05 November 2019, 09:06 AM
  • Chef and restaurateur Tom Kitchin is the owner and executive chef of several restaurants
The Independent Shopper: Tom Kitchin

My wife and I spent many years in London and Europe before moving back to Edinburgh to open our restaurants back in 2006. Despite having lived here for the past 13 years with my wife and now four boys, it still manages to surprise me with its diversity and continually evolving food scene. We’re incredibly fortunate to have some of the best produce in the UK on our doorstep and so many independent food spots championing this.

Since we often spend weekends driving the children to football matches, we often do a quick stop at Bross Bagels in Portobello. I particularly like the Big Apple New York pastrami bagel that they do. The shop is set up by Canadian-born comedienne Larah Bross who for years has been an advocate of bringing Canadian bagels to Scotland. They are really delicious and always freshly baked. For lunch I would head to my favourite restaurant, Southside Scran.

This is our latest bistro restaurant located in the Bruntsfield area of Edinburgh. The set lunch menu is a fantastic option to the usual A La Carte and is priced at £21.50 for three courses. I may be biased, but this is a real foodie place and reminds me of being back in Paris. Another favourite lunch place in town is l’Escargot Blanc run by Fred Berkmiller,who although French, is incredibly passionate about Scotland and our produce. The restaurant has a brilliant oyster and charcuterie bar in town which is perfect for a quick business lunch.

If I’m short on time and need something to grab and go, around Edinburgh we have these Scandinavian coffee shops that do great open sandwiches and delicious coffee. Peter’s Yard /Söderberg, is a Scandinavian coffee shop that does great open sandwiches. They bake their own bread in-house including the rye bread, and their sandwiches are the perfect on-the-go snack. I really like the smoked fish or crayfish sandwich.

If the Edinburgh weather is decent, I will head down to the grassmarket area of Edinburgh after dinner for a few drinks with my wife. We particularly like the Cold Town House terrace with stunning views over Edinburgh castle. They do a great selection of cocktails and if anyone is still feeling peckish, they have a pizza oven for late night snacks. I.J Mellis is my go-to cheesemongers. The founder, Iain Mellis worked in the British cheese industry for almost 15 years before setting up his shop in Edinburgh. His cheese is made of the highest quality ingredients which gives the cheese exceptional characteristics. Not only do we serve this cheese in the restaurants, but I also enjoy taking a cheese selection for any picnic opportunity.

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