If your summer holiday seems so close and yet so far and you don’t have the money to splash out on a spur-of-the-moment mini-break, we’ve got a slightly less-expensive way to subdue your wanderlust.
Edinburgh is full to bursting with exciting and exotic eateries serving more types of cuisine than we can count.
Here’s our pick of the best so that you can eat your way around Edinburgh until that much-deserved holiday finally rolls around.
France: Martin Wishart
— Martin Wishart Leith (@RMWLeith) March 29, 2015
Despite being located in Leith and owned by a Scot, Martin Wishart is – by all accounts – the place to go for French cuisine in Edinburgh. The restaurant has held firmly onto a Michelin star for the last fourteen years by serving a classic French menu prepared with the finest Scottish ingredients. Their varied six course tasting menus are always a popular choice and feature everything from langoustine to potato with truffle, but ordering à la carte won’t leave you disappointed by any means.
54 The Shore, EH6 6RA – more info
Posh it ain’t, but police-box-turned-food-kiosk Tupiniquim is a much-loved gluten-free slice of Brazil right in the heart of Scotland. Centrally located near the Meadows and the University of Edinburgh, this place serves traditional Brazilian dishes wrapped in crepes and with a smile. There are also some sweet options, as well as freshly squeezed fruit juices, smoothies and hot drinks on offer. Perfect for a picnic lunch in the Meadows, provided you can get the weather to co-operate.
The Green Police Box, Lauriston Place, EH3 9AU – more info
Korea: Kim’s Mini Meals
The owners of family-run restaurant Kim’s Mini Meals are on a mission to bring fresh, home-made Korean food to Edinburgh residents. Considered by many to be one of the best places to eat in the city (and hands down the best place to get your hands on Korean cuisine) Kim’s offers a dining experience like many customers have never seen before. Popular dishes include traditional vegetable side kimchi, various kinds of jjigae (similar to a stew) and delicious marinated bulgogi. And – if you’re feeling adventurous but slightly confused – the staff will be happy to explain what everything is and how to eat it.
5 Buccleuch Street, EH8 9JN – more info
South Africa: The Caffeine Drip
Known by morning commuters for its cracking coffee and tempting baked goods, The Caffeine Drip in the West End is much more than just your average café. Owned by native Chris and partner Dariusz, this subterranean restaurant expertly injects a South African twist into their mouth-watering brunch and lunch menu and the staff are lovely to boot. Don’t miss the authentic boerie rolls – a beef and pork sausage in a bun, almost like a South African hot dog.
10 Melville Place, EH3 7PR – more info
— phil kennedy (@imPhilK) December 3, 2014
Dubbed the best Thai restaurant in Scotland by food critics and awarded a Bib Gourmand in the Michelin Guide 2015, Passorn is the real deal. Only authentic Thai dishes (mostly family recipes) cooked by Thai chefs are served out of the Passorn kitchen, making a meal here the closest you’ll get to dinner in Thailand without forking out for a flight. Lovers of spice should opt for a Thai green curry, or the restaurant’s signature dish Pad Cha – extremely spicy and extremely tasty.
23-23a Brougham Place, EH3 9JU – more info
Mexico: Miro’s Cantina Mexicana
Booking might be essential for this one as the petite Miro’s Cantina Mexicana on Rose Street is always bustling, but that’s because they’re serving up some of the best Mexican food in the city. The menu is packed with every mouth-watering Mexican morsel you could ever want, including fresh guacamole, quesadillas, fajitas and highly recommended frozen margaritas. On a sunny day you can eat al fresco, watch the world go by and maybe ever trick yourself into believing you’re in Mexico.
184 Rose Street, EH2 4BA – more info
Turkey: Rodi Restaurant
If you’re craving generous portions of Turkish food at reasonable prices, then Rodi is your ideal dining destination. For the full experience, start with some hot or cold meze, followed by a traditional kofte kebab. All of the food at this unassuming but much-loved restaurant is cooked fresh over a charcoal fire and – as a result – tastes just as good (if not better) as the fare in Turkey itself.
121 Morrison Street, EH3 8AJ – more info
— Tapa Edinburgh (@TapaEdinburgh) April 9, 2014
Tapas has to be the best-knownSpanish cuisine, and around these parts Tapa (tucked away in Leith) is the place to get it. Open ’til late – as is the custom in Spain – Tapa has a wide variety of meat, fish and vegetarian tapas for you to nibble alongside a glass of Spanish wine or beer. Don’t forget to leave room for dessert or you’ll be missing out on delicious churros with chocolate or Spanish rice pudding. Best of all, this place is still a relatively well-kept secret (by Edinburgh standards) because of its off-the-beaten-track location.
19 Shore Place, EH6 6SW – more info
— Lost Event Edinburgh (@LostEvent_EDI) April 15, 2015
Praised by Indian natives and seasoned globe-trotters alike, Atithi has home-made curries and other delicacies galore on its menu. The cosy and welcoming restaurant is a great place to sample both old favourites and new recipes, all made with love and care by the experts. Look forward to some of the most flavoursome and spicy curry you’ve ever tasted, as well as delicious fresh naan bread.
244a Morrison Street, EH3 8DT – more info
Japan: Kanpai Sushi
Kanpai Sushi ticks all the boxes for Japanese food fans: sensational sushi, friendly staff plus a relaxed atmosphere. Many locals say this is the best sushi in town, but Kanpai are also known for their grilled aubergine, dumplings and octopus fishcakes. If you’re lucky enough to get a seat at the bar you can watch skilled sushi chefs prepare your meal from scratch – that’s practically dinner and a show rolled into one.
8-20 Grindlay Street, EH3 9AS – more info
Italy: Locanda De Gusti
Their tagline is ‘Good food from Naples’ and that sums up this restaurant perfectly. Locanda De Gusti is all about serving delicious Italian food in a warm, family-orientated setting. The dishes served here here are genuinely Italian (unlike the majority of chain restaurants) and the menu offers a fresh take on the usual suspects of pasta and pizza. You’ll be made to feel like part of the family by Locanda De Gusti’s friendly staff, and you’ll leave feeling like you’ve just been treated to a home-cooked Italian feast which – technically – is absolutely right.
102 Dalry Road, EH11 2DW – more info
Main image: Kim’s Mini Meals – TSPL
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