Hello! Any good restaurant/food stand recommendations in Edinburgh? We are fine with getting off the royal mile beaten path, but will take suggestions in that area too.
A block off the north end of the Royal Mile, and also a second location right on the Royal Mile near the south end, don't miss either of the locations of Oink!, with whole-roasted pig sandwiches. Great for lunch, but when it's gone for the day, it's gone, so don't wait too late. Get haggis in your sandwich, too.
We enjoyed the Haggis, Neeps and Tatties at the Royal Mile Tabern. The sticky toffee pudding for desert was great too!
Cyn, can you (or some other Oink fan) tell me anything about the spiciness of the Oink! barbecue before a sauce is added to it? I know there are several sauce options. My travel-mate doesn't like spicy food at all, and I promised I'd try to find out about the suitability of Oink! for her before she hits Edinburgh in late July. I think she'd really enjoy the place if the basic pork is just smoky, not spicy. (I'm from North Carolina, and our vinegar-based sauce can be rather zippy.)
Another location for Oink is at the southern end of the Royal Mile near Holyrood Palace.
Our apartment rental was on Johnston Terrace, near Edinburgh Castle, so we dined at several restaurants in close proximity. I recommend Maison Bleue and Howie's Restaurant on Victoria Street, Scott's Kitchen on Victoria Terrace, a sister of Howie's, and Thai Orchid on Johnston Terrace.
We didn't make it but a neighbor also recommended Oink.
We had a private group dinner at the Whisky Experience and were pleasantly surprised. This is the place RS calls Malt Disney. I had chicken stuffed with vegetarian haggis ( way better than the real deal) and everything else was excellent as well.
My restaurant highlight was the Mussel Inn Seafood Restaurant on Rose Street and the Kilo Bucket of mussels.
Cyn, can you (or some other Oink fan) tell me anything about the
spiciness of the Oink! barbecue before a sauce is added to it?
It’s not spicy because it’s not barbecue. This is Scotland, not the US. It’s a whole roast pig. The flavour comes from the pig and the fat and the crackling, not from added spices. You can choose to add a sauce to your pork roll - apple sauce (again, not spicy) is the traditional British choice.
We discovered a place a number of years ago and have had many memorable meals there. It is Maison Bleue at 36 Victoria St. which is off George IV Bridge St. which is just off High St. (The Royal Mile) close to the castle. Go to googlemaps.com, type in the address, and you'll be able to locate it easily. You can use the street view to "walk" to it before leaving home. You can't miss the bleue façade. We've never had a problem being seated at lunch, but dinner reservations are advised. Small place, same ownership for years, and excellent food.
Hi acraven - as another poster mentioned, the meat's the star (pigs sourced from near Edinburgh, they told me), and I don't exactly recall the sauce offerings, but it seems there were at least 2 or 3, but, again, spiciness wasn't the object. There may have even been a bottle of Tabasco sauce available. I believe at least one, if not all, of the other sauces were tomato based, and I'm not certain if there was anything similar to Carolina type BBQ sauce - but that was 3 years ago, and they may be offering more options now.
Oink! sounds perfect for my friend; I'll just add one of the sauces for myself. But not the haggis, thankyouverymuch.
We go RS when we get to Edinburgh. In other words, we don’t cue up for typical tourist restaurants...instead we amble down side streets and stumble upon fantastic mom-n-pop neighborhood restaurants that are frequented by locals.
This gives us an opportunity to explore. This is especially true for New Town, Deane Village and Stockbridge. We believe the better, more authentic food experiences are in that area.
Lots of fabulous stuff at the Scran & Scallie in Edinburgh's Stockbridge area. https://scranandscallie.com/ The marrow bones were particularly memorable. My friends who live part-time in Edinburgh are big fans of The Stockbridge Restaurant(https://www.thestockbridgerestaurant.co.uk/ ), but I failed to get a reservation when I was there, so I haven't actually tried it.
Off the beaten path near Ocean Terminal we enjoyed the King’s Wark. It’s just a pub with typical pub food, but the live music was very enjoyable.
We loved the Sheep Heid Inn; it is definitely off the Royal Mile, but we enjoyed walking there, partly around the side of Arthur's Seat. The food was fabulous and the building fascinating. Give it a try.
If you fancy great Indian food, look no further than Mother India’s on Infirmary St. Right next door is the Royal Oak, and if there’s music when you’re there, there’s no better pub to hear it.
I'm following this thread closely, as we'll be in Edinburgh in three weeks. I ran into a young woman who'd lived in Edinburgh for two years and loved Maxie's Bistro. Looks like it's not exactly off the beaten path, but she totally recommended it.
Scran & Scallie had one of my favorite steak/ale pies (recommended by a friend that lives there) -- it's elevated pub food (chef also owns The Kitchin, a michelin star restaurant, which was also good if you want to treat yourself and lunch is far cheaper than dinner). We stayed near the Theatre District and also enjoyed Italian food at Frizzante and Bar Italia, both run by Italians with the former being slightly even more family-oriented. I know that sounds sacrilegious to eat Italian food in Scotland, but we were ready for a break from the usual fare after three weeks in the UK and it was very authentic!
I've had some great meals in Edinburgh. I too like the Mussel Inn. Last June, we had a special meal at The Gardner's Cottage. It's communal seating a set menu, and it was marvelous. Fishers is another seafood restaurant to think about. While it's been several years since we ate there, the meal we had at Stac Polly was memorable and enjoyable. The pub closest to our hotel was The Orchards and they had great food!
For a bit of a splurge have a meal at The Witchery...it's right in the the heart of the tourist area on the Royal Mile, just next to the castle. Even so, it's worth it. It's in an old 16th century house that has most of its original features. The food and service are memorable and it's just a unique place to spend a few hours.
My daughter spent a semester studying abroad at the University of Edinburgh, (2016), and this is her list of favorites.
My absolute favorites:
- The Piemaker: super good, cheap (1-2 pounds!) little savory pies. My favorite is definitely the Scotch Steak Ale pie! Great for a little snack.
- Holyrood 9A: this restaurant has great hamburgers and craft beers, perfect for dinner
- Oink: the BEST pulled pork sandwiches on rolls with different options for sauces, great for lunch
- Mother India’s Café: yummy, inexpensive Indian food.
- Mosque Kitchen: another place for Indian food, very affordable and delicious.
- The Potting Shed: a tiny bit on the pricy side, but super yummy food for a nice dinner, I definitely recommend
- The Scran and Scallie: super yummy rustic gastropub with a modern Scottish menu.
- Ting Thai Caravan: good, little Thai place in Old Town Edinburgh, close to the University.
- Steak and Mussels: pricey, but great if you’re in the mood for seafood or steak.
- Boozy Cow: yummy boozy milkshakes and great burgers/beers, near Princes Street.
- Black Medicine Coffee: there are two locations (both really good), a nice place to stop and grab some coffee/tea and pastries.
- Lovecrumbs: a little cafe that has specialty cakes and coffee.
- Mary’s Milk Bar: a great little ice cream place in the Grass Market.
- Brew Lab: nice coffee place right near the University.
Enjoy your time in beautiful Edinburgh!
Please let me know if you’re interested in reading her list of favorite places to visit in Edinburgh.
Have a wonderful trip!