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PUBS Edinburgh

The Oxford Bar

8 Young Street, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH2 4JB – 0131 539 7119

An understated, old fashioned Edinburgh pub, though close to George Street this is a million miles away from the slick and somewhat soulless experience of those hostelries. The welcoming staff serve a small but very well chosen range of single malts from behind the bar, your standard beers and cider with 2-3 guest beers on tap. The Oxford comes into its own on a six nations weekend with a lively, friendly atmosphere and fans mixing happily.

Good drink, good food, fast service. The selections of ales is pretty large, which is good as I like beer. It's best to attempt to get a table though as there isn't really much standing space in the bar area. Staff having to squeeze past you constantly if you're in a bigger group.

The Tron

9 Hunter Square, Edinburgh EH1 1QW – 0131 225 3784

Tron. Serves it's purpose - cheap drinks and food. If it's the end of the month, just before pay day and you need a cheap light refreshment and standard "ok" pub grub then come along! Primarily a student venue (I felt pretty old hangin out here), current cheesy pop tunes on the boombox and cosy seating in the wee rooms off the main bar area downstairs. If you are lucky enough to have a student card you can apply for a discount card, offering money off drinks, offers vary depending on the day of the week. Location is central and everyone knows where it is, I find myself using The Tron as a navigational way of describing where things are. Tip: Girls, mind yourself going down the stairs to the toilets in big heels! It's steep and mind yer head!... Or maybe that's just me after a few to many drinkies?!

The drinks are cheap and it's busy. The bar staff are generally pretty friendly although the managers can be grumpy: the place can be so busy. I think that it is a good pub from time to time but tend to go to one of the neighbouring pubs on a night out instead as although this is the cheapest pub on the street there is a very nice bod just down the street called City Cafe. If you'd like cheap drinks and a student vibe The Tron is good and there are lots of really friendly people there.

Kays Bar

Jamaica St W, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH3 6HF – 0131 225 1858

Excellent cozy pub with real ale and authentic setting - great atmosphere and no music

Yes it's pricy and the punters are a bit yah yah types but it serves the best kept beers in Edinburgh


Restaurants Granton (Edinburgh)

All Restaurants

The Witchery by the Castle

Castlehill, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 2NF – 0131 225 5613

The Witchery by the castle - Secret Garden: My personal recommendation; The Lamb Wellington, a pastry baked lamb loin stuffed with wild mushroom and chicken mousse wrapped in Seranno ham. Smoked aubergine pureé, served up with spring greens is just party central in the mouth! It was so good I wanted a second helping but at £60, I thought I would leave room for the dessert that promised to have me licking the plate too. There is also a set menu as well that wont have your bank manager calling to check if all your marbles are still in tact. I was also brave enough to try the Haggis - forgetting for a moment what its really made of. The food was flavourful with fine wine from a weighty book of world class wines. The service is great, but because it's so popular the tables have a 2 hour limit.

One of the most indulgent places to dine in Edinburgh - it gives you a real experience of the dark glamour Auld Reekie has to offer. Very different experiences whether dining in the front dining room or the Secret Garden, but both equally special. Don't go if you're pinching pennies as it's worth getting the full experience and it comes at a fairly hefty price (the book - BOOK - of wines goes up into the thousands of pounds which is crazy), although there is a pre-theatre menu which looks good. Absolute must if you can for a very special occasion - oh, and book well in advance!

Le Monde Hotel

16 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2PF – 0131 270 3900

Negatives: drinks are very expensive, and the food service is very slow. I suspect the service failings were due more to management rather than waiting staff. The earpieces the waiting staff use to communicate with the kitchen are hilarious - the service is still slow, and all they do is prevent the staff from hearing customers when they want attention, so the customer has to yell! Facepalm. Positives: good food, decent selection, very nice atmosphere in the outside conservatory-type room (early September). The waiting staff were at least polite and apologetic.

Have stayed here previously in Cairo, Tokyo and Dublin. All of which were fantastic. The food that I've eaten here has also been amazing, in particular the smoked venison. Cocktails also rank highly on the list, each one I have tried has been superb. They used to do a deal a few years ago on a Sunday which I sorely miss as a little treat every now and again.

The Kitchin

78 Commercial Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6LX – 0131 555 1755

Tom Kitchin's eponymous restaurant in Leith. High dining down at the harbour. Lots of interesting food showcasing a tour de force of Scotland's larder. We were provided with a map of Scotland pinpointing where our dinner came from! Slightly awkward service which sits between standard and michelin dining but may have just been our experience as a large party on a busy night. Some of the staff weren't quite sure what to do with themselves and ended up hovering which is always a little disconcerting. Small gripe easily sorted. Very good food and wine list. Knowledgeable staff and polished execution.

Being a Michelin starred restaurant, and tipped by broadsheets as one of the best restaurants in the UK, all that really needs to be said about the Kitchin is that it is every bit as good as everyone says. Briefly then: The Kitchin serves locally sourced, fresh, organic Scottish produce, prepared in the main in a Gallic style. The vegetarian options are flavoursome and as well thought-out as the carnivorous menu. Nothing about the food feels alienating or challenging if you're new to fine dining: food is all readily identifiable and the flavours are exquisite. Gastronomes can opt for the tasting menu, with wines to match. That said, the lunchtime menu - three courses for £28.50 - offers particularly fantastic value. Staff are friendly but there's none of the stuffiness that can be associated with fine dining. The interiors are sleek, cool, stylish - think sexy hotel bar - much more inviting and romantic than the austere Commercial street front might suggest. A wonderful dining experience.

Chinese Restaurants

Chop Chop Haymarket

248 Morrison St, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH3 8DT – 0131 221 1155

Different take on the usual Chinese restaurant as several choices come as small tapas style dishes which are great for sharing. Dumplings were very good and food in general was delicious. The restaurant doesn't look very inviting from the outside but quality of food more than makes up. Service wasn't spectacular but food was very reasonably priced. The same restaurant in Leith probably has better surroundings.

I first discovered chop chop around 5 years ago after walking past it many times assuming it was just another Chinese restaurant. How wrong I was. The dumplings are great and available in so many varieties. plus the menu has all the standard items you would expect to find in any Chinese restaurant and many of their own takes on things. Signing up to the loyalty program means there are occasional invites to try out new dishes and rate them before they go on the menu as well as receiving vouchers on your birthday.

Karens Unicorn Chinese Restaurant Edinburgh

8b New town Abercromby Pl, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH3 6LB – 0131 556 6333

This has to be the best Chinese takeaway in Edinburgh, if not Scotland, and if not Britain! I'm a big fan of Chinese food, and have sampled a wide range. This is definitely in the top 1%. I usually order for pick-up, but delivery has always been prompt when I've used it. Food always delicious and piping hot. I would recommend the lemon chicken, very nice!

This restaurant is good but not exceptional. I think it gets undeservedly high reviews for things that are superficial. The cooking is of good quality, neat, not padded with salad or sauces. Good ingredientes, but some dishes salty or a little heavy. Food has some character and is not bland/generic. Relatively small menu, which is good. Many vegetarian options. Good food but not great. Certainly not excellent. The decor is a mistake in design. Looks like an 80s disco with dinner tables, easy listening, mix of east and west utensils. Staff are overly attentive and excessively polite but seem inexperienced. Yeah whatever. I prefer the plain and super-efficient style of Chinese.

Rendezvous Chinese Restaurant

10a Queensferry St, Edinburgh EH2 4PG – 0131 225 2023

This is a nice Chinese restaurant in the west end of the city centre. The menu offers the standard Chinese options however it is cooked superbly with fresh ingredients. The food was not greasy at all and there was plenty of it. The decoration inside is lovely and cosy and the staff are very friendly. The takeaway service is also very good we only had to wait 20 minutes before we could pick up our order. I would highly recommend trying this Chinese in particular the honey ribs and shredded chilli chicken .

I ate here last night with my father for the first time this year - the food was as excellent as always but the decor is now amazing. This was the first time I'd ate here since refurbishment and it must be said how great the restaurant looks now. The new private dining area is a nice touch and perfect for special occasions - be sure to book in advance though. The food was as great as ever. Particular highlights were the shredded duck, spare ribs and my personal favourite sweet and sour chicken. The staff couldn't have been more helpful even when rushed of their feet. The menu states they are "the oldest Chinese restaurant in Edinburgh". They should change that to "the oldest and BEST Chinese restaurant in Edinburgh". You should try it for yourself.

Indian Restaurants and takeaways

Britannia Spice Indian Restaurant

150 Commercial St, Ocean Drive, Edinburgh EH6 6LB – 0131 555 2255

Ended up here for a work meal out. Nice curry and very friendly service. Just a short walk to a number of nice Leith bars.

Britannia Spice is a lovely restaurant with superb surroundings. Nice welcome along with prompt service. The menu is big and varied depending on how hungry you are. Wine list is also first class. My favourite is chicken biryani and can't wait to go back and have it again. Please don't be in a great hurry as all food is cooked from scratch and well worth waiting for.

Mother India's Cafe

3-5 Infirmary St, Old Town, Edinburgh EH1 1LT – 0131 524 9801

A really fun place to go eat in medium sized groups. The size of the tapas are enough that they can be shared and allow you to try many things on the menu. I highly recommend it.

Food is presented in a tapas style format so excellent for trying different dishes and sharing which was great. Found myself struggling to find dishes that I would like on the menu but the food that came was superb. Very busy so recommended to book a table. As it was so busy the service was slightly lacking but it made for a good atmosphere in the restaurant. Perhaps more than you'll usually pay for an Indian restaurant but the different tapas style format and great food make it one of the best Indian restaurants in Edinburgh.

Zest

15 N St Andrew St, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH2 1HJ – 0131 556 5028

Well, cold midweek Wednesday it was quite quiet. It's not huge (although there may be a downstairs) but modern and clean. Friendly staff supplied the mandatory large Cobra and off we went. Prawn puri starter was luverly, four small puri around the edge of a fresh crisp prawn mix, Sir Walter Scott's lamb/mustard curry warmed the cockles, the lamb so tender and a rich sauce. The garlic nan defeated me in the end. The physical menus could do with a reprint, they're falling apart, but overall I loved it, the food that bit different and carefully prepared, served well in a great atmosphere. Visit. PS right by the tram stop.

I worked there and been as a customer too .. top class food and service .. Mr Assaddar Ali made good efforts to build this Restaurant on its own .. well done ..

Italian Pasta and Pizza Restaurants

Gusto Edinburgh

135 George St, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH2 4JS – 0131 225 2555

We had a Friday night reservation for gusto and we used the 20% off members card that you can get from their website. Our table wasn't ready when we arrived so we had a drink at the bar before being seated. It was quite busy and the music was at a good volume, not too loud. We share some nice olives. As a vegetarian I felt like I had as many options as if I was at a vegetarian restaurant. The menu is extensive, and based on Italian, so pizza and pasta. I had a nice fresh pasta dish and the boy had a massive steak that came with crunchy skinny fries (which i obviously pinched!) We were pretty full, but squeezed in some ice cream/ sorbet. Would definitely go back.

Food was really tasty. Service was great, although the place was really busy with no visible empty tables, we got served and food delivered to our table in good time. Looking to spend about £50 for two (that was with a bottle of wine) but felt that it was worth it. Would definitely go back.

Amarone Edinburgh

12-13 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2AF – 0131 523 1171

We came here for a work leaving do and the place was great fun - busy, friendly and noisy. We were a group of 12 and it was nice not to feel that we were disturbing other customers, but just contributing to everyone having a good time. The food was authentic Italian at a reasonable price, and the wine was fine. So good was it that I came back for brunch with a friend the following weekend. The full English was good value for George Street at £9 all in and seemed to be really nice quality meat.

Great atmosphere at Italian restaurant in the centre of Edinburgh. Very large restaurant and always fill so must be a good sign. Options are standard for an Italian restaurant but food is delicious. Service is great.

Vittoria Restaurant

113 Brunswick Street, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH7 5HR – 0131 556 6171

My favourite Italian in Edinburgh. Atmosphere in the place is great and the waiters/waitresses are what makes this restaurant what it is. Always accommodating with great sense of humour. Great restaurant for a relaxed, chilled out Italian meal. Food is delicious. Strange layout as there are several seating areas so ask for a good table.

Easily my Italian favourite restaurant in town, friendly attentive waiting staff, warm friendly welcoming atmosphere, and excellent well-prepared delicious food. The Tortellini and the Deluxe Pizza are two which I go back to time and time again, which is almost a shame given there's so much good food on the menu. If you like Italian food, I'd recommend this place.

Vegetarian Restaurants

Iglu Restaurant & Bar

2B Jamaica St, Edinburgh EH3 6HH – 0131 476 5333

Bloody excellent! Went on a Saturday evening with my partner. Quiet when we arrived at 6:45, full on leaving at 8:30pm. Food was nutritious, delicious, not too large, but very satisfying, and best of all - they actually try!! They try new things and 90% of them taste delicious. So if you read reviews and you are moderately adventurous this is a fabulous place to while away the evening.

Great bistro, handsomely appointed, with tasty unfussy food, lovely booze (Black Isle beers and quaffable wines) and great staff. There's a heavy focus on local, organic, sustainably sourced produce, and all this is beautifully prepared - bream is salty, perfectly cooked, flavoursome, bread is fluffy and delicious, boar burger charred, meaty, and satisfying. There's plenty of choice for vegetarians, too, with no skimping on flavour. The dining room feels intimate without being cramped, and service is hospitable and unobtrusive. There's board games if you're in on a quiet night and fancy a game, and a nice selection of artwork on the wall. Lovely bistro.

David Bann Restaurant

56-58 St Mary's St, Edinburgh EH1 1SX – 0131 556 5888

DB's is a place I would definitely go more often if I had the money. Great food, reasonable portions and a really nice vibe that means you can eat and relax, without feeling rushed to finish up and move on. Eating with a group of vegetarians and vegans it was amazing seeing how the waiters and chef worked to arrange the menu for everyone. Completely customising certain options for those who asked. Great seeing that much attention to detail where it matters. Plenty well attentive staff mean that your drinks won't run dry either, which is always a good thing in my eyes!

We go to David Bann go here every couple of months at least, and think the food is always good. Vegans are well catered for - there are always specific vegan options on the food and drink menus, and many of the dishes can be altered to be vegan friendly. Vegan options have actually increased lately, so it's getting even better. The menu offers seasonal dishes, although as a regular visitor I'm a bit disappointed that it doesn't change more often. I think the smoked tofu is always outstanding, as are the olives and soup. Slow cook options which I've found are are worth the wait are the seasonal tartlet (starter) and dark chocolate soufflé (dessert). Service is calm and unhurried, so don't go if you want a quick meal. Expect to pay around £50 for two people eating a couple of dishes with wine.

Hendersons

94 Hanover St, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh EH2 1DR – 0131 225 2131

A staple for any vegetarians and vegans living in Edinburgh, and a place that I visit regularly. After a bit of a rough patch a couple of years ago I think this is now excellent. Since spring 2014 Hendersons have been trialling table service in the downstairs restaurant, and I can't recommend it highly enough now. The food is all excellent, locally sourced for the most part, and both the atmosphere and service are great. There's lots for vegans and vegetarians - the smoked tofu burger was great last time I went, as is the classic vegan cherry pie. Lots of vegan friendly wine and beer as well.

I love their selection of take-away lunch options, their salad dishes always taste amazing and are full of flavour, delicious soups and filling baked potatoes. It can be a little pricey for some of their things, a small coconut yoghurt was £2.50! I do really like Henderson’s, it’s a great spot for vegans and vegetarians.

Wine Bars and Cocktail Bars

The Newsroom Bar & Eatery

5-11 Leith St, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH1 3AT – 0131 557 5830

This bar is in a great location. I can never work it out though, I feel like I only ever come here because of convenience and am usually quite pleasantly surprised. I don't particularly like the atmosphere, it is trying to be quite grand and posh I think. The cocktails are nice but I remember drinks in general being quite expensive. I would never and have never chosen to come here but when I do it's okay.

The staff were nice and the wine list pretty good. I love the retro style lighting in the windows and the big central bar but I have to say the bar snacks we had were just awful. Really greasy goujon things and haggis balls in a ton of oily batter and not very exciting chips. Good for a quick drink as its really central but definitely wont try eating again.

Sygn

15 Charlotte Ln, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH2 4QZ – 0131 225 6060

Sygn is a popular cocktail bar in the west end of Edinburgh. We went on a Friday night after work and it was already busy, most of the tables were reserved however it was a nice evening so we got a table outside. The cocktail menu is great, very inspiring and difficult to choose! There is a £5 menu as well a the regular cocktail menu which start at about £7.50. I had a mango cocktail and it was lovely, it does take a little longer to get served however that is to be expected when the bar tenders are making so many cocktails. I did not try the food however it looked good, I don't think I would rush to specifically eat there but next time we may get some sharers or nibbles with the cocktails. The staff were friendly and knowledgeable about the menu, the bar tenders knew a few tricks too.

Nice bar just off Charlotte Square. Nicely lit, with a range of lagers and trendy cocktails. A moderately sized seating area, coupled with a narrow bar, means it can fill up quickly.

Whiski Rooms

4-7 North Bank Street, Edinburgh EH1 2LP – 0131 225 7224

Lovely view and atmosphere in here, the food is good and a good selection, but a little pricy even for central edinburgh. Drinks wise there is a fantastic selection, with some fabulous beers, but the standard whiskies are not value for money and priced quite high, so go for something a bit more adventurous as the pricing is much more value for money

I'm not the most knowledgeable whisky drinker in the world, but after a few hours in here you feel like you know more about fine malts than anyone you meet. Whether that's down to the knowledge bestowed by the staff, or the fact you're half-cut by the time you leave, is another story altogether! You'd be hard pushed to run out of choice, or not be able to find something new in this place. There really is a malt to suit every taste. The only thing that won't be happy is your bank account. Not because Whiski Rooms is particularly expensive, but because whiskey itself is particularly expensive! If you're looking for a cheap drink in town, avoid. Otherwise - this is a great place to go and enlighten yourself as to the wonders of whiskeys :)