Birthdays are on my mind this month as we celebrate two in our house in February. As foodies, birthdays nearly always involve eating out for us, but we also like to give food as a gift. Here are some of our recommendations for restaurants ideal for birthday celebrations.
Birthday With Friends – El Cartel
It was this year’s choice for us and we weren’t disappointed. El Cartel is likely to appeal to a slightly younger crowd. You can’t book, so head across to the Bon Vivant for drinks while you wait for a table. Expect hip hop music and authentic Mexican street food dishes in a lively atmosphere.
Birthday with Family – Dishoom
Relatively new, Dishoom is going to become one of the reliable places to dine in Edinburgh, with excellent service and food made fresh to order. The restaurant on the third floor overlooks St Andrews Square and with a flexible menu that suits dining in a larger group, it’s perfect for a family dinner. Meet in their characterful basement bar, The Permit Room, for pre-dinner drinks.
Birthday For Tweens – China Red
For a kids birthday celebration I think ‘fun’ and ‘fixed price’ are the two key elements. China Red nails both with it’s conveyor belt of miniature Chinese dishes which you can help yourself to. It’s fixed price so you don’t have to worry about the budget, and the chocolate fountain and ice cream machine are a winner with the kids.
Birthday For Teens – Burger
Inexpensive but with freshly made food and decent quality ingredients, Burger is a restaurant that will please both parents and teens. We love their Chicken Wings and Hot Dogs too. Combine with a trip to the cinema or bowling at Fountainpark for the perfect birthday with friends.
Dad’s Birthday – Kyloe
All Dads love steak, don’t they? Kyloe is a sophisticated restaurant that specialises in all things beef. Enjoy a good wine list and excellent service with a view that looks out to Princes Street and Edinburgh Castle. Enjoy post dinner drinks in Heads and Tales in the basement.
Mum’s Birthday – Twenty Princes Street
Located on Princes Street (the clue’s in the name!), Twenty Princes Street occupies a prime location in a Victorian building that looks directly onto Edinburgh Castle. It feels special, and the service supports that. The menu highlights steak and seafood, however there’s something for everyone. Enjoy theatrical cocktails in their very own gin bar, Juniper.
Granny’s Birthday – Afternoon Tea at Greywalls
I’m imagining your Granny being over 70 for this one, if you have a young or particularly hip granny, go for Twenty Princes Street (see above), or Champagne Afternoon Tea at The Tower which is a more modern version. Back to Greywalls which is located in gorgeous grounds in East Lothian, this is a traditional afternoon tea with stiff service, plenty of cake, and a proper tea set – your Granny will love it!
Birthday On A Budget – Wahaca
Not every birthday is a big one, some times you want to celebrate and not spend a fortunate. Wahaca had a good upbeat vibe suitable for an informal dinner. The flexible menu gives you the choice between sharing some great street food dishes, or order individually from the mains. We recommend the Guacamole and the Baja MSC Cod Tacos.
Birthday Breakfast – Browns
There was some deliberation over this one, also in the running was Antico at Orocco Pier. We eventually settled on Browns, the breakfast menu offers more choice and the dining room is gorgeous. We recommend the Eggs Florentine.
The Foodie’s Birthday – Forage & Chatter
Impress your foodie with somewhere new that they may not have discovered yet. Forage & Chatter has all the credentials, but at the time of writing this, is still relatively unknown. It’s some of the best fine dining food I’ve had in the city in recent memory. If you like The Stockbridge Restaurant and Wedgwood, you’ll probably like it here.
The Special Birthday Lunch – Castle Terrace Restaurant
I love a lunch out as much as I enjoy dinner. Castle Terrace Restaurant does a set lunch for £33, which is great value for the standard of food. The perfect place to celebrate that special someone’s birthday.
The Romantic Birthday – Rollo
An intimate restaurant with low lighting, we felt Rollo was one of the most romantic restaurants we’d been to for a while – perfect for a birthday or anniversary. The menu is made up of nibbles, bowls and plates – select your favourites and share it all with a nice bottle of wine.
The Big Birthday – Restaurant Andrew Fairlie
A big birthday deserves somewhere spectacular to eat, Restaurant Andrew Fairlie fits the brief perfectly. The restaurant holds two Michelin stars, the only two Michelin star restaurant in Scotland at the time of writing this. It’s one of the most memorable meals we’ve had to date. If you have the cash to splash, stay overnight at Gleneagles and enjoy some time in their excellent spa.
Birthday Cakes – Cuckoo’s Bakery
Well after a huge round up, that leaves just one more consideration – cake! Our go to bakery for cakey birthday treats is Cuckoo’s Bakery in Bruntsfield. The picture says it all!
Have a great birthday celebration, wherever you choose.