Our love affair with Italian cuisine is as passionate as ever. From the fresh healthy ingredients, bold flavours and seasonings or lashings of olive oil, Italian cooking revels in simple hearty recipes that warm the soul as well as the stomach. To help you savour a taste of la dolce vita we've rounded up five of the best Edinburgh has to offer.
1. The Italia, Veeno
Veeno's chefs offer a selection of sumptuous platters perfect for sharing and enjoying a little of everything with your favourite glass of wine. The Italia is the ultimate platter extravaganza – filled with slow cured meats and mature cheeses to tantalise every taste. Olives, tomatoes and crusty homemade artisanal breads play supporting roles, making every delicious morsel a true delight.
Where: Veeno, New Town
2. Insalata Caprese, Rigatoni's
Staying true to the traditions and their foodie heritage, Rigatoni's takes you on a journey in taste through classic Italia. You'll taste the passion and love for their food in every delicious dish. For those craving a lighter touch, try their Insalata Caprese – fresh juicy tomato and slices of buffalo mozzarella are drizzled with olive oil and a generous grind of black pepper, crowned with aromatic basil and rocket, for a vibrant zesty salad perfect for when you feel like eating sunshine.
Where: Rigatoni's, locations in Brunsfield and University of Edinburgh
3. Sirloin Steak, Zucca
Cooking a little artistic refinement in the heart of Edinburgh's cultural centre, Zucca's stylish cuisine serves fresh vivacious dishes using only the finest ingredients, beautifully presented.
Their braised pork belly, sautéed until tender with spring cabbage and salty pancetta and served with a chunky tart applesauce is certain to leave you smiling. But when nothing but a rich, meaty steak will do, go for their sirloin. This wonder is served with rosemary butter, offset with a side of sauteed green beans.
Where: Zucca, Old Town
4. Spaghetti alle Vongole, Papavero
Papavero's Scots/Italian menu embraces the very best of Italian culinary techniques, in recipes tweaked to local produce that take advantage of Edinburgh's access to stunning seafood and fish. Spaghetti alle Vongole stays true to their concept, combining locally sourced fresh clams and mussels with handmade spaghetti, sautéed in a light white wine and garlic sauce, seasoned with cracked pepper and fresh parsley.
For a cheeky blend of Scottish and Italian, go for their Black Pudding con Prosciutto Crudo, where a black pudding is grilled and wrapped in Parma ham.
Where: Papavero, New Town
5. Penne alla Salciccia, La Rusticana
La Rusticana is perfect for feeding a crowd who all want Italian, but have broken into factions of meat eaters — with splinter groups craving beef, veal or chicken — pasta lovers, pizza fiends and fresh fish devotees.
The T-bone steak is a big hit here. Whether yours is rare or well done, it's a mammoth cut of premium Scottish beef, plated up with grilled with tomatoes and mushrooms, fresh salad and hand cut chips. But for those days when you can't decide between comforting and spicy, Penne alla Salciccia is here to rescue you. Zesty sausages are tossed with pasta quills and tom sauce, all covered with mounds of grated parmesan.
Where: La Rusticana, New Town
If you're looking for your own Italian love affair, you'll find five of the best Edinburgh has to offer here on Deliveroo.