The Himalaya Centre

The Himalaya Centre
20 South Clerk Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9PR
  • Telephone 0131 662 9818
  • Food served Mon–Sat 10am–6pm; Sun noon–5pm.
  • Average price £5.50 (set lunch); £7 (evening meal)
  • Email
  • Website www.himalayacentreedinburgh.co.uk
in association with
Birra Moretti
Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2016 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

This review is taken from the 2013 edition.

In 2005, at the Scottish Parliament, the Dalai Lama told Reka Gawa: ‘Don't forget you’re Tibetan; keep the culture alive.’ She had long dreamed of opening a shop, and in 2007, inspired by his words, she did so: the photo of their meeting hangs proudly among quotes from His Holiness. Now predominantly a vegetarian café, the Himalaya Centre has a small retail section for crafts, jewellery and fabrics. The driving force behind the venture is the celebration of Tibetan and Himalayan culture. There’s a large community room downstairs used for alternative therapies and yoga classes; it fundraises for Tibetan aid, and holds regular music nights. Gawa has become known for the best chai in town – choose from five varieties, which are hand-ground to order from fresh spices and ginger. Food is as simple as the tiny stove at the back necessitates – cheap, wholesome veggie curries, huge thali plates (curry, salad, rice and chapati) and a good line in wraps: the Himalaya is a mix of aubergine, olives, falafel and hummus. There’s also a pancake menu, and generous slices of homemade organic cake at rock-bottom prices.

  • High point: As genuine and friendly as they come
  • Low point: Erratic opening hours – 8pm close if busy, 6pm if not
  • Private dining: About 15
  • Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Wheelchair access, Free wi-fi
  • Music on stereo: Tibetan/world music
  • Live entertainment: Music and film nights; yoga and meditation/falun gong; massage and numerology; zikr gatherings
  • Capacity: About 35
  • Open since: 2007
  • BYOB: