‘Take-away Only’: Edinburgh’s restaurants that are eluding closure

Nicola Sturgeon might have been the least popular Nicola in the UK last week when she made the announcement that pubs and restaurants would be closing for a fortnight to ramp up coronavirus restrictions. Sturgeon was accused of signing a ‘death sentence’ for thousands of Scottish hospitality venues, a vast number of whom will have already experienced a considerable shock to capital inflow during this year’s earlier lockdown. 

However, don’t bid farewell to your favourite local eatery just yet. With luck, the resilient restaurants listed below have immobilised the executioner’s swing by providing a takeaway-only service, maintaining healthy traffic of customers in spite of the tough measures. Peppered throughout Edinburgh, each restaurant provides a different cuisine and price point, affording handsome culinary respite to each and every one of the city’s residents. 

If you’re missing New Town’s Georgian magnetism

Contini at 103 George St.

Contini’s flagship Italian restaurant on George Street offers a takeaway menu for online perusal and in-person collection. Scrummy-sounding dishes include honey-poached pear and burrata for £8, calamari fritti with homemade mayonnaise for £15, and – wait for it – a sumptuous, titillating Gorgonzola Dolce for a mere £7.

Café Andulaz at 77B George St. and 10-11 George IV Bridge

This Spanish eatery brings authentic tapas from the place of glaring sun to that of frosted panes. It’s still serving the goods despite the efforts of corona to cramp its style, so make haste to George Street for some spicy patatas bravas. Another Café Andulaz can also be found on George IV Bridge, which rectilinearly straddles Edinburgh’s Reformation-era Old Town.

George Street not your vibe?

Trendy, New-York inspired Noto can be found around the corner at 47A Thistle Street, whilst over on Hanover one can still ‘be embodied by the infectious spirit’ of Six by Nico’s Sicilian cuisine.

If you fancy a stroll through Stockbridge 

Merienda at 30 North West Circus Place

Serving ‘Mediterranean-inspired small plates of the finest artisan Scottish produce’, Merienda now offers a takeaway service on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. This casual fine-dining experience is the perfect addition to a leisurely amble from Howe Street to Dean Village, delicious snack in hand and Water of Leith murmuring to the left. Email to arrange the order and pick-up time.

If Broughton is beckoning

L’Escargot Bleu at 56 Broughton St

Once featured on the telly with Rick Stein, L’Escargot Bleu combines a classic French menu with local produce. The eatery receives many a rave review on Trip Advisor, with one happy customer even venturing that ‘when restrictions get tighter, the quality of the food at L’Escargot gets even better!’. JohnnieWebster, as he is known on TA, thinks the bourguignon and Swiss chard raclette was particularly delicious. Plus, if you’re not already sold, L’Escargot is just a quick walk from the Omni-centre, CC Blooms, and the new hotel under construction that has been alleged to appear regrettably faecal.

The word ‘faecal’ put you off?

The Little Chartroom at 30-31 Albert Place provides a 3-course meal to pre-order and take home, whilst One Canonmills at (aptly) 1 Canonmills offers take-away burgers, nachos and bao buns seven days a week.

If you’re an Old Town soul

Angels with Bagpipes at 343 High St.

A staple of the Royal Mile, Angels with Bagpipes boasts freshly-sourced Scottish ingredients and an impressive seasonal menu. Their response to new restrictions is a continuation of their ‘Angels Wings’ initiative, which provides patrons with a weekly three-course meal either delivered to their doors or collected from the restaurant. They even launch a video every Friday giving comprehensive instructions on the plating of each dish.

Haggis isn’t your thing?

Ramble to Wedgewood the Restaurant on Canongate to eat international cuisine inspired by the founder’s travels. Or, across the road at 266 Canongate, White Horse Oyster & Seafood Bar is open for takeout of the marine variety.

If the Meadows is your ends

LeftField at 12 Barclay Terrace

Whilst this Bruntsfield Links bistro is closed 9th-28th October, LeftField is still urging customers to order ‘at the hatch’ or online to ‘take a wee bit of us home with you’. The take-away menu includes Hearty Soups, Pinchos, Hot Thai Crispy Squid and Ice Creams (For The Brave). Corroborating the establishment’s five-star Trip Advisor rating, one Scotsman reviewer announced that it was one of her ‘favourite lockdown transitions a restaurant has made’.

You really aren’t satisfied yet?!

Other options in the area include El Cartel at 15-16 Teviot Place (if virtual learning has you yearning to walk towards Potterrow’s maternal, soothing vicinity) and Tollcross-based Piccolino at 103 High Riggs.

Basically, the options are extensive. Whether you’re peckish for some grub that hasn’t been burnt by your hungover flatmate, keen to keep your local businesses afloat or just feeling compelled to tour Edinburgh’s Covid-defiant eateries, this list should keep you occupied until the blessed re-opening of the capital’s restaurants (and pubs!).

Image Credit: Jeremy Segrott via Wikimedia Commons