EATING IN EDINBURGH
Edinburgh is blessed with a huge range of great places to eat. Let the TMQA team give you their top tips on restaurants to visit in the city, including a couple of Japanese gems:
(Please note that due to the nature of the venues listed here and the architecture of both the old and new town, many restaurants listed below are not wheelchair accessible and access is via original staircases. It is recommended to check with restaurants directly if you have any mobility restrictions.)
The Witchery https://www.thewitchery.com/
If luxury dining is what you’re looking for, then you need go no further than this Edinburgh landmark. With a reputation for excellence, one of our leading venues offers Scottish produce in outstanding menus.
The Tower https://www.tower-restaurant.com/
Rooftop dining in the heart of the city with outstanding views. Located on chambers street in the building which houses the National Museum, this stunning venue boasts pre‑ and post‑theatre menus as well as à la carte and table d’hôte.
Castle Terrace https://castleterracerestaurant.com/
Making the most of seasonal Scottish ingredients, From Nature to Plate is the restaurants philosophy. The restaurant offers a six-course tasting menu as well as à la carte and private dining options.
The Outsider http://www.theoutsiderrestaurant.com/
On the stunning George IV Bridge, it would be easy to miss this fantastic little treasure (and believe me I’ve missed it myself). Offering lunch, specials and an à la carte menu in a more relaxed style than most of the others on our list – see the hand annotated menu online, this is well worth a visit.
Devil’s Advocate http://devilsadvocateedinburgh.co.uk/
As much a bar as a restaurant, this new addition tucked down one of the closes (lanes) leading off the royal mile, offers a mix of dining options in a laid-back atmosphere. From venison to pork chops and curries to chicken there’s something for everyone and if food is not on your list then why not take time to stop in and peruse the whisky collection (300 +) gathered from around the world.
Also in a close off the mile, follow the fairy lights to this cocktail lounge and restaurant. Menus, as with many of our recommendations, are seasonal but generally boast Scottish steak, lobster and oysters. If you’re feeling the cold of the city, they also offer hot cocktails to warm you through for your journey back to the hotel.
David Bann http://www.davidbann.com/
Not just for the vegetarians, Edinburgh’s leading vegetarian (and vegan) restaurant is open 7‑days a week and has dishes from around the world. Food is traditionally cooked using organic produce where possible so please be patient while your food is prepared – the wait will be worth it!
Gardiners Cottage https://www.thegardenerscottage.co/
A unique dining experience in the new town, this cottage has been re‑purposed into a communal dining experience well worth a visit. Menus are limited but always changing, be prepared for Scottish fare with a twist. Booking is a must, as is notification of dietary restrictions including requests for the vegetarian option.
The Dogs http://www.thedogsonline.co.uk/
Open every day between 6 and 10pm this is another hidden gem of the city. A single door way with a hanging sign provides the clue to the restaurant hiding on this busy thoroughfare. Traditional Scottish dishes from pig’s ear in breadcrumb to devilled lamb kidney with onions bacon and toast are available with those of less adventurous nature able to stick to fish and chips.
Restaurant Mark Greenaway http://www.markgreenaway.com/
On the corner of north castle street and queen street, across from the semi-private gardens, this venue offers private dining as well as a three-course market and à la carte options. The awards for the chef and restaurant provide some indication of the level of food available in this elegant new town venue.
Room in the West End http://teuchtersbar.co.uk/a-room-in-west-end-scottish-restaurant-west-end-edinburgh/
This Scottish bistro in the basement of a beloved rugby bar in Edinburgh’s popular west end area near the conference centre provides comfortable dining in a relaxed environment. The menus here are traditional – even if the serving of them is not, think mugs of haggis, neeps and tatties (haggis, mashed turnip and mashed potato), Cullen Skink (smoked fish soup) or stovies (generally minced beef, vegetables, onions and potatoes but this is traditionally a “left-overs” dish so everyone makes it differently). This team also has a sister venue in Leith to the north of the city if you want to venture even further afield.
Opened in 2009 and providing Michelin star dining, this period building in Royal Terrace gives you views over the city to the North and Fife while you enjoy dinner in a contemporary French style. Open Tuesdays – Saturdays, this too has limited choices, but the menu changes every week.
Scran and Scallie https://scranandscallie.com/
Another bar and kitchen here, this time from the team of chefs that brought you The Kitchin and Castle Terrace. Traditional Scottish dishes served in gastropub style. The top tip we have for you – make sure you’re hungry, the portion sizes are excellent and the food fantastic. If you’re unfamiliar with the Scottish terms or spellings used on the menu, sound them out or ask the staff who can translate.
Kilted Lobster http://www.kiltedlobster.com/
This Scottish seafood restaurant is not just that but also has a Social Conscience. Profits from the restaurant are used to fund a number of social which can include cookery classes for single parents to help them cook more nutritiously on a budget and for individuals with food related health issues and allergens. If you’re not attending Thursdays dinner or are staying for the weekend, why not enjoy their thermidor and taittinger Thursdays or lobster and champagne Fridays.
Stockbridge Restaurant https://www.thestockbridgerestaurant.co.uk/
Stockbridge, named after the bridge crossing the Water of Leith still maintains its feeling of a small village despite now being inextricably connected to the New Town. This family run restaurant on St Stephens Street prides itself on using fresh and seasonal local fish and game and has a changing menu to adapt to this.
Bells Diner http://bellsdineredinburgh.co.uk/
If the title of this restaurant doesn’t give it away nothing will. Boasting that the intimate venue is “unspoiled by progress since 1972,” Bells is an institution in Stockbridge. The menu is simple and standard as you may expect but service is friendly and accommodating although they are Scottish so they don’t suffer fools gladly – see the FAQ page!
Open Monday to Saturday and only a short walk from the conference centre, Miya is a boutique (read small capacity) Japanese restaurant new to Edinburgh where locally sourced products are used for Japanese dishes. Offerings vary from the chef recommended nabe to vegetable fried noodles.
Another small venue serving highly rated Japanese cuisine, be prepared to sit close to your fellow diners to maximise the limited space and enjoy the haggis and neep gyoza!