In a previous life, when I worked in the gift shop of Edinburgh’s most popular tourist attraction, one of the questions I would always get asked was “where can I go to get a REAL taste of Edinburgh?” While I would be tempted to suggest an upmarket restaurant on the Royal Mile serving the finest haggis with whiskey sauce, the true answer to that question would ultimately be somewhere like City Restaurant.
See, pretty much like everywhere else in the UK, Edinburgers LOVE their fish and chips. Fry up a haddock, serve up with a load of greasy chips and some mushy peas and bang! you’ve got yourself your “real taste” of Edinburgh.
There’s a good few takeaways in the city centre, but if you are after a sit-down restaurant experience, then City Restaurant is the place to go. They have a takeaway section as well, but their seating area that spans over two floors is just the ticket if you don’t fancy eating your chippy on a soggy street corner.
Their menu is pretty extensive, with all the traditional favourites like fish and chips, pies, jumbo sausage and the like, but they also do burgers and big breakfasts like the full Scottish and scrambled egg. Safe to say that if you dine here, you should leave your diet at the door!
The last time we visited, Mr Bug got himself some simple scrambled egg and toast. He wasn’t feeling that hungry, and so this small dish made for a nice snack to keep him going. No frills here, just standard white bread and three eggs scrambled up. But at £4.25 for a sit in dining experience, you really can’t argue with that.
I, on the other hand, wanted the full City Restaurant experience and ordered the haddock and chips. I regret nothing. The fish was a decent size and served up with a handsome bounty of chips, side salad and mushy peas. I also took the option of tartare sauce, which I feel always goes well with a meal like this.
It was great as far as fish and chips go, although I must admit the portion was a little big for me that day and I did get Mr Bug to help me finish off the chips!
So, if you want a real taste of Scottish “cuisine”, look no further than City Restaurant. It’s not too far from the Royal Mile and its location means that it is a firm favourite during the festival season. It’s quick, dirty, and I love it!
City Restaurant (website here) is at 35 Nicolson Street, EH8 9BE. You can get there by walking up South Bridge from the Royal Mile, or get there on the bus via services 3, 5, 7, 8, 29, 30, 31, 33, 35, 37, 47 and 49.