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Turkish and Middle Eastern Restaurant, Cafe and Takeaway

4.3 out of 5 4.3/5 from 7 reviews (add your opinion)

24 St Mary's Street
Old Town

Phone: 0131 466 0100

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Price: £££
Licensed: No
BYOB: Yes (£3 corkage)
Pre-Theatre: Yes

Takeaway: Yes
Delivery: No

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sun: 1200-2200



Tags: restaurant licensed turkish kebab byob cafe british international empires takeaway middleeastern middle eastern

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7 user reviews:

4 from craig777 (100%) on June 11th, 2010 (9 years ago)

Empires, 24 St Mary's Street, EH1 1SU, Edinburgh

I went here last night for a friends birthday and was excited to go having read so many good reviews on here beforehand. We had 13 in our party so we were seated in the upstairs level which was great as you almost forget you are in a restaurant with other people. We decided to go for the party menu which meant that they just bring lots of different mezze plates for everyone to help themselves to. For pre starters there are breads and about 4/5 different style dips like hummous, salsa etc, for starters you get a load of different vegetable dishes ranging from stuffed vine leaves, aubergines, olives, artichoke hearts and some salads then for mains there are meat balls, sausages, chicken, halloumi cheese, mousaka etc. A feast in anyones eyes!!! They keep bringing the dishes literally till you can eat no more with plenty of breads and dips refilled as well.

They did offer pudding but we were barely able to move our bellys so decided to not go ott. As other reviews have said this place is BYO and charges £3 corkage. For our meal we paid £25 a head for those drinking which included the tip. Service was very good and all the waiters are super friendly so I would definately recommend this restaurant to anyone who is looking for something a bit different.

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5 from jwjlewis (64%) on March 8th, 2008 (11 years ago)

Empires, 24 St Mary's Street, EH1 1SU, Edinburgh

This place is a gem. I went here on a Saturday evening for a mezze with a large group of friends. As there were so many of us, we got the upstairs section to ourselves (there is a mezzanine level which is very cosy. You sit on very low seats or the floor and the table are about 18inches off the ground.)

We ordered a mezze starter and then main courses, although once the starters had arrived we soon realised that there was more than enough food already and so cancelled the mains. The food was a selection of your typical Turkish nibbles and it all tasted excellent.

I would very much recommend this place for anything from a cosy romantic dinner for two, a group get together or a place for a good old fashioned chin-wag with a good pal.

You will not regret it.

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4 from jamesleon (61%) on November 13th, 2010 (8 years ago)

Empires, 24 St Mary's Street, EH1 1SU, Edinburgh

What a great little place. After a very warm welcome, we were led upstairs to the cosy little mezzanane. We got the mezze tasting - 5 different things for around £12 I think. The food on the whole was very good, standouts being truly excellent humus (a real rarity), fantastic stuffed vine leaves, meatballs. The pita bread was warm, toasty, free and plentiful. Nothing that was served was less than good and most of it was really quite delicious. A couple of points I would change: I wasn't a fan of getting all 5 mezze on one plate, I would much prefer them plated individually and served in procession. Secondly, the baklava was pretty weak and certainly bought in, not the best end to the meal and a shame to serve it with the very nice Turkish coffee. Overall however, this place is a real gem, not expensive at all and with the BYOB you can eat very well for £20 a head. Its obvious that the owner and staff are passionate about Empires and will make sure you feel relaxed and welcome. This makes a huge difference to the overall enjoyment factor, and will most certainly ensure a return visit.

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4.5 from Rawlie (44%) on June 11th, 2008 (11 years ago)

Empires, 24 St Mary's Street, EH1 1SU, Edinburgh

I went here on Friday night with a bunch of friends. It is a small, cosy and nicely done up place. It is quite a relaxed eating environment with an upstairs with low bench type seats with turkish rugs on them and downstairs with tables. There are two reasons this place is absolutely fab. one - the head chap is an absolute love. He is friendly, helpful, there, not there and he knows what is in his food! Two - the food. The grub is lovely.

We went for a Mezze menu which cost about £17 a head. The food just keeps coming. First up - lots of dippy stuff, all of which were really freshly made with lots of garlicy and lemony tastes accompanied by lovely home made turkish bread. Second, more starter type mezzes - dolmades, squid etc. Third, main course type mezzes - sausages, beans etc and I can't remember what came next. Basically the chap would come back and asked what you liked most and what you wanted more of and you were fed until you had had enough.

BYOB too so overall I paid £25 for super grub, great service in a very groovy little place. The greek musician chaps were also extremely talented and non intrusive which I though was fab. Spot on place and definitely one to go back to. Make sure you book!

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3.5 from naomi (35%) on August 27th, 2008 (10 years ago)

Empires, 24 St Mary's Street, EH1 1SU, Edinburgh

Friendly staff, laid back atmosphere and good food although both times I have been have been during the festival, one lunch, one dinner (pretty much the same menus). The festival menus are more limited (not sure if a price difference) but I would definately recommend it for an evening with a few friends and BYOB. Don't go expecting anything flash - it's simple food, good atmosphere, lot's of pitta and falafel. Not perhaps for everyone.

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5 from chamac (9%) on May 15th, 2009 (10 years ago)

Empires, 24 St Mary's Street, EH1 1SU, Edinburgh

Osman, Ali and his excellent staff make your evenings here most enjoyable. The food is super-authentic (the proprietors being from a region of Northern Turkey renowned for its gastronomic traditions). The mezze platter gives a range of tasty exotic dips and finger food. Of the main courses, lamb and seafood were excellent, and there are plenty vegetarian options.

The decor is really authentic, some items really antique; it's like stepping into one of those cosy, adorned eating houses in old Constantinople. We love eating on the upper level (excellent for larger groups, when you can reserve the whole area) with low tables and cushion-scattered divans.

Overall, the value and quality of the food is top-drawer; with the added advantage is the "corkage/BYOB" basis of drinks.

There is also live music (excellent classical guitar; Turkish music with belly dancing) some nights.

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4 from CScott (8%) on July 19th, 2007 (12 years ago)

Empires, 24 St Mary's Street, EH1 1SU, Edinburgh

Empires is fun and the food is varied and authentic. The atmosphere is comfortable and relaxed - a great place to go with a few friends to enjoy sampling new foods as you can easily share a selection of different things. Service is always very friendly, if not always very speedy.

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