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5.5 /6 Wonderful 53 Reviews

Al Dente

Leith Italian ££ +100
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About Al Dente

To experience a true taste of Italian cuisine in Edinburgh, take a trip down Easter Road where you’ll find Al Dente, a traditional trattoria serving up rustic Italian dishes. Tucked away over in Leith, this popular restaurant is well worth the trip, attracting diners from all over the city and maintaining its status as a favourite among local aficionados of Italian cuisine. In order to guarantee a table at Al Dente, booking ahead is advised.

Opening Hours

  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday 17:30 - 21:00
  • Wednesday 17:30 - 21:00
  • Thursday 17:30 - 21:00
  • Friday 17:30 - 21:00
  • Saturday 17:30 - 21:00
  • Sunday Closed
Al Dente, 139 Easter Road, EH7 5QA Edinburgh

Further Information

Decorated in a simple, traditional style, Al Dente’s no-frills approach to things really lets the food speak for itself. Hailing from Lake Garda, Al Dente’s chef has a passion for bringing regional specialities from his homeland to the people of Edinburgh, serving up authentic, home-style cuisine – you won’t find any pre-cooked pasta on the menu at this Leith restaurant. Begin with some seafood like the fresh Scottish mussels seasoned with pepper or chilli or the deep-fried calamari on a bed of rocket with lemon and tartar sauce before moving on to a traditional Italian main.

You’ll find dishes like pollo ripieno prosciutto e asparagi (chicken breast stuffed with mozzarella, parma ham and asparagus served with roasted potatoes and vegetables) as well as Al Dente’s infamous pastas on the restaurant’s lengthy menu. Try one of the chef’s specialities like the paccheri al branzino (fresh pasta tube filled with a sea bass puree served with mussels and king prawns in a light seafood sauce) or keep it classic with the spaghetti alla carbonara. For a genuine Italian experience in Edinburgh, book a table at Al Dente over on Leith’s Easter Road.


53 Reviews

5.5 /6 Wonderful 53 Reviews
Atmosphere: excellent
Quality/Price: great value
Food: heavenly
Noise: quiet
Service: extraordinary
Waiting Time: no waiting time
36 6
13 5
2 4
1 3
0 2
1 1
1 review so far 6
16.06.2017 09:28

We were a little hesitant because it does not look like much on the outside, but the food is absolutely delicious. We ordered the veal ravioli (special at the time), ricotta and spinach cannelloni, and gnocchi in a pesto sauce (originally a tomato/mozzarella, but they accommodated my request for pesto instead). All were amazing and came out hot! The staff were also very friendly and did not rush us. Best Italian food we had in Scotland. Great eats for a reasonably priced menu!!

1 review so far 6
24.05.2017 08:19

Warm reception, very good menu and specials offerings, excellent service and very reasonable prices. We ordered the carpaccio for appetizer and spaghetti with seafood and cannelloni with spinach filling as our main dishes, finishing up with tiramisu, which were all delicious. Beer selection is minimal, but easily made up for in all other respects. Overall, a great dining experience without breaking the bank!

1 review so far 6
23.04.2017 09:38

just around the corner from our flat and we can't believe we haven't been before. Great atmosphere, scrummy food and a wonderful host. We'll definitely be back!

1 review so far 6
20.04.2017 21:25

Nice little restaurants excellent sea food staff very helpful. Best book a table gets very busy second time there and will definitely be going back because its not your run of the mill Italian restaurant.

1 review so far 6
22.08.2016 22:43

What a discovery!!! This little gem is situated on Easter Road, not exactly in the centre, but it is well worth the travel. They offer authentic Italian dishes (mostly starters and pastas) made with passion and love. The quality is extremely high and every dish tasted wonderful. I am Italian and I have tried several Italian restaurants in town, and in my opinion, Al Dente offers the best pastas in Edinburgh. The service is also very good. The owner is the host of the restaurant and he clearly cares about it, as he goes around tables talking to customers and asking their opinions on the dishes. I highly recommend this place. Will go back for sure.

1 review so far 6
15.08.2016 17:27

Fantastic way to celebrate our wedding anniversary. The food was excellent. Even though we had 3 courses, we left with smiles on our faces, feeling pleasantly full, but not overfull. We were made to feel special. Just the right time left between courses. We had an expensive bottle of wine, but it was well worth it. Al Dente is a little gem in Easter Road, and far exceeded our expectations. Although we were only visiting Edinburgh, we would love to return next year when we're in Edinburgh again.

1 review so far 6
02.10.2016 17:40

We had a wonderful meal at Al Dente last night. Excellent attention to detail and catered for my gluten intolerant guest by offering a personalised range of choices. Very attentive service and welcoming atmosphere made for a very enjoyable dining experience. Will definitely return soon and recommend to everyone.

1 review so far 6
09.01.2016 09:12

We were given a warm welcome to this cosy little restaurant. The specials were all explained and some fresh fish dishes added also. The menu was so tempting with a good variety . Nothing was a trouble, a real desire to give you a great meal. We were given a little plate of amaretto biscuits with our coffe and also a chilled limoncello . No rushing. Most attentive and friendly. A family business which is well worth a visit. I am sure we will return.

2 reviews so far 6
24.01.2016 10:24

Al Dente was recommended to us by an Italian friend, so our hopes were high. It didn't disappoint. It's a small, homely environment with good friendlly service. Great (and reasonably priced) wine. Generous portions and fresh great-tasting food. Will definitely visit again.

2 reviews so far 6
25.09.2016 08:36

A beautiful cosy restaurant with wonderful service. All the pasta is fresh made on site (which can be hard to find in Edinburghs plethora of Italian places). I had pumpkin ravioli to start, sea bass for main and tiramisu for desert. Every course was absolutely delicious, beautifully cooked proper Italian food. Great restaurant for a nice intimate meal or smaller groups of four. Cannot recommend more highly.

1 review so far 6
27.09.2016 15:52

My wife and I enjoyed another wonderful meal at Al Dente. Really made to feel welcome from arrival to leaving. Enjoyed the relaxed intimate atmosphere created in this small restaurant. Highly recommended.

1 review so far 6
17.02.2017 18:26

Loved the food. Cooked to perfection. The staff were very friendly and helpful. The restaurant is very unpretentious and low key in decor. Just the way a small Italian restaurant should be. The menu can be viewed online and although its not excessive I think most people will be spoilt for choice. I would highly recommend a visit to this little piece of Italy.

1 review so far 6
27.01.2017 07:55

We loved Al Dente, the food was amazing, service was excellent, and we had a great time. Authentic Italian food in leith! Definitely going back for their homemade pasta!

1 review so far 5
03.10.2016 14:41

A lovely early evening dinner at this hidden little gem. We were recommended by a friend to go for dinner whilst in Edniburgh. Service and food were fab. Homemade pasta stuffed with Sea bass with prawns and mussels was delicious. We would definitely eat here again. If you want to eat here make sure you book as it is very popular even in the early evening.

1 review so far 6
03.10.2016 14:52

I absolutely love Al Dente! Service is always welcoming and knowledgeable. The menu is nicely sized and the food is delicious. I take everyone here :-D

1 review so far 6
01.04.2017 10:09

Fantastic meal on Friday night. The food was delicious and well presented. A picture on a plate. The portion sizes were perfect, not too much, not too little. The service and attention to detail was excellent. Would definitely recommend you try this lovely wee restaurant. We will certainly be back.

1 review so far 5
19.05.2017 07:33

Really good Italian food in a little gem on Easter Road. Restaurant is quite nice and clean on the inside, and only has a couple tables, making it quite "home"-y. The goat cheese tart appetizer was delicious, and the lasagna was classic comfort Italian food for me. Would love to return :)

2 reviews so far 5
18.06.2016 09:37

Had a lovely meal with fresh and flavourful ingredients, nice atmosphere and great service. My friend tried clams for the first time and really enjoyed his mixed seafood starter and the Italian Sauvignon was a real find and good value for money. Would thoroughly recommend this restaurant.

1 review so far 6
14.02.2016 19:14

Amazing food, excellent service considering we were a very large party for a small sized restaurant. The most authentic Italian pasta I tasted in Edinburgh, I'm Italian and the food here is as good as in Italy. Highly recommended

2 reviews so far 6
11.10.2016 15:02

We visited on Saturday evening and the restaurant had a great buzz to it. Most tables taken. As well as the A la carte menu there were also specials which were explained to us. The pumpkin ravioli was delicious.

1 review so far 6
03.03.2016 15:18

Excellent food and pleasant service. We had booked early so the place was quiet to begin with but by the time we left it had more or less filled up. Good for a cold Wednesday night.

2 reviews so far 5
26.02.2017 07:43

The service is excellent, nice cosy atmosphere and beautiful fresh pasta. My second visit and just as good as the first time. Highly recommended! Only note is main courses are not always large, so you may want to order a starter too.

1 review so far 6
07.10.2016 09:14

The food and service was excellent with a variety of types of dishes consumed by our party of eight. I can certainly recommend this small but very friendly eatery including the selection of wines available.

1 review so far 6
21.02.2016 12:50

Great service, terrific food quality and very interesting menu full of authentic dishes. Nice small restaurant that is always busy. Well worth a little walk out to find this gem. A proper Italian restaurant!

1 review so far 5
08.05.2016 16:50

We only booked this restaurant 45 minutes before. We were well looked after and the food was very good.The atmosphere in the restaurant was very relaxing and we were made to feel at home very quickly.The prices were very reasonable.

2 reviews so far 5
13.06.2016 08:27

Lovely fresh food nicely presented and friendly service. We both enjoyed our pasta dishes - especially my seafood dish with bass-filled pasta tubes with prawns and a silky seafood sauce - very moreish. Would certainly recommend this restaurant.

1 review so far 6
04.07.2016 10:44

This is a delightful small restaurant. The staff are very pleasant. The food is good, mostly pasta dishes, but specials are written up on the board. It is wise to book.

1 review so far 6
25.02.2017 09:04

Great food and great service. We had a pasta dish and monkfish from the specials both superb and the Tiramisu was heavenly. Best Italian I've had in ages. Would highly recommend.

1 review so far 6
31.01.2016 23:21

Very friendly staff and excellent, authentic Italian food. The location is a lovely little restaurant with Italian atmosphere. The food is a bit expensive, but it's definitely worth the money.

2 reviews so far 6
27.07.2016 07:25

Food was superb. Pasta stuffed with bass and pork fillet with chianti sauce and veg were both divine. Best meal of week in Edinburgh. Service top notch. Go and enjoy.

1 review so far 6
10.02.2017 12:59

Amazing food. Amazing service. It's an absolute diamond in the rough. I guess I'm lucky that it is right on my door stop as I will definitely be going back.

1 review so far 6
05.04.2017 11:31

I really recommend this restaurant. Good Italian food and service in a familiar atmosphere. We ate some starters and pastas and I really advice to try carbonara. Highly recommended!

1 review so far 6
16.02.2016 17:26

As we hadn't been for many years we were pleasantly surprise with the whole experience. The staff were first rate and the food was excellent,will definateley return and recommend.

1 review so far 3
26.08.2016 13:35

Overall I was a little disappointed with my experience. The calamari was overcooked and rubbery, my vongole was bland and the pasta was stuck together in places and whilst the waiter was happy and polite he forgot a number of things and we were left waiting for items. All in all I wouldn't return nor recommend.

1 review so far 6
14.02.2017 19:57

We went with friends and all had a relaxing dining experience.Fabulous dinner beautifully prepared and a delightful host. Will be going again very soon and can highly recommend!

1 review so far 6
24.01.2017 07:38

Excellent Service and a nice atmosphere. Ingredients were fresh and all dishes cooked on order. Superb Place to eat and well worth it as good value for money.

1 review so far 4
05.10.2016 08:02

The waiter was friendly and did his best to serve us being the only waiter there on a. It's Saturday night! The food was good quality but we felt the menu was a bit limiting. We were disappointed by the carbonara.

1 review so far 6
25.02.2017 07:52

Such a lovely independent small restaurant. Food was very tasty, great homemade flavours and the service was very good. Would recommend highly, very relaxing and enjoyable evening.

1 review so far 6
07.08.2016 08:56

Absolutely delicious food, good atmosphere and great service. A place to suggest to friends and not. Good position in the centre, but in a quite location. Recommended!

1 review so far 6
14.05.2016 08:24

Great restaurant, the food was delicious and reasonably priced and the service extremely friendly. I would definitely eat here regularly if I lived in Edinburgh! Highly recommended

1 review so far 6
03.04.2016 12:29

Courteous and swift service, great food and atmosphere. Great to visit - no pizza or traditional boring food - just great cuisine from Italy. Try the branzini!

2 reviews so far 6
07.09.2016 07:43

Charming hosts , excellent food and a very attractive setting . Would definitely go again . Just a shame I don't live in Edinburgh any more!

1 review so far 5
05.06.2016 11:27

Good attentive friendly service despite a loud bridal party. Food was very tasty but somewhat pricey considering the dish. Definitely recommend especially as there are so few options in that area.

1 review so far 5
09.10.2016 17:34

Lovely atmosphere, excellent traditional Italian food (no pizza!), charming service. Tiny local restaurant. May seem a little out of the way but well worth a visit. We will definitely be back.

1 review so far 6
22.12.2016 07:44

Super! Great service and great food. I would definitely recommend this restaurant. Super! Great service and great food. I would definitely recommend this restaurant. Brill.

2 reviews so far 6
08.04.2016 07:53

Nice litle italian in the outskirts of Edinburgh. Very good pasta. Lots of choices. Meats, salads, risottos and soups too. Bus 35 at the door.

1 review so far 5
07.04.2016 09:24

Family run restaurant. Small, friendly service and tasty food, just how restaurants should be. I have been to this restaurant 2 or 3 times and never left disappointed.

1 review so far 5
28.02.2017 08:58

The atmosphere and service were exceptional. My main was a little disappointing but the tiramisu was amazing the best I've tasted. A really nice, old fashioned Italian restaurant.

1 review so far 5
15.02.2017 09:02

Great wee Italian home-style restaurant, friendly staff and excellent food. We got a window seat and were able to watch the bustle of Easter Road go by.

1 review so far 5
11.04.2016 15:13

Lovely, intimate surroundings and very friendly service! The food was delicious and nothing was too much trouble. We will definitely be back for another visit!