Six of the best: a guide to budget eating in Edinburgh

Six of the best: a guide to budget eating in Edinburgh

The finest low-price cafes, restaurants and eateries in the capital, including Oink and The Mosque Kitchen

Under £5

Bollywood: The Coffee Box

This old police box is a cheap curry stop and mini arts space where cooked-to-order food is extra impressive given the cramped kitchen conditions. Samosas, rasam soup and chicken and veggie curries can be enjoyed al fresco at the few seats or, if sunny, as a picnic in nearby Bruntsfield Links.

The Mosque Kitchen

Feeling rather like a college canteen overlooking the square, this popular spot for ‘curry in a hurry’ offers several staples from chicken curry to lamb rogan josh, or try the tasty veg offerings. Servings are generous and wonderfully cheap, with not a single frill in sight.


Set up by farmers who know their meat, Oink has been filling rolls with their hog roasts since 2001 at Castle Terrace farmers’ market, and now has two city outlets (Canongate offers indoor seating). The pork is pulled straight from the beast in the window and stuffed into juicy, gigantic, messy sandwiches.

Under £10

Bia Bistrot

The charming, purple-fronted Bia Bistrot run by a husband and wife team provides imaginative, good-value food using local suppliers. Inventive dishes – think ling fillet with chanterelles, Ayrshire pork cheeks or goat’s cheese pannacotta – are very reasonably priced, with two courses for £9.50 at lunch and early dinner (Tue–Sat) making it one of the best budget deals around.

Illegal Jack’s

A popular spot for fast, nicely priced south-west US food featuring four-step guidance on how to construct your burrito, taco or quesadilla with a filling of meat / veg, beans and salsa. Alternatively, tuck into a bowl of chilli or nachos, or sit-in with fajitas, washed down with some Scottish brews.

Kampong Ah Lee Malaysian Delight

The kitchen in this family-run Malay diner shows decades of experience in plate after plate of Malaysian, Chinese and Indonesian staples. From satay skewers and ribs to sambals, laksa and addictive buttery rotis, portions are big at not-so-large prices.