Scotland has long been on my bucket list and what a gem it’s been! The 5 days spent in Edinburgh has been absolutely delightful as the Scottish capital is full of charm and it’s been easier than expected to find halal food around town. We were absolutely delighted that, despite not being as convenient as London, the halal food options are not just limited to the typical kebab places and Turkish / Middle Eastern restaurants (though still the majority). In this Edinburgh halal food guide, we have listed out some of the restaurants we tried during our trip as well as food places we jotted down but didn’t manage to visit.
If you want to know more about our Edinburgh stay and 5-day itinerary, including hotel, sights & things to do, check out this post here.
As per every content on this blog, please double-check the halal status with each restaurant as suppliers could change.
Where to Find Halal Food in Edinburgh
- Where to Find Halal Food in Edinburgh
- Other food recommendations:
Mosque Kitchen is known, not just for Muslims but to locals & tourists alike for cheap and no-frills delicious Indian food. The small canteen-style eatery started out only for Mosque attendees but later opened its doors to the rest of the community. There are two Mosque Kitchens – one behind the Edinburgh Central Mosque, the other on the main road – they are both the same. The Indian curries there were very homely and you can get a pretty generous portion from a cheap price. It’s the definition of a cheap-and-cheerful meal.
Halal status: Everything is halal
Laila Brunch & Lunch
This is one for the girls as Laila Brunch & Lunch is a cute-looking pink cafe with a halal food menu. It’s not just for the aesthetics for Instagram, the food was actually fairly decent. The cafe is super centrally located on Cockburn Street in Old Town Edinburgh – so it’s most ideal for a brunch stop before exploring around Edinburgh Castle, Victoria Street, and other sights nearby. For convenience, we returned to the cafe for another day of brunch again. Dishes we tried include the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Pita Wrap, Ruby Waffles with Maple & Fried Chicken, Aleppo Eggs, and Shakshuka.
Whilst they don’t serve halal meats, Ondine is an award-winning seafood specialist restaurant and the staff are knowledgeable in catering to halal dietary requirements. We had an exquisite meal there and I just have to include them on this Edinburgh food guide! The quality of seafood speaks for itself and the impeccable execution had made it such a treat to the palate. We had the lobster – one East Coast Lobster (with the claws), the other the Lobster Thermidor minus the Parmesan – as well as some oysters (both raw and fried) and a couple of side dishes to complete the meal.
There wasn’t much of a view per se as it was already very dark outside. But it should be very nice during the summer months to check out the Thai rooftop restaurant, Chaophraya. The restaurant is located in the New Town area of Edinburgh just a few steps away from the iconic Princes Street. If you manage to sit by the terrace, you will get a lovely view of Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street Gardens.
We were lucky to be able to get a table by walk-in but reservations are recommended as it’s quite popular. Food-wise, we enjoyed the likes of Thai fish cakes, Chicken Satay, Tom Yum Soup, and Tamarind Roast Duck. There are some unique mocktails available on the menu as well. Prices are very reasonable for a snazzy rooftop venue.
Halal status: Chicken & duck are halal.
Bertie’s Fish & Chips
We were actually gutted that we didn’t manage to squeeze this into our itinerary as it seemed like fish & chips are a very popular option when in Scotland! Bertie’s Fish & Chips is one that’s very popular in Edinburgh and is situated on the famous Victoria Street. You can ask for the fish & chips to be cooked separately in vegetable oil when ordering. If you’re looking for a naughty dessert, they have deep-fried mars bar on the menu!
Deep Sea Fish & Chips
If you’re looking for a 100% halal fish & chips shop, then you can head to Deep Sea Fish & Chips. The downside is that it’s a takeaway shop so you won’t be able to have a nice sit-down meal there.
Halal status: Everything is halal
Makiramen has a number of branches across Edinburgh and you’re bound to come across at least one of them during your trip. We initially planned to go there when we first arrived but, upon double-checking with the staff about the halal status of their meats, the staff didn’t seem to have a clue about what halal meat is. This isn’t the first time it happened when we were in Edinburgh enquiring about halal options as people may not be as knowledgeable about it as they are in London. We decided to play it safe and find somewhere else to eat but their management has confirmed over email that their chicken is halal across all branches. Chicken aside, there are also the likes of sushi available on the menu.
Talking about the case of people not knowing much about halal in Edinburgh, we had a somewhat similar experience at Butta Burger. But luckily the kitchen staff managed to confirm that for us while the waitresses were clueless about it.
Butta Burger has recently started to offer halal chicken options on their menu but that’s only limited to the chicken burger, NOT the chicken wings. Using chicken breast instead of thigh inevitably makes it less succulent and juicy. We tried the Truffle Chick and the Hot Chicken Burger – the chicken was slightly underseasoned and the sauces were a bit overwhelming halfway through. The plus side though? Their portions are great.
Halal status: Chicken burgers and chicken fingers are halal.
CHIX is another gourmet fried chicken spot located in the Bonnie & Wild Food Market in Edinburgh’s St James Quarter. We didn’t get to try them but they are a new street food addition, specialising in fried chicken and gourmet dips. Its small and simple menu features boneless chicken tenders and fried chicken sandwiches. Their dips are no doubt the spotlight and showcase outstanding flavours such as Peruvian Spice, Polynesian Coconut Curry & Lime, Spicy Gochujang, as well as classics such as Hickory Smoked BBQ, Buttermilk Ranch, etc.
Halal status: Chicken is halal
Nanyang Malaysian Restaurant
Situated in the heart of Edinburgh’s Quartermile is Nanyang Malaysian Restaurant. Its menu offers a wide range of classic Malaysian street food dishes as well as broader pan-Asian dishes and a few dim sum options. This will be on the list for the next time we visit Edinburgh!
When in doubt, Dishoom also has a branch in Edinburgh so that’s always an option. The menu is more or less the same as their London counterparts and the chef special dish for the branch is the Salli Boti.
Stack & Still
UK’s largest pancake house, Stack & Still, has savoury offerings on top of its classic sweet pancakes and some of them are halal. Although, personally, I’m rather unsure about how a doner kebab topping, or peri-peri chicken/chicken tikka, make an attractive pancake topping. That aside, their buttermilk pancakes were pretty good. I’ll stick with the sweet ones but the option is there should you feel adventurous for your pancake stack.
New Knights Kitchen
The little family-run cafe, New Knights Kitchen, specialises in Kenyan street food. They started out in food markets across Grassmarket and Stockbridge and now have a permanent shop located on Leith Walk. Chicken and beef are halal. Dishes include Haggis Caribbean pasties, huge North African scones, samosas and warming curries and stews.
Halal status: Chicken and beef are halal
Pirlous is a small deli located in Grassmarket of Old Town Edinburgh. There are some brunch items on the menu but they mostly do sandwiches and some bakery goods. We tried the shakshuka which was okay. It definitely wasn’t very traditional as it was served with toasted “focaccia” breadsticks. The crumbled feta on top was a nice touch but the eggs were a bit too raw and the tomato sauce base too liquidy in our opinion. Chicken is halal.
Halal status: Chicken is halal
Uwagboe’s Kitchen & Grill
Uwagboe’s Kitchen & Grill is a Nigerian takeaway restaurant located on Leith Walk and a local favourite. You can find a range of traditional Nigerian dishes, from Jollof rice and Suya wings to various rice boxes and traditional soups and stews. Tables are also available at the restaurant and they have been listed as the top finalists in the 2022 Scottish Takeaway Awards!
Halal status: All meats served are halal
Other food recommendations:
The cosy rustic interior has made this coffee shop a popular stop in Edinburgh. The Milkman is an independent speciality coffee shop situated in Old Town Edinburgh. There are two branches – both located on Cockburn Street, but it’s the one at the bottom of the street (opposite to the Warriston’s Close stairway) you’d want to visit for that iconic cosy window seat.
Mary’s Milk Bar
The most famous gelato of them all though is Mary’s Milk Bar. It is a small but cosy shop situated in Grassmarket, with beautiful views of Edinburgh Castle. Everything is handmade fresh each day and flavours change daily as well. What you can expect is untraditional and innovative flavours – think of Goat Cheese & Plum, Roasted Garlic & Caramel, etc. And of course, there are more classic flavours available too.
Smoov Gelato Coffee
Smoov is a mandatory dessert stop when walking down the famous Royal Mile of Edinburgh. The gelato-stuffed doughnut fully has my attention but it was unfortunately closed during the time of our visit. I will definitely be bolting over there first thing next time I visit Edinburgh!
Moo Pie Gelato
Another popular gelato spot in Edinburgh is Moo Pie Gelato. We wanted to visit but they were only open for takeaway with no seatings available. With the cold windy weather outside, we decided it’s not the best time to be wandering out with an icy treat. I’ll definitely be eyeing that cookie ice cream sandwich next time!
Another cute coffee shop I visited was the Mayvn Cafe. The cafe is part of the Eden Locke aparthotel and offers artisan brews accompanied by an aesthetic interior. A simple breakfast menu and a selection of freshly baked pastries are available.
The Kilted Donut
From ring donuts to filled donuts, as well as vegan donuts, The Kilted Donut offers handmade artisan donuts daily across their Leith and Stockbridge branches.