Edinburgh restaurants and cafes opening in 2022, from Mowgli to Ka Pao

There will be plenty of new places to try next year

Brace yourself, Edinburgh, as 2022 is going to be a year of restaurant openings.

Many of them are new chains, including ones that are coming to St James Quarter, who will have added DGK, Thai Express, Wingstop and Bubbleology, as well as popular Edinburgh business, Bross Bagels, to their food offerings by the end of 2021.

Along with the couple we’ve mentioned below, in 2022 they may also be adding sushi takeaway Itsu as well as Sushisamba, which will be situated on the roof of the impending W Hotel, though the dates for those are still to be confirmed. That building is like the Tardis.

Machina Espresso

Thankfully, as well as the chains, we’ve also spotted a couple of independents who are planning to branch out next year. We hope that there will be more. Here’s our round up of impending additions.

The Glasgow branch of this Indian restaurant chain will open first, before Edinburgh gets one at 20 Hanover Street in the summer of 2022. We’re big fans of its hands-on owner, television presenter, author and cook, Nisha Katona, who trains her chefs personally and donates a hefty amount to charity. The capital’s new space will be similar to her other venues, which have swings hanging from the ceiling and fairy-light strung trees. Dishes include the Mowgli chip butty, tea steeped chickpeas or the gunpowder chicken, and there are vegan and gluten free menus.

Mowgli branch

This cafe at 54-56 Morningside Road has been hugely popular since opening properly in 2021. It’s owned by the Connolly-Bastocks: head baker, Liv, and her chef husband, Steve, and they’ve created a seasonal menu that blows most of Edinburgh’s other brunch options out of the water. We’re talking buttermilk pancakes with Greek yoghurt and apple poached in Douglas fir, or ox cheek with Company Bakery sourdough, celeriac puree, smoked bacon lardons and a poached Corrie Mains free-range egg. They’re promising us a second venue in 2022, though location is still to be confirmed. We think Stockbridge or Portobello would be a nice fit. Watch this space.

The Bahn Mi Bar

Originally due to open in Autumn 2021, this outpost of the “glorious playground” that is five star hotel Gleneagles in Auchterarder, is now opening its doors on St Andrew Square in Spring 2022. As well as 33 rooms and a spa, there’s a rooftop bar, Lamplighters, and a large open plan 120-cover restaurant, The Spence, where the focus will be on brunch and live music. The chef hasn’t yet been announced, though we’re guessing it’ll be someone rather up-and-coming.

We love Glasgow’s Ka Pao, which is owned by the people behind the west coast city’s equally great Ox & Finch, so we’re hoping that their style translates to the fourth floor of Edinburgh’s St James Quarter. Their new 3400 square foot restaurant will overlook St James Square and hopefully include some of the Southeast Asian dishes that they serve in their original venue, including cured langoustine, lime, Granny Smith apples and cashews; crispy pork belly, sorrel, watercress and calamansi salad as well as a jungle curry of Shetland mussels. We want their cocktails too, especially the lime leaf negroni. They’re planning to open in January 2022.

The Spence, Gleneagles Townhouse

THE BANH MI BAR

If all goes to plan, Edinburgh’s Vietnamese sandwich purveyor will soon be opening another branch in February 2022, to join the one on East Market Street. This time it’ll be in Bruntsfield, in the former premises of Meltmongers, and they’ll be focusing on producing more of their cooked-to-order hot sandwiches, which have fillings including savoury caramel pork belly, maple ginger and soy glazed and grilled tofu. You’ll also be able to get a Vietnamese breakfast, noodle salads, speciality coffee and locally made sweets. Sit in, takeaway and delivery will be available.

MACHINA ESPRESSO

This excellent cafe is upping sticks from its eight-year-old Brougham Place location, which will close on December 28, and moving to 32-38 Marchmont Road in early 2022, as part of its plans to open a series of new cafes in the capital over the next couple of years. The new venue will have a Scandinavian aesthetic and will be a cafe and extension of its existing roastery, as well as an equipment showroom for baristas and coffee nuts. To bridge the gap between one venue closing and the other opening, there will be a pop-up section at the new site, which will offer takeaway and retail coffee from January 10.

JOLLIBEE

Along with the appearance of steak restaurant Bar + Block, this Filipino fast food chain at 136 Princes Street will mark the transformation of Edinburgh’s main thoroughfare into an eating/hotel destination, rather than a shopping one. They offer ChickenJoy buckets, rice bowls, burgers and loaded fries, as well as their Jolly Spaghetti, which consists of pasta topped with chopped hot dogs and cheese. They should be opening in early 2022, and the bee logo is already above the door.

DUCK & WAFFLE

You’ll have to wait until later in 2022 for this London and Hong Kong based restaurant to open its Edinburgh branch on the fourth floor of St James Quarter. If they’re anything like their original counterpart, it’ll be an all-day affair, with dishes including their signature Duck and Waffle with crispy leg confit, fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup.

HAUTE DOLCI

Opening on level three of St James Quarter in spring 2022, this glamorous place will be reserved for the sweet toothed, with extremely Instagrammable waffles, ice-cream sundaes and French toast slathered in chocolate. This is the first Scottish branch for this chain.

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