How to find your inner gourmet

Since Edinburgh lies right beside the sea shore, why not try the fresh seafood that is offered at several places around the city? It won’t cost you a fortune! Scotland has a large fishing area around its shores with seafood from the Atlantic west coast as well as the Shetland Isles in the North. It […]

Since Edinburgh lies right beside the sea shore, why not try the fresh seafood that is offered at several places around the city? It won’t cost you a fortune! Scotland has a large fishing area around its shores with seafood from the Atlantic west coast as well as the Shetland Isles in the North. It is very popular throughout Scotland; in Edinburgh some of the fine but rather expensive restaurants (e.g. Fishers Bistro and The Shore Bar and Restaurant) can be found on The Shore in Leith. While some places in the city‘s Old Town are as pricey as those at the waterfront (like as the Mussel & Steak Bar on Grassmarket and Creeler’s Restaurant in Hunter Square just off the Royal Mile), all of them have attractive lunch time offers of two courses from a set menu for usually no more than £ 10.

For small budget foodies, however, two places on Rose Street might be the more interesting: On one hand, there is the Mussel Inn, which features a maritime interior with colourful mosaics on the walls. Specializing in all kinds of seafood beyond just fish, it is the perfect place to have a very first meal of mussels, prawns, scallops and oysters. Go with some friends, order different starters (£3-5) or grilled platters (£5-10), and share – not at all slimy! Even better and befitting the restaurant’s name are the ½ kilo pots of mussels for only £5.80, perfectly cooked in different stocks that you can choose personally (for example, roasted pepper, Moroccan, or blue cheese) – delicious until the last drop that you‘ll eventually wipe up with the warm fresh bread that is refilled for free. On the other hand, there is The Seadogs, a quirky but classy place that is my personal favourite because of its fantastic price-to-performance ratio. White walls, partly decorated with ornamental wallpaper and various collections of wood and red plastic furniture, create a chic but cosy atmosphere. The menu includes traditional Scottish seafood dishes, like tomato chowder and high standard fish and chips (with different sorts of fish like plaice or trout to choose from), as well as vegetarian meals like barley paella. During the daytime, everything is around £ 5, but the wider dinner menu are also reasonable- a dish costs rarely more than £ 10. The recipes are down-to-earth but with a twist, a genius combination of main ingredients and lots of fresh herbs (for example, cider-smoked haddock with thyme mussels). While the bread is not free, it is obviously home-baked and very moist and wellworth the extra £ 0.95. Having seafood might be a culinary adventure and gastronomically- virgin soil for you, but it doesn‘t have to be expensive or pure glibber.

So when you‘re in Edinburgh, sharpen your teeth and senses and broaden your horizons on a delicious exploration!
Seafood venues with great value for money (Costs are usually £ 5 – 10):
Seadogs, 43 Rose Street
Mussel Inn, 61 – 65 Rose Street

Text by Luise Hausweiler, Photo by Helene Hirschl

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