Edinburgh Southside: Student Venue Guide

Our pick of the bars, restaurants and cafes in the student heartland of Edinburgh's Southside

Feature by Kate Pasola and Peter Simpson | 11 Sep 2017

The Mosque Kitchen
31 Nicolson Sq 
0131 667 4035
An all-round winner, the Mosque Kitchen serves up delicious curry all day long with huge plates of spicy goodness starting at just a few quid. A student rite of passage; you should go. Now.

Kilimanjaro Coffee
104 Nicolson St
0131 662 0135
The most heavenly mochas in town, with the natural light which floods through the glass-fronted shop making a nice change from your rickets-inducing halls kitchen.

Filament Coffee
38 Clerk St
Filament’s a brilliant modern coffee bar halfway between Summerhall and the Pleasance, just off the Meadows but not far from Pollock either. Grab a flat white, get your bearings, and get your day moving.

118 Buccleuch St & 15 W Register St
Fry-ups! Snax is more than just a deliriously cheap greasy spoon, and not just because it does paninis and baked potatoes too. It’s a statement. It’s the reclaiming of hash browns and potato scones; a triumphant celebration of down to earth British breakfasting.

Cult Espresso
104 Buccleuch St
Interested in speciality coffee but don’t want to have to pretend you understand what a pour-over is? That’s okay – the charming fellows at Cult’ll whip you up something, sans smugness. Top lads.

10 to 10 in Delhi
67 Nicolson St
07536 757770
A great spot for a curry between classes or a post-lecture pitstop, with the food and drink served up in an incogruous yet amazing rainbow-coloured, floor-cushioned den.

Victor Hugo
26/27 Melville Terrace
An absolute cornucopia of hangover-slaying dishes will leave you stuck deciding what you want for about fifteen minutes. If you're grabbing lunch on the way across the Meadows, nip in for one of their pastrami sandwiches; it has about half a cow on it.

The Piemaker
38 South Bridge
0131 558 1728
At some point this semester you’ll find yourself weeping as you lug fourteen new social anthropology textbooks home from Blackwell’s. You’ll be ravenous. The Piemaker will make you feel like the world is okay again, through the power of fat and pastry.

38 Home St
Art deco and intimate, the historic Cameo makes going to the cinema feel like a real treat again. They screen everything from the mainstream to the obscure, and even host sleepover film nights and live events. 

1 Summerhall Pl
A hub for the arts, it's the place to be if you're a creative type. You'll find club nights, art exhibitions, theatre, beer festivals, an onsite brewery and gin distillery, a bar with courtyard for a little European plaza chic, and even members of Skinny staff skulking about the place after a long day in the office.

Clerk's Bar
74-78 South Clerk St
Crafts on tap, slow-smoked scran at loan-friendly prices and all kinds of student revelry (though think twice before entering their Hot Wings Challenge...). 

89 Causewayside
Edgy little coffee shop a short stroll from Pollock Halls serving up hearty sandwiches, eclectic salads and frighteningly decadent cakes from Earthy. Plus, there's a study basement where you can knick their WiFi all afternoon long.

Red Box Noodle Bar
51 West Nicolson Street
Super Noodles just not cutting it? Swing by Red Box for a steaming bowl (or box) of freshly prepared noodles, with options galore and pleasingly massive portions.

Maki & Ramen
13 West Richmond St
A lovingly decorated and charming hole in the wall off Nicholson St, the menu is, as suggested, half sushi and half noodle. Expect quality in presentation, ingredients and execution.

172 Rose St & 47 South Clerk St
Stop! Buying! Domino's! Pizza! Look, Dough have an extensive array of by-the-slice pies, all delicious sea water crusts and fresh ingredients. Go to them; they’ll see you right.

Festival Theatre
13-29 Nicolson St
Big old glass-fronted theatre with a year-round programme of theatre, musicals, dance, live music and more. Feeling spontaneous? Head down on the day and grab yourself a £10 standby ticket.

32 Home St
Mexican eatery Taquito follow a philosophy of simplicity and tastiness, meaning they're perfect if you're looking to load up on guac-laden treats at astonishingly reasonable prices.

Africano Wrap Place
6 Chapel St
0131 667 8200
Clue's in the title. Our fave is the falafel wrap: homemade falafel packed with fresh herbs and spices, paired with a light, smooth houmous and a delightful spicy peanut sauce. It's a party in your mouth, and everyone's invited.

Lupe Pintos
24 Leven St
Treasure trove of a food shop, filled with delights for all foodies, lovers of Mexican and Central American foods and American ex-pats looking for that canned pumpkin fix.

New Amphion, Teviot Row House
Teviot Row House
Part of Edinburgh University’s Teviot building, this gem is chronically overshadowed by its overrated internal neighbor, Library Bar. The nautical themed, open plan New Amphion is way better. Comfy sofas, plugs for your laptop and cheap nachos. 

Andrew Usher & Co
32B West Nicolson St
This super duper pub is cool with letting you sample whichever of their craft beers piques your interest, so never again will there be reason to freak out and order a "smokey" number which tastes like bacon. Unless you like that one, of course (weirdo).