Edinburgh Restaurants Guide – read the reviews and book tables

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From Michelin-starred trailblazers to long-standing favourites and exciting new additions, WOW247 is proud to present a wide-ranging guide to the very best Edinburgh restaurants, which we will update every week.

Edinburgh Restaurants Guide

Reviews by The Scotsman’s restaurant critic Gaby Soutar, along with Nick Mitchell, Nicola Brown and Melissa Fernie.

Do you have a favourite restaurant in Edinburgh? Tell us in the comments below (just register first), on Twitter with #wow247 or on our Facebook page.

A Room in Leith

A-Room-in-Leith

1c Dock Place, Edinburgh (0131-554 7427, www.aroomin.co.uk)

How much? Dinner for two, excluding drinks, £55.10

Gaby says: “This restaurant had long outgrown its old shell – the rear of nearby pub Teuchters Landing. So, a few weeks ago, it scuttled along to the end of the cul-de-sac and made itself at home in the former premises of Skippers seafood eatery. Good call as this is a nice space. Stacks of character, with a skylight-lit conservatory area, an outside deck and a cottagey indoor space, with a bookshelf and candlelight, for when winter rolls around.”

Read the full review…

A Room in the West End

a room in the west end

 

26 William Street, Edinburgh, EH3 7NH (0131 226 1036, www.aroomin.co.uk/a-room-in-the-west-end)

How much? Three-course dinner for two, excluding drinks: around £50.

Nick says: “Traditional, comfortable, modest – A Room in the West End ticks most of its own boxes. But, when compared to the plethora of bistros to have invaded Edinburgh in the last decade, its decent yet not altogether inspiring fare leaves a little to be desired. Nevertheless, with a laid-back atmosphere and cheery staff, this basement restaurant is more than fit for a post-match dinner.”

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Asti

asti

73 Broughton Street, Edinburgh (0131-558 9156, www.astirestaurant.co.uk)

How much? Lunch for two and a toddler, excluding drinks, £46.05

Gaby says: “My cushion-sized main of risotto Gorgonzola seemed like a steal as part of the lunch menu. There was suitably autumnal-looking corn-coloured rice, crumbled bits of walnut and still-crunchy raddichio with a bitterness that cut through the whack of blue cheese. Great.”

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Blackfriars Bar & Restaurant

Blackfriars

57 and 61 Blackfriars Street, Edinburgh; 0131-558 8684; www.blackbos.com

How much? Dinner for two, excluding drinks, £62.50

Gaby says: “New owners have reopened Black Bo’s as Blackfriars Bar & Restaurant. However, they’ve kept the blue neon Bo’s sign outside and much of the original charm and personality is intact, though it’s less ramshackle… The food here is delightful and clever, the service is comparable to being tended to by chatty angels.”

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Bodega

bodega

62 Elm Row, Edinburgh (0131 556 7930)

How much? Dinner for two, excluding drinks £44.50

Gaby says: “Now the capital has a brand new taqueria, Bodega, which describes itself as serving ‘Mexican street food via West Coast US food truck’… This place is certainly unique, and it’s already created a buzz – as evidenced by the amount of bearded and be-spectacled hipsters (already carrying pre-emptive beers) they were having to turn away.”

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Caley Sample Room

Caley Sample Room

58 Angle Park Terrace, Edinburgh (0131-337 7204, www.thecaleysampleroom.co.uk)

How much? Dinner for three, excluding drinks, £59.35

Gaby says: “Edinburgh has a shortage of good gastropubs (certainly compared to Glasgow), and the Caley Sample Room is probably the best.”

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Castle Terrace Restaurant

Castle Terrace Restaurant

33/35 Castle Terrace,  Edinburgh (0131-229 1222, castleterracerestaurant.com)

How much? Lunch for two, excluding drinks £39

Gaby says: “For just over twenty quid each, we sampled some magical dishes. In fact, I almost forgot to mention our gratis amuse bouche of salmon mousse topped with cucumber jelly, or pre-dinner nibbles that included fennel and date cookies. With a few tweaks, this could be some of the finest grub in Edinburgh.”

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Chop Chop

Chop Chop

76 Commercial St and 248 Morrison Street, (0131 553 1818, www.chop-chop.co.uk)

How much? Dinner for 2, excluding drinks: £31.30

Nicola says: “We shared two sides of dumplings: one pork and chive, the other beef and chilli. Did they live up to the hype and prove why they are now enjoyed worldwide? Well, both had the melt-in-your-mouth warmth that causes you to close your eyes instinctively to enjoy the flavour. The chilli option did have a fiery kick, so I would recommend choosing another filling for your dumpling if you prefer your food milder.”

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Edinburgh Larder Bistro

Edinburgh Larder Bistro

1a Alva Street, 
Edinburgh, (0131-225 4599, www.edinburgh-larder.co.uk)

How much? Lunch for two, excluding drinks, £50

Gaby says: “The menu has barely been tweaked, but the execution and presentation of dishes has changed considerably. A Stornoway black pudding duck egg (£5.75) had been a bit like blunderbuss grapeshot the last time we’d had it. This time, it featured a warm and runny-yolked oeuf, clad, Scotch-egg style, in a thin layer of breaded black pud.”

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El Quijote

El Quijote

13a Brougham Street, Edinburgh (0131-478 2856, www.quijotetapas.co.uk)

How much? Dinner for two, excluding drinks, £42.65

Gaby says: “What a nice place this is. And it’s all-inclusive (if you buy the food, you also get to sit in a seat and use the cutlery, plus there are no additional charges for luggage). I shall be cancelling all my Spanish holidays forthwith.”

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Galvin Brasserie de Luxe

Galvin Brasserie

The Caledonian, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Princes Street, Edinburgh (0131-222 8988, www.thecaledonianedinburgh.com)

How much? Lunch for two, excluding drinks, £65.50

Gaby says: “Yes, it’s pricey, but there is an affordable menu prix fixe at £15.50 for two courses, or £18.50 for three, which is available all day… Granted, this place has no soul yet, but I think that side of the bargain might be up to us.”

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Gardener’s Cottage

Gardener's Cottage

Royal Terrace Gardens, Edinburgh (0131-558 1221, www.thegardenerscottage.co

How much? Dinner for two, excluding drinks, £50

Gaby says: “Gardener’s Cottage – the new restaurant in the William Playfair-designed 19th-century house which had been unoccupied for years – looks twinkly in this cod rural pocket off London Road. Its pair of refurbished dining rooms are lit by silver candlesticks, perched on communal tables which are made from wood reclaimed from ocean liner SS Olympia. There are clay vases full of fragile-looking white anemones, with silver cutlery laid out and Duke Ellington trumpeting from a record player… That was the best meal I’ve had this year, and it’s almost autumn.”

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Henderson’s Bistro

Hendersons Bistro

25c Thistle Street, Edinburgh (0131-225 2605, 
www.hendersonsofedinburgh.co.uk)

How much? Dinner for two, excluding drinks, £36.20

Gaby says: “I could never be too critical about Henderson’s. That would feel a bit like giving a sweet (and slightly eccentric) old lady a Chinese burn. It will continue to do its thing, and people will still love it.”

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Iglu

Iglu

2B Jamaica Street, Edinburgh (0131-476 5333, www.theiglu.com)

How much? Dinner for two, excluding drinks – £49

Gaby says: “The Peelham Farm lamb leg steak (£13) was an absolute beaut – pink and bouncy, with a seared chilli and cumin-covered crust. Gorgeous. It came with a pale green potato dauphinoise that was fragrant with thyme, and a lively salad that featured nibs of Isle of Wight heritage tomatoes at the peak of their sugary ripeness, as well as sunset-coloured nasturtium flower petals and springy, peppery leaves.”

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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.”

La P’tite Folie

La P'tite Folie

61 Frederick St (0131 225 7983) / 9 Randolph Place (0131 225 8678) ; www.laptitefolie.co.uk

How much? Dinner for two, excluding drinks, £54.55

Gaby says: … our mains were the yellow jersey winners. The butter! The cream! The note-to-self about being good tomorrow! Especially when it came to the chunky piece of monkfish (£17.95), which was doused in a champagne-coloured and nutty lemon beurre noisette.”

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The Magnum

the magnum edinburgh

 1 Albany Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3PY (0131 557 4366, www.themagnum.webeden.co.uk)

How much? Three-course dinner for two, excluding drinks: around £60

Nick says: “‘Bar’ might come before ‘restaurant’ in its full title, but it’s clear that The Magnum is more of a dining room than a lounge bar. That’s not to say it’s stuffy or prim at all. Fairy lights festoon the windows, lines of poetry are painted on the walls, the door handle implores you to ‘Shove’ and ‘Tug’, and the general vibe is cosy and comfortable.”

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Mark Greenaway

Mark Greenaway

69 North Castle Street (0131 226 1155, markgreenaway.com)

How much? Dinner for two, excluding drinks, £64

Gaby says: “The skate wing sous vide was a super soft piece of fish rolled up into a tube, alongside crispy pipes of squid, a scoop of glossy olive-oil-spiked mash, square “beetroot crisps” (which resembled empty After Eight packets) and a single, lavender-legged baby octopus. The whole shebang was topped with a blood-red beetroot pure, and came with a jug of smokey brown butter. Magical, earthy, elemental – this was like a Tolkien book in foodie form.”

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Mithas

Mithas

7 Dock Place, Edinburgh; 0131-554 0008; www.mithas.co.uk

How much? Dinner for two, excluding drinks, £65.55

Gaby says: “This eatery, which, apparently, aspires to Michelin-starred status (don’t they all?), is very swish … I like it here. Not just for the decent grub, but also because there’s a sense of occasion, what with the smart decor and five-star service. A visit is well worth the bus lag.”

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Olive Branch

Olive Branch

91 Broughton Street, Edinburgh; 0131-557 8589; www.theolivebranchscotland.co.uk

How much? Dinner for two, excluding drinks, £48.90

Gaby says: “All of the dishes fit into their billed theme of “relaxed, informal dining”. Essentially, it’s mummy’s home-cooking. She doesn’t want to frighten you, or thrill you. All she wants is for you to feel cosy and have a full tum-tum. Aw. We should’ve brought our washing along too.”

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Ong Gie

ong-gie

22a Brougham Place, Edinburgh (0131-229 0896)

How much? Dinner for four, excluding drinks, £77.40

Gaby says: “You might not be able to tell from the outside (as the windows are usually steamed up), but this Korean eatery is big on the indoor barbecue (or gogigui) and there are electric griddles built into some of the tables. It’s also BYOB. The corkage could be £3, though the waitress assured us that it was £130 (bit of a language barrier here).”

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Port of Siam

portofsiam

1 Barony Street, Edinburgh (0131-478 7720, www.portofsiam.com)

How much? Dinner for two, excluding drinks £66.20

Gaby says: “The vibe in this restaurant, which also boasts a three-year-old sister branch in Newhaven and a Bangkok Bar on Broughton Street, is low-lit and spa-like, with a musical play-list that might be called something like Heartbreaking Anthems To Make You Sob Into Your Laksa… My main was a clever Italian spin on a Thai dish – osso bucco massaman (£17.95) and there was a bucket-worth of it.”

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The Potting Shed

potting-shed

32-24 Potterow, Edinburgh (0131-662 9788, www.thepottingshededinburgh.com)

How much? Lunch for three, excluding drinks, £52.50

Gaby says: “Our veggy dish was fine, if a little under-seasoned – with three stodgy boluses of stringy mozzarella-centred rice. Nothing was particularly mind-blowingly memorable, but, still, they were simple people pleasers, designed to suit all palates.”

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Rascals

rascals

 

65-67 South Bridge, EH1 1LS (0131 556 7387)

How much? Dinner for 2, excluding drinks: £30

Melissa says: “With their vast portions and range of ingredients, Rascals could get away with not providing good quality and just piling everything on, but with their brioche buns being just the right size, you can tell that great thought has gone into what will ignite your taste buds.”

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Stockbridge Restaurant

Stockbridge Restaurant

54 St Stephen Street (0131 226 6766)

How much? Dinner for two, excl. drinks: £55.90

Gaby says: “This place is almost perfect and its chef understands how to create elegant, crowd-pleasing dishes that show as much restraint as they do skill. There’s never any excessive seasoning or showing-off, so ingredients are allowed to shine. Sometimes he even lets a humble potato be the star of the show.”

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Sweet Melinda’s

Sweet Melinda's

11 Roseneath Street, (0131-229 7953, www.sweetmelindas.co.uk)

How much? Dinner for two, excluding drinks, £60.35

Gaby says: “Fish has always been their thing, and they source it from Eddie’s Seafood Market, just four doors along this Marchmont street. Our two starters – garden pea veloute with salted cod goujons (£6.50) and sea bass escabeche (£6.95) – were decent enough. The latter featured a satisfyingly firm, vinegary and limey fillet of fish, with, on the side, a tower of buttery avocado mousse to balance out the acidity.”

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Timberyard

Timberyard

10 Lady Lawson Street, Edinburgh (0131 221 1222, www.timberyard.co.uk)

How much? Dinner for two, excluding drinks, £68.50

Gaby says: “Timberyard is a bit of a game changer in the capital. Not only is it relatively inexpensive, it has magical atmosphere in spades, and serves locally sourced food that’s honest and vibrant. In the future, that will include their own produce, which will be grown in another of the courtyards that surround this refurbished 19th-century warehouse. Excuse my excitement, but I think I’ve had a spiritual experience.”

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Twenty Princes Street

twentyprincesst

20 Princes Street, Edinburgh (0131-556 4901, www.twentyprincesstreet.co.uk)

How much? Dinner for two, excluding drinks, £68

Gaby says: “I was surprised by the food here, it’s good. Yes, it’s faddish in parts and has lots of swagger, but we could do with somewhere like this on Princes Street, and the new owners have had a LOT of cobwebs to blow away. Soon they’ll have the grooviest cupboards in town.”

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Zico’s

Zico's

97-101 Morrison Street, Edinburgh (0131-478 1222, www.zicosgrillbar.com)

How much? Lunch for two, excluding drinks, £28.80

Gaby says: “The human body is usually composed of 60 per cent water, but after that feast, we imagined that we were hewn from 93 per cent meat. If you enjoy that feeling – and many do – then get your one-way ticket at Zico’s.”

Read the full review…

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Nick is an Edinburgh-based writer and editor, covering music, pop culture and comedy.

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