Edinburgh is a fantastic city. I am somewhat biased, having lived here while doing my undergraduate degree, but I stand by the fact that it’s a brilliant place to live, whether as a student or a scary-grown-up-real-person. You can probably tell that I’m very much still a student. As such, it occurred to me recently that most restaurant review articles for Edinburgh list some truly delicious places to eat... that are situated a half-hour walk away from the centre and charge an average of £25 for a meal. This is not so student friendly. I plan to rectify that here, with a list of my favourite cheap, cheerful, and delicious places to get a good meal.
Elephant and Bagels 37 Marshall St Edinburgh, EH8 9BJ 0131 668 4404
Okay, this is a café more than anything else, and yes, it is affiliated with the Elephant Café, where J. K. Rowling began writing Harry Potter. But to be perfectly frank, you won’t get a better bagel anywhere else in the city. There’s a phenomenal amount of choice, and it isn’t too expensive. You’ll pay about £3 for a simple bagel, and between £3 and £5 for a very full, lightly toasted bagel sandwich, stuffed with all of your favourite things. I have a soft spot for the olive and hummus bagel, as well as the mozzarella, salami, pesto and roasted tomato bagel. Oooh, I’m hungry just thinking about it.
Marcella’s Italian Bakery 20A Brougham Place, Tollcross Edinburgh, EH3 9JU 0131 622 5781
Marcella’s is one of my favourite places to go for a relaxed evening with friends. When you enter the cheerful blue door, there is often an Italian pop mix CD playing, and from the red and white checked tablecloths to the mock-Roman statues by the door, it’s all like being in a 1950s Italian diner cliché. Marcella’s is a BYOB restaurant, so remember to bring along a bottle of red to go with your meal. The lasagne, clocking in at a budget-friendly £3, is hot, fresh, and you get a surprisingly large portion. The pizzas and pastas, whilst simple, are equally satisfying. If you have room left over, don’t forget to try some of the pastries that are made freshly every day. If you don’t have room, get a couple anyway to take away. You’ll regret it if you don’t.
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