Eating good quality gluten free food, mainly in Edinburgh


Old Town Restaurants

Finding good gluten free choices in a strange city can be tough.  Edinburgh’s Old Town has some fantastic choices.  Here is a selection as part of my Edinburgh Gluten Free Fringe Guide:

David Bann
David Bann is Edinburgh’s best vegetarian restaurant, delighting vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters alike.  Fine dining in a lovely relaxed couple of rooms, without the flounce.  The restaurant offers a specially annotated gluten free menu (and other allergies too) and dining is straightforward.  The food is fabulous, which is saying something for a keen meat eater – and you will not regret dining here – it is terrific.  I reviewed it:

56-58 St Mary’s Street
EH1 1SX –
0131 556 5888

Mamma’s Pizza
Mamma’s is a bit of an Edinburgh institution: well packed tables, well priced and speedy service. Italians seem to do gluten free well and Mamma’s is no exception.  This is a nice restaurant with Italian style take-it-or-leave-it service, but usually with a smile.  A good spot for a relaxed meal when in town and their gluten free pizzas are unbelievably good!
28-30 Grassmarket
EH1 2JU –
0131 225 6464

La Locanda
I love this place!  A little Italian restaurant on the steep cobbled street that runs from the Royal Mile down to the Station.  Tables outside, lots of good gluten free options and wonderful service.  The pasta comes with a gluten free option and all the cakes are gluten free! This is a great place for lunch, dinner or just a cup of coffee. And if it is warm, sit outside and watch the world go by.  I recently did a review, here is the link: (apologies for the typo, but the link does work!)

61 Cockburn Street
EH1 1BS – @lalocanda61
0131 622 7447

 Amber Restaurant
Set inside the five star Scotch Whisky Experience, Amber is a must for visitors as the menu offers a true taste of Scottish quality food.  The Taste of Scotland menu will give you a flight through our finest dishes and is a real experience, all washed down with a dram (if you want one!).  Amber caters well for gluten free and will substitute wherever possible without fuss.  You can also drop by for coffee (or a dram!) or a quick whisky tasting.  Just down from the Castle, this is a good place to learn more about Scotland’s food and drink.

354 Castlehill
EH1 2NE –
0131 477 8477

Hotel du Vin
The bistro in this five star hotel which was formerly a brothel, offers a good range of gluten free options and some really good wines.  This is a nice place for drink or meal with a good standard bistro menu, lovely surroundings and good service.  I did a review:

It’s a nice place to stay too …

11 Bristo Place
EH1 1EZ –
0844 736 4255

And a few places that are a bit more wow:

Angels with Bagpipes

A really lovely top of the range restaurant on the Royal Mile, right opposite Parliament Square, Angels with Bagpipes is a real treat.  They cater really well for dietary requirements and much of the food is naturally gluten free.  This is the place for a special lunch or dinner, though is surprisingly good value.  Highly recommended and I recently did a review:

343 High Street, Royal Mile
EH1 1PW –
0131 220 1111

This delightful small restaurant on Canongate, which is the lower part of the Royal Mile, really is in the top league and is a terrific place for a lovely dinner.  However, the set lunch is great value and as most of the food is gluten free anyway, they just need to do a tiny tweak to make it right.  Without prompting, you will be brought the most gorgeous gluten free bread with olive oil and garlic dip.  One of Edinburgh’s best and really worth a visit.  I did a review:

267 Canongate, Royal Mile
EH8 8BQ –

Colonnades, Signet Library
If you are after THE most glamorous setting for a light lunch or sumptuous afternoon tea, this is the place for it.  Formerly a law library and still packed with old books, lots of gold leaf, pillars and oil paintings, this is an Edinburgh institution.  Lunches are light: gluten free soups, bread and cakes; Tea is seriously impressive and is undoubtedly the finest fully gluten free afternoon tea you will find in Edinburgh and Scotland: milles feuilles, sandwiches, pastries and savouries, all served with Pommery Champagne.  You have to try it.  During the festivals in August, it becomes more of a champagne bar and things liven up a bit with lobster and burgers on the menu.  It is a wonderful place to watch Edinburgh’s fancy pants enjoying themselves!  You will not be surprised to know that I have reviewed it recently:

Parliament Square, Royal Mile
EH1 1RF –
0131 226 1064

Chains and other places to try:
Zizzi’s – 1 Roxburghe Court, EH1 1PG + elsewhere in town – good Italian chain
Pizza Express – George IV Bridge / North Bridge + elsewhere – great GF pizza!
Costa – Royal Mile / North Bridge – good coffee chain, GF cake option + GF sandwich
The Elephant House – George IV Bridge – ‘the birthplace of Harry Potter’ – good selection of foods (do not be tempted by the place next door!)
Vittoria – George IV Bridge – good Italian
Divino Enoteca – Merchant Street beneath Vittoria– very good quality Italian
Nandos – this really is not my thing, but they tell me that much of the menu and the fries (hooray!) are gluten free.  So if you want to fill your GF teenagers (mine love it), it might be worth a try – but don’t blame me!
Mother India’s Café – and actually most Indian food is pretty much gluten free