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Apr 7, 2009 08:37 AM

Edinburgh/Grassmarket Dinner Options

We will be spending 4 days in Edinburgh in late May and will be staying at a flat on W. Port just west of the Grassmarket area. We are looking for non-touristy -- if possible -- lunch and dinner options within walking distance or a short taxi ride from where we are staying. We are looking for very good food, casual vibe and not top end in cost. All cuisines are good and we would love to go where the locals go for lunch and dinner. There will be 4 of us dining together ranging in age from the 40s to 50s. Not looking for super trendy places, but comfortable places with an emphasis on good food and value. A good beer selection would be great too.

Any good coffee/tea/breakfast places too.

Appreciate any recommendations you can provide.



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  1. The Grain Store is just off Grassmarket and is very good and well priced -
    Edinburgh is a tourist city so you may struggle to find quality which visitors don't know about unless you travel outside the city.

    1 Reply
    1. re: PhilD

      Been in Edinburgh since Tuesday. Had dinner at the Grain Store on Thursday. It is a very nice setting for dinner. We were there when they opened and noticed it filled up quickly. The food was quite good and the prices were reasonable. I would definitely go back and try to get in for lunch!

    2. I second The Grain Store. Amazing food in a lovely atmosphere and the owner is delightful. For a cozy coffee and pastry experience, head into Stockbridge to Cafe Florentine and sit in the back room overlooking the river. The Elephant House is close to where you're staying (can be a bit crowded at lunch) but if you go in the morning it's not too bad. For a good beer experience, try The Last Drop in the Grassmarket (good food, too).

      1. Any other recommendations out there???

        Thanks for the the ones I've received so far.


        1. The Valvona Crolla deli might be a 15-minute walk from central Edinburgh towards Leith. It could be the best Italian deli in the UK. It is worth a visit for shopping, but the also serve good food there. I am sure they serve lunch and they now be serving dinner there as well.

          Valvonna Crolla now also operate a cafe in Jenner's, one of the department stores in the center of town.

          1 Reply
          1. re: DavidT

            Be sure to do a "Search this board" search for Edinburgh. There have been several posts here on Edinburgh over the past year or two.

          2. Excellent timing! Hitting Edinburgh in May gets you there before the hordes arrive and before the midges start biting.General suggestion is to log on to the following url: - does a fairly comprehensive listing of whats on in Edinburgh ( and Glasgow) and a great eating and drinking section, with fairly reliable views on where to chow down and where to avoid. The Dogs in Hanover St is great fun, Bells Diner in Stockbridge great for decent value meat. But as someone has already said, this IS a tourist city so no avoiding this - less likelihood of finding that secret place that only the locals go to. Having said that, remember the pubs - brilliant real Victorian hostelries, the Guildford Arms, Cafe Royal ( with oyster bar), Bennet's Bar, Mathers,.....the list is endless. If you like crime novels, buy a couple of Ian Rankin's great crime thrillers starring the grumpy, whisky quaffing Inspector Rebus which will give you a grainier view of Edinburgh - and then go to the Oxford bar where Rebus does his drinking for a pint or two and where virtually every local has appeared as someone in a Rankin/Rebus novel. Go to the Alba D'Oro for seriously good fish and chips, and some quaint vegetable fritters if you're feeling healthy(!!?) Remember this is NOT the land of tartare sauce but salt and sauce. Just ask for it. A unique Edinburgh phenomenon - altho only revered by Edinburgh residents, it has to be said. Valvona and Crolla I also second. And get down to Leith for some brilliant seafood restaurrants, or deeply posh Michelin food at Wisharts or Kitchins, or a great pub meal at the Kings Wark. Have fun. Hope the sun shines.