Empires is a turkish restaurant in Edinburgh Old Town which offers a fantastic experience. This restaurant/café is not all about the food but the ambience and charm of this little place in amazing and to me rather unique. Walls are covered with pottery which are for sale and rugs and pillows give a true bohemian feel.
Food is turkish and spanish tapas. I recommend doing the Meze manu to sample different kinds of food and flavours. Also the vegetarian Moussaka is amazing!
The owner of the place also lives for music and likes to support local musicians. He often invites bands or singers to come play at Empires. On Saturdays it is often 'the Sound of Flamenco'. Eat and drink and enjoy a good show of Spanish sounds, songs and breathtaking dance!
Empires doesnt have an alcohol license - it is BYOB - 'Bring your own bottle'.
Corkage about £3.
Dress Code: Relaxed!!
The essence of Villager
This without doubt the funkiest bar in Edinburgh (together w the sister-bar Dragon Fly, see tip.) Interiors are a cool mix between crystal chandeliers, leather sofas, huge plants, Adidas-sneakers and a porcelain tiger (which every now and then gets stolen by the staff at the Outsider across the street…:)
The Menu - sample
Baked salmon rolled with teriyaki soft noodles on stir-fried asian greens £4.85
Coconut beer battered haddock fillet deep fried until golden, straw fries and tangy tartare sauce £7.95
Scotch ribeye steak cooked to your liking, with a red wine and roast garlic sauce, served with straw fries and roasted baby tomatoes £10.95
Roasted vegetable flourette, served with sauteed pak choi and mustard vinaigrette V £5.95
The Drinks - sample
Monkey on coke - monkey shoulder blended malt layered on cola
Hendrick's and tonic - hendrick's, a scottish cucumber infused gin with tonic and cucumber
Berry flirtini - absolut raspberi, cointreau, raspberries, pineapple, topped with pommery brut champers, served straight up
Pear and raspberry mojito - mount gay eclipse rum, xante pear cognac, mint, raspberries, lime, sugar, soda, served long over crushed ice
I quote some reviews:
“killer cocktails, musical mysteries, and décor blimey – and all of them
coming together just perfectly”
sunday herald bar-spy – march 11th 2004
“so adventurous with it’s flavours and ingredients that the journey is
well worth it”
sunday times - december 28th 2003
Dress Code: None - although the place is full of trendy fashion victims!
Ecco Vino is a cosy wine bar just off the Royal Mile, on the lively Cockburn Street. It's lovely Neo-italian decor provides a refreshing relaxed atmosphere. Here you can choose from over 50 wines from an extensive wine list featuring New World wines, as well as Old. Ecco Vino is also the place to enjoy a traditional Italian feast. A visit here without having anti pasti is unheard of!
Vegetable Antipasti, A selection of char-grilled and marinated vegetables - £6.95 Mixed Antipasti, A selection of cured meats, baked mozzarella and marinated vegetables - £8.95
Warm salad of rosemary and sea salt potato, chorizo and smoked duck on a bed of mixed leaves - £7.50
Pasta with sun blushed tomato, talegio cheese and rocket - £6.95
A selection of warm breads served with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil served with an accompaniment of homemade dips - £2.95/£3.50
Dress Code: Casual...
Whistlebinkie’s is a basement pub that has live entertainment every night of the week right up until they close the doors at 3am. There is a main seating area with sofas and old barrels as tables, but there are also “hidden” cave-like snug booths.
It’s a popular hangout when pubs and bars closes at 1am which makes it real crowded most of the times.
Dress Code: None
Nicol Edwards is a gem of a drinking establishment. Open until 3am most nights, it consists of 5 or 6 different caverns, some with live music one with a cinema, and each with its own bar. The whole place has a dark feel about it, but it's friendly and cheap, with entry charges only on a Friday and Saturday night.
Well worth a visit or four!
Dress Code: Thankfully, no dress code here!
All along the Royal Mile, the long road that connects the Castle to Holyrood Palace, you can find several pubs and a few clubs. It's the right street to go on a pub crawl, if you are into drinking beer. I'm not into drinking, really, but it was fun anyway.
This bar was formerly EH1 but has been slightly modernised by Belhaven Breweries. Nice atmosphere but a hike to the toilets.
Dress Code: Casual