Mid-February. We’ve long forgotten the feeling of being festively full, drinks and nibbles everyday are a distant memory, and believe it or not, a honey-glazed cocktail sausage sounds rather appealing… It’s time. We’re finally ready to re-indulge, and where better to start than with a list of some of Edinburgh’s must-try foodie destinations.
Norn made my Autumn foodie list last year, and it’s not budging. You’ll find it in place of the old Plumed Horse restaurant and it brings a touch of scandi-elegance to Leith. ‘Fiercely focused’ on sourcing all their own produce, the dishes are seasonal, modern and exciting. Only naturally sourced wines make it on to their list, and you have the option to match these with a four or seven course tasting menu.
Good Brothers Wine Bar
Another sneaky addition to Edinburgh’s food and drink scene last year was Good Brothers in Stockbridge. Run by wine industry experts and brothers, Graeme and Rory Sutherland, they are champions or natural and organic wine. Their ever-changing wine list features over 100 wines, and they have pulled together a bistro-style menu of dishes to enhance their star product. The atmosphere is relaxed, and sitting at the bar chatting to their knowledgeable staff, whilst tucking into a glass of well-chosen wine and a delicious bowl of pasta is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.
Scran & Scallie
Tom Kitchin’s Stockbridge pub showcases his ‘from nature to plate’ ethos in a cosy, relaxed setting. You’ll find plenty of Sunday classics, such as burgers, fish and chips and a Sunday roast, but be prepared for swift departure from classic pub grub. The dishes are the perfect mix of hearty and refined. They have been awarded the prestigious Bib Gourmand from the Michelin Guide 2017, which means it’s only going to get more popular – bookings are advised, but a few tables are kept back for walk-ins in the bar area.
When Dishoom opened for their soft launch period, the queues were round the kitchen, out the door and out into St Andrews Square. The good people of Edinburgh couldn’t wait to get a taste of the Indian restaurant Londoners had been raving about since they first opened their doors in Covent Garden in 2010. Run by Kavi and Shamil Thakrar, it is themed around Bombay Café life, and boasts a menu of Indian street food all meant for the sharing. The bacon naans have been all over foodie lovers’ instagrams north of the border since they opened, and the hype doesn’t seem to be dying down anytime soon.
Another favourite from last year, The Table is a theatrical dining experience you don’t want to miss out on. Two chefs, ten guests, one table. Guests sit around an open kitchen, and watch as their courses are prepared before them. Using produce from the very best, Scottish suppliers, the menu features a range of European cooking styles and dishes. They’ve just opened their booking diary for May onwards, so don’t delay.
Edinburgh isn’t short of brilliant pizza joints, however Wildmanwood has made a quiet, yet confident entrance to the scene. Up against the likes of Civerinos, Dough and La Favorita, when The Scotsman’s restaurant critic, Gaby Soutar, mentioned it was one of the best pizzas she’s never had in Edinburgh, you know this place means business. What can you expect? Exactly what it says on the tin; tasty, wood-fired pizzas, big, hearty salads and mini pizettes for dessert, smothered in Nutella… see you there.
Chop House Market Street
It didn’t take long for the team behind Chop House Bar & Butchery in Leith to open up a second venue, expanding into a cool, urban unit on Market Street, part of The Arches beside Waverley train station. Their steaks are some of the best in town, and are matched by an equally delicious cocktail menu. Head on Tuesdays and Wednesday and enjoy Corkage Club – you’ll find a very handily located Vino wines right next door.
Ondine has been impressing industry insiders and joe public with its impeccable seafood and shellfish offering for over twenty years. If you only go once, make sure you have the shellfish platter – hot or cold platter, you won’t find a better one anywhere else in Edinburgh. The dishes are simple, yet bursting with flavour. Bag a seat at the curved oyster bar in the centre of the room and soak up the hustle and bustle of this Edinburgh institution.
So, where will you be eating and drinking this year?