Grub and Goodies
Eating in Old Town
We’ve all read those books about a boy who finds out he is a wizard. You know…Harry Potter. Well, Elephant House is not only famous for its cup o’ joe but also for the fact that J.K. Rowling wrote the first novel in the Harry Potter series right in this very cafï¿½ in Edinburgh. Located at 21 George IV Bridge, T0131-220-5355, this cafï¿½ is an excellent place to take a break over coffee and one of the many delicious snacks or main courses. In the evening a bar and live music complement the mellow atmosphere.
(Okay, what’s the obsession with elephants in Edinburgh?! Even after visiting, I still don’t get it…) Located at 170 High Street, T0131-220-0666, and open Monday-Friday 0800-2200, Saturday & Sunday 0900-2200 (open until 1700 in winter months). This oddly named cafï¿½ appears to be a favorite of locals and tourists alike. There’s no doubt that it’s a great value, with a huge selection of breakfasts and lunches. The lunchtime rush will leave you waiting, so it is best to plan your meal around the peak hours.
57-61 Blackfriars Street, T0131-557-6136
Black Bo’s is open Monday-Saturday 1200-1400 and 1800-2230, as well as Sunday 1800-2230.
This vegetarian restaurant is considered to be one of the city’s greatest culinary experiences. In fact, it has been suggested that even the keenest carnivore might be convinced to give up meat after a meal at Black Bo’s. The restaurant has a reputation for imagination. Lunch is a great value at under ï¿½10, and keep in mind that the bar next door serves the same food.
Eating in New Town
4-6 Glanville Place, T0131-225-5553
Open daily from 1200-1430 and 1800-2230, Howies is something of an Edinburgh institution. It serves tasty Scottish food in an informal atmosphere.
2 Warriston Place, T0131-556-1781
This Cantonese restaurant is an old favorite and offers a wide selection of dim sum and seafood dishes. Hours of operation are Monday-Thursday 1200-2330, Friday 1200-0030, Saturday 1400-0030, and Sunday 1400-2330.
Reference the accommodation section for more restaurant suggestions.
Drinking in Old Town
19 Blair Street, T0131-220-0125
City Cafï¿½ is decorated like an American diner, so if you’re feeling pangs of homesickness, here is the place to fill up your tank with some good old ‘American’ culture. The food is good and served in large portions, and there are pool tables.
30a Chambers Street, T0131-624-4545
This basement bar is regularly crammed with the 20-something population of Edinburgh. Food is pricey, but there are DJs on the weekends and live jazz on Sunday.
Drinking in New Town
81-85 Broughton Street, T0131-557-0546
Barony Bar is stylish and lively, with a good mixture of all age groups. The bar food is good, too. Expect large crowds on the weekends.
10-12a Broughton Street, T0131-557-0097
The Basement is one of the original bars on Broughton Street, and after all the years it is still as popular as ever. The atmosphere is lively, the food is good, and the flavor is slightly Mexican. ï¿½Quiero otra cerveza!
If there is one thing the Scots know well it is their drink, so if your hard pressed to find a decent bar or pub I suggest asking a local. Who knows, they might even offer to buy you a beer or make the rounds with you.