hanoi Bike Shop

If you’re escaping the office during a lunch break or you’re running late for an evening’s entertainment, you need somewhere fast, easy and convenient.

So we asked Scotsman restaurant reviewer Gaby Soutar to pick out 10 of the best places for a quick (and relatively cheap) bite to eat in Scotland…

Café Milk

Café Milk

232 Morrison Street, Edinburgh (0131-629 6022, www.cafemilk.co.uk)

How much? Food for three, excluding drinks, £30.35

Gaby says: “My option, the chicken, chorizo and pinto bean stew (£4.45), was … simple, with a turmeric-flavoured tomato base, a topping of chives and coriander and a decent amount of all the billed ingredients. It wasn’t the most thrilling dish, but the common denominator of this place’s food seems to be that it’s vibrant and semi-healthy. And, although I didn’t think that the accompanying flat bread tasted particularly homemade, you can’t have everything at pocket money prices.”

Read the full review…

Tuk Tuk Indian Street Food

Tuk Tuk Indian Street Food

1 Leven Street, Edinburgh (0131-228 3322)

How much? Dinner for two, excluding drinks, £42.50

Gaby says: “The food at Tuk Tuk is more decent than incredible, and it feels as if they’re muddling through the service somewhat (we gave up on asking for our bill, and paid at the counter instead). Still, it’s affordable, lively, quirky, and they offer free BYOB, so you’d have to be a real misery guts not to love it a little bit. They were definitely thinking big when they came up with the concept, now they just need to tweak the details.”

Read the full review…

Hanoi Bike Shop

Hanoi Bike Shop

8 Ruthven Lane, Glasgow (0141-334 7165, www.thehanoibikeshop.co.uk)

How much? Dinner for two, excluding drinks, £41

Gaby says: “Opened by the bods behind Stravaigin (recently awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand), and the Ubiquitous Chip, it’s in the former premises of what was once their branch of Stravaigin 2… This place, one of the handful of Vietnamese restaurants in Scotland, is rather marvellous. If you stumble upon it while looking for an actual bike shop, you’ll soon forget that you needed new spokey dokeys.”

Read the full review…

The Skylark

The Skylark

243 Portobello High St, Edinburgh (0131 629 3037, www.theskylarkportobello.com)

How much? Dinner for two, excluding drinks, £33.70

Gaby says: “Open all day, this place is relaxed, beachy and insouciant. Vintage teacups are presented on mismatched saucers, Sunday-afternoon radio tunes from the likes of Lily Allen play on the stereo, and the walls are stripped back to naked red brick, or crackled and peeling paint … We had to do a double take when we saw the bill. All that food, and that’s all we had to pay? Pockets still heavy with shrapnel, we skipped out of The Skylark, and off to the beach.”

Read the full review…

Kim’s Mini Meals

Kim's Mini Meals

5 Buccleuch Street, Edinburgh (0131-629 7951, www.kimsminimeals.com)

How much? Lunch for two, excluding drinks, £29

Gaby says: “This place is all about the savouries and spices. On the website, they, rather humbly, describe themselves as ‘one of the best Korean restaurants in Edinburgh’. Considering there are only about three in the entire country, I think they could consider themselves one of the best in Scotland. If not (taking the prices and generous portions into consideration) THE very best. After all, this is a gem of a place, with lots of personality, which is probably why it was heaving on our weekday lunchtime visit.”

Read the full review…

Coltman’s Delicatessen and Kitchen

Coltman's

71-73 High Street, Peebles (01721 720405, www.coltmans.co.uk)

How much? Lunch for two, excluding drinks, £37.85

Gaby says: “My option (grilled lamb’s liver) was a bit watery, thanks to a ladleful of thin, meaty jus which made the smooth mash turn instantly blobby and disperse. Still, the main element – a generous helping of iron-tasting livers – was good and soft (if slightly stringy in parts). This was perched on top of a thick blanket of Ayrshire bacon, which was rather pale and blubbery. However, the whole dish was lifted by a stickily sweet blob of ruby-hued caramelised onion compote.”

Read the full review…

Mitchell’s Deli

Mitchell's Deli

110-112 Market Street, St Andrews (01334 441396, www.mitchellsdeli.co.uk)

How much? Dinner for two, excluding drinks, £37.75

Gaby says: “This place is open from 8am-10pm and provides an adjacent deli, as well as an eating space offering breakfasts, lunches, dinners, teas, late live music and a general hangout for Fife’s hipsters … The menu offers soups and antipasti platters for starters, and around five main courses.”

Read the full review…

Kalpna

Kalpna

2-3 St Patrick Square, Edinburgh (0131-667 9890, www.kalpnarestaurant.com)

How much? Dinner for two, excluding drinks, £39.55

Gaby says: “This place has been around since 1982, and is so much part of Edinburgh’s culinary landscape that it’s easy to forget it’s there. Which makes it ironic that their logo is a colourful elephant (which, according to the owners, is there to illustrate the fact that “you can be big and strong without eating meat”) as he has become the be-trunked trumpeter in the corner of the room… A good meal and we’re definitely more Dumbo-like, after our experience of “growing big and strong without eating meat”. We have also developed another elephantine skill: when it comes to how pleasant the food is at Kalpna, we won’t forget.”

Pho Vietnam House

Pho Vietnam House

3 Grove Street, Edinburgh (0131-228 3383, www.vietnam housescotland.com)

How much? Lunch for two, excluding drinks, £16

Gaby says: “The owner, Jodie Nguyen, looks barely out of her tweenage years. So, she deserves kudos for setting up this eatery. It’s compact, with just five tables, and serves a small (and thus manageable, as it’s only her and a chef running the kitchen and front of house) selection of Vietnamese street food. She’s also created a simple layout, with botanical artworks, her own portrait (sporting a snazzy blue tabard), colourful woven placemats, and Justin Timberlake on the stereo (she’s young, cut her some slack).”

Read the full review…

Broughton Delicatessen

Broughton Deli

7 Barony Street, Edinburgh (0131-558 7111, www.broughton-deli.co.uk)

How much? Lunch for three, excluding drinks £30.05

Gaby says: “My lunch, served on a wooden board, featured three slices of springy germagrain bread with a gorgeous flour-dusted nutty crust. Beside that were five ruby-red slices of Martin Wishart’s organic smoked salmon, alongside a ramekin of marscapone, plus lemon wedges, butter and a pile of rocket that was drizzled with balsamic vinegar. It was just what the doctor ordered, simple and pretty faultless.”

Read the full review…


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