Edinburgh Eats

March 17, 2016
7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland 
Fuel me up, buttercup. Though our trip in Edinburgh be short, this magical capital offered a myriad of sights and thanks to its many slopes all my pavement pounding meant that I was free to sample the city’s smorgasbord of noms. And nom I did - from deep fried Mars Bars,  gourmet Scottish dishes, and copious amounts of Scotch. Follow me, on my short, sweet, but no less illustrious culinary tour of Edinburgh…

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

The Bow Bar

A compact watering hole whose cozy size belies an astonishingly diverse selection of drinks, boasting, among others, 310 Single Malts and 50 International Bottled Beers. This joint, conveniently located on pastel-pretty Victoria Street just downhill of Edinburgh Castle, is a favourite of locals and the occasional wandering tourist who stumbles off the beaten path (I’m looking at you, The Scotch Whisky Experience) but will turn down hen/stag parties, so expect a merry but not too uncivilised atmosphere. The pies, served from 12-3pm are a bargain - at no more than £4 for a steak & blue cheese or a haggis, cheese and chilli pie. Pop in for a pit stop after descending Edinburgh Castle and to prop your feet up from shopping at Victoria Street.




7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.


7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

The Devil’s Advocate

Tucked away in Advocates Close in the historical Old Town of Edinburgh, this bar and restaurant has been an Instagram favourite since The Devil’s Advocate transformed an old Victorian pump house into a inadvertently on-trend industrial chic space, complete with mezzanine dining area (all the better to enjoy the sight of the 200 strong whisky shelf). The monthly menu offers seasonal Scottish ingredients grown in the garden nearby, which as per my suggestion will hopefully be open to the public in summer. The cocktails are delicious and delightfully named - I sipped a ‘Rose at St James Place’ (rosemary infused No.3 gin with mandarin, Aperol, honey, lime & soda) - and the food is fresh - Henry and I shared a wild mushroom & tarragon arancini. A lovely lunch spot for the social media enthusiast - how photogenic are the interiors? 

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.




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7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

Clam Shell

Ya can nae come to Scotland and not try a deep fried Mars Bar. This sinfully calorific snack (reportedly 600 calories at a pop, yay!) may have ruffled the so-called ‘active, healthy lifestyle’ feathers of the Mars Bar company which is all the more reason to try it at least once in one’s life. Fortunately we didn’t have to travel to Stonehaven, near Aberdeen (where the deep fried Mars Bar is said to be created) to try one - hole in the wall chippy Clam Shell on The Royal Mile will serve up one with a side of ice-cream. Irn Bru recommended, if you want to go all-out Scottish about your snack.

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.





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7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

The Elephant House

Ah, good old coffee shops: the offices of writers, poets, bloggers and Guardian contributors (probably) alike. Our contemporary queen of the written word, JK Rowling, did wonders for The Elephant House who proudly touts its cafe as ‘The Birthplace Of Harry Potter’. Myself, I found the and inspiration to move to the UK partly thanks to the boy wizard’s adventures - naively thinking that all of London looked like Diagon Alley - so as a Potterhead (Team Ravenclaw!) I had to drop in to The Elephant House for breakfast. Arabica coffee, pancakes, and bruschetta with a view of Edinburgh Castle - is it any wonder that this café has evoked some of the greatest muses? A touching tribute to The Boy Who Lived is the graffiti that covers every inch of the bathrooms - my personal favourite being a scrawl right above the toilet reading “This Way To The Ministry Of Magic”.

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.





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7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.


The Grain Store

With a quarter of a decade of experience tucked under its belt, the Grain Store has long served fresh local Scottish produce in its atmospheric quarters - a vaulted and alcoved former storeroom on Victoria Street, a stone’s throw from Edinburgh Castle. The Grain Store prides itself as “one of the most romantic restaurants in Edinburgh”, with soft candle light and old stone walls setting a decidedly cozy atmosphere but a lunchtime visit is no less ambient. With a lunch set menu at £14 for 2 courses and £16 for 3 courses, The Grain Store is a great daytime destination for a pocket-friendly sampling of local fare.  

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

Between us, Henry and I had the home cured salmon, golden cross goats cheese…

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

…pork belly and leek & mushroom risotto for mains…

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

…and vanilla panna cotta, and a cheese plate of Dunsyre Blue with homemade oatcakes & crackers for pudding. Thoroughly satisfying comfort food with a touch of gourmet, at incredibly reasonable prices.








7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

North Bridge Brasserie

For a date to impress, look no further than the classical grandeur of North Bridge Brasserie, restaurant of the iconic Scotsman Hotel. It was here that I tried and fell in love with The Scotsman Haggis, whose surprisingly comforting taste, texture, and presentation made me forget about the rest of my equally skilfully-cooked 3 course dinner. Read my full review of North Bridge Brasserie here.

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.






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7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

The Voodoo Rooms

‘So opulent, it’s positively Tsarist’ is how I would describe the interiors of The Voodoo Rooms, with its intricate ceilings and arches that look rather more at home at The Hermitage rather than a pub. This lush cocktail bar, crammed with exotic antiques is a musical hot spot with live music cabaret rooms and events on an almost-nightly basis, from 20’s speakeasies to Blues Clubs. Yet despite it’s award-winning credentials and grand display, the service is warm, friendly, and personable - our wait staff was happy to suggest custom cocktails. Tucked away on a quiet street in the heart of the city centre (just behind the Apple Store) The Voodoo Rooms is a real gem - absolutely unmissable.

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.

7 Places to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Bow Bar, The Devil's Advocate, Clam Shell, The Elephant House, Grain Store, North Bridge Brasserie, The Voodoo Rooms.





 

Coming attractions: Great Scot! How to Do Edinburgh in 48 Hours

  

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