The Edinburgh “Stuff” Guide 2017

The “stuff” guide is much as you would expect: a listing of the best places to get various sorts of…stuff. Let’s start with one of the more hotly debated topics then take it from there.

Burgers

Many people think we are over-saturated with burger options. I’d counter by saying we’re over-stocked with poor and mediocre places. We are blessed with some good ones, though.

Our favourite burger comes from BBL on the Pleasance, which is a fantastic little café making their own burgers on the premises. Jones & Son, Belly Buster, Feed, Bell’s Diner and Man on Fire are damn fine, too. The best end-to-end burger dining experience is to be found at Bread Meats Bread. I really enjoyed the cauliflower-based veggie burger from the Whistle Stop Barber Shop and if you’re thinking vegan head to Holy Cow.

BLT burger from Jones & Son

Other burger suggestions are available here.

Pizza

We are now blessed with a really good crop of differing pizza options. Origano remains my favourite, but the likes of Wildmanwood, Rustic Pizza, 1926, Dough, Civerino’s, and the Real Pizza Factory offer such a breadth of styles that pizza has become a real strength in the city.

Of the late night takeaway variety, Three Coins and Moratti are the places to try. And the Pizza Geeks do excellent street food pizza.

Indian

The general standard of Indian food in Edinburgh is very good. There are a little grouping of cheap and cheerful curry places towards the southside of which Kebab Mahal is the most entertaining.

Rustic Pizza

Tanjore is excellent for informal south Indian dining – think dosa and the like – so well worth a visit. Golden Ambal is a good dosa option in Leith.

For smarter Indian options Mumbai Mansion and Spice Lounge Kitchen are very good indeed.

There’s a plethora of curry houses which are mainly to a very pleasing standard. The Gurkha Café and Vinyasa are the ones we rely upon most regularly for this style of thing.

Seafood

Ondine is the premier seafood place in the city with an extremely high quality offering. The Ship on the Shore has lots of character, so we recommend it to people pretty frequently. Michael’s Steak and Seafood Bar is good, and The Light House in Newhaven is definitely worth a visit. Shrimpwreck at Bourbon offers a contemporary street food take on seafood.

Seafood

And if by seafood you mean “chippy”, Giovanni’s and L’Alba D’Oro are the best ones.

Japanese/Sushi

We have a very good selection of Japanese and sushi places in the city. Kanpai is the best, while Harajuku Kitchen offers more hearty fare. Maki & Ramen is a good informal option, with very good value small ramen bowls. Sushiya is a great little sushi bar and Kenji and Bentoya – both in the same ownership – are very good.

Pub Grub

We have many pubs that do very good food (The Bon Vivant, Salt Horse etc), but we’re pretty light on places that do traditional pub grub such as good steak pies or sausage & mash. Teuchters Landing is probably the place with the best and broadest selection. It’s a place I really enjoy.

The Ox is pretty good, particularly on a Sunday when there are great roast options. I enjoyed the Hermitage Bar when I was there recently.

Pies from the Bow Bar

The Bow Bar does a small selection of excellent pies at lunchtime, but they often disappear fast. But, it remains an aspect of Edinburgh’s dining scene that could use some improvement.

Booze

My taste in pubs and bars tends to split into two camps: beer and cocktails.

For beer, Salt Horse, the Brauhaus, Cloisters, the Bow Bar, Stockbridge Tap, Hanging Bat, Guildford Arms and Usher’s should do you.

For cocktails, this post sums things up pretty neatly.

I’m gradually building an appreciation for wine with Smith & Gertrude and Clark & Lake my current favourites.

Steak

Blackwood’s at the Nira Caledonia is the best place in town for steak. Twenty Princes Street has a strong menu and perennial favourite Chez Jules always hits the spot for steak frites. If you’re in Leith, head to Ribaye. LeftField cooked me the best steak in a long while on a recent visit, so should also be on your list.

Breakfast

I think Edinburgh is weak on good breakfast options. Tollcross has a couple of decent greasy spoons – Quick & Plenty and the Yellow Deli – for a restorative fry-up, but they’re hardly gourmet delights.

Porto & Fi is the cream of the crop for breakfast, but is a little out of the way in Newhaven. While there you also have The Haven. Patisserie Maxime is great for poached egg dishes, as is The Pantry.

Breakfast at The Haven

Maialino does the best bacon rolls in the city. Zest & Co does excellent haggis rolls. Coletti & Co, Rocket, Brochan, Grams and Hula are good for healthy options, but there remains a gap for a really outstanding breakfast place in the city.

Dessert

I’m not a sweet tooth, but I recognise that Lovecrumbs, Casa Angelina, Strumpets, Bon Papillon, Patisserie Madeleine, Tasty Buns and Mademoiselle Macaron are lovely cake places.

Mary’s Milk Bar is highly pleasing for ice-cream. Suki Bakes supplies some of the best wholesale sweet treats in the city so try them wherever you see them. And Pinnies & Poppyseeds is excellent for shortbread.

Coffee

Coffee is covered in detail here and here.

Street Food/Markets

Street food is covered in detail here.

Toastie from IJ Mellis

BYO

Bring Your Own Bottle places can be very handy. The best of these is The Walnut, which has a very good Oddbins just over the road from it. Middle Eastern places tend to be good BYO options, with Beirut the pick of the bunch. And The Table is BYO but that’s a whole different story…

Grilled Cheese

Cairngorm and Mellis are the two best for melted cheese sandwiches. Clark & Lake offers excellent raclette so is one to consider.

Overall, there’s probably a stack more places and types of stuff to cover, but that should keep you busy enough for a wee while.

Written by BKR