If there’s one thing that’s addictive about living in Edinburgh, it’s the constant stream of pop-up restaurants, quirky bars and new-found hang-outs just waiting to be discovered in every neighbourhood. Whatever your tastes, there’s something to suit everyone. Seeing as that’s what we’re all about over here at Every Edinburgh, we’ve compiled a helpful little list of the new, up-and-coming and coming soon hideaways to while away your days in the city.
1. Afternoon Tea at the Signet Library
If there’s ever an ideal way to get lost, away from the swarms of tourists on Edinburgh’s nearby Royal Mile, it’s entering the beautiful Signet Library and hiding away in amongst the tall neo-classical bookcases filled with stacks of ornate books. A library lover’s dream and an afternoon tea fit for royalty, the Signet Library promise us “Edinburgh’s finest afternoon tea” – a bold statement for such a newcomer on the afternoon tea circuit, but one which it has exceeded expectations on. Expect all the grandest silverware carefully laid out, with smartly dressed maitre’d on hand. Fancy a glass of champagne (or two!) to add to your experience? They’ve got you covered.
The Signet Library, Parliament Square, Edinburgh, EH1 1RF
Best for: special occasions
2. Mexican Tapas at El Cartel
Fire forced them to close just weeks after opening, but Thistle Street’s El Cartel is now back and better than ever. Forget everything you know about Tex Mex as these amigos bring you a true taste of Mexican street food, with an emphasis on tacos and tequila. Everything about this place, from their walk-ins only policy to the stripped back decor, screams laidback cool. Perfect for sharing, all dishes are small but perfectly formed with unique takes on traditional Mexican flavours (duck, chipotle & pineapple tacos, anyone?). Order a selection of bites and top it off with a frozen margarita, or one of El Cartel’s specialist tequilas if you’re feeling brave.
64 Thistle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1EN
Best for: a catch-up with friends
3. Artisan Cheesecakes
There seems to be a string of specialist cafés popping up around Edinburgh these days. Just a few doors down from the new Cuckoo’s Bakery store in Bruntsfield, Artisan Cheesecakes is the newest entrant on the scene, specialising in – you guessed it – cheesecakes. From Rhubarb Crumble to Blondie, and all flavours in between, they really will whet your appetite. Just viewing their creations through the glass behind the till is enough to make you change your mind a million times over.. Pop in on a quiet day to nab a limited seat for a well deserved sit-down in between rooting around Bruntsfield’s many boutiques and gift shops.
104 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, EH10 4ES
Best for: a special treat on a rainy day
4. The Beer Kitchen by Innis & Gunn
This July, a new craft beer bar (“another one?!” I hear a million people cry..) will be opening on Edinburgh’s Lothian Road. Lothian Road is certainly no stranger to craft beer bars, with The Hanging Bat just up the road being a locals’ favourite. However, this time Innis & Gunn themselves – alongside David Hall, formerly of Tigerlily, Opal Lounge and Rick’s – will be using their expertise to create a top notch experience for fans. Promising “the freshest, most flavoursome pint imaginable” as well as beer infused pub grub offerings, they really are going all out to impress us picky Edinburgers. Stay tuned on this one..
The Beer Kitchen
81-83 Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH3 9AW
Best for: after-work pints
5. Whisky Galore at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society
More of a whisky connoisseur than a craft beer enthusiast? Exciting news for you then! The Scotch Malt Whisky Society will be opening up their formerly private members-only premises on 28 Queen Street to the public this summer – for good. Marking the occasion with The 12 Tub Cinema Club, they’re launching 12 whisky ice cream flavours (by local favourite S Luca), 12 single cask whiskies and 12 whisky-themed film screenings. Fancy sinking into a deck chair whilst catching a screening of Withnail and I and digging into some Maple Bacon Crunch ice cream with a nip of whisky on the side? There really is no place better.
Check out the full list of film screenings and book your £5 tickets here. Film screenings run until 11 July.
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society
28 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JX
Best for: quirky nights out
Which restaurants and bars are you most looking forward to trying out this summer in Edinburgh? Comment below or tweet us @everyedinburgh.