You might be heading to meet friends for after work drinks or perhaps you fancy a wee nibble with cocktails before your night on the town really gets going.
By Stephanie Abbot
All you know is, you’re peckish and looking to pick and choose from some delectable offerings, without feeling completely stuffed.
While the idea of sharing food can seem unnatural to some, this popular trend isn’t going anywhere fast, so we’ve put together a list of the best places in the city to gather your pals, family or colleagues for some tasty lighter bites.
Tucked underneath L’Escargot Bleu on busy Broughton Street, this place offers a nice chilled out space to unwind in after a hectic day. There's a huge number of Scottish cheeses to enjoy and as the name would suggest, a larder stocked full of pickles and preserves to accompany them. Mediterranean meat platters and Edinburgh preserve pâtés are also available and the Pickles Combo allows you to add a bottle of the house wine or port to the platter of your choice.
56a Broughton Street, www.getpickled.co.uk
Fast becoming a favourite for brunch among Leith locals, this bright and spacious cafe bar also offers some mouth-watering tapas style small plates and sharing boards. Situated right next to the canal, you and a friend could grab a seat by the window and set the world to rights with a glass of wine in hand and a charcuterie board between you.
65 The Shore, toastleith.co.uk
Serrano & Manchego
Tempted for tapas? We urge you to try this authentic Spanish restaurant found halfway down Leith Walk. All of the ingredients are sourced from the finest producers in sunny Spain to provide customers with a real taste of the country. The menu includes favourites like Patatas Bravas, Chorizo Al Vino and, for a sweet treat, Churros with chocolate dip.
297 Leith Walk, serranoandmanchego.co.uk
Heads and Tales
Why not combine creative cocktails with any one of the delicious sharing boards on offer at this atmospheric bar? Along with an extensive selection of gins, mixers and garnishes, this atmospheric bar offers Big Boards. There’s one for fish fans which includes smoked salmon, crayfish cocktail and tuna tartare. You’ll also find the tried and tested but oh-so-tasty baked Camembert if you're looking for something gooey, perfect for dipping warm bread.
1a Rutland Place, www.headsandtalesbar.com
Clark and Lake
This dedicated charcuterie hot spot opened last year and is a food sharing haven. With a mouth-watering list of meats and cheeses both locally produced and from further afield, you might struggle to make a decision. There are Spanish, Italian and British sharing boards along with a wine list designed to match the food perfectly.
8 Gillespie Place, www.clarkandlake.co.uk
Meaning ‘The Little House’, this Greek restaurant is an excellent option if you’re mad for meze. Freshly made classic dips including taramasalata and tzatziki are available, perfect for dipping warm pitta bread. You and your friends could build up a banquet to include spicy baked feta, grilled octopus and fried potatoes with oregano. Greek owner Christos has lived in Edinburgh for the last 10 years and uses his expertise to share delicious and vibrant dishes from back home.
133-135 East Claremont Street, www.spitaki.co.uk
Right in the centre of the city’s busy shopping streets, you will find this Mexican chain eatery offering scrumptious street style food. With small plates including everything from tacos and taquitos to quesadillas, these dishes are great for two or three people sharing and even better when enjoyed with one of their tequila-based cocktails. There’s also an impressive range available for vegan and gluten-free diners.
South St Andrew Street, www.wahaca.co.uk/locations/edinburgh
Mother India’s Cafe
Originally hailing from Glasgow, this restaurant offers a lighter way to eat Indian cuisine by adopting a tapas-style approach. They recommend three or four dishes between two people and you’ll find classics like pakoras and chicken tikka along with vegetarian options such as spicy potato fritters and okra and potato bhajis. This is perfect for people who find it difficult committing to one dish by allowing you to sample little bits of lots of things.
Take a stroll down the Canongate and you will find this Seafood and Oyster Bar just waiting to delight you with their fresh and creative take on all things fishy. Their small plates include crab scotch egg, scotch bonnet cured salmon with avocado and tomato, along with monkfish satay. If you are looking for something bigger and bolder then why not try one of their impressive seafood platters? The hot platter includes hand dived scallops, razor clams and kimchi oysters.
266 Cannongate, www.whitehorseoysterbar.co.uk/kitchen
If you’re looking to get down and dirty with the mother of all finger foods then you should check out Edinburgh’s first and only chicken wing restaurant. You’ll find Doctor Who paraphernalia on the walls, a laid-back atmosphere and a menu fit to burst with spices and sauces including Taps Aff, Disco Wingferno and The Skywalker. You and some pals could mix and match with different spices, share them out and let the good times roll.
5-7 Old Fishmarket Close, wingsedinburgh.com