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September 17, 2021

It's a long time until Christmas. Add a rosy glow to your autumn with these five Edinburgh restaurants which consistently attract five star reviews from 5pm customers.

Bar Italia

There is always a warm welcome at Bar Italia.

There is always a warm welcome at Bar Italia.

Located on Lothian Road, Bar Italia is in the heart of Edinburgh’s West End - handy for theatres and cinemas - and offers contemporary and classic Italian dishes in relaxed surroundings. The family-run restaurant is very child-friendly and accessible for wheelchair users. It also has the distinction of stocking house wines produced in the family’s very own vineyards in the south of Italy.

The restaurant’s kitchen uses only certified Scotch beef and offers gluten-free pizzas and lasagne or cannelloni dishes on request. Classic Italian dishes like minestrone soup, garlic bread and bruschetta are on the menu alongside a delicious chicken liver pâté flavoured with Moscato.

A wide array of pasta and pizza courses are also available at Bar Italia with special mention given to the calzone pizza with tomato, mozzarella, spicy sausage, mozzarella and ham; the tagliatelle with chicken, chorizo and broad beans in a cream and tomato sauce and their award-winning Martone ice cream.

5pm diners certainly like Bar Italia. This is from a review left in August:

'Great food, lovely staff. Food and drinks were great. Haggis ravioli was especially nice. 20% off was a great touch too. Staff were very attentive and friendly. All Covid social distancing rules were followed well for a small, fairly busy restaurant. Would definitely go back.'

Book Bar Italia with 5pm Dining and you can, depending on the day and time of booking, enjoy offers like these:

£15.50 for 2 courses on pre-theatre menu

10% a la carte discount

£46 2 person offer - 2 courses on pre-theatre menu for 2 + bottle of wine

Cellar Door

Scottish seafood is among the attractions at the Cellar Door.

Scottish seafood is among the attractions at the Cellar Door.

It is worth seeking out this unobtrusive, George IV Bridge restaurant. Step behind The Cellar Door and you will find a modern Scottish restaurant which aims to deliver the best of Scotland on a plate. From quick and simple lunches to multi-course seasonal tasting menus, the kitchen wants to guide guests on a tour of Scotland’s natural larder. All ingredients are sourced locally – from sustainable producers – and, of course, the chefs can cater for all culinary and dietary requirements.

The menu changes with the seasons but a typical starter might be the Scottish crab and Orkney cheddar rarebit served with crab salad, pickled cucumber and fresh apple. Followed, perhaps, by the Ayrshire pork belly with corn purée, corn on the cob, barbecued cabbage, pork croquette, pickled radish and barbecue jus. Options from the vegan menu might include the tempura courgette with fennel jelly and red pepper salsa and then the charred cucumber with balsamic tomato, tomato chutney and a tomato crisp.

This impressed guest, who dined in August, and left a review on 5pm said:

'Great food. Definitely go back. Food and service fantastic. Great prices.'

Book in with 5pm to enjoy these offers:

£30 5 course tasting menu + glass of fizz

£15 for 2 courses on set lunch menu

10% discount on 6 course vegetarian tasting menu

10% a la carte discount

£38 for 6 course tasting menu

Mia Restaurant Morningside

Mia is an inviting, family-run restaurant in Morningside.

Mia is an inviting, family-run restaurant in Morningside.

Mia Italian Kitchen on Morningside Road is the younger sister to the popular Mia restaurant on Dalry Road. A family-run restaurant, it attracts friends meeting for coffee, cake and a catch-up; resting lunchtime shoppers and couples out for dinner. It is especially welcoming to families - children are offered freshly cooked, smaller portions of adult dishes.

Like all the best Italian restaurants, Mia’s menus are all about top quality ingredients cooked simply and with care. The hot and cold starters at Mia include choices such as calamari, pork ribs cooked in garlic and wine and platters of fresh buffalo mozzarella and Italian cured meats. Among the main courses, the wide selection of pasta and pizza dishes is always popular.

Fish lovers will enjoy browsing the pesce selection. The zuppa di pesce, or seafood and shellfish broth, served with toasted bread comes highly recommended. Veal in a white wine, mushroom and cream sauce; the duck breast with apple and maple syrup plus the sirloin steak with rocket and shaved Parmesan all have their fans. Tiramisu, profiteroles and Italian cheeses will happily fill any space which diners may have left.

Tempted yet? This recent review from a 5pm diner may be the final nudge you need:

'Brilliant find. We were welcomed in by friendly staff, service was great nothing was too much bother. Food was delicious. This was our first time there but definitely not our last.'

Make your booking at Mia with 5pm and you can enjoy a complimentary glass of fizz when ordering two or three courses per person on the à la carte menu.

Alternatively, check this Big Deal from Mia: £15 for a £30 spend voucher at the restaurant or £25 for a £50 spend.

Royal Gurkha

Royal Gurkha is a popular choice for Nepalese and Indian dishes.

Royal Gurkha is a popular choice for Nepalese and Indian dishes.

Although we're still enjoying some late sunshine, there is a definite nip in the air. And what better way to keep warm than to explore the spicy Indian and Nepalese dishes on offer at the Royal Gurkha?

A casual and unpretentious dining spot on Edinburgh's Newington Road, Royal Gurkha's menu offers a range of Indian and Nepalese curry house favourites, as well as sizzling tandoori dishes and traditional mains.

In addition to typical Scottish crowd-pleasers such as korma, bhuna, saag, karahi, rogan josh, jalfrezi, balti and vindaloo options, there are tandoori choices such as the lamb chops or marinated king prawns. As you would expect, veggies are well catered for. We are big fans of Nepalese specialities such as the momo dumplings.

Book in via 5pm and, depending on the day and time of your booking, there is a range of dining offers which you can enjoy at the Royal Gurkha. These include a 20% discount on the à la carte menu; £19 for 2 courses on the à la carte menu + tea/coffee or two courses each for two people from the set menu at £25.95.

Inchcolm Inn

The classic fish and chips at the Inchcolm Inn has many fans.

The classic fish and chips at the Inchcolm Inn has many fans.

Named after one of the larger islands in the Firth of Forth, the Inchcolm Inn is a warm, cosy and welcoming spot close to South Queensferry Harbour. It sits between the road and rail bridges and is ideal for a bite to eat if viewing these Scottish engineering icons.

All dishes at The Inchcolm Inn are inspired by Scotland’s rich and abundant larder. As well as lunch and evening menus, you can also tuck into a traditional roast on Sundays.

Sample starters include Shetland Island mussels served with a rich garlic, cream and wine sauce; Stornoway black pudding fritters with fried sourdough and a poached egg, and Orkney crab cake with katsu curry and spring onion. Mains include the Inchcolm Fish Pie with buttery mash; classic chicken Balmoral with whisky sauce, and haggis, neeps and tatties (with a veggie version available). And let's not forget the fish and chips. We are by the seaside after all.

The drinks list - like the food menu - is packed with top notch Scottish brands. What's more is that the staff are pretty handy with a cocktail shaker. What are you waiting for? Book in with 5pm here.

The main pic above shows two of the three bridges which cross the Firth of Forth. Pic is from Inchcolm Inn.