Edinburgh has a lot of nice restaurants, which means that if you’re looking for somewhere for dinner on Valentines night, then you’re spoilt for choice. Below are some of the restaurants that I’ve found to be the most intimate, with fantastic food. They might get busy, so book fast!
The setting of this first recommendation is ideal for a date night because it’s situated on Merchant Street, not far from the Grassmarket; it’s a tucked away Italian that I didn’t know about until I visited last year. 7 of us headed down on a Friday night and the first thing I noticed was how nice the restaurant is inside. It’s very dimly lit and decorated beautifully; straight away I thought this would be a great date night restaurant.
Start your evening with one of Divino’s wine flights before enjoying an amuse-bouche from the chef, followed by plenty of meat, cheese and pasta. Make sure to end your meal with some profiteroles, which provide a deliciously sweet ending to your dinner.
Locanda de Gusti
Locanda is my favourite Italian restaurant in Edinburgh and I always have an amazing meal here. The restaurant is relatively small, with a homely and local Italian feel, this means that it also provides a fantastic atmosphere. If you can’t spend Valentine’s in Italy – this is the next best thing!
The seafood here is out of this world and the seafood mixed grill is perfect for sharing – but can be a little messy! There are plenty of seafood dishes to choose from and the burrata is also exquisite. Whatever, you choose you won’t be disappointed and the attentive and friendly staff will ensure you have a special evening.
What: Wine Bar
Wine bars are perfect for getting to know someone or for spending quality time because they are normally dimly lit with a relaxed atmosphere. I’ve only been to Rollo on Stockbridge (there’s also one on Broughton Street), but it is both dimly lit and relaxed.
There is a selection of bites on the menu that allow you to nibble away over your wine. Or, there are also a number of larger dishes, including Thai green curry or duck breast, as well as salads and yummy sides.
What: French Caribbean
If you’re looking for a small restaurant, which is bursting with fun and flavour, RiverLife is ideal. I visited on a Friday as a group, but we took up half of the restaurant, so dining as a 2 would give you your own space, without being overcrowded.
Being a French Caribbean restaurant, there are a lot of interesting dishes on the menu and I would recommend the coconut, coriander and almond fish fillet, which was recommended to me and I loved it! The staff are very friendly and after our meal we were entertained with a guitar player, which added a lot of character to our evening. RiverLife is BYOB, so if you plan on having a glass of wine or 2, it’s great value, as well as a fantastic night out.
Mexican is my favourite cuisine and El Cartel is my favourite Mexican restaurant in Edinburgh. Unfortunately, they don’t take bookings, but you can go along and, if they’re full, put your name down and enjoy a drink at a nearby bar and when your table is ready, they send you a text. It’s a small restaurant, so expect it to be busy!
The menu is Mexican street food, so its perfect for sharing; everything comes as and when it’s ready, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long for your next bite. I suggest ordering some margaritas and a selection from the menu, you can’t go wrong with the guacamole, quesadillas, Baja cod tacos and the corn – although everything is delicious.
Good sushi isn’t the easiest thing to find, but Kanpai is the closest I’ve found to dining in Tokyo, whilst still being in Edinburgh. The izakaya style restaurant is lowly lit and creates a chilled-out vibe, whilst style feeling quite private. The interior of Kanpai is very sleek and I enjoy dining here for both the food and atmosphere.
The sashimi set is my favourite because I’m a big fan of sashimi and this allows me to share and try different types of fish. There is lots of delicious sushi to choose from, as well as other hot and cold dishes. If your Valentine likes sushi, then they’ll love Kanpai!