The food scene in Edinburgh is definitely happening. You can get your traditional Scottish food, but there is also this wave of new age foodie trends similar to what we have back in the states, specifically San Francisco. In this post, we highlight our favorite spots during the 4 days we spent there and some of the best restaurants Edinburgh has to offer in our minds.
Since we are SPG members, we decided to use our points and stay at the Sheraton Edinburgh for the 4 nights we were in the city. It was the nicest Sheraton we had stepped foot in and the rooms were absolutely perfect. Best part – the comfy beds. We felt like we were lying in clouds which made for a great night sleep after a long day of exploring. The One Spa in the hotel was fabulous too. This is the prime example why we always bring a bathing suit with us when traveling – you never know when you get the chance to jump in a body of water! They had a indoor/ outdoor hydropool with body jets all around the perimeter. It was the perfect morning wakeup – better than coffee! Oh and the location is perfect – walking distance to the Castle, The Royal Mile, Victoria Street and New Town. Great views of the Castle too!!
The Devil’s Advocate
Located in the Old Town of the City, The Devil’s Advocate was the first place we dined in Edinburgh. It was a delicious dinner – started with cream of mushroom soup, followed by a lamb burger that we split. It was the perfect combination. My mouth still waters thinking about that burger. The lamb was perfectly seasoned and topped with roasted julienne sliced beets. Besides the food, the atmosphere of the restaurant is trendy, vibrant and cool. The bar tenders know how to mix up a great cocktails, especially the hot toddies. We came back to this place to warm up one afternoon! Be sure not to get discouraged, by the “close” and steps down to the restaurant…it’s so worth it!
The Outsider was where we had our New Years Eve lunch. We had the perfect view of the castle and enjoyed some great fish soup and delicious pheasant. If we were to go again, we would try the tomato soup and the burger. There is something about burgers in Europe – they are great! It’s a laid back restaurant using fresh and seasonal produce.
Our last meal of 2015, was spent at The Dogs restaurant in New Town. To get to this restaurant you walk through doors that look like you are walking into someone’s apartment building and up the stairs to the stylish dinning room where they serve British dishes made with Scottish produce. We had the vegetable soup (yes we ate a lot of soup this trip), the macaroni roasted cauliflower cheese side dish and the flat iron steak to share for our main entree. Everything was tasty and we would highly recommend coming to the restaurant during your visit to Edinburgh!
Red Squirrel was conveniently located across the street from our hotel and it happened to be on our list of restaurants to try – burgers highly suggested. So we shared a burger on New Years Day and throughly enjoyed every bit of it. But of course we also enjoyed our soup started and the chips!
One of the many restaurants on Thistle Street, Dusit serves a modern, innovative Thai cuisine using local Scottish produce in a graceful, bare stone setting. We dined at Dusit for lunch while shopping in the New Town. The soups here are known to help cure colds – which Trigere had. I think it did the trick! If you are looking for some good Thai food, this is the place to go! The rice, vegetables, chicken and beef are cooked to perfection. They also give lovely pours of wine!
Who would have thought we would eat Mexican food in Europe? Not us, but we were so happy we tried out El Cartel. Located on Thistle Street, this restaurant was small, authentic and had a vibrant environment. The restaurant-goers were young trendy foodies. We ordered margaritas (of course!), sweet potato and carne asada tacos, rice, beans and some guacamole. They didn’t serve chips though – they gave us plantains which actually complimented the flavors of the dishes well. If you are looking for some Mexican food in Edinburgh – go here!
If you are looking for some good seafood, Ondine is the place to go! The lobster is fantastic along with their soups and salads. If you are looking for a great environment (great date spot!) and are okay with paying for a lovely meal, check out Ondine.
Fishers on Thistle Street
We stubbed upon Fishers will walking out of a boutique on Thistle Street. We came back at weren’t disappointed. Ordered the halloumi cheese salad and lobster and chips and were pleased. The price is more affordable than Ondine, but the lobster isn’t as big. That won’t stop us from going back….next time we will try the seafood platter!!! Who is coming with us?
Another Thistle Street treasure and Devil’s Advocate Sister Restaurant, Bon Vivant was the perfect spot to grab some drinks while we waited for our table at El Cartel. When the table was ready, the host walked over and got us at Bon Vivant – talk about service!! Though we didn’t eat at Bon Vivant, we enjoyed the atmosphere and was happy we were able to experience what the hype was all about. It lived up to it’s definition: Bon Vivant – a person who enjoys a sociable and luxurious lifestyle.
The Printing Press
We stopped into the The Printing Press for a celebratory glass of rosé! It was a beautiful restaurant and lovely place to grab a beverage a light bite. Stop in here to take a break from shopping, touring or just life!
Five, Four, Three, Two, One….HAPPY NEW YEAR! Tigerlily was the place we rung in the new year in New Town. We were walking on George Street after dinner, admiring the concert-goers and stumbled upon this happening place. There was a Santa monogram scaling the side of the building – it caught our eye! (We didn’t partake in the street party this year since we were cautious of the terror threats that were happening around the world.) Tigerlily was a blast, so there was no missing out!!! It was filled with fun party-goers who were dressed in their kilts, suits and sparkly dresses. (Not all together though!) The DJ was great and played dancing music, even some Justin Bieber. And yes, Bieber has the same affect on a Scottish ladies as he does to us Americans. The drinks we are sipping on below are vespers, the James Bond drink. It was tasty and might be our new favorite cocktail.
The Bow Bar
Though we didn’t have time to go here, The Bow Bar was high recommended by locals and some other blogs. It’s located on Victoria Street in Old Town and is known for it no-frills compact local emphasizing cask beers and single malts, with fresh soup and pie snacks. Please check it out for us!!
NOTE: We did eat at Jamie’s Italian on New Years Eve Day for dinner since it was one of the only places open. It was good – the charcuterie board was great and the pasta, but it wasn’t a must place to go in our books. You can find a Jamie’s anywhere in Europe.
2 thoughts on “Edinburgh: Sleep, Eat, Play”
Now I want to go to Edinburgh, too. We’ve been there a few times but we never ate this well!! Now I’m googling a Vesper…
well then you have a reason to go back!!! Next time we want to go when the weather is a little warmer so we can travel north and to the countryside. Such a beautiful country!