Best restaurants in Edinburgh

Here is SquareMeal's list of the top restaurants in Edinburgh, Scotland's bonny capital city. With the Old Town's winding medieval lanes, the hike up the Royal Mile to the Castle, and that steep slog up Arthur's Seat, this city will leave you with a huge appetite. Luckily, we're here to ensure you choose from the very best dining options in town. Whether you're in need of a white-tableclothed bastion of formal fine dining, or a casual, city-centre pitstop, a meal in any of these restaurants will be among the very best eating experiences you'll find in Edinburgh.

Updated on 12 August 2019

The Witchery by the Castle

The Witchery by the Castle

352 Castlehill, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH1 2NF

If it’s your first-time in Edinburgh and you want the full-on Royal Mile experience, you can’t beat The Witchery. With its extravagant baronial style and mood of candlelit romance, it’s the closest you can get to dining in the castle itself.

£50 - £79
Modern European
Ondine

Ondine

2 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1AD

Edinburgh's best restaurant combines views of the city’s most famous landmarks with the finest Scottish seafood. A sparkling crustacean bar reveals the freshness of ingredients that need only the lightest of chef touches to shine.

£50 - £79
Scottish
Fish
David Bann

David Bann

56-58 St Mary's Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SX

Chef David Bann raids the global larder for his innovative vegetarian restaurant that is Edinburgh’s best place to eat for anyone following a meat-free diet. Modern interiors reflect the kitchen’s forward-looking outlook.

Under £30
Vegetarian
The Gardener

The Gardener's Cottage

1 Royal Terrace Gardens, London Road, Edinburgh, EH7 5DX

With vegetable patches out front, there’s no mistaking this Victorian building for the gardener’s cottage it once was. The cooking follows suit with dishes in which the vegetable component is as considered as the prime Scottish protein.

£30 - £49
Modern European
British
Southside Scran

Southside Scran

14-17 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, EH10 4HN

Tom Kitchin’s Bruntsfield bistro is the first time the chef has headed to south Edinburgh, but we’re glad he did. Appealing modern European cooking and a fascinating drinks list are the reward for making the journey.

£50 - £79
Modern European
The Wee Restaurant Edinburgh

The Wee Restaurant Edinburgh

61 Frederick Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1LH

Craig and Vikki Wood’s second Wee Restaurant, in the New Town, repeats the success of the North Queensferry original. Expect good-value brasserie-style cooking served in a relaxed, light-filled dining room, washed down with some great wines.

£30 - £49
Scottish
British
Fhior

Fhior

36 Broughton Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3SB

Fhior is the Gaelic word for ‘true’ and chef Scott Smith’s restaurant stays true to its ethos with a seasonal menu based on Scottish ingredients, some of them foraged. Expect small plates at lunch and an evening tasting menu.

£30 - £49
Scottish
British
Restaurant Martin Wishart

Restaurant Martin Wishart

54 The Shore, Edinburgh, EH6 6RA

Michelin-starred since 2001, this slick restaurant is the showcase for one of Scotland’s most famous chefs, Martin Wishart. Scottish ingredients combine with French technique on the seasonal menu; vegetarians get their own tasting menu.

Over £80
Scottish
French
One michelin star
Mother India’s Café - Edinburgh

Mother India’s Café - Edinburgh

3-5 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1LT

A sibling of Mother India in Glasgow, this Edinburgh offshoot serves the same good-value Indian tapas as the original, making it a good bet for a cheap eat in the Socttish capital even if you're not a student at the nearby university.

 

Under £30
Indian
Le Roi Fou

Le Roi Fou

1 Forth Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3JX

The first solo venture from Swiss-French chef Jérôme Henry has a New Town location that suits the heritage feel of red velvet seating and white tablecloths. The cooking style is more modern: scallop crudo with confit tomato, say.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Scottish
The Kitchin

The Kitchin

78 Commercial Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6LX

The fame of this Michelin-starred restaurant extends well beyond Edinburgh, not least due to Tom Kitchin’s regular TV appearances. The chef’s ‘from nature to plate’ food philosophy results in destination dining of the highest order.

£50 - £79
Modern European
SquareMeal UK Hot 100
Castle Terrace

Castle Terrace

33-35 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh, EH1 2EL

Its location beneath Edinburgh Castle Mound couldn’t be any more traditional, but everything else about this contemporary dining room is bang up to date. Expect fresh flavours, top-drawer desserts and excellent but affordable wines.

£50 - £79
British
L’Escargot Bleu

L’Escargot Bleu

56 Broughton Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3SA

Copper pans, posters of Edith Piaf: there’s no mistaking you’re eating in a French restaurant here, even if you didn’t know that it was owned by proud Frenchman Fred Berkmiller. Expect Gallic classics washed down with French wines.

£30 - £49
French
Wedgwood

Wedgwood

267 Canongate, Edinburgh, EH8 8BQ

This Royal Mile restaurant comes courtesy of TV chef Paul Wedgwood. It’s a chic setting for refined modern Scottish cooking that is as creative as the surroundings are elegant. Like the food, the wine list changes with the seasons.

£50 - £79
Modern European
Scottish
Field

Field

41 West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DB

Down-to-earth Field offers some very accomplished cooking served up without a hint of pretension. International flavours are to the fore on a one-page menu, though the approach is European. Fun puddings and good-value set menus, too.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Scottish
The Pompadour

The Pompadour

Waldorf Astoria - The Caledonian, Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2AB

Set within one of Edinburgh's most famous hotels and boasting stunning views of the Castle, The Pompadour is a landmark in every sense. A more innovative new direction combines French technique with Asian and Scandinavian influences.  

 

 

 

 

 

£50 - £79
British
The Honours

The Honours

58a North Castle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3LU

This latest venture from Martin Wishart moves away from haute cuisine to a more casual brasserie-style offering without ever forsaking quality. Steaks and seafood are specialities while set menus include lunch, tasting and kids’ options.  

£50 - £79
Scottish
French
The Little Chartroom

The Little Chartroom

30-31 Albert Place, Edinburgh, EH7 5HN

It might look like a cosy local, but with an ex-Castle Terrace chef in the kitchen, you can be sure the food here punches well above its location. Short seasonal menus guarantee freshness and thoughtfulness, while staff are friendly. 

£30 - £49
Modern European
21212

21212

3 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh, EH7 5AB

The name of Paul Kitching’s restaurant is slightly misleading: instead of 21212, he offers three starter choices, then soup, three mains, then cheese and finally three desserts. Exciting and experimental, this is cutting-edge cooking.

£50 - £79
Modern European
British
Timberyard

Timberyard

10 Lady Lawson Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9DS

With its shabby-chic style and commitment to foraging, butchery, curing and growing your own, Timberyard is a restaurant for our times. Multi-course menus, much of it adorned with herbs and flowers, are best enjoyed in the alfresco yard.

£50 - £79
Modern European
British
Le Cafe St Honore

Le Cafe St Honore

34 North West Thistle Lane, Edinburgh, EH2 1EA

The fin-de-siècle look of this Edinburgh institution looks more like something you’d find in Le Marais than the New Town. The cooking has a stronger British accent than the Parisian-style surrounds suggest but the wines are très French.

£30 - £49
Scottish
British
The Fishmarket Newhaven

The Fishmarket Newhaven

23A Pier Place, Edinburgh, EH6 4LP

Emerald tiles and brass fittings reflect the Victorian heritage of this building on Newhaven harbour where the view of fishing boats and the Forth bridges gets the juices flowing for freshly cooked fish & chips to eat in or take away.

£30 - £49
Fish and Chips
Fish
Number One Restaurant

Number One Restaurant

Balmoral Hotel, 1 Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2EQ

Executive chef Jeff Bland is in charge of the Michelin-starred, formal flagship of the Balmoral hotel. The modern French menu makes good use of seasonal ingredients, plus there are tasting menus and wine pairings for big spenders. 

£50 - £79
Modern European
Grazing by Mark Greenaway

Grazing by Mark Greenaway

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian, Edinburgh, EH1 2AB

Chef Mark Greenaway has closed his eponymous restaurant in the New Town and re-located to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Despite the name, Grazing majors in hearty dishes of rich meats, while the casual surroundings encourage lingering.

£30 - £49
Scottish
British
The Scran and Scallie

The Scran and Scallie

1 Comely Bank Road, Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH4 1DT

Chef Tom Kitchin has almost every eating eventuality in Edinburgh covered and this Stockbridge gastropub ticks the boxes for casual and family-friendly. Expect classy pub grub, bar food, weekend breakfasts, Sunday roasts and Scottish beers.

£30 - £49
Scottish
Ishka

Ishka

83 Morrison Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8BU

This stylishly decorated restaurant and cocktail bar combines Scottish ingredients with influences from warmer and sunnier climes. Seafood and game are a highlight, daily market menus offer excellent value – and don’t skip dessert.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Scottish