Did you spend all your money on pay weekend and still looking for a night out! Grab some friends and a bottle of sauvignon blanc from your local, and check out the Hidden Edinburgh’s best BYOB restaurants. More fun, less funds!
When entering Tuk Tuk, you will first be struck by the vibrant but rustic feel of the interior, inspired by the flamboyant films of Bollywood. Once sat down, you will be hit smack in the face by the aromas drifting from the next door table ho have just had an incredible feast of dishes presented to them. Finally, we defy you not to tap your feet to the lively Bollywood tunes blaring through the building. For all it’s excitement, Tuk Tuk keeps the menu uncomplicated and serves Indian street food that is simple, wholesome and highly satisfying. This is the perfect place for those who like to share and try a bit of everything as dishes are tapas style – they recommend ordering around three dishes per head and getting stuck in. This place is popular so expect this place to get very busy and very lively! Food and fun rolled into one!
BYOB policy: Tuk Tuk don’t charge a corkage fee but request a 50p charge for recycling of bottles. BYOB includes wine and beer only. Sorry no spirits.
Somewhat of an Edinburgh institution, Khushi’s was the first Indian restaurant to open in the city in 1947. They pride themselves on their heritage, using fresh produce in all their dishes, and their in-house creations such as their home-made cheese and yoghurt. Having been doing what they do for so long, you expect them to be experts at Indian food – which they most certainly are. Whilst we wouldn’t want to go out a limb and make any over the top claims, you are sure to get a good curry at Khushi’s. The restaurant itself is contemporary and comfortable, if not the most ‘boutiquey’ feeling. In terms of what you should order, we highly recommend the Hydrabai Biryani’s which are served in traditional clay pots and can be ordered in sharing portions – more than enough for two people!
BYOB policy: Khushi’s don’t charge a corkage fee. Excludes spirits.
This colourful and contemporary restaurant at top of Leith walk, serves up a great selection of Middle Eastern inspired dishes. The menu is huge with a huge selection of informal mezze style and tapas sized dishes – there is something for most tastes. Flavours and recipes are influenced by a plethora of places, including Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran, to name a few! The restaurant walls are washed with deep, jewel colors, and middle eastern influenced details run throughout – lanterns hang from the ceilings, Arabic-style cushions are scattered on furniture. Pomegranate offers a vibrant atmosphere, reflecting the vibes of the cities from which it is inspired.
BYOB policy: BYOB includes wines, beers and ciders but no soft drinks or spirits. Pomegranate require 30p for recycling of bottles. Valid form of photographic proof of age required.
Howies, Victoria Street
Howies on the iconic Victoria Street is a stylishly paired back restaurant, exuding rustic French vibes. The vaulted rooms that make up the restaurant feature wooden floors, stone walls and walls adorned with random Scottish-themed artwork. Howies is relaxed enough to be comfortable but isn’t a totally informal atmosphere. The contemporary menu is made up of unpretentious dishes with global influences, but is dominated with Scottish favourites including plenty of fresh seafood and 35-day dry aged steaks. Despite being so central to the busy tourist routes of the city, the restaurant is nicely tucked away and feels reasonably snug even when full. Although the menu might not be the most exciting prospect for hard-core foodies, Howie’s is a buzzing, friendly restaurant with a menu that will please most tastes.
BYOB policy: Corkage fee applies (please contact individual restaurants for more information). Includes 75cl bottles of wine and champagne only. Sunday-Friday only.
The Buffalo Grill
Having been an old-school feature in the cities Southside for years, The Buffalo Grill changed hands and was renovated last year. The restaurant has been on the Edinburgh steak scene for a while, and had a high reputation to uphold – something which it has done with style. Popular with students from the nearby University of Edinburgh, this small but buzzing Texan style diner does exactly what it you expect. The Buffalo Grill has a substantial menu, boasting premium Scottish 21 day aged steaks, homemade burgers, and a rotation of guest beers for those so inclined. Intimate diner booths, wooden plank-clad walls and ranch-like design details bring a bit of the Wild West to Edinburgh, just enhancing the whole experience.
BYOB policy: Wine only. £3 Corkage fee applies. Please contact restaurant for full details.
Serving a menu of tacos and not much more, Bodega keeps their offering simple but well executed. The forthcoming staff recommend ordering 2 to 3 taco options per person – perfect if you can’t decide which flavours to try! Bodega try to keep everything fresh, from their ingredients to their constantly changing flavour combos, making sure you return to see them again! This restaurant is very snug – there is one long communal table and two other tiny tables for two, so this isn’t the place if you fancy a private chat. Despite this, the approachable staff and homely atmosphere make it feel like you are dinning at a good friends house rather than in a tiny room on Leith Walk. Bodega might have a mini menu but they are definitely big on flavours.
BYOB policy: 2.50pp corkage fee applies. Please contact restaurant for further details.