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).
18 Howe Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6TG
  • Telephone 0131 225 8204
  • Seasonal times Open until 11pm during the Edinburgh Festival
  • Food served Tue–Sun noon–2.30pm, 5.30pm–10pm. Closed Mon.
  • Average price £8.95 (set lunch); £18 (evening meal)
  • Email
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Photo of Papavero

Charming neighbourhood trattoria with good food, smiling service and personal touches that make it stand out from the crowd.

Eating & Drinking Guide

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

Papavero means ‘poppy’ in Italian and this welcoming little restaurant does poke its head above the crowded field of run-of-the-mill pizza and pasta joints. Halfway down the hill between the surge of George Street and the bustle of Stockbridge, it’s easy to overlook but has a loyal following among local residents in the evening and office workers at lunchtime. The menu includes Italian standards alongside dishes inspired by good Scottish ingredients, so rack of lamb and fish and chips sidle up to penne puttanesca and pizza quattro formaggi. The wine list is short but filled with good value quaffable vino. The starter of warm, creamy black pudding in a pillowcase of silky parma ham is a well-judged mixture of mouth-filling flavours and the duck breast with jammy cherry compote is roasted to yielding perfection and served with good garlicky veg. Risotto marinara is robust and generous with the shellfish, but perhaps a little lacking in finesse. Puddings are carefully executed if the exquisite panacotta is anything to go by.

  • High point: Freshly prepared, good-quality cooking
  • Low point: Beyond pizza, not much to excite vegetarians
  • Notable dish: Duck ciliegia
  • Average price: £8.95 (set lunch); £18 (dinner)
  • Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Free wi-fi
  • Music on stereo: Classic pop and soul
  • Capacity: 64
  • Largest group: 70
  • Open since: 2013
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 11
  • House wine: £17.95 per bottle