Cheap eats in Edinburgh: 16 of the best budget restaurants and cafés
From Indian street food to bijou tea rooms, Edinburgh is bursting with budget options for food lovers. Gillian Furmage selects 16 gastronomic gems that will make your money go further.
MUMs Great Comfort Food
Previously the Monster Mash Cafe, Mums offers gourmet home-style baking at great value prices. With a traditional menu featuring sausages and mash and shepherds pie, Mums is the best place in town for feel-good food.
4a Forrest Road, 0131 2609806, www.monstermashcafe.co.uk
Where J.K Rowling dreamt up her most famous creation, the Elephant House is a charming café with quality coffee, scrummy snacks, and of course… elephants. A cosy place to catch up with friends or have a try at writing your own magical novel.
21 George IV Bridge, EH1 1EN, 0131 220 5355, www.elephanthouse.biz
The Mosque Kitchen
A favourite amongst students, The Mosque Kitchen offers a cheap, no frills curry experience. With canteen-like premises and sparse décor, this haunt is all about the authentic ingredients and getting back to basics.
31 Nicholson Sq, EH8 9BX, 0131 667 4035, www.mosquekitchen.com
A haven for veggies, Hendersons is composed of a bistro, a bakery and a deli, and also has live music nights. The healthy yet hearty food is a delight and perfect for those want to treat themselves while also looking after themselves.
94 Hanover St, EH2 1DR, 0131 225 2131, www.hendersonsofedinburgh.co.uk
With a range of over 20 gourmet burgers, the Red Squirrel is the go-to gastropub for burger lovers and those in need of a hangover fix. With burger prices averaging £8- £9, this is great value feasting.
21 Lothian Rd, EH1 2DJ, 0131 229 9933, www.redsquirreledinburgh.co.uk
Situated in the Shore area of Leith, Mimi’s Bakehouse offers lots of sweet treats as well as afternoon tea and sumptuous savoury lunches. The family-run bakery also have a take-away shop on the Royal Mile.
63 Shore, EH6 6RA, 0131 556 6632, www.mimisbakehouse.com
Union of Genius
Scotland’s first soup café, forward-thinking Union of Genius use take-out packaging and cutlery made from plant starch, and reward customers for bringing the packaging back so that they can compost it. With dedicated soup-mongers and the finest ingredients, this place is good for you and the environment.
8 Forrest Rd, EH1 2QN, 0131 226 4436, www.unionofgenius.com
Tucked away on Nicholson Street, this cosy café is a relaxed and welcoming spot for those in need of a break from the bustling city centre. The Spoon Café offers a kitsch interior, and a mouth-watering menu that won’t break the bank.
6A Nicholson St, EH8 9DH, 0131 623 1752, www.spoonedinburgh.co.uk
Tea specialists Eteaket have a lot to offer visitors: ethically sourced loose-leaf teas, snacks, cakes, light lunches and the option of a decadent afternoon tea. They also have the added quirk of offering ‘tea cocktails’, a fun twist on a twee tea party.
41 Frederick St, EH2 1EP, 0131 226 2982, www.eteaket.co.uk
Ting Thai Caravan
Since it opened its doors during the Festival last year, Ting Thai has become a local favourite with students for its low prices and buzzing atmosphere. It’s strictly no frills, but with a great selection of tasty food for takeaway or to sit-in, including Pad Thai, Wok fried garlic noodles and sea bass and beef dishes.
8-9 Teviot Place, EH1 2QZ, 0131 225 9801
Not one for veggies, Oink! offers delectable hog roasts with pork sourced from Scottish farms. With shops in the Grassmarket and in Canongate, this a meaty option for pork enthusiasts.
34 Victoria Street, EH1 2JW and 82 Canongate, EH8 8BZ, 07771 968233, www.oinkhogroast.co.uk
Curious Tea Rooms
You’ll feel like you’ve tumbled down the rabbit hole when visiting these Alice-In-Wonderland-inspired tea rooms. The quirky café has three differently decorated rooms, and features include a table on the ceiling! The menu offers over 30 loose-leaf teas and tasty lunch options.
13 Frederick St, EH2 2EY, 0131 225 2028, curioustearooms.com (under construction)
A sister restaurant to the Red Squirrel, Holyrood 9A also has gorgeous gourmet burgers on offer, but with an added emphasis on craft beer and guests ales, which are always varied and of the highest quality. Guaranteeing a good pint and a great burger, this is one classy joint.
9A Holyrood Rd, EH8 8AE, 0131 556 5044, www.theholyrood.co.uk
With its drool-worthy menu and unconventional canine theme, The Dogs is a must-visit for foodies and dog-lovers everywhere (although if you’re not a dog fan you’ll still be delighted by the exquisite yet affordable cuisine on offer.) No matter what your taste, one glimpse of the menu should have your stomach growling.
110 Hanover St, Edinburgh, EH2 1DR, 0131 220 1208, www.thedogsonline.co.uk
Giving you a taste of India’s colourful street food scene, Tuk Tuk has a vibrant atmosphere and packs a punch with its tapas-style portions. The menu is diverse and full of flavour with new snacks to try. A great place to get adventurous.
1 Leven St, Edinburgh, 0131 228 3322, www.tuktukonline.com
Whether it’s burritos, tacos, quesadillas or fajitas you’re after, Illegal Jack’s offers a simple, predictable menu but each option is customisable and the service is also very speedy. With a good choice of beers and soft drinks to accompany the meal, and a laid-back atmosphere, Jack’s is the ideal place to get well-fed and watered.
113-117 Lothian Rd, EH3 9AN, 0131 622 7499, www.illegaljacks.co.uk
Find these cheap eats on our Edinburgh map:
Check out more Edinburgh guides:
• Edinburgh: A beer lover’s guide
• 10 of the best bars in Edinburgh
• Edinburgh Restaurants Guide – read the reviews and book tables
• A fashion lover’s guide to Edinburgh
• 5 of the best places for brunch in Edinburgh
• Coffee stops: 5 of the best places to refuel in Edinburgh
• 5 of the best cafés for cake in Edinburgh
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