When Aaron and I go away, we make it our mission to try as much food as our tourist bellies will allow. While, like everyone else, we love sightseeing and learning about the cities we gatecrash, our favourite part of being on holiday is learning about a place’s culture via their cuisine. We always endeavour to pick so well that our each and every meal is the best and, dare I say it, when we visited Edinburgh at the weekend, we achieved just this. We ate well for the four days and I’m here to tell you about each and every place. Here is a foodie itinerary for any Edinburgh tourists.
Our first dip into the Edinburgh food scene was actually on our second evening. As we were running the Edinburgh Half Marathon on Sunday morning, we made our own pasta the evening before. So, after running 13.1 miles and munching on only a few snacks afterwards, we were pretty elated to find Howies, a restaurant with a really inviting Scottish dining menu. I skim-read the menu and told Aaron this was the one. We ordered off of the two course dinner menu (and added a dessert, obviously!) and actually both ended up ordering the same meal.
Starter: Haggis and tatties
Dessert: Dark chocolate brownie with carrot cake ice cream
Aaron and I were super impressed with the food; Victoria Street’s Howies is a must-eat if you’re in Edinburgh. Howies feels really quite elegant while capturing the very chilled out vibe we experienced in Scotland more generally. The restaurant is light and friendly and it would be my first stop off if I were to go back! (Which I intend on doing!)
Day two also proved to be a pretty spectacular day for food. We spent the day happily exploring the hilly and cobbly city that stole our hearts in minutes. And a day of exploring requires a day of good food. That’s just the rule.
Stop 1: La Locanda for tomato and onion bruschetta (the perfect sunny day snack)
Stop 2: Mimi’s Bakehouse for a Neapolitan cupcake and crunchie chocolate slice
Stop 3: Ryan’s for halloumi fries and calamari
Stop 4: Angels with Bagpipes
Our final stop for food on Monday requires a paragraph rather than a sentence and so I’ll give you just that… We booked Angels with Bagpipes the week before our trip as we decided we wanted to try out some Scottish fine dining. After a LOT of research, Angels with Bagpipes took the win and we booked a table, unsure whether we’d go for their tasting menu (with wine pairings) or pick from their main menu. We went for the latter and I think it’s safe to say we’re glad we did. We were both so happy with our food, adored the restaurant and found the staff to be super informative and friendly. We had a really awesome experience and, if we could, we would fine dine three times a day every day. But let me talk you through what we ate.
Aaron’s five star meal
Starter: Sea bass crab, curry, ink cracker
Main: Pork belly, cheek, black pudding, apple, broccoli, mustard seed
Dessert: Chocolate rhubarb, rosehip, salt caramel
My five star meal
Starter: Beef tartare vinaigrette, rocket, quail egg
Main: Lamb rump, asparagus, pancetta, sweetbread, pea
Dessert: Panna cotta whisky, pistachio, honey, raspberry
My most favourite place in Edinburgh was Cockburn Street. It sits on a very uphill climb with little shops and restaurants dotted along either side. It’s where we ate our bruschetta on the third day and where we visited once again the next day. We ate breakfast at Southern Cross Cafe. My breakfast is the featured image; salmon with cream cheese on toast. Aaron opted for the above; a haggis, black pudding and potato bun. Both were DELICIOUS. It’s the perfect breakfast stop. Later on in the day we went back to Ryan’s to test our their nachos. After an afternoon of walking about and dipping into bars and pubs, we ended up in The Rosehip and we decided to order a little starter tapas. What did we have, you ask (you didn’t ask)…
- Chicken liver pate
- Fresh mussels (with chilli sauce)
- Baked goat’s cheese
- Something we’ve both forgotten
The last morning sadly rolled around, as we dragged our luggage up never-ending hills and steps, half laughing, half crying. We knew exactly where we were heading for our last meal. I had been eyeing up a Mediterranean restaurant ever since we spotted it on our first night… the lovely Laila’s. We opted for the mezze board for two and a bowl of chips and it did the job. The fried breaded halloumi was out of this world.
If you’re heading to Edinburgh any time soon I recommend absolutely everywhere we visited. We ate and we ate and we left feeling full and happy with our choices. The only regret I have is not trying any haggis bon-bons (so much so I actually dreamt about them last night) because they sound like my kind of deep-fried snack.
Have you eaten anywhere awesome in Edinburgh?