Scotland has a long tradition of enjoying Italian food, dating back to the first wave of Italian migrants arriving in the country in the late 19th century. Many of these arrivals were keen on sharing their food with the Scots and opened a huge variety of restaurants, cafes and ice cream parlours. Edinburgh was no different and soon a number of Italian restaurants were opening in the city's West End. Edinburgh’s West End was the perfect spot for such restaurants, with the elegant crescents and imposing terraces matching the sophistication of the cuisine.
The number of Italian restaurants in the West End of Edinburgh is testimony to the popularity of the cuisine. Part of the reason for this popularity may be the sheer variety of dishes. Pasta has long been a favourite and is just so versatile. Spaghetti, linguini, tagliatelle, ravioli and gnocchi are just some of the more popular varieties, each suited to a particular type of sauce or filling. Pizza is another crowd pleaser. This simple dish, originating in Naples, has gone on to conquer the world, with pizza restaurants and delivery in almost every town and city. Things have come a long way from the first basic Margherita and now there is something for everyone, with Pepperoni, Calzone, Seafood or Four Seasons.
Of course, there's lots more to Italian food than just pizza and pasta. In the West End of Edinburgh you will find restaurants offering some of the most sophisticated cuisine in the city. Whether it is the freshest, most delicate seafood or rich, unctuous meat, you will find it perfectly cooked in the Italian restaurants in the West End of Edinburgh. Think of a Risotto alla Milanese, Roman Chicken or veal escalope. Remember, too, that each region of Italy has its own cuisine.
There are a number of reasons for Italy's distinctive regional cooking. Firstly, there is the fact that Italy is a young country, barely 150 years old. Before that, the country was divided into numerous city states, each with its own cuisine. Another reason is that Italy has such a diverse geography and climate, from the Alps in the north to the sun-baked plains in the south. This results in a huge range of ingredients available to local chefs. And when you finish your meal in these wonderful Italian restaurants in the West End of Edinburgh, don't forget the wonderful coffee.