Try one of these five sensational Edinburgh independents next time you want great drinks with food to match.
(44a Constitution Street EH6 6RS, 0131 629 7215)
A wonderful interior of stained glass and wood panels gives this cut-above-the-rest pub a timeless, cosy feel, making Nobles ideal for first dates, parental visits and Sunday brunches. Local beers are plentiful but it's food from the tiny kitchen which is worth the trip to Leith. You'll find it hard to choose between imaginative menu items like baby squid and Chinese congee, satisfying portions of rabbit and guinea fowl or classic choices like prime beef burgers and steak.
(26B Dublin Street EH3 6NN, 0131 556 5967)
Spit/Fire’s bizarrely satisfying southern-US style bar snacks are as unrivalled as their drinks selection. Will it be sweet ‘n’ sour deep-fried gherkins, sensationally savoury corn dogs or buffalo wings so good they’ll have you sucking the sauce from your fingers?
And if a snack only serves to whet your appetite, there’s more of the same in larger quantities upstairs at their restaurant.
(73 Holyrood Road EH8 8AU, 0131 629 3327)
Swedish-inspired Hemma is bright and airy, a good place to bring kids at the weekend or ideal for a relaxed working lunch that won’t leave you snoozing on your spreadsheets. Choose from the incredible croque monsieur with must-have mustardy bechamel, smoky butternut squash chilli with rice or an open sandwich stacked with smoked salmon or slabs of fried halloumi.
(57-61 Blackfriars St EH1 1NB, 0131 558 8684)
To visit Blackfriars and not sample the handcut chips with homemade bearnaise sauce is criminal.
There’s also more substantial daily offerings, such as pork pies and salted hake fritters, or try the churros and chocolate for a sweet treat. If you develop a taste for the second-to-none bar snacks, quality is matched and portion size increased at their restaurant next door.
(26 Brougham St EH3 9JH, 0131 221 9997)
For an awesome alternative to fries, go for the crispy polenta and chickpea chips with spicy tomato mayo or the deep fried squid with lemon and coriander.
Too fancy? Choose the simple-but-effective homemade soda bread - just like you wish you had on the dinner table every day. There’s also Cloisters’ great range of burgers, perfectly washed down by a cask ale.