Review: A mighty Mexican on the Royal Mile

Pancho Villa's
Pancho Villa's

Pancho Villa’s, 240 Canongate, Edinburgh

We’ve gone a little further afield this week, to the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, where you will find down near the bottom end of the Royal Mile one of the city’s very best restaurants.

Pancho Villa’s, as you might have surmised by the name, serves Mexican food, and what amazing food it is.

The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, the colourful walls conjuring a cosy, intimate setting. It’s as close as you can expect to be sitting in an authentic Mexican cantina in Scotland and I speak with some authority here; I’ve been to Mexico and I haggled with a stall owner while buying a poncho. So there.

My wife and I have been visitors to Pancho Villa’s for 20 years now, and back in the day there were rumours that the toilets were haunted by a mischievous poltergeist.

So, in the name of investigative journalism, I bravely went to the gents, but must sadly report no paranormal activity took place. Probably because ghosts don’t actually exist.

And so to the food. We started by sharing a plate of nachos, to be washed down with Mexican beer.

Be warned; do not get a plate of nachos all to yourself as a starter. Such is the generous size of portion, there’s no way you’ll manage to finish your main course too. And the nachos themselves are delicious, smothered in cheese, salsa, guacamole, jalapeños and refried beans.

For our main course, we rather unimaginatively stuck to the same dish we always choose, but only because it’s so fantastic, the butter bean and mushroom burrito.

Now, I must point out that the restaurant has changed the way it serves the burritos. The portions are noticeably smaller than they used to be but, to be fair, they’ve also reduced the price accordingly and how many places would do that?

For dessert, I went for ice cream and received two huge dollops covered in chocolate sauce. Mrs M chose the apple and cinnamon chimichanga. Both went down a treat.

So – great staff, stunning food, a five-minute walk from Waverley Station, three courses, two drinks and two coffees and the whole lot was just £35.

So what are you waiting for?


Sopa de Tortilla

Panchos Guacamole

Taquitos Dorados



Chilli Con Carne

Burritos with fillings including shredded beef, spicy chicken and spinach and potato

Rustic Lamb

Tacos with fillings including Pastor, Barbacoa and Carnitas

Enchiladas with fillings including Lentejas, Suiza and Toluca

Albondigas de Chipotle

Fajitas with fillings including Chicken, Steak and King Prawn



Pastel de Elote

Pecan Nut Pie


Mexican Beer

Hot Beverages