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September 24, 2020

Surrounded by student flats, well-to-do New Towners and located a short walk from the Playhouse, Broughton Street is one of Edinburgh's restaurant and bar hot spots.

But while there is plenty of demand, there is also fierce competition for the custom.

Off the top of my head, I can name almost twenty food and drink venues on the 300 metre stretch of road.

Some existing venues are still to re-open after lockdown.

Other operators have taken the plunge and opened their doors for the first time.

We will start by mentioning Harmonium, the plant-based restaurant and bar which used to be in Leith.

They recently relocated to the unit on the corner of East London and Broughton Streets. Main pic is from Harmonium's Facebook.

Plant-based harmony

It is a vegan joint so you can dive into dishes such as the spicy sausage and pepper pizza made with crumbled fennel sausage, roasted peppers, onion, chilli flakes and mozzarella.

There are burgers like The Ivor Cutler - soy patty with haggis, caramelised onion, smoked cheddar, whisky mayo, rocket, beef tomato - or you could tackle the no-fish and chips: beer-battered banana blossoms with hand cut chips, mushy peas, tartare and pickled onion.

If you just want to graze over drinks then check out the small plates and sides. We fancy the skordalia and pitta bread - crushed walnuts, potato and garlic dip with fresh parsley, lemon and extra virgin oil.

Harmonium is run by the team which, among other places, also have Stereo and Mono in Glasgow.

Both venues run regular live gigs and, when restrictions loosen, there are plans to make good use of the basement space under Harmonium

'Our objective is to create a space that provides a platform to showcase creativity and expression, from Edinburgh and beyond,' say Harmonium.

To which we reply, 'Hallelujah!'

Italian and Greek with a smidge of Scottish

Very quickly, we will also give a shout out to Da Vinci Mediterranean Restaurant and Cafe which has set up in 73 Broughton Street, formerly Asti Italian.

Da Vinci on Broughton Street.

Da Vinci on Broughton Street.

It describes itself as a 'family-run Mediterranean restaurant. A wonderful blend of Italian and Greek cuisine, with a wee smidge of Scottish favourites for good measure'.

The menus include dishes such as oven-baked feta cheese; king prawns in a tomato, ouzo and feta sauce and a Greek-style beef stew with Parmesan polenta.

Reasons to be cheerful

Finally, we have a very tasty Big Deal for steak lovers.

Twenty Princes Street is offering steak frites for two plus a bottle of house wine to share for £29.

The Big Deal is valid until the end of March 2021.

Dig into this deal on steak frites and wine from Twenty Princes Street.

Dig into this deal on steak frites and wine from Twenty Princes Street.