Eating your way around local food joints can be one of the best things about visiting a new city. On a trip to Edinburgh, it would be criminal not to sample the Scottish delicacy… Haggis. However we’ve also got you covered if you’re feeling an authentic Italian pizza, a big juicy burger, vegan goodness or if you’re simply after the most cheap and cheerful spot in the city. Here are 7 of the best pubs and restaurants in Edinburgh that will save you some dosh and satisfy your wee belly…
ARCADE BAR, HAGGIS AND WHISKY HOUSE
48 Cockburn St, Edinburgh EH1 1PB
If you're trying haggis for the first time, there's no better place to experience it than here. The Arcade Bar, Haggis and Whisky House is a top choice for haggis novices located at the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town. With this slightly more sophisticated menu comes slightly higher prices, however it’s still super affordable for the Scottish capital. If you’re a real haggis sceptic, why not test your taste buds on their new menu addition, ‘haggis nachosa’? Yup, that’s nachos with haggis, a potential revolution.
Head underground to the Secret Arcade bar down the narrow street next door for one or two of their unique vodka concoctions after dinner.
For a traditional Scottish pub:
THE HALFWAY HOUSE
24 Fleshmarket Close, Edinburgh EH1 1BX
About halfway up the long stairway from Waverley to the Royal Mile, you will find the quaint, characterful and appropriately named Halfway House. This little Scottish pub has a simple but incredibly affordable menu meaning all the love and goodness goes into just a few dishes, making it some of the tastiest nosh in the city. Serving up quality comfort food at great prices, you won't want to miss this joint.
Get the Scottish experience and order the haggis, neeps and tatties for just £7.50, or go for an old pub classic steak and gravy pie which is only £3.95! This is definitely a hidden gem of Edinburgh’s haggis scene.
13 Market St, Edinburgh EH1 1DE
Head to Belushi’s for a big, fat burger right in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town (the best burger joint in the city). Wondering why all the burgers taste so good? They’re all made with 100% Red Tractor Scottish beef - it doesn’t get much fresher than that.
And it's not just juicy burgers on the menu; serving up killer and inventive bar snacks from fried pickles to mac n' cheese bites, there's a reason this place is a student favourite. Just a short walk away are most of the main city sights such as the Edinburgh Dungeon, St Giles’ Cathedral and Mary King’s Close.The perfect location for when the hunger hits. With cheap food and a happy hour every day, it’s no wonder this sports bar has got the backpacker vote.
For inventive Scottish food:
13 Market St, Edinburgh EH1 1DE
Their quirky American-Scottish fusion of street food along with super affordable prices make Jake’s Place one of the best food spots in the city. You simply must order the haggis fritters - they're amazing. Jake's Place is actually next door to Belushi's so do them both in one day!
All dishes on the menu are matched with a local or international beer suggestion or you could opt for one of the local whiskies on offer. After your meal, indulge in the Scottish delight that is a deep-fried Mars bar with Irn Bru infused batter (it tastes a lot better than it sounds). The free live music every week is also awesome.
For a quick (meaty) bite to eat:
34 Victoria Street, 82 Canongate and 38 Hanover Street
Feast your eyes on what is famous for serving up the best pulled pork roll you’ll find in Edinburgh. This gloriously cheap pork-based cafe can be found in 3 locations in the city and is the best place to pop into for a quick, delicious lunch.
The idea is simple: opt for a ‘piglet’ for £3.10 (a little portion of melt in the mouth pork), a meatier ‘oink’ for £4.20, or, if you’re hungry, a ‘grunter’ for £5.30. Then choose your roll, stuffing and sauce and you’re all set to turn into a little piggy yourself. Remember to get here before the mad rush as this place packs out!
85 Dalry Road, Edinburgh EH11 2AA
Pizzeria 1926 is the place to go to satisfy those inevitable pizza cravings everyone gets whilst travelling. The family-run pizzeria is loved by locals and tourists alike for churning out authentic pizzas only made from the freshest ingredients possible, and they’re not even expensive.
If you’re looking for an authentic taste of Italy’s signature dish, Pizzeria 1926 is calling your name! The only downer is that it’s so good that EVERYONE loves it, so make sure you get there early or book a table in advance.
Meadows Police Box by Jawbone Walk (100 Melville Drive, at the bottom of Marchmont Road)
Head to the Beetroot Cafe for food that's good for the body and soul. Sip on a turmeric latte whilst tucking into a heart warming four bean chili burrito. Yummy vegan cakes, plant-based grilled cheese and tasty soups are some of the other menu options. The plant based dishes here are extremely delicious making the Beetroot cafe a local favourite amongst vegans and vegetarians in Edinburgh. Located on The Meadows, it's a peaceful spot to enjoy a meal from here (all available to takeaway) while you sit on field with friends.
You can get two grilled 'cheese' sandwiches for £3.50!
The cheesecake is also divine. And if that's not enough to tempt you, the Beetroot Cafe also doubles as a holistic cafe where you can take part in yoga classes. So yeah, good for the mind, body AND soul.
And if you're a vegan looking for somewhere to pick up fast food on the go, you can take away your meals!
For a real Scottish breakfast:
THE ROYAL MCGREGOR
154 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1QS
You can’t leave Edinburgh without indulging in a true Scottish breakfast and the one served at The Royal McGregor is unbeatable. Their haggis tower on the main menu is renowned in the city, and for good reason, however they really do rustle up a mean full Scottish brekky for just £6.75, tattie scones and all. Their maple-drenched pancake stack and their vegetarian breakfast (which includes veggie haggis) are also winners in our books. You can be sure that everything on your plate will be locally produced, too.