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Food and Drink in Edinburgh
Welcome to a short guide to some of Edinburgh’s many food and drink options. It provides only a snapshot put together by us at TCM and our great friends who live within the City.
First, a basic introduction to the city. Edinburgh is divided into the New Town (built between 1767 and 1850) and the Old Town (built long before that). Both have a different vibe and if you’ve spare time, it’s well worth spending a little time walking about. Great history and great sights in both parts of town. The New Town is the North side of Princes Street, The Old Town is South of it. Identify where you are by spotting Edinburgh Castle (Old Town) on top of a craggy rock. The Sheraton is near both and is 5-10 mins walk to either.
We’ve put together a snapshot of places we have eaten and drank in. Walking times are from the Sheraton and taxi times are included if places are a bit too far or complex to get to. There are many more places you will chance upon – all the bars in central Edinburgh are secure, safe and friendly, so just hop right in. Suggestions for eating are followed by places you may want to drink and relax in. Booking is recommended as central Edinburgh is popular.
Breakfast and Lunch
We have figured those not having breakfast in their hotels may want some options near the Sheraton. Lothian Road offers mostly takeaway options at that time of day. All are no more than 5 mins from the Sheraton. Local bar chain, Wetherspoons, has a bar called The Alexander Graham Bell, 10 mins from The Sheraton and offers the normal Spoons breakfast options. Round the corner are Pret A Manger and a McDonalds. Pret is all over the centre and offer good takeaway or sit down. For something a little different, Dishoom in St Andrews Square offers a delicious Indian twist on breakfast (does lunch and dinner too) from 0800 (15 mins walk / 5 mins taxi). Lothian Road opens up for lunch and offers many options, only a few minutes from The Sheraton if you want a little fresh air after a busy morning.
We’ve given you a few options you might want to try. These are New Town options only – the Old Town has many options but most of the hotels are in The New Town. The Whiski Rooms is halfway between the New and Old Towns and window tables have great views over the city. And it’s a short walk into the Old Town to walk off your dinner.
New Town favourites include:
- Amarone (great Italian food in an old bank)
- Wee Buddha (fusion Asian with a Scottish twist)
- Cadiz (great fish, good people watching)
- Fishers in the City (equally great fish, less people watching options)
- Cafe Marlayne (cute and cozy French)
- Aizle (super modern Scottish)
- The Voyage of Buck (funky Scottish gastropub)
- Baba (swish Lebanese)
- Contini (slick Italian, perfectly presented).
- Howies in Victoria Street in the Old Town and in Waterloo Place offers a selection of sophisticated Scottish fare – including haggis – from local suppliers!
If none of those appeal, one of our friends have offered their help so feel free to contact Mike on https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikegill62/ and he will try and point you in the right direction. Super service.
When it comes to pubs, there are few cities that can compete with Edinburgh. The Old Town has hundreds of small bars, many down dark looking but safe alleyways off the Royal Mile, the key road in the Old Town. Most bars in Edinburgh do a huge variety of whiskies, some you will rarely see outside Scotland.
New Town favourites are as follows with a few words to help you. The Cafe Royal (vibrant Victorian bar with a majestic horseshoe bar), The Dome (a must visit ex-bank housed within a huge dome), The Queens Arms (our go-to bar, traditional and very friendly), Bon Vivant (funky, modern and moody bar). These bars also do good food and are good evening options. Not far away is The Oxford Bar, made famous by Ian Rankin as the drinking spot of his detective, Rebus. If this is your thing, this is your bar, if a bit underwhelming. Not far from the altogether better Queens Arms. If you want to have a drink in a cave, try Whighams. Book ahead for a cave for 6-8 people.
There are a few bars within minutes’ walk of The Sheraton. Innis and Gunn, Brewdog and All Bar One are within 30 seconds of The Sheraton’s front door. Try the Caley Picture House (2 mins) and converted cinema and The Hanging Bat, that serves fabulous short run local craft beer that changes when the barrel runs out. And for a real Edinburgh institution, a must visit is The Canny Manns (5 mins taxi) that includes antiques, history and the widest range of whiskies you will see. It also does food.
If you are in search of even more whisky the Scotch Malt Whisky Society is on Queen Street in the New Town – the downstairs bar is open to non-members.
A final mention of Edinburg’s classic bar street. Wedged between two of the main streets of George Street and Princes Street in the New Town, Rose Street has many, many bars and even if you had the time, energy and capacity, you still would (probably) not be able to do end to end in one night. All are safe and secure, some better than others, but always fun.
Our favourites are the Black Cat, Milnes and the Abbotsford, However, we can’t leave Rose Street without mentioning Fierce Beer. Similar to Brewdog before it went commercialised.
Hopefully that has given you something to go on for your time in Edinburgh. We are sure you will enjoy everything that Edinburgh has to offer.
Web Links For all the Places Named Above