You could use this guide for Where to Eat and Drink in Edinburgh pretty much all year round but I gleaned all the information here during my three trips to Scotland over the NYE period, so keep that in mind when making your own plans and use this as a guide, but not as the bible of planning! And be prepared to get hungry while you read this!
Some of these meals I paid for on my own, some were part of my #blogmanay experience which is brought to you by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and is supported by ETAG, EventScotland, VisitS
cotland, Homecoming Scotland 2014 and co-creators Haggis Adventures. Created and produced by Unique Events. As always when I work with brands or destinations, all opinions expressed here are still entirely my own.
Enjoy a Proper High Tea
At The Caledonian, a Waldorf Astoria proper High Tea is served in Peacock Alley and it can come with champagne and multiple teas served for one, two or more. However you choose to enjoy it, you will love the combination of proper tea sandwiches and sweets. My favorite savory treat was the Brie and Sundried Tomato. I also adored the miniature desserts like Eggnog Panna cotta, mince pies and chocolate macarons. If you do like whisky, try the Lapsang Souchong tea from China which has a peaty smell and taste that’s very warming on a cold, winter day. In summer, try one of their Jasmine teas. I chose to enjoy Champagne during our High Tea and they made an excellent suggestion on what teas wouldn’t compete with that. Such great service!!
Get Your Healthy Food Fix
Earthy – Part restaurant, part marketplace and carry out shop. Earthy is a healthy eater’s haven. Its warm wood interior, knowledgeable staff and very large selection make it an easy choice. You could have multiple meals at Earthy and then still walk out with groceries to enjoy at home. You’ll want to once you take a look at their cases! It’s not conveniently located to the historic center of town but it’s more than worth the trek. [Images courtesy of Earthy website, since mine have managed to disappear themselves from my hard drive! sad face]
Enjoy more Traditional Pub or Comfort Food
Mum’s Great Comfort Food – Aptly named, this place may never get a Michelin star but when you just need proper comfort food, this is one of the best places I know of in Edinburgh to get bangers and mash or stuff your face with a proper load of carbs. It’s uber cozy, tucked away in a less crowded part of town and honestly, if it wouldn’t make me sick, I could probably eat here daily. Great selection of ciders as well.
Start Your Day with Breakfast or Brunch
Urban Angel – is my go to cafe and coffee shop in Edinburgh. I visit every time I am in the city, sometimes multiple times. Their brunch features a small menu but every item is a good choice. Try the Flat White if you’ve never had one, theirs is excellent. As are all their coffee drinks. You step down into a warm and welcoming space below street level and immediately you’re greeted by a counter if you want to take away. But I love to sit where there’s a window and usually plants blooming, or in the room where there’s an old fireplace. So cozy! The first time I was ever there, with friends, we stayed for so long and I still remember that as one of my favorite times.
Learn About Whisky and Pair it with Fine Dining
The Scotch Whiskey Experience and Amber Restaurant – Amber Restaurant excels at pairing food and whisky but even on its own the cuisine is superb. The setting is also oh-so-cozy. (So cozy and dark I couldn’t get photos of the food itself.) Whether or not you’re going to The Scotch Whisky Experience, you should make time to dine at Amber. But I think it’s best enjoyed after a tour and a visit to their Scotch Whisky Collection, somehow the food just tastes even better after all that knowledge has made you appreciate the whisky so much more.
Hadrian’s Brasserie at the Balmoral Hotel – This fine dining restaurant is one of the best meals I’ve enjoyed in Edinburgh. Service is excellent and the setting is divine, plus waiters pair wine very well when asked for suggestions. Leave room for dessert!
Experience a Little Bit of Spain in Edinburgh
Tapame – Very good tapas!! Tasted just like what I’ve actually had in Spain. The setting is not as warm or as intimate as other places in the city but the food is so good that I didn’t care one bit. Make sure to try some of their wines from Spain or, like I did, the cider which was unexpectedly delicious. I didn’t even know Spanish cider was a thing. So good!
Try Haggis for the First Time
1780 Restaurant – This pub has the best Haggis I’ve ever had in Scotland. So I don’t recommend going anywhere else to try Haggis for the first time. If you’re going to take the leap, you need to start with a good version of Haggis, otherwise you’ll be put off it for life when — if you have a good version — Haggis is actually quite delicious. They serve theirs in what they call a Haggis Tower and it’s drenched in a Whisky Sauce. SO good. And once you make it through that, save room for the Sticky Toffee Pudding as your reward. Coincidentally, theirs is also the best version of this well known Scottish dessert. 1780 knows how to do the classics VERY well. It’s proper dark and cozy inside with a fire even burning sometimes and smaller rooms that you can crowd into with your friends to scare away the cold of being outside. Stay long enough, and you might not want to leave!
Visit a Proper Chip Shop
Bene’s Fish & Chips – You’ll eventually need to try some kind of chippy. It’s a thing that needs to happen no matter how long you do or don’t stay in Scotland. This is my favorite and I often enjoy it as takeaway during a stroll along the Royal Mile. Keeps me nice and warm as I walk with a plate of steaming chips n vinegar. Might also consider their deep fried mars bar, though it’s best shared. And it’s really a touristy thing more than a dessert locals would actually eat, still, it’s good fun if you like sugar as much as I do!! 😉