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Places

Eating and drinking in Edinburgh

Edinburgh has an incredible selection of places to eat and drink. Here are local artist Jackie Macfarlane and her food blogging friend Jonathan Trew’s favorites.

Aizle

The name of this country­-style restaurant comes from an old Scots word meaning “hot ember” or “spark.” The chefs here cook up inventive, thoughtful and beautifully presented modern Scottish cuisine. Each night’s menu depends on the best seasonal ingredients. Book well in advance.

Aizle

107-109 St. Leonard’s Street, Edinburgh

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Photo: The Espy

The Espy

Portobello is where one of the city’s best-known beaches is. It’s easy to get to from the center and on a hot day it’s packed with people. There are lots of upmarket cafés here and arts and crafts shops. And if you want a drink, The Espy is a very popular pub right on the beach. It also has a good food reputation and calls itself a gastro pub.

The Espy

62-64 Bath Street, Edinburgh

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The Voodoo Rooms

It sounds like a modern, lounge-type place, but this bar, spread across two or three rooms, is actually really quite old. It’s part of the Café Royal and quite grand and has a really good atmosphere. It has an ­extensive cocktail list and stays open until 1am every night. And it is a Fringe venue, hosting ­cabaret and comedy shows during the festival.

The Voodoo Rooms

19a West Register Street. Edinburgh

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Photo: Kebab Mahal

Kebab Mahal

This is a well-established curry house in Edinburgh’s Old Town that does good kebabs and home-style Indian cooking. It’s small, busy and the lines may seem chaotic at times, but there are lots of good, spicy reasons for waiting. No alcohol is served. It is located close to some of the Fringe Festival’s key venues.

Kebab Mahal

7 Nicholson Square, Edinburgh

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Photo: Ondine

Ondine

This sleek dining room, in the heart of the Old Town, claims to be a “proper seafood restaurant.” Run by Roy Brett, who previously worked with Rick Stein, it offers the finest seafood and shellfish from the east coast of Scotland and beyond. The hot seafood platter is a work of art.

Ondine

2 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh

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Qupi Cafe Bistro

This great Greek café is on Leith Walk. This street, north of the center leads to the city’s port area of Leith. It is becoming very popular with artists and ­visitors. There are lots of ­galleries and shops as well as food from all over the world. You will find some of the “real” ­Edinburgh here. ­Qupi’s does ­delicious cakes and pastries and one of the best ­coffees in Edinburgh.

Qupi Cafe Bistro

171 Leith Walk, Edinburgh

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The Oxford Bar

It’s like stepping back in time when you walk into this tiny place off Princes Street. The bar staff are really friendly and there are few places like this old-fashioned authentic pub left. It’s a favorite of crime novelist Ian Rankin too.If you prefer Cambridge to ­Oxford, though, the bigger ­Cambridge Bar is just two ­minutes away.

The Oxford Bar

8 Young Street, Edinburgh

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