With a chef who has been combining fresh herbs and aromatic spices for over thirty years, Shapla is extremely reliable and very popular with locals. It is an Indian restaurant, but it specializes in Bangladeshi cuisine. You'll find an extensive choice from Jaipuri Chicken to East Indian Lamb Jhalfrezi to Tandoori Kind Prawn Masallam. The line-up ranges from subtly spiced and mild to eye wateringly hot and spicy. This is quality food, prepared quickly, and served with care. The portions are generous, the prices are reasonable, and carnivores or vegetarians will not be disappointed at the extensive choice. If you have a big appetite, then order from Shapla.
Recommended for Take Out because: Shapla can be relied upon for beautifully spiced Indian food without a long wait.
Simon's expert tip: The Green Herb Lamb is a fresh, tasty delight and make sure you get nan bread to go with it.
You'll find a wide range of pan-Asian cuisine on offer at the tiny Zen Kitchen takeaway. There are dishes from China, Japan, Thailand, and even Vietnam and you can mix and match to your heart's content. The menu gives a clear indication of the spice level and any potential allergy concerns. All dishes are cooked fresh with no additives, MSG, or preservatives. There are lots of stir frys, and no end of temptations for chilli and garlic lovers. Portions are generous and extremely tasty. You can get takeaway food from 5PM to 11PM daily, at lunch times on Tuesday to Friday, and they offer a delivery service as well.
Recommended for Take Out because: Zen Kitchen has a special Asian something for everyone so it's the perfect take out for lunch or dinner.
Simon's expert tip: Go for Udon noodles, shredded sesame beef, and a Vietnamese stir fry.
There aren't many options in Edinburgh for people craving a plate of African or Caribbean food, but this restaurant hits the spot. You'll find unfussy comfort food on offer here. We're talking everything from jerk chicken and goat stew, to plantain, sweet potato fries and crab cakes. It doesn't look especially inviting inside or out, and the food won't be winning any prizes for beauty, but the flavors are truly mouth-watering. You can expect big, hearty portions that will really fill you up and the prices are very affordable. The menu is huge and there's plenty on offer to satisfy vegetarians or the hungriest of carnivores.
Recommended for Take Out because: Spoilt For Choice will deliver seriously generous portions of African and Caribbean comfort food direct to your door.
Simon's expert tip: If you're hankering after African or Caribbean spices then you won't find a better option in Edinburgh. We advise getting some take out delivered.
Miso and Sushi is an unassuming Japanese takeaway restaurant situated just outside the city center. Given their name it should come as no surprise that the specialize in Miso (a traditional Japanese soup flavored with fermented soy) and Sushi (which they are quick to point out is not limited to a combination of rice and fish). They also prepare a variety of other Japanese dishes (such as tempura and teriyaki) as well as a wide range of Chinese meals and even a few Thai dishes, however, with sushi this good on offer it would seem churlish to order anything else. They offer home delivery for a small charge, but if you are having difficulty in making you mind up it is best to go there in person.
Recommended for Take Out because: Miso and Sushi serves up great sushi and a wide range of other Asian delights
Simon's expert tip: The Bento boxes offer great value for money and allow you to combine tempura or teriyaki with sushi
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 Take Out because: Origano pizzeria is the place to go for an authentic Italian pizza to take out.
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.
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.
The Haymarket branch of this popular Chinese restaurant opened in 2006 and following its success a second branch opened in Leith in 2010. It was founded by dumpling expert, Jian Wang, who arrived from China back in 1997 and began supplying Chinese supermarkets throughout the UK. Her sublime dumplings have won recognition within the industry and Chop Chop has an excellent reputation as one of the best Chinese restaurants in the capital. The restaurants are modern and clean and they can cater for couples, as well as small or large groups. There is also a delivery service and even a membership scheme which rewards frequent visitors for their patronage and for recommending the restaurant to others.
Recommended for Take Out because: Chop chop delivers consistently good north eastern Chinese home cooking.
Simon's expert tip: If you want to sample the many delights on offer and you have a real appetite then go for one of the unlimited banquets.
If you are after a spot of Mexican fast food, freshly prepared before your eyes, then Los Cardos on Leith Walk is well worth a visit. You'll find a typical Tex Mex menu with bargain prices. It is like a small cafe for sitting in and you also have the option to order takeaway. The nice thing about Los Cardos is the fact that you can order your food just the way you like it and watch it being put together. This is bargain dining guaranteed to satisfy hungry visitors. No frills, just good honest fresh food in a hurry.
Recommended for Take Out because: Los Cardos will sate your appetite with irresistible burritos and other Tex-Mex treats.
Simon's expert tip: Make sure you order the carnitas burrito, the succulent slow-cooked pork is to die for.
Mintleaf is an opulent Indian and Thai restaurant located in Bernard Street, close to the bottom of Leith Walk. It can be risky to try to specialize in more than one cuisine, but Mintleaf has an abundance of highly qualified chefs who ensure that neither end of the kitchen lets the side down. The interior is sumptuously decorated with plush, blood red fabrics and highly polished dark wooden tables illuminated by softly flickering candlelight to create and a romantic and intimate atmosphere. The menu is extensive featuring many of the archetypal dishes from each cuisine as well as a few more original offerings. There is more than enough to please even the pickiest diner here.
Recommended for Take Out because: Mintleaf delivers great tasting Thai and Indian food to sit in or takeaway
Simon's expert tip: The two private dining rooms are the perfect place to enjoy a feast with friends
Sometimes you just fancy a simple meal of fish and chips. It's a popular British tradition and something that must be tried on your visit to Edinburgh. The Tailend offers fresh fish and chips made to order while you wait. There is a sit-in restaurant and a traditional Fish Bar takeaway. You'll find your standard haddock and cod in your choice of batter or breadcrumbs but you'll also find options like monkfish, halibut and lemon sole amongst others. The crispy chips (fries) are fluffy on the inside and the onion rings are a great accompaniment. This is simple, inexpensive food, freshly prepared and delicious.
Recommended for Take Out because: The Tailend is the place to go for the best fresh fried fish and delicious chips in Edinburgh.
Simon's expert tip: It is an Edinburgh tradition to have salt and sauce on your fish and chips (this means brown sauce) the rest of Britain tends to go for salt and vinegar.