Howies (Victoria Street)
- Telephone 0131 225 1721
- Seasonal times Festival: Mon–Sun 11.30am–4pm; 5–11pm.
- Food served Mon–Thu noon–2.30pm, 5.30–10pm; Fri noon–2.30pm, 5.30–10.30pm; Sat noon–3pm, 5.30–10.30pm; Sun noon–3pm, 5.30–10pm.
- Pre-theatre times Sun–Thu 5.30–6.15pm
- Average price £10.95 (set lunch); £20.95 (evening meal)
- Pre-theatre price £14.95
- Website www.howies.uk.com
Expect a Scottish menu with French touches and plenty of game and fish at this long-established restaurant, well-located for tourist attractions.
For nigh on two decades, Howies has occupied a trio of vaulted rooms carved into the cliff face of Victoria Street – rooms which, despite being smack bang in the middle of Edinburgh’s tourist trail, manage to feel cosily hidden away from the city centre stramash outside. The location does mean it’s frequently chock full, especially during the summer, when locals, holidaymakers and everyone else all rely on its killer combo of friendly, inexpensive reliability. Predictable menu items like salmon mousse or sticky toffee pudding aren’t likely to wow the foodistas, but only the harshest critic could fail to notice that people in Howies tend to be having a good time. There are highlights to the food too, like the succulent Perthshire venison and grilled leeks, or the crunchy beignet alongside a tender grilled chicken breast. But a trip to Howies is as much about enjoying the atmosphere and service, and knowing you’re going to walk away with your wallet relatively unscathed.
- High point: It’s warm, it’s buzzy, it's central
- Low point: Unlikely to expand your gastronomic horizons
- Notable dish: Venison haunch steak with grilled leeks and root vegetables
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Halal options, Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Pre-theatre menu, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Upbeat jazz
- Capacity: 80
- Largest group: 80
- Open since: 2001
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 14
- House wine: £16.95 per bottle
- BYOB: £4.50 corkage (Fizz corkage £5.50; not available on Saturday)