From budget bites to posh nosh: The ultimate foodie’s guide to Edinburgh
Get in me
If you're any bit like me and live for a good meal out with great company, then knowing where to find the best restaurants in Edinburgh will be essential to your happiness at university.
As a self-proclaimed massive foodie and voice of authority on what makes a great restaurant, I've made my way around the city's rumoured top eateries to establish once and for all where the best meals out for every budget are to be found.
Unfortunately for the Pizza Express and Wagamama-frequenting types out there, this list may disappoint you. Every restaurant I visited is independent and unique to either Edinburgh or Scotland – you wont find them on every second corner in London.
But, no matter your taste, there is something for everyone in Edinburgh, and if your student finance is going to be spent on food somewhere, I recommend it be one of the below.
Budget eats (£)
This cute and cosy French bistro can be found on Hanover Street, New Town.
The menu contains all your French faves including steak, chicken and mussels, all served with fries. Then there's the proper classics, like sautéed frog legs and snails in garlic butter. Can confirm I've tried them; can confirm they are delish.
Best of all though, are the prices. From 12-4pm, a three course lunch will cost you only £9.90. Worth it.
A Nicholson Street fave, BRGR will fulfil your fatty, calorific cravings instantly and for bargain prices, with a classic burger costing only £4.
BRGR are also famous for their selection of milkshakes, with the Kinder, Oreo and Ferrero Rocher flavours all being delicious ways to increase your risk of heart failure.
Mid-range meals (££)
In my highly qualified food critic opinion, Tuk Tuk on Leven Street serves up the best cheaper-end Indian food in Edinburgh.
The chicken korma is heavenly, with a super sweet coconutty flavour that is, quite frankly, foodgasmic. Another highlight is the cheesy naan, which goes perfectly with just about everything on the menu.
Prices wise, a curry will cost you around £5, but the dishes are small and made for sharing – so go with a big group to make the most of the variety on offer.
Maki and Ramen
Maki and Ramen have a few restaurants scattered around Edinburgh, the largest of which is located in Fountainbridge, just off Lothian Road.
Again, in my obviously qualified opinion, I'm calling best Japanese in Edinburgh on this one. The ramen is outstanding and the sushi is even better, with the salmon avocado and Tokyo maki rolls being amongst the tastiest sushi I've tried in the UK.
The biggest downside of Maki and Ramen is the prices: an average sushi roll will cost you £10, and they aren't particularly filling.
Ting Thai Caravan
I'd be surprised if you haven't already heard of or tried this Edinburgh student classic.
In keeping with the theme of best international cuisines, Ting Thai definitely sits at the top of the Thai food chain. The chicken pad thai (the universally most loved dish on the menu) will cost you £8.80 or £10.60 on Deliveroo.
A bit more for a bit more (£££)
The Southside Scran is a recent addition to the Bruntsfield food scene.
Opened by Scotland's most famous chef and Saturday Kitchen regular Tom Kitchin, the bistro serves an array of genuinely mouth-watering mains, from grass-fed Highland wagyu burgers to beef wellingtons. The sides are also a must-have, with the posh mac & cheese and the endive, blue cheese, apple & walnut salad being firm favourites of my mine.
Prices range between £10.50 – £45 per main.
Scran and Scallie
Nestled 100 miles away in beautiful Stockbridge, the Scran and Scallie is one of Edinburgh's cosiest and tastiest gastro-pubs.
The menu is filled with all your pub favourites, only this time cooked to perfection by a team of world-class chefs. The fish and chips were some of the best I've had in the UK – big call, I know.
Splash out (££££)
Number One at the Balmoral
Disclaimer: this is not an average meal out location. The Balmoral Hotel's in house Michelin-starred fine-dining restaurant is one for when your parents come to visit on your birthday and are feeling VERY generous.
The tasting menu costs between £70 – £93 per person, and that's without all the extras like paired wines and a pre-dessert cheese board.
With that being said, the place has a Michelin star for a reason. The food is rich in flavour and innovative in design, you probably won't have ever heard of much of what they serve you.
Not only is the food amazing, but dining there is an experience in and of itself. You will really be treated and feel like royalty for a night.