Eating Out

In my opinion, the most enjoyable thing about Edinburgh, is exploring the different places to eat and drink. Going to different pubs is a major part of Scottish culture. Some pubs will have live music as well if that suits your fancy. The general rule is that cafés and pubs will have cheaper food options. Eating out is generally more expensive in the U.K. due to the strength of the pound. For those coming from the U.S., the British Pound (GBP) is worth around $2, and as for the Euro, it is approximately 1.25€ to equal one pound.

Black Medicine Café- (2 Nicholson Street and in Marchmont) has a cosy atmosphere with their wooden tables and chairs. They have a large selection of cold and hot treats and a section overlooking Nicholson Street.

BeanScene- (99 Nicholson Street) is the place to be if you don’t drink alcohol, but still fancy going for a drink. It is relatively more expensive than other cafés, but BeanScene is open the latest. The dim lighting, candles, and comfortable couches enhance the atmosphere for studying or catching up with friends.

Kilimanjaro Coffee- (126 Nicholson Street) is great for a break from studying. This small café is a good place for a panini, soup with bread, or a nice cup of hot coffee to warm you up.

The Elephant House- (21 George IV Bridge) is nicknamed the “Birthplace of Harry Potter”, as J.K. Rowling spent some serious coffee time at The Elephant House during the initial writing process of her first Harry Potter novel. Well, if it was inspiring for J.K. Rowling, maybe it can be for you as well. There is nothing like a good café for a distraction from your work. But if you do check out this café, you’ll find that it is a good place to catch up on your British history reading over a coffee or hot chocolate.

Harlequin Cafe- (30 ‘basement’ Buccleuch street) will be your 'special spot' if you are big on organic food and don’t want to go too far from the city centre. If studying at the University of Edinburgh, it is an ideal place for a quick stop for lunch as it is right next door to George Square, the centre of campus, and the main library. Most of all their ingredients are organic and taste really good. You can get soup with organic bread or a sandwich for £2.50.

The Advocate- (7 Hunter Square) is a lively pub, great for a cheap dinner with friends or a place to sip on your pint.

The Mosque Kitchen- (Edinburgh Central Mosque, 50 Potterrow, Southside) is most definitely a place to visit. Without a doubt, no matter how hungry you are, the food at The Mosque Kitchen will fill you up. And the icing on the cake, is that the food is quite cheap for the amount that you get. You get a large amount of Lamb or Chicken and potato curry, with rice or naan bread on the side, for only 3 or 4 quid. But the catch is that you have to eat outside. It isn’t so pleasant when it is raining, but the great taste of the food makes up for it. You can also get take-a-way and eat it in the comfort of your own flat. Of course you can always wait for the sunny spring and fall days, though those are rare in Edinburgh.

The Royal Oak- (1 Infirmary St) is an amazing place to relax if you love folk music. It has been established as a live music venue, with regular jam sessions both on the ground level and the lounge bar in the basement. It is a small, quaint pub with a variety of drink options.

Doctors- (32 Forest Road) is a popular place for catching up with friends over some drinks. This pub is fairly large in size; however, space soon becomes scarce once it grows busy and crowded in the late evening.

The Three Sisters- (139 Cowgate) Fancy drinking your pint of Guinness outside while you watch the “friendly” football match between Scotland and England? Then The Three Sisters is the place for you. You can also enjoy your time inside if you like. This pub is located on the Cowgate which is the noisiest street in Edinburgh past 10:00 p.m.; it is a long stretch of a street with several different pubs and nightclubs.

The Jazz Bar- (1 Chambers Street) is for you if you like jazz music. They have an early gig nightly from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m., with music from 9:00 p.m., and a late gig nightly from 12 to 3:00 a.m. They have free Wi-Fi and Saturday afternoon jazz from 3 to 6:00 p.m. And if jazz isn’t the only thing you love, even better yet because The Jazz Bar also presents funk, hip-hop, soul, big bands, DJs, and local and touring bands. If you play yourself, then it might be worth your while to turn up to one of their jam sessions.

Teviot Row Union and Potterrow Student Union- (Bristo Square) are student unions that are always overflowing with students late into the night. To get into Teviot you have to show your student card for entrance.