Edinburgh and Glasgow restaurants
My best friend and I are about to go spend a week in Scotland. While we'll be based in Edinburgh, we do plan to spend at least one day in Glasgow. Neither of us have ever traveled to Scotland before, so we're really clueless about where to eat without breaking the proverbial bank. Any tips anyone can provide regarding good-but-not-too-expensive restaurants in Edinburgh and Glasgow would be so very much appreciated. Thank you so much!
Be sure to do searches on the chowhound.com homepage for both Edinburgh and Glasgow, as there have been several posts here on both cities over the past 12-24 months.
You might also want to check the website for The Herald newspaper (www.theherald.co.uk). They do a pretty good job with their restaurant reviews, which you can access online. In every Saturday's print edition, Ron McKenna does a restaurant review and posts his list of the 25 best restaurants in Scotland.
When I was in Edinburgh for the day, I ate at a really nice little pub called the Last Drop Tavern---as in the last drop of your rope at the gallows. I chose it because it was just far enough away from the Royal Mile (3-4 blocks) that it had NORMAL, non-touristy prices, and there were obviously a lot of locals inside. I had a really great steak & kidney pie, sticky toffee pudding and coffee. My total: 13 pounds, including tip, which is a total steal in touristy Edinburgh. Google says that the Last Drop is located at 74 Grassmarket St.
While in Glasgow, I stayed with my friend who attends the uni there. She had a couple of good recommendations. For the best fish & chips, she sent me to Pizza Corolla at the corner of Buchanan & Nelson Mandella (underneath the Yahoo internet bar.) But when in Glasgow it is absolutely IMPERATIVE you go to the Bier Halle Republic (9 Gordon St.). They have 2-for-1 personal pizzas Monday-Thursday (I believe) and while I'm not a huge pizza person, these are really excellent gourmet, thin crust pizzas. I really enjoyed the hoisin duck with rocket and the prawns with garlic and chilis. Each pizza is 9-12 pounds, so 2-for-1 makes it a real steal.
I stayed at the Brunswick Hotel (106 Brunswick St.) and though I didn't get to eat there, they appeared to have a really great italian menu in their little restaurant, brutti ma buoni. I didn't feel like spending much money, but my best friend's boyfriend loves to take her to Buddha Bar on Sauchiehall St. It's a little pricey, but supposedly really great.
Hope that helps! I will update if I think of anything else....
Whilst in Edinburgh, do try Fisher's Bistro in Leith. Excellent fish and seafood. The fish cakes are superb. Reasonably priced too. A reservation is essential and you won't regret it.
In Glasgow, we had a very nice meal last year at No. Sixteen (fine dining-ish, european/brit fare) and a wonderful lunch at the Ubiquitous Chip, a sprawling restaurant/bar/pub complex with an excellent selection of whiskies. Lunch wasn't too bad, but dinner would have been pricey. Both are near Byers Road in the West End.
I just got back this evening from 2 weeks which included a return visit to Glasgow. For quite affordable and good food, I'd recommend Cafe Gandolfi (a city institution) which has both the cafe and a new wine bar, where we ate.
Just around the corner from there, we also like the Babbity Bowster, both the pub food and their French/Scottish restaurant, Schottishe.
In the West End, the Ubiquitous Chip is good, as remarked above. This time, however, we preferred Stravaigin, which owned by another member of the same family. Scottish ingredients, but international influences. You can book at table in the restaurant, or (our preference) order from either the cafe or restaurant menus in the charming cafe bar (no reservations). The thai sweet chili mussels were great as a starter and they offer a very good deal on a 3 course menu before 7.
Hi there in Glasgow try Fanny Trollopes on Argyll St. Hearty Scottish produce (beef, venision, salmon etc) in a small lively restaurant. The portions are generous and usually tasty andits BYO and very reasonable. Stravaigin is also good, eat upstairs as you can order off all the menus and its more cosy. Try the hand cut chips they are great! The CCA is also good for dinner and not too expensive , they used to do a great sea bass dish.. For something more spicy try Mother India Cafe for the best Indian food you can get and Asia Style for Chinese / Malay food. The malaysian pancakes, salt and pepper prawns and soft shell crab are my favourites.
HI there, I too have tried all of the places you recommend. Fannys is good, but I upset the owner once by commenting on the lurid name. Stravaigin is one of my favs. However, I questioned the barman's margarita making prowess and now they think I'm a fastidious boor. Also there are some seats to avoid in Stravaigin as they seem to encourage truculent behaviour.