Edinburgh's Six of the Best
Porto & Fi
47 Newhaven Mainstreet, 0131 551 1900
In the mornings and mid-afternoon, this Newhaven eatery is a bustling café, serving a range of breakfast options, coffees and cakes to tourists and regulars attracted by the light, airy space, friendly service and splendid view across the Forth. At lunch and into the evening, it takes on more of a bistro feel, serving simply presented food that more than hits the spot.
199 Great Junction Street, 0131 555 6065
Now reopened after a devastating winter flood, La Cerise is a bright and thriving local patisserie and café which would be right at home in Paris, but somehow is even better for being in this as yet un-gentrified corner of Leith. From the refurbished basement bakery come cake, mousse, cheesecake, tarts and even home-made ice-cream.
Ship on the Shore
24–26 The Shore, 0131 555 0409
On first glance, the Ship might seem like it’s been lifted straight out of a novel, so easy is it to imagine smugglers sitting in the cosy, dimly lit bar looking out to sea through the tiny panelled windows. In truth this is a friendly local seafood restaurant that takes Scottish fish seriously, but never feels dusty or out of touch.
Tapa Barra y Restaurante
19 Shore Place, 0131 476 6776
Neatly divided, this well-run, engaging tapas restaurant has a large area at the rear (which is available for functions) and room for 30 more in an airy space at the front. All the tapas favourites feature on a substantial list, with additional daily specials on a blackboard, and tempting promotions involving Spanish wine are often available.
50–54 Henderson Street, 0131 554 5556
While it’s the smallest and least pre-possessing of Leith’s Michelin-starred triumvate, the Plumed Horse has demanded – and garnered – a lot of attention, including a recent gong as Restaurant of the Year at the Catering in Scotland Excellence Awards. Chef/proprietor Tony Borthwick’s personal touches are evident throughout the restaurant, from the striking artwork through to the carefully honed menus.
46 Queen Charlotte Street,0131 555 3103
Another place back after enforced closure due to flood damage, E:S:I has a fresh lick of paint and a heartened resolve to fill your face with dishes such as courgette and smoked applewood cheese soup or slow-roasted pork belly comes with a massive dod of black pudding and apple mash. Alongside the impressive food are 27 wines by the glass.