For the New Kid on the Block
Chef patron of Edinburgh’s Aizle restaurant, Stuart Ralston has just announced his plans to open a new city centre venture this August (date still tbc – but keep an eye on social media / website). In contrast to Aizle, the new restaurant, Noto will be located in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town on Thistle Street and will offer all day casual dining in smart surroundings. Noto is named after Stuart’s late friend and well-known New York eccentric and man about town Bob Noto, who took Stuart under his wing when he first arrived in the Big Apple, cheffing for Gordon Ramsay. Noto will pay homage to the cuisines that Stuart experienced (discovered mostly after hours!) in the city.
Noto will offer all-day a la carte dining from late morning Wednesday – Sunday. Like the New York dining scene, the menu will feature an international repertoire of small and large dishes, as well as daily specials and brunch options.
The interior will focus on creating a light and bright fresh space utilising the natural stone walls and plenty of plants. The dining area will seat up to 40 and a separate bar area will have 10 seats to enjoy pre and post dining drinks.
For the on-trend eatery / UK’s top Chilean food:
2. 83 Hanover Street
Having garnered rave reviews from Scotland’s leading critics (Joanna Blythman called it truly original and gave it 10/10) and recently shortlisted for GQ Magazine’s Restaurant Breakthrough award, 83 Hanover Street specialises in Chilean-inspired sharing dishes using fresh Scottish ingredients. The changing menu features owner Juan’s adaptations of some of the traditional dishes of Chile such as Sopaipillas with pebre (traditional Chilean pumpkin bread with tomato salad) as well as dishes inspired by his childhood memories. For dessert there’s Tres leches donuts in a nod to one of Chile’s most popular cakes – the Torta de tres leches. Order a selection of plates to share, some of their exquisite cocktails, and you’re in for a real treat during the festival.
For best value lunch deal / Scottish sourcing / tasting menu:
3. Wedgwood the Restaurant
Located in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town on The Royal Mile, Wedgwood the Restaurant is loved by visitors and locals alike for its outstanding lunch menu which gives diners a taste of chef patron Paul Wedgwood’s innovative Scottish cooking at a great price. The Times’ critic Giles Coren recently included the restaurant in his book on sustainable restaurants “Truth, love and clean cutlery” so this is the place to try nose to tail dining in Edinburgh. Current dishes include: Game terrine, salted elderberry, walnut, endive and Roast cod, white beans, fennel, charred baby gem (subject to seasonal changes)
For brunch / lunch and dinner:
4. The Little Chartroom
Say farewell to avocado on toast and hello to some refreshingly different dishes on the Sunday brunch menu at The Little Chartroom, which include Lamb sweetbreads & braised oxtail on toast or Ham hock with pineapple & fried egg. Voted one of the UK’s Top 100 Restaurants this year it’s owned by Young British Foodies Chef of The Year, Roberta Hall-McCarron (former head chef at Castle Terrace, previously at The Kitchin) and husband Shaun McCarron this special wee place is worth the hype. The dining room has a lovely neighbourhood vibe about it and it’s perfectly located for Fringe events at the top of Edinburgh’s Leith Walk. There’s lunch and dinner too, which is all super seasonal with the level of work and attention to detail that comes as standard from this classically trained chef.
For sushi and Japanese comfort food
5. Harajuku Kitchen
Winner of the prestigious Golden Chopsticks award for Best Restaurant in Scotland is Harajuku Kitchen, a one AA rosette bistro that’s the only Japanese owned and run restaurant in the city. Popular with Japanese visitors, the Consulate General of Japan in Scotland and the Scotland rugby team for its authenticity, it also does a cracking pre-theatre menu. For £12.95 you can feast on genmai green tea, miso soup, steamed rice and two dishes which include Tempura, Tonkatsu and Kara-age.
For a romantic dinner
6. The Stockbridge Restaurant
After exploring the festival scene by day, why not head to this cosy basement restaurant tucked away in the heart of Stockbridge. Voted one of the Sexiest 20 Restaurants by The Times, The Stockbridge Restaurant makes for the perfect romantic evening. Decorated daily with fresh flowers, which alongside candles and fairy lights create a stylish ambience for a relaxing dining experience. Own by husband and wife duo – Jason who works the magic in the kitchen – and Jane, who masterfully leads front of house to help you pick the perfect wine to accompany your meal. From Aberdeen Angus sirloin steak to seared hake and crab, the menu choices will take your breath away.
For Award winning pub grub / Sunday lunch / to escape the festival madness
7. The Bridge Inn
Situated on the banks of the Union Canal in Ratho, a seven mile walk along the towpath from Edinburgh city centre, The Bridge Inn is a community pub at the heart of the village. Recipient of Gastropub of the Year at this year’s Edinburgh Restaurant Awards 2019 and previous AA Pub of the Year for Scotland Head Chef Ross Traill prides himself in producing delicious, locally-sourced food using vegetables grown in the pub’s own walled garden by in-house gardener David, as well as home-bred pork, which is perfect for the delicious pork crackling. When the sun shines you can sit al fresco overlooking the banks of the canal. Perfect for a Scottish summer day out of the hustle of the city.
For elevenses / A quick lunch
8. Twelve Triangles
Whether it’s ham and eggs, something more adventurous (pickled cherries, ricotta, pistachios and honey on toast, anyone?) or one of this hidden gem’s famous pastries, this Edinburgh bakery is an insider’s tip that’s worth sharing. With three bakeries (Brunswick Street and Duke Street in the Leith area; Portobello for a seaside vibe) and another due to open this summer in the west of the city, Twelve Triangles is famous for its sourdough loaves, seasonal flavours of doughnut, croissants and many other bakes beside. There’s a strong emphasis on slow ferment cold prove doughs and everything’s baked in-house including their own jams, custards, fermented goodies and even the legendary whey caramel. Well worth seeking out for breakfast, lunch, picnic provisions or simply a pit stop.
For BYOB / curry / all day dining / big groups
9. Tuk Tuk
Beloved by the local student population and Kings Theatre-goers Tuk Tuk’s Tiffin box lunch deal is massively popular and great value for money. The restaurant, from entrepreneur Rizvi Khaleque is inspired by the fresh, rustic food served at the roadside and railway stations across India to travellers, school children, rickshaw-wallahs and busy office workers. For just £12 tables of eight and under can choose a roadside plate (the chicken lollipops are particular favourites), two street curries with any rice or naan of your choice! And for a small corkage fee you can bring your own beer or wine.
For extraordinary pasta:
This is Italian inspired fine dining that is destined to impress especially with its incredibly good value set-lunch, bar and tasting menus. Mono, also located in Edinburgh’s Old Town, is the perfect place for a delicious leisurely lunch. With a research lab directed by chef patron Maciek Zielinski, alongside Italian foodie Joseph Crolla, guests can expect to encounter an exciting multi-sensory experience. Mono’s take on “Lasagne” with veal ragout, Parmesan and sage, really is a taste sensation. Sit upstairs in the bright dining room or downstairs at the open kitchen to watch the chefs at work.
For underground drinking:
The Real Mary King’s Close
The Real Mary King’s Close is a unique way of exploring the underground warren of 17th century streets buried under the famous Royal Mile. This August a new late-night tour pays homage to Edinburgh’s famous illicit gin trade of 18th century. Local distillery, Old Curiosity Gin, will provide four gins to taste on the tour including Apothecary Rose, Lemon Verbena, and Chamomile & Cornflower, and a Lavender & Echinacea gin cocktail. The 1.5-hour guided tours cost £35 and will take place every Wednesday in August and every Saturday in September.