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Apr 30, 2007 10:34 AM

Cheap eats in Edinburgh central

I will be there for 2 days, any recommendations for traditional Scottish cheap eats in the city central (I don't eat seafood)? I've heard Leith is not such a great area.

Also, are there any good stores near the city centre to buy some food/snacks to bring back overseas?


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  1. Head towads Leith. Valvona & Crolla Deli

    2 Replies
    1. re: industry worker

      Valvona & Crolla is likely the best Italian deli in all of the UK. There is also an adjacent dining room that serves lunch and has begun serving dinner as well. I am not sure how many days a week they serve meals. It is probably at 10-15 minute walk from the center of town.

      1. re: DavidT

        STAY AWAY!
        (oops sorry for shouting)
        V&C may have been real Italian about 3 generations ago. Not anymore. Can you say "gone commercial"? I popped in during a recent walkabout (business travel sucks) and was underwelmed by the atmosphere. A good selection of Italian wine by the glass was available (I sampled several Prosecco's) in the bar downstairs, but the restaurant food was not very appealling. Being from Toronto with several trips to the Piedmont area, I was greatly disappointed. Pasta & Pizza. Boring!
        I spent a couple hours talking to the SPANISH bartender (from Logrono) and her friend about the lack of true multi culturism in Scotland. The thing they missed most was the tapas bar experience from home.
        SO: I can not recommend anything Italian since I did not experience it, but I can recommend something Scottish: Cafe Marlayne @ 76 Thistle Street - don't blink you will miss it. We are talking simple honest peasant food - I started with a blood pudding & pigeon breast salad with a glass of the "white" wine (did i say simple?) followed by a haddock steak. I claim there was seating for about 30 very close friends or 15 strangers. They have a second location, but I have lost that info.

    2. 'Cheap eats' mean students. Edinburgh caters so well to students that you could pretty much follow any 20-something with books and find yourself in a great spot. Not traditional Scots, but Phenecia on West Nicolson St is a fantastic lunch or dinner spot. North African with hint of Spanish cuisine. Great quality, excellent selection and good value. Great for lunch (full disclosure - I worked there in my final year at Ed University, but I was a customer before I was a staff member!)