We’ve all grown up, right? A restaurant where you can BYOB is no longer an excuse to neck six cans of cheap lager (not when Edinburgh has great indie booze to drink) while bolting down a dodgy late-night kebab (good-quality late-nighters aren't in short supply either). You can actually buy some drinkable beer or wine, go for dinner and save money at the same time. It’s win win win.
The nawab of Edinburgh’s Indian restaurant scene, the first Khushi’s opened its doors in the city in 1947. Nearly 70 years and assorted changes of address later, the same family is in charge and you can BYOB. For the signature Old School Lamb Curry, a cold bottle of Schiehallion craft lager would work, maybe a Gewurztraminer or Riesling if going the wine route.
Near the main campus of the University of Edinburgh, this Lebanese restaurant is popular for its bargain lunches although the cooking ramps up in the evening for the à la carte. The corkage isn’t onerous so consider splashing out on a decent fruity white to go with the meze or cut through the spices of more substantial, meat dishes like Shish Tawouk (charcoal-grilled chicken with garlic sauce).
Serving Kurdish and Middle Eastern dishes within shouting distance of the University of Edinburgh’s main campus, Nawroz’s interior has sharp lines and bare brick with a decorative, eastern veneer. Dawdle over a shawarma nan wrap at lunchtime or max out with the group feast for four the evening; its procession of charcoal-grilled chicken and lamb kebabs goes best with BYO bottles of decent lager or IPA.
A lovable community café that was set up as a confidence-building exercise and work experience venture for local Sikh women, Punjabi Junction serves simple Punjabi home cooking – various pakora, assorted curries and thalis – and BYOB is allowed with a nominal corkage charge. The venue closes at 6pm (Mon, Tue), 8.30pm (Wed-Sat) so definitely not a late vindaloo venue for the boys after they’ve had a few.
Scotland doesn’t have many Vietnamese restaurants but it’s good to report that there’s nothing faux about the pho here – the noodle soup that serves as the national dish of the Southeast Asian country. It comes in various flavours; the menu also offers other curries, rice dishes and stews.