Written by Isabel Clift
You can eat well, and eat cheaply in Edinburgh. From Middle Eastern, Japanese and Spanish cuisine to local legends like baked tatties and haggis, here are eleven ways to fill your stomach on a budget…
Need more help finding Edinburgh accommodation? We’ve got cheap Edinburgh hotels and youth hostels starting from €9.46pppn @ Light House Hostel. For our favourites, see the best cheap accommodation in Edinburgh
Cuisine: Kurdish and Middle Eastern
Average spend: starters £3-7, mains £9-17
Charcoal-cooked shish kebabs, spicy curries and shawarma wraps made with fresh ingredients, plus an outdoor shisha balcony – Hanams is a wonderful experience. It’s BYOB with no corkage fee, so you save loads on drinks. See the menu here.
3 Johnston Terrace, EH1 2PW
Average spend: £10 lunchtime deal of chef’s selection tapas for two, 12.30-5pm daily Tapa plates around £5 each individually.
Whatta bargain – get six tapas dishes, bread and salad to share between two for just £10 every lunchtime. Tapa staples include griddled chorizo with tomato salsa, Iberico ham, squid with aioli and aubergine crisps drizzled with honey. See the menu.
19 Shore Place, EH6 6SW
3. Mimi’s Bakehouse
Cuisine: Sweet and savoury treats
Average spend: Cakes: £2-5. Afternoon tea £14.50pp, lunchtime mains £4-10
Sweet, moist and beautiful to look at, Mimi’s cakes are reasonably priced too – on any day you might chow down on a raspberry chocolate brownie, caramel shortbread or Mars bar crispie whipped up on site. Soups, sandwiches and tarts are available for lunch. See the menu.
63 Shore Leith, EH6 6RA
4. Bia Bistrot
Cuisine: French Bistro
Average spend: Mains: £12-18. Two courses £9.50, three £11. Wine extra.
This couple run restaurant fuses French bistro food with an Irish influence to produce fresh, responsibly sourced, and seasonal dishes like hake with purple laver crust and samphire and homemade ice cream for dessert. Enjoy 2 courses from the daily changing set menu for £9.50 or 3 for £11. See the menu here.
19 Colinton Rd, EH10 5DP
Cuisine: British comfort food, just like mum used to make.
Average spend: mains £6.50-9, puddings £3.95
Bangers and mash are a speciality, with a choice of different sausages, mashes and gravies to combine to create your perfect heart-warming dish. A selection of pies and school-dinner puddings like apple crumble with homemade custard also hit the spot. See the menu.
4a Forrest Road, EH1 2QN
6. The Dogs
Cuisine: Modern British
Average spend: starters £4-7, mains £8-13, desserts £4-5
It’s all very modern at The Dogs: the room looks a treat, the menu’s trendy and carefully curated – but prices are great value for the quality of the cooking and ideas. Steak, rabbit and pork belly are under £13 for mains. See the menu.
110 Hanover Street, EH2 1DR
7. The Tailend
Cuisine: Fish and chips
Average spend: fish supper £6 (takeaway), fish special £9.50 (restaurant)
Hand-cut chips and fish cooked fresh and expertly in front of you – now that’s what you want from the perfect chippy, and Tailend delivers in spades. Go for takeaway or sit in for a fish special main (they change daily according to the catch).
14-15 Albert Place, Leith Walk, EH7 5HN
8. Red-Box Noodle Bar
Average spend: Mains from £5.30
Build-your-own meal is the order of the day at this popular noodle bar. You choose everything from the kind of noodle (egg, rice, ramen etc) to the meat, vegetables and sauce in the mix – which, even if you’re picky, makes it rather hard to go wrong! See the menu.
51 – 53 West Nicolson Street, EH8 9DB
9. Illegal Jack’s
Average spend: Burritos from £6.95
Mighty and flavoursome burritos, tacos and quesadillas dominate the menu at Illegal Jack’s, which you can choose to stuff with locally-sourced haggis alongside the more traditional chicken and steak options. Cult Scottish beer brand Brewdogs washes it all down. See the menu.
113-117 Lothian Rd, EH3 9AN
10. The Baked Potato Shop
Cuisine: Baked potatoes with filling
Average spend: £3-4
Fluffy baked-to-perfection tatties, generously filled with almost anything you fancy: baked beans and cheese, egg mayo, veggie chilli, haggis… As an equal opportunities potato shop, whole fridge sections are dedicated to dairy-free and vegan toppings too.
56 Cockburn Street, EH1 1PB
11. Mosque Kitchen
Average spend: Mains £3-5
Huge portions, super cheap, fragrant and filling ingredients… Mosque Kitchen is perfect for curry-lovers on a budget. Mixed veg curries with rice start at £3.50, and the chicken version is only 50p more. See the menu
31 Nicholson Square, EH8 9BX
- 7 Top Budget Bars in Edinburgh
- Quick! Book Your Edinburgh Fringe Festival Accommodation
- Edinburgh vs Glasgow: The Big Fight
Thanks for the pics Urban Angel, Hanams, Tapa, Mimi’s Bakehouse on Facebook, Trip Advisor, The Dogs, add1sun, The Edinburgh Blog, The Edinburgh Blog, S.B. and Mosque Kitchen. Please note, Flickr images were used under the Creative Commons License at the time of posting.