Whenever we visit Zizzi on Queensferry Street, we’re in a rush. Don’t get us wrong, it’s not a fast food restaurant, but because of its location and great food, we always end up here when things are a bit hectic for us. Picking up Natalia’s sister from the airport? Check. Sightseeing with the parents? Check. Walking around the city for hours on a new photography project? Check. We’ve been walking past Zizzi so many times that it was only natural that we hopped on there for a quick meal so many times. And trust us, it’s never a disappointment. So if you don’t want to spend hours looking for a good Italian restaurant in Edinburgh city centre, keep on reading.
When we first visited Zizzi, we didn’t realise it is a chain restaurant. To be honest, you don’t really feel that when you walk in. The Queensferry St one is definitely our favourite out of 4 based in Edinburgh. With its modern and colourful design, quirky bookshelves and fun wall art, it feels very cosy. There is an open kitchen here, so our hungry bellies were rumbling at the sight. Yup, the chefs are cooking right in front of your eyes and you see all the Italian goodness leaving the oven piping hot and scrumptious.
Zizzi can get extremely busy, as most of the restaurants in the city centre. We were usually lucky just walking in without a reservation, but you can book a table online. The one issue we have is the noise. While it’s not a problem at lunchtime, the restaurant is always crammed on evenings and all the chatter becomes a collective hum. We could barely chat to each other at times. The toilets are quite high up as well which might be problematic for someone with mobility issues.
When it comes to the menu, there is a fair selection of classic Italian dishes. It changes with each season so you will never be bored. Apart from a wide range of pastas and pizzas, you’ll find different meat & fish dishes as well as salads. If you’re vegan, gluten-free or have any other allergies, they’ve got you covered. Natalia is opting for non-gluten sometimes so we can definitely recommend Zizzi on this front. On top of this, Zizzi always has some specials displayed on table talkers and a board on the wall so look out for those as they are usually really good. That’s how we discovered our favourite Prosciutto Fresca pizza which we’ll talk about in a moment.
So what about the food itself? Well, for us it is decent but overall, nothing spectacular. We’ve tried several different dishes over a couple of months so we have a good idea of Zizzi’s style.
Our favourite one is Prosciutto Fresca Rustica Pizza. It starts of with a hand-stretched, crispy base following on with the perfect combination of salty prosciutto, refreshing figs, caramelised balsamic onions, the creamiest bufala mozzarella and gently sweet pea shoots. The complexity of flavours is to die for. It is beautifully served on a wooden board and for £13.50, you will be filled to oblivion. Most of the time, we would just share it as it is really big. (But then again, we don’t really eat that much). Don’t worry if you can’t manage the whole portion – the waiter will pack it for you on request.
Our second best choice is lasagne (£10.95) with the creamiest of textures and very rich in flavour. All the other options that we had were decent although we wouldn’t necessarily recommend meaty pastas. Mostly, they just lack in complexity.
There are always a couple of drink options displayed on the table. They have a few great mocktails and alcoholic drinks which are usually very refreshing and not too sweet. And since they often have a sprig of rosemary, we normally refill it with tap water for that lovely taste.
In general, Zizzi Queensferry serves ample portions on beautiful, rustic crockery. The food is always very fresh and of good quality, especially in comparison to Zizzi Quay which did not impress us at all. Funnily enough, Lukasz is not a huge fan of Italian cuisine but he really enjoys the meals here.
When it comes to service, it’s always excellent. The waiters are helpful, friendly and attentive. We were always offered some freshly grated Parmesan or chili oil to accompany our meal. Moreover, there are hardly any delays. If they are expecting a bit of a wait during peak periods, they will always politely let you know.
Prices in Zizzi are average with really good value for money. Starters and sharer plates are roughly £3-£8, mains £10-£15.50 and desserts £5-£6.50. Soft drinks are around £3 while alcoholic drinks start from £4.30 per small glass. They have great lunch offers as well with £11 for a 2-course and £14 for a 3-course meal.
All in all, Zizzi Queensferry is an effortless restaurant that serves good Italian food. It’s perfect if you want a quick bite or if you’ve been walking around Edinburgh new town and need a hefty meal. They offer nice decor, great service and big portions of decent food at a reasonable price. Even though there is nothing very special about this place, we always left satisfied so we’re sure you will too.
Now, we’d love to hear from you. Have you been to Zizzi? What did you think? We’re aware that there are tons of good Italian restaurants in Edinburgh. Have you got any other recommendations for us? Share it with us in the comments below.
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