New Edinburgh food guide shines light on 23 lesser-known and independent gems visitors shouldn't miss

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’23 for 23 aims to whet the appetites of those who crave something a bit different

A new guide and series of TikTok videos is being launched to put Edinburgh on the menu as a must-visit foodie destination for 2023.

Foodies visiting the Capital are spoilt for choice with familiar national names such as Gordon Ramsay, Duck & Waffle and Mowgli open already or soon to open, alongside the city’s long-established local culinary heavy hitters such as The Witchery, Restaurant Martin Wishart, The Kitchin, and Timberyard.

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But now, Forever Edinburgh has launched the new ’23 for 23’ guide to whet the appetite of those who crave something a bit different.

Forever Edinburgh has launched the new ’23 for 23’ guide to whet the appetite of those who crave something a bit different.Forever Edinburgh has launched the new ’23 for 23’ guide to whet the appetite of those who crave something a bit different.
Forever Edinburgh has launched the new ’23 for 23’ guide to whet the appetite of those who crave something a bit different.

The guide shines a light on the lesser-known, smaller independent gems for visitors to seek out covering both city centre choices and off-the-beaten track options in neighbourhoods such as Portobello, Tollcross, Leith, the Southside and South Queensferry.

It is available on the Forever Edinburgh site and a selection of places will be featured in a series of Tik Tok videos created in collaboration with leading food and drink Tik Tok influencer @topscottishscran, who has almost 60,000 followers and more than half a million likes.

Full 23 for 23 list

Street food and stalls


Edinburgh Street Food Market - @edinburgh_streetfood

Coming Feb 2023 and hotly anticipated, with 10 vendors and three bars, seven days a week. Offering an indoor and outdoor global street food experience over 900m2 beside the Omni Centre on Leith Walk, with views of Calton Hill. Full details remain a closely-guarded secret but it’s sure to be a major draw.

The Pitt at Granton - @thepittmarket

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A true local institution, this established street food market is gearing up to move eastwards along the city’s waterfront to a dedicated new home in up-and-coming Granton in spring/summer 2023. Regular vendors include The Buffalo Truck and their crave-worthy buttermilk fried chicken burgers and barnaclesnbones, serving up seafood treats and obscure cuts of meat – try their classic ‘juicy steak on fries with gremolata’. 20 West Shore Rd, Granton, EH5 1QD 07534 157477

Patina EdinburghPatina Edinburgh
Patina Edinburgh

Junk - @we.are.junk

Blog turned street food pop-up and recent winners of Scottish, British AND European street food awards. And now they’ve opened their first small restaurant in Newington on the Southside, with quirkily named dishes like Stop! Salmon Time (treacle roasted salmon with sesame and chilli) and The Spanish Armada (crispy tatties, black garlic and sobrassada). Junk has also been confirmed as one of the 10 vendors at the Edinburgh Street Food Market, above. 58 South Clerk Street, Edinburgh EH8 9PS 0131 563 9085

Homies Pizza @homiespizza_

Edinburgh’s latest must-try pizza palace specialising in decadent deep-dish Detroit-style square pizzas loaded with toppings and oozing with cheese, with hot, gooey cookies for afters. Wings and dips and vegan pizza options also available. Find Homies in Waverley Market beside Edinburgh’s bustling main rail station. Unit L8, Waverley Market, Edinburgh EH1 1BQ 0131 281 4309


Kitchen take-over

Rabbit Food at Meadows Tap

A smokin’ hot new spot for vegetarian and vegan ‘junk food’, housed within the Meadows Tap pub in Newington. Check out their ‘Dirty Diana’ vegan burger, chips stuffed with pizza sauce and macaro-nae cheese, accompanied by a slurp-able plant-based milkshake in the flavour of your choice. 27 Causewayside, EH9 1QB Edinburgh 0131 385 7570

Caffeine Fix

Foodstory @foodstoryscotland

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Sustainable café in hipster Easter Road where takeaway customers are encouraged to bring their own reusable cups, bowls or Tupperware as no single use containers are provided. Plentiful vegan and dairy-free options pepper the brunch and toasties menu, with a daily ‘BLT, Bun and Brew’ deal on offer until noon. 127 Easter Road Edinburgh EH7 5PP 0131

The menu encourages sharing, inviting diners to experience dishes from every section to create a feast at the table.The menu encourages sharing, inviting diners to experience dishes from every section to create a feast at the table.
The menu encourages sharing, inviting diners to experience dishes from every section to create a feast at the table.

Singapore Coffee House @singaporecoffee house

Inspired by Singapore’s kopitiams (coffee houses), this brand new neighbourhood gem serves deliciously different Singaporean street food dishes like Spiral Curry Puffs (Karipap Pusing), which are similar to Cornish pasties but made with rolled puff pastry and served with a sweet mango chutney; and the Singaporean breakfast staple Kaya Toast – crisp, thick toast served with soft boiled eggs and ‘kaya’, a jam spread made with coconut milk, palm sugar, eggs and delicately fragranced with pandan. 5 Canonmills, Edinburgh EH3 5HA

Off the beaten track

Patina - @patinaedinburgh

Artisan bakery by day, cool bar and eatery with a casual Levantine-inspired sharing menu by night, Patina is making a splash at Edinburgh Park in the west of the city. The Art Deco-inspired venue also plays host to live jazz and folk through its Patina Presents series. Housed in a net zero carbon-designed building with sustainability at its heart, Patina use locally sourced ingredients and work with local urban farms to compost all their food waste. Wheelchair accessible. 3 Airborne Place, New Park Square, Edinburgh Park, Edinburgh EH12 9GR 0131 573 0851

Port of Leith Distillery @portofleithdistillery

Scotland’s first vertical distillery with a double height top floor whisky bar commanding views to Edinburgh Castle – a new venture by the duo behind Lind and Lime gin distillery. The nine-storey whisky distillery is set to open at the historic port of Leith beside the Royal Yacht Britannia in spring 2023, distilling whisky from barley sourced from a single farm on the outskirts of the Scottish capital. 24 Coburg Street, Leith, EH6 6HB 0131 600 0144

Thirty Knots – @thirtyknots_southqueensferry

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This new bar and casual-dining restaurant in the Three Bridges World Heritage Site in historic South Queensferry is likely to prove a major draw on sunny evenings when its outdoor terrace opens this summer. Diners can look forward to unwinding with family and friends over hearty surf and turf classics while drinking in fabulous views across the Firth of Forth. Menu highlights include Salt & Chilli Squid with nuoc cham dip and Steak & Ale Pie with horseradish greens. 2 Newhalls Road, South Queensferry, EH30 9TA 0131 370 0088

Unique new venues and experiences

HOLEtel by Bross Bagels - @holetel

Guests staying in this penthouse apart-hotel in Portobello will start their stay with a Friday night dinner party hosted by ‘Mama Bross’ Larah herself. On Saturday, there’s exclusive access to the ‘HOLEY Bible’, a list of specially curated VIP experiences like bespoke bonfire dinners on the beach by Civerinos pizza and last-minute Playhouse theatre tickets. On Sunday morning, guests will head downstairs to Bross HQ for a bagel-making masterclass. 177 Portobello High St, Portobello, Edinburgh EH15 1EU 07543069867

Argile - @argilerestaurant

Intimate chef’s table dining in Marchmont under the care of Jack Montgomery, formerly of Michelin-starred, The Peat Inn. Its eight-course tasting menu celebrates the best of Scottish seasonal ingredients, and there are only eight seats, so booking is essential. A classic sample dish is their ‘crisp sandwich’, consisting of chicken skin with liver parfait and preserved cherry. 21 Argyle Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1JJ

Fine flavours

Dulse - @dulseseafood

New Edinburgh restaurant by Dean Banks, a finalist on Masterchef: The Professionals 2018. Seafood specialities in his signature ‘Eastern fusion with Mediterranean influences’ style, served in a relaxed venue with a casual neighbourhood vibe. Dishes include ‘trout pastrami’ with rye bread, crab red Thai curry and Arbroath Smokie tart with Dulse seaweed. An intimate wine and cocktail bar on the ground floor offers small sharing plates. 17 Queensferry St, Edinburgh EH2 4QW 0131 573 7575

tipo @tipoedinburgh

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New in March ‘23, a cosy neighbourhood-style small plates Italian for Hanover Street, city centre. They will serve house-prepared speciality ingredients such as fresh pasta, cured and aged charcuterie alongside cocktails and small domaine, artisanal family-owned wineries.

Hope Izakaya – @hope.izakaya.edinburgh

New in December, Queensferry Street, West End, a flavour of Japan and the Japanese ‘izakaya experience’ of going out after work to a small local bar/restaurant and lingering over your meal, enjoying fun conversation while sampling culinary pleasures, and slowly un-winding with a drink or two, featuring sommelier-curated menu of sake and traditional food such as barbeque meat skewers, gyoza and edamame. 40 - 41 Queensferry St, Edinburgh, EH2 4RA 0131 285 2831

The Tollhouse @thetollhousecanonmills

Nestled on the Water of Leith at Canonmills close to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Seasons-led restaurant with outdoor smokehouse on the site of a historic toll collection point where levies would be collected from local merchants transporting their wares from the port of Leith to the heart of Edinburgh. Sustainable, quality, fresh produce sourced from local butchers, grocers, fishmongers and foragers, with a mouth-watering menu updated fortnightly. The Tollhouse is Edinburgh’s official restaurant partner of Charles Heidsieck, the original Champagne Charlie. Accessible facilities on the ground floor. 50 Brandon Terrace, Edinburgh EH3 5BX 0131 224 2424

Cocktails and bars

Ciao at Rico’s – @ciaoatricos

Negroni fans flock to this plush new Tuscan-inspired cocktail bar within Michelin Guide Rico’s ristorante in the New Town. Aperitivi including a full menu of Negronis are served alongside a tempting cicchetti menu, featuring dishes like porcini mushroom arancini, Tuscan liver pâté with preserved fruit purée and Italian charcuterie (salume) platters. 58A North Castle Street Edinburgh, EH2 3LU 0131 322 6750

Porty Vault (opened July 2022) @portyvault

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Taproom, smokehouse and low ‘n’ slow BBQ restaurant near the beach at Portobello, from Vault City Brewing. It specialises in sour beers and serving a tempting American-style menu prepared with its state-of-the-art US-imported smoker, from the juiciest hot dogs to pulled pork and Carolina Gold mac ‘n’ cheese. 243 Portobello High St, Portobello, Edinburgh EH15 2AW

For the sweet-toothed

Joelato at North West Circus Place @joelato_gelato

Joelato started out as a food truck, then secured a space within Bonnie and Wild Scottish food hall at St James Quarter. Coming next, they’ve got their own classic, high quality Italian gelateria opening soon in Stockbridge. Their gelato is made with local ingredients as far as possible, including fresh herbs from their own garden, milk and cream from Perthshire dairies and berries from their cousin’s farm near Carnoustie. Choose from delights like chocolate and sea salt sorbet (vegan and dairy-free), brown butter or Mexican coffee gelato. Founder, Joe Sykes, studied at Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna, Italy. 31 North West Circus Place, Edinburgh EH3 6TP 07805 994453

The Kilted Donut @kilteddonut

New Grassmarket shop opened Nov 22, following original one in St Stephen St. Specialising in small batch, hand-crafted artisan sweet treats with ever-changing flavours, including Peshwari, Cranachan, Maple Bacon and Crème Brûlée donuts, kronuts and ‘cannoli in donut form’. 23 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH3 5AH 0131

Small is beautiful

A Wee Taste @aweetasteofedinburgh – Instagramm-able wine and grazing boards bar in Tollcross near the King’s Theatre, perfect for catching up with friends pre-theatre or after a day on the Meadows in the summer. It was set up by a former teacher and showcases exquisite local produce and unique wines, with regular in-house events, such as a Tarot Cards wine and nibbles night. 36 Leven St, Edinburgh EH3 9LJ 0131 228 2734

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Hobz Bakery @hobzbakery – after starting life in a former police box, Hobz (meaning bread in Maltese) specialises in naturally fermented sourdough made using UK-grown grains, freshly milled in house. Known for inventive pastry delights such as savoury Danish pastries with parmesan and pepper béchamel, roasted aubergine and confit garlic; croissant cannoli; and ham and cheese “croissant dogs”. 106 Leith Walk, Edinburgh EH6 5DT

Black Grape Wine Bar @blackgrapewinebar

Small plates and wines on the Canongate in an interior modelled on quintessential wine bars in Madrid & Paris. Sharing plates include beef tataki, yuzu hollandaise and crispy shallots; nduja arancini with fennel and lemon; and BBQ fillet tail with peppercorn sauce and black pepper oil. 240 Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8AB 0131 237 7419

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