Howies (Victoria Street)
- Telephone 0131 225 1721
- Seasonal times During festival Mon–Sun 11.30am–11pm.
- Food served Mon–Fri noon–2.30pm; Sat/Sun noon–3pm; Sun–Thu 5.30–10pm; Fri/Sat 5.30–10.30pm.
- Pre-theatre times Sun–Thu 5.30–6.30pm (tables vacated within 2 hours)
- Average price £9.95 (set lunch); £19.75 (evening meal)
- Pre-theatre price £14.95
- Website www.howies.uk.com
This review is taken from the current (2015) edition.
While Howies proudly celebrates its 25th birthday, its teenage Victoria Street outpost continues to offer a good-value glimpse across Scotland’s larder. Whitewashed stone walls, bleached timber floors and dark wood tables generate a pleasing bistro buzz with well-priced lunch and early-dining deals supporting a la carte offers and a sprinkling of appealing specials. Cullen skink and haggis with thyme jus keep the tourist hordes content while a loyal band of locals enjoy white-wine doused west coast mussels and pigeon breast dressed with black pudding and parsnip puree. Herb-crumbed salmon with scallop beignet pairs with butter-soft venison from owner David Howie Scott’s Glen Lyon estate, alongside his mum’s own recipe banoffee pie and gluten-free chocolate and beetroot torte. An evenly priced wine list from a well-stocked bar is boosted by a barrel load of whiskies in well-composed flights, with knowledgeable staff keeping it relaxed and convivial. In tune with its Waterloo Place sister venue, this is a restaurant working hard to keep just the right balance of quality and cost.
- High point: Popular pitstop for well-prepared Scottish fare
- Low point: The kitchen isn’t really overstretching itself
- Notable dish: Owner's mum's recipe banoffee pie
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Pre-theatre menu, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: background tunes
- Capacity: 80
- Largest group: 80
- Open since: 2001
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 13
- House wine: £14.80 per bottle
- BYOB: £4.50 corkage (Fizz corkage £5.50)