REVIEW of 2009 – Eating in Edinburgh

This article covers the places in Edinburgh this year that provided us with quality food and efficient service.  Despite the recession, Edinburgh has gone from strength to strength as far as eating out is concerned with new places popping up all over town.

Edinburgh Spotlight eats at a venue twice before publishing a review.  This allows us to enjoy our first meal without taking notes or photographs and judge the service and ambiance whilst having a meal.  The second visit is the one where we click away and scribble our finds before reporting on an average of both visits.  If we find a restaurant/cafe to be excellent, we want to ensure it has consistent high standards with perhaps a few weeks or even a couple of  months apart before we report our findings.  If a place is not enjoyable the first time around then we do not return, as it is our hard earned cash that we are spending.

When Edinburgh Spotlight has not been working from home, we have been conducting meetings in Tea Tree Tea and Coffee Angel.  Both premises offer fantastic food and drink (teas and coffee) with friendly service, alongside fast secure wi fi.  We have been in these places too many times to count and will continue to visit them 2010 unless another venue can possibly tempt us away.  Both are excellent for breakfast as well as morning or afternoon tea and cake.

We have eaten at the majority of the venues below many times before we started the website.  I present to you Edinburgh Spotlight’s favourite places they have eaten in 2009;



Peter’s Yard – does a great Swedish breakfast (as well as lunches)

Cafe Renroc – laid back friendly place with good food

Now Rest– Excellent greasy spoon cafe in Leith

The Bakehouse – goods baked in house and silver service teas



The Treehouse – serving simple but great quality food at fair prices

Urban Angel  – Forth Street branch is the one I prefer, consistently good food and service.

Iglu – hidden gem in New Town

Metropole – excellent cafe/bistro in the south side of town

Tex Mex II – Thistle Street Mexican food heaven



The Orchard  – wonderful food, immaculate presentation and friendly service

Kampong Ah Lee – delicious Malaysian food and other Asian dishes

First Coast – consistently good food with ever changing menu

The Pataka and Mezbaan are our favourite Indian places.  The Kismot is also fantastic and offers the unusual option of chocolate nan bread.

Ondine – fine seafood dining

Roseleaf Bar/Cafe– a firm favourite in Leith



Tempting Tattie – baked potato heaven

Oink – slow roast pork or nothing!

L’Alba D’oro – the king of chip shops in town

Well Hung and Tender – meat heaven in Castle Street


First time

New restaurants I have tried this year include The Blueglass in Morningside which was a pleasant surprise for the quality of food served with the bonus of excellent service.  Will definitely return in the New Year.  I also sampled the fish and chips at the Tailend in Albert Place and have since ordered takeaway on a couple of occasions. One of the biggest surprises was the great meal that was eaten at the Granary in Leith.  The food was beautifully presented and of higher than expected quality.  We have since recommended it to friends who have also enjoyed their experience.



A couple of great newcomers to the Edinburgh food scene this year as been Moo Cafeteria at Brandon Terrace.  I first visited them for breakfast and had some of their legendary banana brioche pudding and have returned many times since for a more substantial meal.  Moo is certainly holding its’ own amongst Canonmills favourites.

We previewed Illegal Jacks the night before it opened and didn’t take long for us to return (the food was so good) to enable us to review it properly.  Another great addition to the bustling Lothian Road.


Just for fun

The best dessert/pudding/sweet goes to the carrot cake at Spoon Cafe.  They have moved to new and bigger premises in Nicolson Street and in doing so have not lost any quality in either their food or service.  The carrot cake was nothing short of sublime and have yet to experience anything close to this masterpiece.

In a close second place has to be the honeymoon slice at Tea Tree Tea.  This sweet creation is so delicious, you need to experience it for yourself.  Despite its’ generous size, it’s over all too soon and trumps the cakes on offer from Manna House and Sicilian Pastry Shop.

If you have a fantastic dessert that you think we MUST try, in the interest of reporting about it of course 😉  then please let us know.


Do you agree with our findings or have somewhere you think we should try next year ?  Please leave a comment below or email us at  Happy Edinburgh eating for 2010!

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