Frizzante is the most recent venture of the charismatic and accomplished Don Pasquale and his son jonathan. Don Pasquale has been serving delicious Italian food to Edinburgh patrons for many years, and his son has clearly inherited his enthusiasm and charm. Frizzante specialises in Neapolitan and Mediterranean food. As well as many of the classic pizza, pasta and risotto dishes patrons can also dine on rather good vegetarian and gluten free dishes. They have a crowd pleasing party menu and an excellent pre-theatre menu and as well as stocking a good range of wines and beers they have an interesting menu of Mediterranean cocktails. Prices are reasonable, the service is warm and friendly and families and large groups are made to feel very much at home.
Recommended for Italian because: Frizzante has a great pedigree and serves delicious, reasonably priced Italian food.
Simon's expert tip: If you have specific dietary needs, the staff are always happy to help so just ask.
Dantes is a family-run Italian restaurant in Colinton, south west of the city center, which has a very good reputation with locals, but is perhaps less well known by tourists being a bit off the beaten track. The warm wood paneling combined with open brickwork and fascinating photos of Italy lend this restaurant a classy but comfortable ambience. They serve delicious traditional Italian dishes and offer al fresco dining as well as catering for small groups in a private dining room. The mid-week menu (available on Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday) is particularly good value, and their a la carte menu has a wide enough choice to please any lover of Italian food.
Recommended for Italian because: Take a trip outside of the center of Edinburgh to find Dantes for a warm welcome and delicious, traditional Italian food.
Simon's expert tip: Known for its excellent service, so don't hesitate to ask staff if you have a problem.
La Favorita specializes in delicious traditional pizza for which they won "Best UK Pizza Restaurant" in the Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Association Awards 2012. However, they also offer a wide variety of excellent pasta dishes and even have gluten-free options which do not scrimp on taste. The decor is fresh and modern and patrons have an open view into the kitchen with its traditional log-fired ovens. La Favorita is also very family-friendly and for every adult eating from the a la carte menu a child can have a main course for just £1 which is donated to a local children's charity.
Origano cafe-restaurant aims to replicate the feel of a neighborhood pizzeria with simple, uncluttered decor, wooden furniture and generous portions of delicious Italian food at very reasonable prices. The menu is not large, but the freshly prepared pizza is both authentic and delicious and the antipasto platters are great for sharing. They also offer a very good tiramisu! The cafe is not licensed, but you can bring your own bottle for a small corkage fee. Origano also hosts free Wi-Fi for patrons and being located on Leith Walk is a great spot to watch the world go by over coffee.
Recommended for Italian because: La Piazza's tempting menu and lovely sun terrace make this city center restaurant well worth a look.
Simon's expert tip: Don't be fooled by the unassuming facade, this is a great pizzeria and perfect if you're on a tight budget.
Divino Enoteca is a wine lover's dream. It started out as a wine bar serving tapas and has evolved into a stylish and accomplished Italian restaurant - but the vino still takes center stage. The walls of the interior are lined with the "wine library" with Italian vintages from every region complimented by a selection of international stars. Patrons can also dine in the delightful courtyard under twinkling lights. Divino still has a tapas menu populated by some delicious Italian classics (such as bruschetta) and other less obvious but equally delicious options (such as the salted cod fritters with black olive tapenade). To this has been added a decent a la carte menu. They do not serve pizza, but there is plenty here to satisfy. The three course Sunday lunch is particularly good.
Recommended for Italian because: Divino Enoteca serves great Italian wine and great Italian food
Simon's expert tip: If you love wine don't miss the chance to take one of their "wine flights" and try a selection of great vintages.
Edinburgh has many Italian restaurants, but Civerinos offers something a little different. Situated beside the Royal Mile in the heart of the Old Town is has a great location. The interior is chic and understated with long wooden benches lit by large brass bell lanterns, and the plates are made of paper. The menu offers Italian street food, and striped of any pretension and flourish the food is delicious. Crispy tempura, sour dough pizza and mix and match pasta sit alongside light salads and hand cut fries. There is only two dessert options (and one of them is a sweet calzone which may not be to everyone's taste) but the main courses are so good you will not feel like complaining.
Recommended for Italian because: Civerinos is Italian street food at its best, and it's hard to resist.
Simon's expert tip: The pizza is great, but the zuchini tempura is probably the most popular dish on the menu
Osteria Del Tempo Perso ("the lost time eatery") is a delightfully cozy new Italian restaurant on the corner of Bruntsfield Place. Patron Matteo Iacobelli has another restaurant with the same name located in Lazio, and he is clearly passionate about bringing an authentic Italian experience to Edinburgh. The interior is warm and welcoming. The tables are topped with lovely sepia toned pictures and the walls are adorned with beautiful and intricate clocks. The restaurant stocks an impressive array of fine wines, and diners are treated to a complimentary glass on arrival. You will not find any pizza here, but the menu does feature some great Italian classics and the homemade pasta is quite delicious.
Recommended for Italian because: Traditional and inviting, Osteria is all that a good Italian restaurant should be.
Simon's expert tip: Leave room for dessert, Osteria serves wonderful tiramisu and Nardini's ice cream.
Amarone is a stunning Italian restaurant located in Edinburgh's prestigious George Street. Housed in a beautiful 1930s art deco building, Amarone's interior is positively sumptuous. A high dome studded with circular windows towers above the dining area and long fringed mobiles hover above diners. The bar area is flanked by a series of statuesque pillars and illuminated by a series of large red and black lamps. Amarone serves delicious contemporary Italian cuisine. As well as a wide range of pizza and pasta dishes they have a great selection of seafood dishes and some delectable steaks. The dessert menu is largely limited to ice cream, but they have an excellent tiramisu.
Recommended for Italian because: Amarone is a stunning award winning restaurant serving delicious Italian food
Simon's expert tip: If you can muster a group of friends to join you, hire their private dining room, the Vault, for a night to remember.
Fresh Italian food, a huge menu and a good choice of wine make Contini Ristorante worth a visit if you are on George Street in the heart of the New Town. This clean, elegant restaurant serves a mixed clientele and it is friendly and informal. The mix of fresh Scottish ingredients prepared in an Italian style is enough to tempt anyone. The decor is fresh and you can order pasta, pizza, steak, salads, fresh bread, antipasti, and all the classic Italian dishes you would expect to find. Contini Ristorante caters for groups of all sizes and it has a really welcoming and comfortable atmosphere.
Recommended for Italian because: Origano is a cozy pizzeria with a warm atmosphere and delicious traditional food.
Simon's expert tip: Best to book in advance even for lunch if you want to get a nice spot for a leisurely meal. Ask for one of the big booths if you have a large group.
Locanda De Gusti is a warm and friendly Italian restaurant on Dalry Road, in the west end of Edinburgh. The chef and owner Rosario Sartore made his mark on the Edinburgh food scene over a decade ago with the popular La Partenope. Locanda De Gusti is a smaller and more intimate affair, but lacks none of the charm of his earlier venture. The decor is rustic and inviting with the beguiling aroma of fresh and delicious breads, pastas and seafood. The menu is not large, and at first glance the dishes sound simple and uncomplicated, yet the flavors will soon convert any doubters. This is traditional Neapolitan cuisine at its best.
Recommended for Italian because: Locanda De Gusti serves delicious Neapolitan cuisine in a warm and friendly environment.
Simon's expert tip: The Italian classic Tiramisu can often disappoint, but in this case it is a creamy and fragrant triumph.