Edinburgh’s food scene doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Perhaps this is mostly because Scotland has a bad reputation when it comes to food (which I think is unfair). Yes, you will come across deep-fried Mars bars and the intimidating haggis, but Scottish cuisine has a lot more to offer.
I have had many a good meal in Edinburgh since moving here, and I keep discovering new places in the city that serve delicious food, whether it’s an indie cafe with an innovative menu or a pub that serves good old-fashioned grub.
While I have more than one favourite lunch spot in Edinburgh, my go-to place for a cheap, hearty meal is The City Restaurant on Nicolson Street. The fish and chips at this place is among the best I’ve had in the city.
I have also asked other travel bloggers to share their favourite lunch spot in Edinburgh and name some must-try dishes. Whatever your budget and food preferences, here are some of the best places for lunch in Edinburgh according to travel bloggers.
1. Hula Juice Cafe (West Bow / Victoria Street)
“We didn’t know much about Scottish cuisine, except for Haggis and whisky we couldn’t actually think of anything specific. Imagine our surprise when we discovered the plethora of vegetarian and vegan dining options Edinburgh has to offer! It must be one of the most vegetarian/vegan friendly cities we’ve come across during our travels so far.
So…this is it. Our favourite place for lunch in Edinburgh. Whether you’re craving a quick snack on the run or a sit-down lunch of homemade soup, toasted wraps, toasts or Buddha bowls complete with all the trimmings, you’ll find it all at the vibrant and buzzing Hula Juice Cafe. Located at the foot of Victoria Street on the West Bow, it is conveniently located to grab lunch in between all the sightseeing nearby.
Renowned for its healthy breakfasts and lunches as well as its affordable prices, Hula Juice Cafe is fan-tas-tic! Our favourite? We fell in love with their Avocado sourdough toast and Oscar juice!”
Marlo and Kristof from Along Came An Elephant
2. The Dome (George Street, New Town)
“As soon as you walk into The Dome you know you are somewhere special. The decor is very elegant, you almost feel like you are the guest at a palace. The food will impress you as well. They have a very creative menu of Scottish favourites and each dish is beautifully presented. I had never tried haggis before, but I knew if it was on the menu at the Dome, it must be good. The haggis was wrapped in filo dough and served with a whiskey sauce – delicious! We were a large group and the service was excellent. They offer special menus for those that are vegan, gluten free, or dairy free.
There are four different restaurants inside the Dome and they also serve afternoon tea. The Dome is conveniently located in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town at 14 George Street. I would recommend making a reservation for lunch at the Dome, you won’t be disappointed.”
Anisa from Two Traveling Texans
3. The Witchery by the Castle (Castlehill)
“Located in in the heart of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, with Edinburgh Castle for its neighbour and frequented by the likes of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sir Cameron Macintosh, two gurus from the theatre industry, The Witchery’s Secret Garden restaurant is Edinburgh’s best kept secret and an escape from the hustle and bustle of the Royal Mile that is perched right on its doorstep.
The Secret Garden was opened in 1989 but has held on to its charm rather well. Entirely lit by candles, dark wood panelling, beamed ceiling, luxurious tables beautifully decorated with flowers and candles creating the perfect ambience for a romantic setting. If you a food lover, this is definitely a spot you have to stop by when visiting Edinburgh.
I would highly recommend the lamb wellington, a pastry baked lamb loin stuffed with wild mushroom and chicken mousse wrapped in Serrano ham. Smoked aubergine pureé and served up with spring greens is just party in the mouth! It was so good I wanted a second helping! Make sure you leave room for the chocolate brownie dessert. Just heaven!”
Bianca from It’s All Bee
4. Oink (Victoria Street, Canongate and Hanover Street)
“My favourite lunch spot in Edinburgh is Oink, I was in the city for a weekend last year and went there twice it was so delicious. They specialise in pulled pork sandwiches, and have managed to make the best damn pulled damn pulled pork sarmie that I’ve ever had.
Their menu is simple: choose your size (Piglet, Oink or Grunter), choose your bread (white or brown), choose a stuffing (sage and onion or homemade haggis), and choose a sauce (mayo, BBQ, chilli cheese, or chilli jam). I still dream of this sarmie, and hope to one day go back!”
Bridget from The Wandering Bridge
5. Urban Angel (Hanover Street)
“Edinburgh is such a beautiful city with and overwhelming number of food options. My favourite lunch spot in the city is a cool little place called Urban Angel on Hanover Street. They offer Breakfast Lunch and Dinner, but I’ve only ever been for lunch and I can confirm that it is delicious. I would highly suggest the eggs benedict! They change the lunch menus everyday based on the produce they have in, but you can definitely bank on finding something you like!
On top of the food being absolutely gorgeous, they are very environmentally friendly. The source seasonal, fresh and local. They also recycle as much of their waste as they can! The vibe of the cafe is so chilled out. Only thing is that it’s quite popular so there is almost always a queue but the turnover is pretty fast.”
Chiera from Young and Undecided
6. St. Andrews Brewing Co. (Potterrow)
“Located right off the main campus of the University of Edinburgh, St. Andrews Brewing Co. (formerly called The Potting Shed) is a cosy lunch location with yummy beers and excellent prices. They specialise in a farm-to-food concept menu which highlights fresh ingredients and innovative food ideas.
Additionally, with a cheap lunch special under 10 pounds and a wide selection beers and cocktails, the Potting Shed is a great place for a midday meet-up. While the menu is always changing and rotating, I’d highly recommend the pumpkin risotto if available.”
Jordan from Wayfaring With Wagner
7. Southpour (Newington Road)
“Tucked away in the student centred neighbourhood of Newington, Southpour stole my heart the minute I walked in. Exposed brick walls, chevron tilework, bouquets of thistle, and twinkling fairy lights all contribute to an elegant aesthetic without ever trying too hard. You’ll find Scottish classics like kippers, haggis, and scotch eggs as well as your classic burgers and sandwiches.
All of their food is priced with students in mind, with daily specials for just a fiver and more elaborate options not much more. It’s also perfectly located as a base for your journey to Arthur’s Seat, whether you want to fuel up before or recover after with a warm meal and hot cup of tea.”
Rosalie from Rosalie Goes
8. The Caley Sample Room (Angle Park Terrace, Merchiston)
“During our most recent trip to Edinburgh, we stumbled across an amazing place. It has an unassuming exterior and is very much off the tourist path, but this place was delicious and worth a visit. The Caley Sample Room has a charming ambiance, a bevy of beers, and, aside from fantastic mains, we had an entree of haggis bonbons: deep fried, breaded pieces of delicious haggis. I’m salivating just thinking about them.
If you want to try Scotland’s signature dish in a unique format, we can’t recommend those bonbons enough!”
Amy and Nathan from Two Drifters
9. Maki & Ramen (West Richmond Street)
“Scotland is not especially renowned for its culinary highlights. However, if you are staying in Edinburgh, you will be blessed with a very rich food scene extending much further than Haggis and fish and chips. As every major city, Edinburgh has a very broad and multicultural food scene. After a week in the highlands and tired of pub food, we were looking for some more exotic treats.
By complete chance, we landed in the Maki & Ramen Sushi Bar and it was one of the best culinary experiences of our entire trip. The ramen pastas are freshly made, the atmosphere is authentic and the prices suitable for small budgets. We chose to go for ramen soups, which were incredibly good, but the Maki also proposes a choice of dumplings and sushi.
We would like to give a special mention to this great idea: notepads are provided to the visitors who can use them to draw and pin their creation to the wall. This is a great way to kill time while your dish is being prepared, whether you want to draw or admire the art of previous visitors. You will almost regret that your dish arrived so quick!”
Amélie from The Roving Puffin
10. Chop Chop (Morrison Street, West End)
“Having won Gordon Ramsay’s approval a few years ago for having the best dumplings in Scotland, Chop Chop was high on my list of eateries I wanted to visit and when I did, I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, I’ve been back more times than I can count. Not much to look at from the outside, and by no means flashy or modern inside, the food speaks for itself and I love everything about it. Head chef and owner Jian Wang’s dumplings are to die for; soft, light and packed with flavour.
My favourite has to be the pork and coriander, but the beef and chilli comes a very close second, especially soaked in the sauce you are shown how to make at the table. The restaurant is family-run and has a homely, comfortable feel. The team are always really friendly and helpful.
A few times I’ve been I’ve had an unlimited banquet, where they bring dish after dish of delicious freshly made taster plates, including an amazing cucumber salad, lamb with cumin, sweet and sour pork ribs and spicy northern beef. I have to agree with the polls, this is definitely the best Chinese restaurant I’ve been to.”
Nicola from FunkyEllas Travels
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