If our crazy American cousins have done one thing right, it’s food. True, not all of their cuisine is good for you (in fact, most of it is very, very bad for you) and we won’t be super-sizing our meals on this side of the pond any time soon.
But when you’re in the mood for a warm, tasty and hugely satisfying meal you’re almost guaranteed to turn to an American classic, whether that’s an overflowing plate of nachos or a perfect slice of pizza.
Lucky for anyone who may be homesick or just California dreamin’, Edinburgh is full of American eateries with much more than just a bog standard Big Mac on offer.
— Frontier Restaurant (@Frontierfood) July 3, 2015
Boasting both a laid back, cosy atmosphere and a menu laden with wickedly delicious food, Frontier in Tollcross is a one stop shop for anyone craving American culinary classics in Caledonia. Decked out in rustic stars and stripes, leather and faux animal skins, this restaurant’s decoration has a cool, shabby-chic cowboy vibe about it. Of course the main event is the food and there’s everything from chowder to chilli to chargrilled steak on offer here, as well as the expect burgers and fries. Don’t forget to save room for a big ol’ slice of American pie and a (boozy) milkshake for dessert.
8 Gillespie Place, EH10 4HS – more info
The Other Place
Petite but always popular, The Other Place Bar and Kitchen was founded around the concept of delivering great American comfort food to the people of Edinburgh – with a few Scottish favourites on the menu for good measure, obviously. Spicy buffalo wings, fried chicken, mac and cheese, brisket beer chilli – all the favourites you’ve loved stateside are accounted for here. You’ll need something to wash it all down with, and luckily The Other Place stocks over a hundred beers from all over the world.
2-4 Broughton Road, EH7 4EB – more info
The Boozy Cow
— The Boozy Cow_Edin (@BoozyCow_Edin) June 4, 2015
Relatively new on the Edinburgh restaurant scene, The Boozy Cow does what it says on the tin and has gone down a storm with residents. Sharing is encouraged here and – before you freak out too much – it significantly lowers the chances of that sinking food envy feeling when you realise your cheeseburger looks good, but your pal’s maple cured bacon dog looks even better. All the American foodie favourites are present and on top form on the Boozy Cow menu, as well as classics like the Phili cheesesteak and New York meatball torpedo that you’ll struggle to find elsewhere in Edinburgh.
17 Frederick Street, EH2 2EY – more info
New York Steam Packet
BYOB to this slightly unconventional all-American diner experience in the heart of Scotland’s capital city. You can only eat from the set three course menu at New York Steam Packet and – as we already mentioned – if you want a drink with your food you’ll have to bring it along with you. That being said, their bountiful set menu is the stuff of dreams if you have a passion for American food, and the Scottish twist keeps everything interesting. Personally we’d start with deep fried potato skins, followed by a succulent steak and a slice of pecan pie, but who are we to tell you what to order? Just know that you definitely won’t be leaving hungry after a ‘merican meal here.
31 Rose Street Lane North, EH2 2NP – more info
The City Cafe
Effortlessly cool in everything they do, The City Cafe have successfully kitted out their place in a 1950s American diner style without the end result being anywhere near twee. Edgy music after hours, fantastic cocktails and a consistently tasty American-inspired menu all play a part in upholding this restaurant’s cool factor. The City Cafe’s all day breakfasts (with French toast and bacon, as well as American style pancakes) are the stuff of legends among locals, but badass burgers, baby back ribs and chilli beef nachos are all deserve an equally honourable mention.
19 Blair Street, EH1 1QR – more info
Even at peak tourist time it’s worth fighting your way across the Royal Mile and down onto Holyrood Road to visit Reekie’s Smokehouse. With everything trimmed in tartan, this small but inviting Scottish barbecue restaurant is family run and – we quote – “nothing posh”. They put all their focus into the food, and it shows – from their exclusive use of locally reared meat to their homemade ketchup, mustard, sauces and rubs. And – believe us – you haven’t lived until you’ve tried Irn Bru barbecue sauce and Buckfast infused brown sauce. Pick up a pulled pork or beef sandwich for lunch at Reekie’s, or go the whole hog and opt for the ‘meatfest’ special with four different meats and four sides. Either way, you’ll be happy as an un-barbecued pig in muck.
20 Holyrood Road, EH8 8AF – more info
52 Canoes Tiki Den
Hidden away in a surprisingly spacious basement premises, 52 Canoes Tiki Den is famous for its cracking cocktails, but deserves a super special mention for the genuinely American fare coming out of its kitchen. Appetisingly affordable, the menu is an ever-evolving creature here but you can expect the likes of waffles, sliders, hushpuppies and even gumbo to be among the choices when you stop by. Serving food ’til late every night, 52 Canoes is the perfect place to fuel up before, during or after a big night out.
13 Melville Steet, EH3 7PR – more info
Hidden away from the main thoroughfare in Bruntsfield, you may never even have spotted Katie’s Diner on your travels before. The diner decor here is slightly dated, but helps to create a retro and nostalgic environment in which to enjoy some of the best unsung steak in the city. Red meat lovers will be in heaven when presented with the huge variety of homemade burgers and beef cuts on offer. For something with a little heat try the jalapeño poppers (breadcrummed jalapeños stuffed with cream cheese) or the spicy buffalo wings.
12 Barclay Terrace, EH10 4HP – more info
— Kate Ven (@kate_ven) March 8, 2014
Of course you can get American favourites like shakes, burgers, hot dogs and pizza at Sygn and they’re top notch, but we’re most excited about their unique sides and sharers. Three cheese mac and cheese bombs? Frickles? (Deep fried pickles with blue cheese sauce.) Crispy squid? Yes, yes and heck yes, pardner. You can’t fault Sygn’s slightly hipster food presentation and their attention to detail is spot on. The ideal location to spend a happy evening sipping cocktails and snacking to your little red, white and blue heart’s content.
15 Charlotte Lane, EH2 4QZ – more info
Unsurprisingly, it’s all about the grilled steaks and burgers at both Buffalo Grill locations, but there are some other US classics on the menu (like smokey barbecue baby back ribs, maple chicken and jambalaya) to tempt the more adventurous of diners. Oh, plus it’s BYOB and there’s pecan pie with ice cream on offer for dessert – does it get any better than this?
12-14 Chapel Street, EH8 9AY / 1 Raeburn Place, EH4 1HU – more info
Main image: The Boozy Cow / Facebook