Updated: Dec 3, 2019
Ian G Black’s Edinburgh
10 Great Restaurant Picks
Scotland has some of the very best food and drink in the world. Fact! The country has a stunning natural larder, excellent chefs and top quality eateries. Edinburgh is renowned for its fine food scene and the city is now home to four Michelin Starred restaurants (16 in total across Scotland) and hosts some of the most opulent and luxurious dining experiences you can find in the UK.
Whisky, porridge, shortbread and haggis yes, but there is so much more in the traditional Scottish cuisine. Scotland also offers a wealth of fresh seafood including lobster, mussels and oysters and many varieties of fish. Scottish smoked salmon is a staple on many menus for both breakfast and dinner and make sure to try Cullen skink which is a thick soup made with haddock, potatoes and onions - delicious and it will keep you warm when there’s a chill in the air. If fish is not to your liking, make sure you tuck into some fine Angus beef, succulent lamb or wild game that is all found locally. Scotland is also known for its cheeses and produce so vegetarians need not worry – there is plenty for you on the menu. If you have a sweet tooth, then you are in luck. In Edinburgh, you are never more than a few minutes from a bakery or café, so be sure to try out the local pastries including scrumptious scones and delicious desserts such as cranachan (whipped cream, honey, whisky and raspberries - mmmm). And finally whisky, Scotland’s national drink, the “water of life”. There are many locations in Edinburgh where you can go for a whisky tasting, however if you want a deeper dive into whisky production, make sure to visit one of the many distilleries located in the Highlands, Islay, Speyside or the Islands.
Is your mouth watering yet? Read below for some unforgettable Edinburgh restaurant experiences. These eateries are sure to tempt your taste buds and their divine Scottish cuisine will have you coming back for more.
1. Brasserie Prince at the Balmoral. If you are looking for a taste of France while visiting Scotland, then look no further than the Brasserie Prince. From the sumptuous furnishings to the Michelin inspired menu, you will feel like you have been transported to Paris. Chef Alain Roux sources the freshest Scottish seafood, produce, and meats which pair exceptionally well with the Balmoral’s wine cellar. Why not stop in on your next visit to Edinburgh?
2. The Witchery by the Castle. This restaurant, now in its 5th decade of existence is an Edinburgh institution. Whether you are looking for a romantic dinner for two or a traditional afternoon tea, look no further than The Witchery. You can choose to dine in the 16th century oak paneled main dining room or the more intimate Secret Garden Room and Terrace.
3. The Lookout. Located on the top of Calton Hill, this restaurant has stunning views over Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth. This is the perfect spot to watch the sun set over Old Town while enjoying the delectable tasting menu. If you are looking for something more private – you can book the Chef’s Table which will allow you to watch your curated menu being prepared and at the same time enjoying the best views in the City.
4. Angels Share Hotel & Bar. This stylish property features contemporary Scottish cuisine paired with the finest whiskys, craft beers and bespoke Gins. Dishes are made from the freshest local ingredients and will be sure to tempt your palate. From breakfast to late night dining, the Angels Share Hotel is perfect for any size group. Why not take in some of the local entertainment while you are dining or try your hand at cocktail making with the in house mixologist.
5. Tattu Edinburgh. When you are in the mood to try something unique and completely different, Tattu is the place for you. The focus of the menu centers around small plates and sharing dishes along with seasonally inspired a la carte cuisine. The aim of Tattu is an updated fusion of east and west in both food and décor. The result is a menu that is mouth watering and definitely not your traditional Chinese food.
6. Dishoom. While there are several Dishoom locations in England, the Edinburgh Dishoom is the only one in Scotland. Definitely stop in if you are looking for a completely different culinary journey – the menu joins Irani and Indian cuisine with locally sourced ingredients. The flavors will take you on a journey to another continent – subtle spices, mouth watering meats, and delicious cocktails all prepared with a flair. Catering to vegetarian and halal diets as well as carnivores, so what are you waiting for?
7. The Ivy on the Square. This Parisian themed brasserie located close to Princes Street specializes in modern British and International cuisine. Situated on fashionable St. Andrews Square, it is the perfect place to stop for brunch on the weekends or afternoon tea on the patio. With seasonal menus that focus on the best of Scottish produce, cheeses, meats and seafood, you will surely want to come back often. A specialized G&T menu is also available for those times when you just need a pick me up.
8. Gusto. A mingling of contemporary Italian and Mediterranean cuisine located in New Town just a short walk from the Royal Mile. Enjoy classic Italian specialties paired with Scottish seafood and fish such as mussels, prawns, salmon, sea bass and haddock. Traditional Italian pizzas , pastas and risotto are on the menu along with plenty of steaks and vegetarian options. Don’t forget to save room for the Italian desserts including gelato and mascarpone calzones.
9. Fazenda. Styled after a South American steakhouse, Fazenda is a meat lovers dream. Pay one price for unlimited skewered meats, fish, vegetables and salads. You control the amount and frequency of the food selection by a card on your table – green means “I’m Hungry”, red means “I need to take a break”. The excellent food is paired with the finest Scottish whiskys and gins. A true feast for the senses.
10. The Refinery St. Andrew Square. From breakfast to brunch to afternoon tea to late night nibbles and drinks, The Refinery has got it all. Located in St Andrew Square amidst New Town’s flourishing restaurant/bar scene, it is close to the tourist hub of Edinburgh. The cuisine is truly international mixing Scottish specialties with popular favorites such as Korean tacos and various curries and Mediterranean inspired dishes.