The capital city of Scotland and the seventh most populous city in the United Kingdom, Edinburgh is a global hotspot for culture, entertainment and food. From central areas like Haymarket and the New Town to outlying suburbs like Balerno and the famous port district of Leith, Edinburgh offers a wide variety of international cuisines to its inhabitants. In addition to the many curry houses and traditional Scottish pubs throughout the city, Thai restaurants in Edinburgh are also on the rise. Found all over the city, Edinburgh’s Thai restaurants are pushing the limits with their creative, artfully presented Southeast Asian dishes. From high-end Thai fusion restaurants to the purely traditional, Thai dining in Edinburgh takes many forms, and comes available in every price range.
The city with the most immigrants in Scotland, Edinburgh has a cosmopolitan international vibe that makes it one of the most popular destinations among expats and tourists travelling to the UK. For foodies, that means a whole lot of delicious cuisines to sample. Although haggis with neeps and tatties still have a special place in the hearts of most Edinburghers, international cuisines have weaved themselves into the fabric of the local cuisine, becoming just as popular, if not more, than traditional food. Just like the many South Asian eateries in the city, Thai restaurants in Edinburgh are making their mark on the city’s evolving culinary scene in more ways than one. Thai food appeals to many different types of diners, attracting everyone from spice fiends and adventurous diners to vegetarians and vegans.
Thai cuisine varies significantly from north to south. In the north of the country, the food is often milder and saltier, while in the south, the food is usually spicier and often features sour elements. In Northern Thailand, a pork sausage called sai ua (also known as chiang mai sausage) is a delicacy that’s found everywhere from outdoor markets to restaurants, and the cuisine tends to have more in common with bordering countries Laos and Cambodia than the south. Whereas northern soup bases are usually clear, in the south, coconut milk is most often used. Southern Thailand is known for its use of seafood, coconut, and fluffy jasmine rice in most of their dishes. Because of the wide variety of different Thai restaurants in Edinburgh, you can easily discover the most beloved dishes the different regions of Thailand have to offer, as well as more modern interpretations of traditional dishes.
For vegetarians, Edinburgh’s Thai restaurants are a godsend. At most Thai restaurants in Edinburgh you can count on finding vegetarian alternatives for most dishes on the menu. However, if you don’t eat fish or seafood products, it’s a good idea to let your server know – many Thai dishes are flavoured with fish sauce or shrimp paste. Tofu is a very popular ingredient in Thai cooking, and in most cases, this spongy soy product can easily replace chicken, beef or pork in curries, stir-fries and noodle dishes. Pad thai with tofu is always a delicious choice, and red or green curry with vegetables and tofu are also tasty options. Some veg-friendly Thai restaurants in Edinburgh even employ the use of seitan, an Asian meat substitute originating in Asia – give it a try, you’ll be surprised by the meaty texture and flavour. For fans of healthy vegetarian cuisine, summer rolls are a popular choice and are a fresh alternative to deep fried spring rolls. Whether you’re a vegetarian or not, the tofu specialities at many Thai restaurants in Edinburgh come highly recommended.
Most Edinburgh Thai restaurants can be found towards the centre of city, especially in Haymarket and the New Town. Just a stone’s throw away from the Edinburgh Castle and National War Museum, there are Thai restaurants galore, even including one with a rooftop location and views overlooking the city’s biggest sites. Near the main university campus, you can easily find affordably priced Thai restaurants where Edinburgh’s thrifty students get top-quality dishes at low prices, and you’ll even find restaurants that combine Thai food with Scottish influences and Thai-Indian fusion dishes. There are also several places to get Thai food around Inverleith Park, and the Royal Botanic Gardens, but the further away you move from the centre of town, the fewer Thai restaurants you’ll find. Still, there are a number of great Thai restaurants in Edinburgh, as far out as Corstorphine or Liberton to try. Due to their popularity, especially in the case of restaurants near Haymarket and the centre of the city, booking ahead with Quandoo is a good idea when planning to dine at one of the many fabulous Thai restaurants in Edinburgh.