The sister restaurant to the venerable Ubiquitous Chip, and its increasingly popular young sibling the Hanoi Bike Shop, Stravaigin is a reliable West End eatery.
Divided between the ground floor/mezzanine café-bar (which was expanded extensively into an adjoining unit a few years ago) and the basement restaurant, you always stand a chance of snagging a table here, with only the downstairs restaurant being pre-bookable. You might have to wait a while at peak times, but the bar area is a cool place to linger
Opened in 1995, and taking its title from the an old Scottish word meaning ‘to wander aimlessly with intent’, the ambience here is artfully bucolic – think exposed stone walls, open fire, chunky wooden roof beams, an iron staircase tangled with twinkling fairly lights and huge floor-to-ceiling windows that swing fully open in summertime (when there are also tables outside on Gibson Street).
Stravaigin’s staple café-bar menu sticks to pub grub classics: chunky beef burgers, curries, fish suppers, and haggis, neeps and tatties (available as a starter or main). More involved options from the restaurant menu can include mains of duck fat-poached rainbow trout, west coast mussel chowder and roast pork belly with salt and pepper king prawns. The draught beer selection is a little limited, but check the fridge for a good selection of craft brews. The weekend brunch menu – featuring everything from full Scottish breakfasts to nasi goreng and maple syrup drenched French toast – are a great way to while away a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon.