One of the most important things in life is food, so when you’re visiting new places you definitely want to make sure you taste the best the city has to offer! These restaurants, pubs, and cafes will make sure you get a full Scotland experience and satisfy your cravings for ice cream, dogs, and Harry Potter. What’s not to love?
1. Elephant House: for the tourist in you
Edinburgh is a magical city, so if you didn’t already know, it will come as no surprise that JK Rowling wrote and planned out the Harry Potter series during her time living in Edinburgh. Although you can’t quite time travel and see the world’s bestselling series being written in action, you can visit the place JK Rowling wrote and planned the majority of the Harry Potter books! A must-see for muggles and wizards alike, the Elephant House has a great view of the boarding school that inspired Hogwarts, the graveyard with the tombstone that birthed Voldemort’s name, and a bathroom full of fan’s favorite Harry Potter quotes and sayings.
This place is perfect for a dinner with family, or to curl up with a mocha and your favorite book. The cafe has no WiFi though, so make sure to bring a pen and piece of paper to add your thoughts to the hundreds of letters to JK Rowling stuffed into the drawers of the tables.
What to Try: Steak Pie, or Margherita Pizza (for vegetarians)
The Elephant House
Address: 21 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EN, UK
Price Range: $
Opening Hours: Mon - Thurs: 8am-10pm, Fri 9am-10pm, Sat 9am-11pm, Sun 9am-10pm
Website:The Elephant House
2. Mums: because you haven't really been to Scotland until you've had haggis!
One of the things you absolutely have to do while in Scotland is try Scottish food. Now, rather than google Haggis (which you probably shouldn’t do until after you’ve tried it) why not hop on over to Mums and try it yourself? Mums has a variety of breakfast and brunch food, from Bangers and Mash to a proper Scottish Breakfast (beans, toast, haggis, eggs, and a stewed tomato). And the staff is so friendly, you’ll feel right at home.
What to Try: Scottish Breakfast! For vegetarians Mums carries a selection of vegetarian sausages that go great with a cup of orange juice.
Mums Great Comfort Food
Address: 4A Forrest Rd, Edinburgh EH1 2QN, UK
Price Range: $
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-10pm, Sun 10am-10pm
Website:Mums Great Comfort Food
3. Dishoom: for when you’re craving Indian Food
Britain in general is known for having really good Indian food, but Dishoom is Indian food with an updated twist. Dishoom has many flavorful, traditional dishes, as well as some modern fusion dishes so there’s plenty of options for lunch, dinner and breakfast! Now, perhaps Indian food for breakfast is something you never thought about having, but Dishoom’s yogurt and naan rolls make for a tasty and energy-filled first meal of the day. Perfect for if you’re planning to walk around museums or trek up Calton Hill close by. Plus everything in the restaurant is imported from Bombay, so the atmosphere (even without the awesome window views onto St Andrew Square) is an awesome experience.
What to Try: Breakfast! Especially the sausage naan roll or the fruit and yogurt. Also for dinner make sure to check out the house black daal (vegetarian).
Address: 3a St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2BD, UK
Price Range: $$
Opening Hours: Monday to Wednesday: 8am to 11pm, Thursday to Friday: 8am to midnight, Saturday: 9am to midnight, Sunday: 9am to 11pm
4. Maki & Ramen: for when it's raining outside and you want to feel warm inside
This shop is a little off the beaten path, but if you’re looking to take someone on a rainy day date (or you’re just too lazy to microwave yourself some soup – which I feel), head over to Maki Ramen and watch cars and people walk by while you guzzle down a bowl of hot ramen. Don’t forget to read the post-it note memories and doodles left on the wall by other customers, and maybe add your own to the mix!
What to Try: the Spicy Ramen is amazing, and the Edamame is a must!
Maki & Ramen
Address: 13 West Richmond Street, Edinburgh EH8 9EF, UK
Price Range: $$
Opening Hours: 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Facebook: Maki & Ramen
5. Whiski Rooms: for when you’re looking to dress up
Now that you’re in Scotland and have probably tried a proper Scottish Breakfast as well as taken some great photos of the castle, you might feel like a night out on the town. Whiski Rooms has great haggis as well, but you’ll probably be a bigger fan of the beautiful views and Whisky Bar. This restaurant is a bit more expensive, ranging from 15 to 35 USD, but it’s located right in the heart of Old Town near St. Giles Cathedral (which boasts a stunning stained glass display) and the Royal Mile.
What to Try: Haddock and Chips, Salmon or Butternut Squash, Pear and Gorgonzola Tart.
Address: 4-7 North Bank Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2LP, UK
Price Range: $$ to $$$
Opening Hours: 12:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Website: Whiski Rooms
6. The Dog House: for a pleasant and truly local night out
One thing you absolutely have to do in Edinburgh is go to the pub, and The Dog House has some of the best aspects of a pub rolled up in one. Grab some friends and try Butterbeer and Wings, and perhaps try your hand at some trivia with a pub quiz. Then pet the resident english bulldog, Hero, and curl up and listen to a local musician sing their heart out. Also, they have 3.50 GBP (4.54 USD) cocktails and offer karaoke later in the night if you and your mates are wanting to sing your hearts out as well.
What to Try: The House Wings (Mardi Gras Madness or Nae Nonsense)! And Butterbeer is an obvious choice.
The Dog House
Address: 18-24 Clerk St, Edinburgh EH8 9HX, UK
Price Range: $
Opening Hours: 12:00 pm - 1:00 am
Website: The Dog House
7. Mary's Milk Bar: for when you've got an insatiable sweet tooth
If you truly love food, then you must know there is always room for a good dessert. But often desserts at restaurants are expensive and if you want to make the best of your time in Edinburgh, you should walk around town and try and visit as many shops and restaurants as possible. So after you’ve had some great ramen, killer fish and chips, or a very classy night out, try the locals favorite dessert stop.
Mary’s Milk Bar has some of the best ice cream in Edinburgh, and never fear if you’re visiting during winter! Mary’s carries a hot chocolate float (hot chocolate with a scoop of ice cream) that will make you wish you’d saved more room for dessert. Eat your ice cream there or carry it outside and have a lovely view of the Edinburgh Castle under the stars.
What to Try: Everything!!!
Mary's Milk Bar
Address: 19 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, UK
Price Range: $
Opening Hours: Tues-Sat 11-7pm, Sunday 12-7pm
Website: Mary’s Milk Bar
So go eat!
Now that you’ve got a solid list of places in Edinburgh to satisfy your every mood and craving, go try some! Hop on the nearest bus or wander down to Princes’ Street and no matter what you’re looking for you’ll find it. Edinburgh is a city filled with great food and even better people, so go grab some breakfast at Mums, a coffee at Elephant House, or pop into one of the many gorgeous cafes and restaurants along the way. In a city this magical, you really can’t go wrong.
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