There are a million great reasons to visit Edinburgh, from the world-famous annual Fringe festival to spooky tales throughout the dreamy Edinburgh Castle. Another thing to keep in mind when visiting this incredible Scottish city is, of course, food!
Edinburgh has one of the UK's most unique dining scenes full of historical pubs and one-of-a-kind eateries; from "mom and pop" style cottages to Michellin star fine-dining, there is something for everyone. Whether you're cozied up on the Royal Mile or tucked away on the West End, you’ll have plenty to chose from with this roundup of Edinburgh’s ten best restaurants!
10 Forage & Chatter
Hidden away in Edinburgh’s West End, Forage & Chatter offers some of Edinburgh’s most exceptional meals! In fact, this cozy eatery even made OpenTable’s Top 100 Restaurants List. Just as the name suggests, foraged items from around Edinburgh make up much of Forage & Chatter’s menu.
Dishes made up of locally sourced fish and meat with only the freshest ingredients never fail to sweep patrons right off their feet. When you visit, be sure to try their most popular dish, The Lamb Fillet with savory garlicky tomatoes, chickpeas and fresh hipsi cabbage! For dessert, we would recommend their delicious Praline Custard Slice served with vanilla ice cream.
9 The Table
In the very heart of Edinburgh’s City Center, there’s a restaurant that’s a step above the rest. It’s known simply as The Table and boasts one of Edinburgh’s most unique and exclusive dining experiences. They operate under the premise of “ten seats, two chefs, one table” and are known for their warm, friendly and intimate atmosphere. Guests take their seats at a single table which overlooks the kitchen where they watch their dish being prepared from start to finish.
Dedicated to a relaxing and authentic experience, The Table books only one party of guests per evening. If you manage to make it to this truly special and unforgettable restaurant, be sure to try the Halibut with Wild Leek.
8 The Little Chartroom
Just south of Leith sandwiched between Abbeyhill and Bonnington, lies a quaint and cozy bistro known as The Little Chartroom. With only a handful of tables and a few stools at the bar, it’s known as a “small restaurant with a huge reputation” and an absolute find for foodies.
Though their menu is simple, they specialize in French, British, Scottish and European cuisine and are famous for their wine list. With The Little Chartroom, you get the fine dining food of a Michelin Star restaurant coupled with the charm and comfort of a small bistro. When there, be sure to try the Monkfish.
Located in the City Center on Broughton Street, just a hop away from Waverly Station is the oh-so-trendy-and-modern Fhior. The name “Fhior” is actually Gaelic for “true” - known for their authentic Scottish food and warm hospitality, Fhior is simply a must when in Edinburgh!
Fhior is known for it’s creative, seasonal and constantly evolving dinner menus featuring a four or seven-course option depending on how hungry you are! Relatively new, Fhior was opened in 2018 by Scott and Laura Smith who strongly believe in food that is local, creative and flavorful. Their menu is seasonal, but if it’s available, Mackerel with gooseberry and radish is a real crowd pleaser!
6 The Witchery
At the top of the Royal Mile, beneath the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, is The Witchery. Located in a boutique hotel on Castlehill, which can only be described as romantically gothic, the atmosphere is simply unmatched.
Right in line with Scotland’s long and complicated history of witches, The Witchery is decorated with candle-lit charms and lavish baroque details. Their award-winning “a la carte menu” is served from daylight to twilight and their famous wine list cannot be missed! A fan favorite is the Scottish Lobster or the Angus Beef Steak Tartare! The Witchery is the perfect spot to step back into the 16th century while enjoying some of Edinburgh’s most delicious food!
5 The Gardener’s Cottage
Built-in 1836, and originally home to the gardener of Edinburgh’s Royal Terrace Gardens, The Gardener’s Cottage cannot be missed! Today, the cottage has transformed into an atmospheric and warm setting for anyone looking for a delicious plate. The tradition of gardening continues today with Charlie, the current gardener.
Charlie plants and grows all of the produce from herbs to veggies and fruit to create a memorable and delicious plate! I recommend visiting for lunch and feasting on the Sea Bream with brown butter and veggies.
Nestled between The Meadows and Arthur’s Seat, Kalpna is a must for any Indian food lovers! For the past 40 years, Kalpna has been wowing guests with their famous curries! Kalpna is a vegan/vegetarian restaurant that will have even the hungriest carnivores satiated.
The interior will transport you straight to Mumbai with the ornate and exotic decorations. Kalpna is known for its contemporary cooking style and welcoming atmosphere. While there, be sure to order the Mysore Masala Dosa; a delicious rice pancake with a steamy vegetable stuffing alongside Sumbhar!
3 Origano Pizzeria
Recently, Leith has slowly but surely been transforming into Edinburgh’s own Little Italy. Authentic Italian delis and pizzerias dot the district, some even dating back to the 30s. Located approximately two-thirds of the way down Leith Walk, it can’t be missed.
While Origano is one of the newer pizzerias in the area, its rustic charm is unforgettable with old hardwood floors and romantic candlelight. Gourmet pizzas are presented on wooden slabs and served with a warm smile. You can’t go wrong with any of their fire cooked pizzas and they are famous for their selection of fresh bruschetta made in house!
2 The Kilted Lobster
The Kilted Lobster is smack-dab in the middle of village-esque Stockbridge. If you haven’t guessed already, The Kilted Lobster is known for its seafood and primarily their lobster. While they are known for their warm and homey dishes, they’ve got a knack for charity, too.
Every Tuesday, The Kilted Lobster locks its doors to the public in order to serve free meals to families that may be suffering from poverty or other economic hardships. Of course, some of Edinburgh’s best lobster is cause enough to head to The Kilted Lobster, but you’ll also be supporting a charitable business!
1 The Cafe Royal Oyster Bar
A quick hop from Princes Street and Waverly Station, The Cafe Royal Oyster Bar first got it start back in 1863. Known for its glamorous interior completely with the famous marble bar, stained glass and incredible tile murals it practically screams Paris and is perfect for date night.
Despite looking like it popped out of a French film-noir, it’s actually quite the hidden gem and the menu is completely Scottish. Whiskey and seafood are their specialties and of course, you can’t go wrong with the oysters. A real crowd-pleaser is the Rockefeller oysters with spinach, parmesan, and Pernod.