With delicious dumplings and veggie dishes tempting enough to turn any meat eater to the other side, it’s no surprise that Chop Chop was voted Scotland’s best Chinese restaurant and the most popular in the UK. Even chef Gordon Ramsay agrees. Back to those dumplings, though. With each bite comes a new feeling of satisfaction, thanks to the culinary prowess of dumpling aficionado and owner Jian Wang. She brought her dumpling passion to Scotland from Changchun, a region in China renowned for its dumplings – or jiao zi – and for that, we are eternally grateful.
Mary’s Milk Bar and its accompanying castle views hold a magical place in the hearts of Edinburgh locals. This adorable, retro, sweet-toothed playground is home to one of the most raved about gelato emporiums in Scotland. Exciting new fresh flavours are made daily. The crème de la crème amidst the creamy homemade delights is the hot chocolate float. Sinful. Indulgent. Decadent. Sublime.
Stripped of unnecessary finery and loaded with deliciousness, Oink is one to watch out for. Perfect for days that demand an on-the-go kind of meal, who knew that hog roast in a roll could be so legendary? The straightforward menu is complimented by the most delicious pulled pork sourced from local farmers, with the speedy service adding to the enjoyment.
Pickles, an establishment so wonderful you almost want to keep to yourself, is a dynamite drinking den and purveyor of utterly stunning cheese and meat boards. The first-class, cosy yet refined cavernous surroundings and laid-back vibe are only rivalled by the addictive nibbles. They even have cheeseballs for days!
Foodie snob or adventurous eater, it’s not a trip to Scotland without a gooey, chocolatey bite of a deep-fried Mars Bar. Although found in any respectable Scottish chippy, Cafe Piccante caters to all indulgent desires, especially when this delicacy is involved. If stopping in around Easter, make sure to go to town on the deep fried battered creme egg!
Appropriately named and straight to the point, Wings is a wonderland where wings of all kinds are the stars of the foodie show. Whether subtle or off-the-chart spicy, any and all of the chicken wings here deserve multiple awards. Those with a passion for all things hot may end up on the infamous ‘Wall of Flame’ next to the cool pop culture paraphernalia! The top-notch beer selection is an added plus.
An overall dreamy eating experience, mix literature with light bites at the Colonnades At The Signet Library. The afternoon tea is truly to die for – each bite-sized snack resembles edible art and boasts the perfect balance of sweet and savory. Add some tea and some bubbles and you’re looking at a grand day out. Expect irreplaceable flavours, dapper fluted columns, gold cornicing and enough books to entertain even the deepest hinterland of the mind.
There’s something ridiculously satisfying about cooking your own well-prepared steak on pre-heated lava stones. Whether medium-rare or well done, perhaps it has to do with achieving perfection? And then devouring the lot! Either way, Steak On Stones is too hot to ignore.
Lucas is somewhat of a culinary institution in Edinburgh. Adored by all the locals, this ice cream parlour has the whole gamut, from cheesy paninis and fancy confectionary to scoops upon scoops of specialty ice cream. The cherry on top is the hot fudge sundae, with its dangerously tempting chocolate sauce and overall creamy texture. It’s a failsafe go-to staple when sweet cravings overwhelm. Don’t leave without trying the Irn-Bru sorbet either – it’s beyond tasty and more Scottish than the Honours of Scotland!
Los Cardos is just one brilliant eatery in Edinburgh’s burgeoning Mexican food scene. Setting them apart from the rest, however, is their exemplary haggis burrito. Just hear us out a minute – it’s actually exceptionally tasty and includes the finest Macsween Of Edinburgh haggis! Veggies have no excuses as the vegetarian haggis burrito is another beautiful concoction.
The type of place you want to treat visitors to, Fishers In Leith can do no wrong, especially when the seafood platter is involved! Soak up the envious atmosphere as you inhale the treasure chest of delights, from smoked salmon and rollmop herring to mussels, oyster and prawns in a lemon and chive mayonnaise. Yes please!
Don’t judge it until you’ve tried it. And yes, the Scots seem to have this way of conjuring up the greatest inventions! Make L’Alba D’Oro your one-stop shop for the evening and be sure to order the deep-fried pizza in all its glory. Some refer to it as a Scottish salad, others associate it with Friday nights. Then again, many view it as paradise in a bite!