Edinburgh is famous for being one of the most beautiful cities in the UK – and it just so happens that it is also one of the best places to eat out in the UK. There are three Michelin star restaurants in Edinburgh, and another two that hold a Michelin Bib Gourmand - an award defined by the famous red guide as ‘exceptionally good food at moderate prices’. One Michelin star, in case you’re wondering, means ‘a very good restaurant’ – and each of the restaurants below is very good indeed.
The Michelin Guide isn’t the be-all and end-all of good food, of course. Though Michelin has tried to maintain a fairly middle-of-the-road position in recent years the guide does still lean in the direction of fine dining and that comes, usually, at a certain cost. The introduction of Bib Gourmands and Michelin Green Stars (given to restaurants that are seen to be highly sustainable) are reflective of that, but Edinburgh’s dining landscape is so much more than what you’ll find in the Michelin Guide - this is a city packed with brilliant places to eat, at all price points and of many different backgrounds and cultures.
Four Edinburgh restaurants featured in SquareMeal’s Top 100 UK Restaurants list this year, putting the Scottish capital firmly among the UK’s very best food cities. Among those are a set of restaurants that perfectly represent the modern Scottish dining scene at the capital, whether it’s Scott Smith’s elegant, precise cooking and home fermentation at Fhior, or the magnificent Palmerston in Haymarket.
Scroll down to read more about the Edinburgh restaurants that currently have Michelin awards, as well as a pick of the other restaurants mentioned in the guide.
One Michelin star restaurants in Edinburgh
This elite group of Michelin restaurants in Edinburgh all hold a coveted star for their food offering. At each of these spots you are nearly guaranteed a fantastic meal, with service and ambiance to match. From French-style menus to restaurants that use the best of Scotland's larder, these really are the pick of the bunch on the Edinburgh dining scene.
Timberyard, Old Town
What: 2023 saw long-standing Edinburgh favourite Timberyard walk away with on Michelin star. This family-run restaurant is found in the shadow of the imposing castle and in contrast to the classic baronial architecture above brings modernist, industrial interiors. Cooking isn’t overly engineered, and instead carefully takes the best of Scottish produce and melds it into plates of food where each flavour is allowed its time to shine. Service is warm and friendly too, and there's a cracking drinks list to top everything off.
Where: 10 Lady Lawson Street, EH3 9DS
Book now: Timberyard
What: Heron in Leith is a sweet seaside spot just outside of Edinburgh city centre and recieved its Michelin star in 2023. Tomás Gormley and Sam Yorke have created a pared-back, Scandi-style dining room in which they serve their contemporary take on fine dining food. With a knack for intensifying flavour, we’d suggest going for the gutsy tasting menu from the team (with drinks to match, if you’d like), to get the full multi-sensory experience.
Where: 91A Henderson Street, EH6 6ED
Book now: Heron
What: Winning a Michelin star in 2020, Condita has fast become one of Edinburgh’s shining lights. The restaurant takes guests on a journey of discovery - menus change from day to day and aren’t revealed until the end of the meal, so everything you eat is a complete surprise. The dishes are intricate and cleverly devised, and much of what makes it onto plates is grown in Condita’s own allotment.
Where: 15 Salisbury Place, EH9 1SL
Book now: Condita
The Kitchin, Leith
What: ‘From nature to plate’ is the mantra of chef Tom Kitchin, and it’s a philosophy that you can see everywhere in his restaurant in Leith. Natural materials such as slate and wood complemented by fabrics in cool blues and greys create a calming atmosphere for cooking that uses seasonal ingredients from regional growers, producers and fishermen. North Sea wild halibut, smoked to order on oak chips and served with parsley purée and horseradish cream potatoes, gives an idea of the level of accomplishment on offer.
Where: 78 Commercial Quay, EH6 6LX
Book now: The Kitchin
Bib Gourmand restaurants in Edinburgh
As mentioned above a Bib Gourmand isn't quite a Michelin star, but the award still indicates an exceptionally high standard of cooking. With Edinburgh only having one restaurant in this bracket the spot below gets pretty booked up, so it's worth planning ahead to secure your table.
Noto, New Town
What: Stuart Ralston’s second Edinburgh restaurant (he also runs the excellent Aizle), Noto blends minimal, effortlessly trendy interiors with a modern, Asian-inspired menu. Dishes include sesame prawn toast with katsuobushi, scallops with yuzu kosho, and chicken yakitori with umeboshi, all washed down with bespoke cocktails and natural wines.
Where: 47A Thistle Street, EH2 1DY
Book now: Noto
The Scran & Scallie, Stockbridge
What: Chef Tom Kitchin does fine-dining at The Kitchin but he also does down-to-earth eating, too, at his family-friendly gastropub, The Scran & Scallie. The menu might read traditionally – ham, egg and chips; fish and chips; steak or fish pie – but this is pub grub taken to another level thanks to the skill of the team in the kitchen and the quality of ingredients. Good by-the-glass wines and Scottish beers, too.
Where: Comely Bank Road, EH4 1DT
Book now: The Scran & Scallie
More Edinburgh restaurants in the Michelin Guide
Have a flick through the guide and you'll see lots more restaurants that Michelin have included, without giving any specific awards. We've picked out a few favourites that are worth a look.
What: Not satisfied with running one of Edinburgh’s best restaurants in The Little Chartroom, Roberta Hall-McCarron went and added a second in 2021 when she opened Eleanore in Leith. Like its sister site, Eleanore has a charming, easy-going vibe but the food is exceptional, touching on a wide spectrum of modern European cooking but featuring outstanding Scottish produce. We wouldn’t call it cramped but Eleanore is certainly cosy, which contributes to a nice bustling atmosphere.
Where: 30-31 Albert Place, EH7 5HN
Book now: Eleanore
Fhior, New Town
What: Meaning ‘true’ in Gaelic, Fhior’s relaxed, almost cafe-like interiors belie some of the brilliant cooking going on behind the scenes. Scott Smith brings some new Nordic style to Scottish cooking, going above and beyond to preserve ingredients as they come and go out of season - plates will often have a preserved element and a fresh element, giving Fhior’s dishes unique artistry.
Where: 36 Broughton Street, EH1 3SB
Book now: Fhior
The Palmerston, West End
What: Palmerston chef Lloyd Morse cooked at Primeur, The River Cafe and Timberyard before opening The Palmerston, and his food today is a blend of all of those - dedicated to ingredients and putting deliciousness above all else. The cosy bistro-style interiors are a very pleasant place to spend an afternoon, and the menu sways gently between wonderful plates of food like roast cod and leeks with vermouth butter sauce, and chocolate and hazelnut tart with creme fraiche.
Where: 1 Palmerston Place, EH12 5AF
Book now: The Palmerston
More interested in drinking than dining? Check out our guide to the best rooftop bars in Edinburgh