EuroPython 2018

Where to eat and drink

Unfairly described by Mike Myers as "the result of a dare", Scottish cuisine is actually something you should try! As well as the more famous (or maybe infamous!) dishes, as a country with a high-proportion of coastline, fish and seafood is generally very good here. As well as Scottish and British restaurants, Edinburgh has a thriving constellation of restaurants specialising in cuisine from around the World.

Haggis (and other Scottish Cuisine)

Haggis is a traditional dish, consisting of the bits of a sheep that you don't want to think about, stuffed into the stomach of a sheep, and boiled! It sounds terrible, but is actually delicious, providing you know where to go to get a good one! We recommend Howies, which has three different restaurants specialising in a range of traditional and modern Scottish food. Fish & Chip shops also sell haggis, but it's sold as a battered, deep-fried sausage, not the traditional dish served with neeps and tatties. For a more contemporary take on Scottish fusion cuisine, check out Stac Polly.

Deep-Fried Mars Bar

A deep-fried Mars Bar is Scotland's 'street food'. Usually bought in a Fish & Chip shop after a night drinking too much, it's not exactly refined cuisine, but it is recommended that you try it at least once! Café Piccante on Broughton St is probably the best known for this but many Fish & Chip shops will fry it for you. Just be warned you may need to go for a run the next day to work off the calories!

Fish & Chips

Fish & Chips is a classic British dish, consisting of cod or haddock, deep fried in batter. The correct way to order it in Scotland is to ask for a Fish Supper (the "supper" means "with chips") and you'll be asked if you want Salt'n'Sauce. The sauce they're referring to is an Edinburgh tradition, and is slightly different in each shop. It's a mix of malt vinegar and brown sauce. You can say no, but be aware that you may get a strange look from the server. Good venues for Fish & Chips are:

  • L'Alba D'Oro  - Shirley Manson's favourite Fish & Chip shop, when she's back in town. You can get classic Fish & Chips here, or some more refined variants.
  • City Restaurant - cheap, friendly and relaxed, and a favourite with students.


You'll find a few branches of Leon around Edinburgh, and other chains such as Five Guys, but the real place to go is Bread Meats Bread, a Glasgow institution that came to Edinburgh a few years ago and is thriving here.

Pubs & Bars

An evening in the pub with a beer or a whisky is a favourite pastime in Edinburgh, although in recent years gin has become an increasingly popular export! As such, Edinburgh has many quality pubs and bars, most of which will have a range of excellent single-malt whiskys. Many of the pubs around Edinburgh also serve good food! 

The nearest large pub to the EICC is a Swedish bar called AKVA. They serve good, mainly Swedish food, and a range of beers from Scotland and around the World.

Other good pubs nearby are Thomson's Bar for more traditional beer styles, The Hanging Bat for more modern craft beer. Red Squirrel has a good pub food menu. A little further away, Brewdog have two bars. Cloisters is set in a nice old building, and there's a whole range of other options. For whisky specifically, the Bow Bar prides itself on its selection and the knowledge of its bar staff.

You can also go on a tour of the Edinburgh Gin distillery, which is a short walk from the EICC, and there's a bar in the basement called Edinburgh Gin distillery.


Edinburgh has a great artisan coffee scene. Nearby you'll find Milk. Further away, you'll find Machina Espresso, Brew Lab, Artisan Roast, and Castello Coffee, among many others!