Casual & formal, Scottish & international flavours, sweet & healthy - there are more restaurants, cafes and bars in the Grassmarket than you can shake a stick at! Here are some of our top recommendations….
Casual Eats & Coffee Shops
Catch-up over a coffee or a slice of something nice.
Whether you’re looking for a filling breakfast or lunch, Café Piccolo have a good range of the favourite staples, as well as a tempting selection of dairy and gluten-free cakes. La Barantine brings the exquisite flavours of artisan French baking to Edinburgh – stop by for a fluffy breakfast croissant or delicious sandwich, while if it’s slice of American-style pizza that you crave, Mamma’s American Pizza have over 40 toppings to choose from as well as steak on the stone and pasta.
The Grassmarket Cafe, found at the Grassmarket Community Project, is a great place to grab a coffee or a light lunch. The food is great value and tasty, and as a bonus, it all supports the charitable work of the community project. You can also pay it forward and give someone in need a breakfast or lunch. Or pop into Lovecrumbs on West Port where not only will you discover a mouth-watering range of cakes and speciality coffee, but also a lovely range of stationary created by talented artists.
Open for both sit-in and take-away, Hula Juice Bar, as the name suggests, serve a gorgeous selection of fresh fruit and super juices and smoothies, but you can also pick up a tasty and healthy range of soups, wraps and lunch bowls.
Experience world-wide flavours.
Those searching for traditional Scottish dishes using the best seasonal local produce will not be disappointed. Howies on Victoria Street has an excellent menu boasting the best of traditional Scottish cuisine, while their sister restaurant, Scotts Kitchen on Victoria Terrace has an outdoor terrace to enjoy views of the bustling streets below. Beautiful food, all of which is made in-house using the very best of Scottish produce, await you at The Grain Store, housed in an atmospheric vaulted and alcoved former storeroom. With a casual and informal setting, The Mussel & Steak Bar on West Bow is the place to head for tempting surf or turf dishes.
Not only does Bertie’s Proper Fish & Chips have a vast dining space, but their wide menu covers all tastes and requirements, including gluten-free and vegan choices.
If Italian dishes are your go-to, o'Oliviero is a traditional Italian ristorante and pizzeria with classically sophisticated interiors and an intimate atmosphere. Or head to Divino Enoteca for elegant fine dining and an extensive wine list.
For casual, but tasty and authentic Mexican food, El Toro Loco serve unfussy street within a cosy interior - they also have a great choice of Mexican beers and delicious margaritas. You’ll also find all the Tex-Mex favourites at Mariachi on Victoria Street.
For something truly unique, eclectic bistro, Maison Bleue offers French, North African and traditional Scottish dishes using fresh local ingredients. Its al-fresco dining area is a lovely place to dine on a summer’s day. And don’t miss the classic French delights of Petit Paris - this friendly bistro offers some great set-menu deals, daily specials and a delicious a la carte menu.
Pubs & Bars
Traditional pubs with great beer selections, live music and iconic city views.
A wander through the Grassmarket’s streets reveals several bars that are steeped in history - The White Hart Inn is thought to be one of the oldest pub in Edinburgh. It was visited by the poet Robert Burns in 1791, as well as the location that murderers William Burke and William Hare are thought to have used as a hunting ground for some of their unsuspecting victims in the 1820’s. The Last Drop and Maggie Dickson's are a nod to when the Grassmarket was a place of execution.
If you’re looking for a bar with an authentic Irish atmosphere, don’t miss stopping by Biddy Mulligans or Finnegans Wake, where they serve up pints of the black stuff as well as crowd-pleasing meals and live music. Live music every weekend and a large selection of whiskies can also be found at traditional Scottish pub, The Fiddler’s Arms, while if whisky is your triple of choice, The Bow Bar stock over 390 varieties.
If classy cocktails are more your thing, Dragonfly Cocktail Bar is a stylish spot with a range of specials and old favourites.
Offering unparalleled views of Edinburgh Castle, the rooftop terrace of Cold Town House is the perfect place to enjoy one of their locally crafted beers or a glass of prosecco, while on a warm summer’s day the beer garden at Kick Ass Bar is a hotspot for sun seekers.