Edinburgh is a city that’s famous for its beautiful sights and melodious sounds. To be fair, the same can be said for Scotland as a whole. But Edinburg is special; it’s the capital of Scotland, and the home of some of the United Kingdom’s most breathtaking attractions. Edinburgh is also a haven for foodies.
Some of the best restaurants in the UK are located in Edinburgh, and these establishments are extremely diverse. Edinburgh has upscale fine dining restaurants, local Mom-and-Pop shops, food trucks, food stands, gastrobars, and cafés galore. There are easily more than 1,000 restaurants in Edinburgh, no exaggeration!
In fact, there are so many great places to eat in “the Athens of the North” that it’s almost intimidating! That’s where we come in. Today, we’re going to show you the top 8 restaurants in Edinburgh. We’ll be scouring the whole city on our search for the best eateries, so get your good shoes and store your extra luggage before we begin.
The Kitchin is the first restaurant on our list. That’s not a typo, by the way. This establishment is named after Tom and Michaela Kitchin — the proprietors of this fantastic restaurant. The Kitchin specializes in British Seasonal Dishes and their motto is “From Nature to Plate.”
The menu here literally changes with the seasons, but a few standouts include Lobster, Turbot, Lamb, and Roe Deer. Combine that with a cozy, friendly atmosphere and it’s easy to see why the Kitchin is considered one of the top restaurants in Edinburgh.
The Purslane Restaurant defines itself as a “casual fine dining” establishment. Sounds interesting, right? Patrons can look forward to enjoying the Purslane Restaurant’s amazing food and cost atmosphere.
Paul Gunning is the restaurant’s head chef and owner, and he’s really cooked up an amazing menu with his team. Several, actually: a Lunch Menu, a Sunday Lunch Menu, a 5-Course Tasting Menu, and a 7-Course Tasting Menu. Stop by the Purslane Restaurant’s website to see what’s cooking!
“Aizle” is a Scottish word that means “a hot ember.” How do we know this? Because Aizle Edinburgh has incorporated this phrase into their motto. This restaurant specializes in 6-Course Seasonal Dishes. Everything is made in-house, and all ingredients are sourced from local farms. Aizle Edinburgh also offers plenty of refreshing beverages — from fine wines to tasty teas, and everything in between.
Number One at The Balmoral
A Michelin Star winning restaurant that specializes in Modern Scottish cuisine? Sign us up ASAP! Number One first opened for business in 1997. Under the peerless leadership of Head Chef Mark Donald, Number One earned its first Michelin Star in 2003. With items like Highland Wagyu Beef and BBQ Orkney Scallop on the menu, we can see why this establishment is one of the top restaurants in Edinburgh. Hop on their website to view their menus and book a reservation.
The great thing about Edinburgh’s food scene is that it’s extremely varied. You can find plenty of restaurants that serve fantastic traditional Scottish dishes, as well as international foods. Pataka is one of the most popular Indian restaurants in Edinburgh. Professional food critics and numerous patrons all have nothing but great things to say about this establishment. Patak’s menu includes items like:
- Royal Murgha: oven-roasted chicken served with onions, garlic, and butter sauce.
- Badshahi Borisa: king prawns served with spicy sauce, red peppers, and naan bread.
- Shahi Exotica: sweet and sour kebabs served with herbs and spices
Whether you’re looking to sit down at a restaurant or take your food home, Pataka is one of the top restaurants in Edinburgh to grab Indian cuisine.
We love a restaurant that’s straight to the point. Dine is a brasserie that offers fantastic food, delectable drinks, and world-class service. This establishment is located above Edinburgh’s famous Traverse Theatre. Dine actually has a Pre-Theatre menu because of that fact, as well as an A La Carte Menu, a Market Menu, and a Dessert Menu.
As for the drinks on tap, Dine has wines, champagnes, beers, martinis — the list goes on and on, and then some! We could spend hours talking about each and every item on Dine’s menus. Your best bet is to stop by their website and see what’s on for yourself.
We’ve featured a lot of big-name restaurants in this guide, but New Chapter is easily one of our favorite low-key restaurants. This establishment is hidden in New Town Edinburgh and specializes in a wide variety of European Dishes. Some of the items on their menus (plural) include:
- North Sea Hake
- Ricotta Gnocchi
- Girolle Mushroom Fondue
- White Chocolate Cremeux
- Chorizo Brandade
And much, much more. New Chapter’s biggest draws are its amazing menus and warm, friendly neighborhood feel. This establishment is simply one of those places that leave a lasting impression on you. A major part of its charm is its low-key vibe, proving that big things can come in small packages.
Makars Gourmet Mash Bar
We wanted the last entry in this guide to be something special. Makars Gourmet Mash Bar certainly fits that bill. This establishment has tons of charm and a slew of amazing Mashed Potato Meals. Some of this restaurant’s signature dishes include:
- Makars Char Grilled Traditional Smoked Sausage
- Honey Soaked Char Grilled Gammon with Sweet Chili Chutney
- Beef Haggis with Heather Honey & Turnip Puree
- Vegetarian Haggis
- Spirits, ciders, wines, draught beers, and more
Makars is truly a one-of-a-kind restaurant and an award-winning one at that. You can find this restaurant on the Mound in Old Town Edinburgh. We highly recommend that you check out their full menu online. You can also book reservations on their website, which you’ll definitely want to do ASAP.