Welcome to Empires


24 St Mary’s Street

Edinburgh EH1 1SU

Tel:  0131 466 0100



Opening Hours:

Mon – Thurs:  5pm – 11pm

Fri – Sun:  midday – 11pm 


We are unable to accept card payments –

cash and cheques only please


Tucked away in a corner of Edinburgh’s historic Old Town, just minutes from the hustle & bustle of the Royal Mile,  our family run restaurant and tea shop is open daily, from midday to 11pm serving delicious, traditional, home cooked Turkish food and drinks. 


Empires philosophy is to provide you with a relaxed & memorable dining experience that’s based on fresh, home cooked food and informal, high quality customer service.   Our menu is inspired by the Turkish tradition of meze; a selection of small dishes similar to Spanish tapas and we serve a large selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes as well as meat and seafood.


At Empires we don’t serve alcohol but you’re welcome to bring your own wine or beer for which we charge a small corkage fee.


Our authentic, bohemian atmosphere is unique in Edinburgh and at weekends we host intimate live performances from some very talented and progressive local musicians.  The music on offer ranges from traditional Greek, Turkish & Flamenco to more experimental Folk & acoustic. 


Booking a table in advance is recommended to avoid disappointment – especially at the weekend when we’re usually full.  The mezzanine floor makes a great party venue and you can hire the space for private gatherings of up to 16 people.  Give us a call, pop in for a coffee or email us to make a reservation.  We look forward to seeing you soon!



7 thoughts on “

  1. Empires is wonderful! It’s one of the friendliest places I know, with great food, a unique atmosphere and, often, amazing live music (Spanish, Turkish, Tibetan…). I’ll be dining there again this evening. Highly recommended!


  2. A group of us 7 girls were fed and watered at the Empire Cafe last night. None of us had been before and I suspect all of us will re-visit.

    The food was fantastic – we opted to pay £20 a head which meant we sampled everything on the menu (and there’s a alot to sample).

    The atmosphere was great – live music was to be our entertainment. The two guys on guitars were brilliant – they even did the acoustic accompaniment to my happy birthday serenade.

    Staff were more than helpful..

    No complaints from me… will definately return very soon…

  3. I can only echo what has already been said. Empires is a great place to eat. The food, the staff, and the atmosphere is great. Spend some some time dipping into great little bowls of meze while sipping on your own wine. Finish with their fantastic coffee. Great!

  4. just got back from a wonderful at the empiires restaraunt. What a wonderful evening we have had,The food was typically home cooked Turkish, bringing back memories of Istanbul and holidays in Turkish holiday resorts,. Ali the front man was amazing, friendly, curteous and the best man for the job. The beautiful warm friendly Miriam went out of her way to make us feel at home, so much so i wanted to take her home for my son. We will certaily come back again, for the wonderful food, and the warm welcome shown to us.Ali what a host you were, you made our visit to Edinburgh memorable, you are a credit to the empires restaraunt. I hope yr boss appreciates you because without you, there is no Empires !!!!!!!!!! well done. Can thoroughtly reccomend both for the foood and the ambience.

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