Homestyle Cooking in Edinburgh Doesn't Get Better than These Restaurants

Edinburgh has some great high end restaurants including a number with Michelin stars which have gained international acclaim in their chosen culinary milieu. Yet, however beautifully crafted and exquisitely prepared their dishes are, sometimes they just do not hit the spot.

Eating is one of the simple pleasures of life and as such it is unsurprising that often it is simple home cooked food that we crave. Home style cooking should not imply a lower standard of cuisine, if anything the skill in preparing traditional well spun recipes to the highest standard is one which cannot be underestimated.

Thankfully there are a number of highly successful restaurants in Edinburgh offering home style dishes from a number of cultures. For classic British home cooking, you cannot get much more traditional and delicious than the wonderful Mums which serves sausages and pies with some of the best mashed potato you are ever likely to taste.

For a more exotic, but equally satisfying meal why not sample the delicious Malaysian street food of Kampong Ah Lee, one of Edinburgh’s best kept secrets, or feast on one of Khushi’s richly spiced curries. Whatever your taste, if you crave the honest pleasure of lovingly prepared home style cooking there is bound to be something on our list for you.


Empires is a wonderfully warm and inviting Turkish café and bistro located in the heat of Edinburgh's Old Town. It has an authentic bohemian atmosphere with beautiful Turkish rugs, ornate wood carving and some really beautiful lanterns. The main courses are the classic Turkish dishes of mousaka, kofti and beyti, but where they really come into their own is the wide selection of mezze (tapas like dishes which are combined to form a delicious meal). The food is authentic and delicious; some richly spiced, some delicately flavored, but all cooked with the same loving attention to detail. At the weekend patrons are also treated to authentic Turkish, Greek and Flamenco music â€" but be sure to book ahead as weekend tables are in great demand.

Clarinda's Tearoom is a cozy and traditional Victorian style tea room located at the bottom of the Royal Mile close to the Scottish Parliament. Inside the décor is kitsch and charming. China plates and turn of the century style portraits adorn the walls, an assortment of wooden chairs surround small tables draped with crisp white linen and topped with small vases of fresh flowers, and a generous selection of cakes, pastries and scones sit on silver cake stands on a wooden dresser. It is a very homely, if old fashioned environment. The real attraction is the home baked treats. They serve wonderfully warming soups and baked potatoes and delicious sandwiches, but you will not be able to resist the delights of the tea trolley. This is no place for calorie counting!

This wonderful family run Korean restaurant is much like its decor - eccentric, but charming and very comfortable. Mrs Kim (described on her menus as mum) prides herself on producing delicious home cooked meals in a homely environment and patrons always receive a warm welcome. However, the standard of the cuisine is certainly much higher than most of us could hope for at home, perhaps explaining why they never take reservations as they are always busy. The staff is very helpful and most dishes can be served in a vegetarian version and with a level of spice to suit the customer.


Teuchter's Landing is a great little pub close to the docks at Leith. The pub is housed in a quaint and attractive stone building that was once the ferry terminal for boats arriving from Aberdeen (Teuchter, pronounced choochter, is a lowland Scots name for a highlander) and it has retained much of the original stonework. The interior is clad in warm wood with a huge fire to warm patrons on winter nights and the extra seating outside includes a wonderful floating pontoon. Traditional Highland dishes such as Cullen skink and haggis stovies are served in their trademark mugs and the wide range of real ales and single malts ensure that there is something for every palate.

Kampong Ah Lee Malaysian Delight is one of Edinburgh's hidden gems. It is a compact canteen-style restaurant with a low key exterior that could easily be mistaken for a run of the mill Asian takeaway. Instead diners are treated to wonderfully authentic Malaysian street food with an emphasis on home style cooking and value for money. Like much Malay food, the menu displays the influences of many Asian cuisines â€" Thai and Indonesian curries, Chinese and Indian dishes and of course Malay classics such as mee goreng (fried noodles) and nasi lemak (coconut rice). Kampong Ah Lee (which means Lee's Village) was the first restaurant that chef Lee opened in Edinburgh and it is more authentic (and less expensive) than its sister Kampong Ali (in Fountainbridge), but both are well worth a visit.

Khushis was the first Indian restaurant to open in Edinburgh. The first incarnation of this restaurant opened its doors in 1947 under the name "Lothian Restaurant", but in 1974 was renamed Khushi's after its flamboyant owner. Since then Khushi's has moved premises a number of times, ending up in Antigua Street at the top of Leith Walk. A firm favorite with the people of Edinburgh, Khushis has a reputation for excellent homestyle Indian cuisine prepared with fresh locally sourced ingredients as well as more exotic herbs and spices imported from India. The menu is tempting and extensive, but the price tag remarkably reasonable. Their BYOB policy is also very popular.

Housed in a beautiful seventeenth century building which was adapted into a bar and restaurant during the eighteenth century, The Doric proudly proclaims itself the oldest gastro-pub in Edinburgh. The interior is simply decorated with warm wooden floors and tables, plain white walls and rich red curtains. The menu combines great gastro pub favorites with Scottish classics. Although there is a rather retro feel in places (such as the appearance of duck a l'orange), all of the dishes are prepared with some flair while remaining true to their home style origins. Every Sunday they add a traditional home cooked Border beef with all of the trimmings to their already extensive menu.

10 to 10 in Delhi is a great little Indian café serving home style Indian cuisine. Chef and owner Alieu Badjan has years of experience in some of the best upscale restaurants in Edinburgh, but has eschewed fine dining to turn his prodigious skills to the production of great home cooked food, and the result is a rare treat â€" food that is unfussy, but rich and delicious with wonderful blends of spices and an unpretentious price tag. The café is decorated in flamboyant colorful fabrics, a plethora of comfy cushions and Bollywood memorabilia, but retains a very chilled, relaxing vibe, despite being fairly busy.

The Dogs is a popular bar and restaurant located in the heart of the New Town. Focusing on Scottish and British ingredients and with a commitment to unfussy, hearty food this laid back eatery has made quite a name for itself. The interior is shabby chic with beautiful oak tables and minimal but quirky decor and a relaxed ambiance. The menu features many classic dishes, such as Cullen Skink, hot pot and excellent fish and chips but also contains a number of inventive and less traditional offerings. The food is very good value for money, and unlike the offerings of some fine dining establishments, very satisfying. They also have a very good wine list and a growing repertoire of cocktails.

It was originally called Monster Mash, but the concept remains the same, even if the name has changed to Mums. This is British comfort food, just like mum would make, and that means bangers and mash, macaroni cheese, fish and chips, and traditional Scottish haggis. You'll also find some classic desserts, including irresistible fruit crumbles. The decor is retro British with a functional feel, like a re-imagined old greasy spoon cafe. It's always busy with locals and tourists, service is fast, kids are welcome, and the food will really stick to your ribs. Make sure you have an appetite before you step inside.


Meet Simon Hill

Simon has lived in various corners of Edinburgh over the last 18 years. He fell in love with the city as a small child after visiting the castle and returned to study Scottish History.

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