Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed here is accurate, always check with the venue before attending (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic).
24 St Mary's Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SU
  • Box office 0131 466 0100
  • General enquiries 0131 466 0100
  • Seasonal times Extended hours during the Fringe including lunch.
  • Food served Mon–Sun 5–11pm.
  • Average price 5-choice mezze platter £15.95; 3-choice mezze platter £12.95; £21.95 special party menu. (set evening meal)
  • Email
  • Website www.empirescafe.co.uk
Photo of Empires

Quirky Turkish restaurant in the centre of Edinburgh, serving a selection of mezze.

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2019/20 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

This Turkish restaurant in the heart of the Old Town – a sister establishment to the Middle Eastern-influenced Circus just up the street – has a quirky interior offering a bit of wow factor with its painted glass lights, scatter cushions and cosy mezzanine. Diners can choose from a host of mezze, such as the Mediterranean feast or party menu, which feature the likes of hummus, dolma (stuffed vine leaves), sucuk (air-dried Turkish sausage) or feta peppers, all served with warm bread and salad. The lamb moussaka is a hit, with layers of aubergine, courgette, tomato and potato in a creamy white sauce, but the muska borek (spinach and feta cheese pastries) are a little dry. Desserts are limited to lokum, (cubes of Turkish delight) or syrupy baklava, but both are worth trying with their apple tea. With its relaxed atmosphere and attractive BYOB policy, this is a popular city centre spot for parties.

  • High point: Lamb moussaka
  • Low point: Slightly dry muska borek
  • Notable dish: Lamb moussaka
  • Average price: 5-choice mezze platter £15.95; 3-choice mezze platter £12.95; £21.95 special party menu. (set dinner)
  • Private dining: Up to 16 covers
  • Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Halal options, Gluten-free options, Children's high chairs
  • Live entertainment: Live music every Fri/Sat – mostly acoustic sets.
  • Capacity: 42
  • Largest group: 42
  • Open since: 2005
  • House wine: No alcohol served per bottle
  • BYOB: £3; beer 50p corkage