Best Restaurants In Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a vibrant city with a wide variety of restaurants to choose from. From traditional Scottish to Asian fusion and modern European cuisine, there is something for everyone in Scotland’s capital. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner for two or a casual spot for lunch, Edinburgh has some of the best restaurants in the UK. From award-winning Michelin-starred restaurants in Leith to the hidden gems tucked away in the city’s backstreets, you’re sure to find something that pleases your taste buds. So come and explore the best restaurants in Edinburgh!

The Lighthouse Restaurant at Fingal

Return to the golden era of luxury ocean travel aboard Leith’s opulent hotel ship, Fingal. The Lighthouse restaurant is a celebration of the most glamorous elements of maritime heritage; its ceiling has a shimmery hammered copper effect bringing a gentle reflection that creates a sense of space, and leather booth seating brings a feeling of exclusivity. Take a seat at the Art Deco-inspired bar or head outside to the deck if you’re just stopping by for cocktails, or book a table for dinner — the venue is open to guests and non-residents alike. Fingal’s menu is suitably seafood-forward with the likes of langoustines caught from the West Coast. This restaurant is not to be missed!


Gaelic for “true”, Fhior is all about purity of flavour. It’s the work of Aberdonian chef Scott Smith and offers award-winning multi-course tasting menus by night, with an a la carte selection by day. A great deal of pickling and fermenting goes on in house and the kitchen team can be found foraging the nearby coasts, taking advantage of Scotland’s larder and creating dishes that are good for your gut, as well as packed with delicious tastes and textures. Fhior is tucked on Broughton Street in the city’s East End, recognisable by its striking white frontage and Scandi-influenced interior.

The Lookout by Gardener’s Cottage

Its name refers to the restaurant’s perch on Calton Hill, affording panoramic views of the city skyline and the Firth of Forth. Diners can take a seat outside on the terrace year-round (blankets and outdoor heaters are provided during the cooler months), or in the bright and airy dining room. The tasting menus are created to be simple and earthy, with a focus on seasonality and sustainability. These can be accompanied by The Lookout’s own take on classic cocktails, such as the Sea Sandwort Old Fashioned, or wines like the house favourite Gusborne fizz.


Meaning “spark” or “glowing ember” in Old Scots, this restaurant lives up to its name, sparking a passion for Scottish cooking. The six and eight-course tasting menus feature in-house specialities, such as live fermented sourdough served with hand-churned butter, homemade aquavit and aged kombucha. These can be paired with wines from small-batch producers. North sea crab, hand-dived scallops, Mull cheddar, baron bigod and Amalfi lemon are just some of the ingredients you’ll encounter at Aizle. An evening-only venue, the restaurant is open from 5-8.30 pm, Wednesday to Sunday, and is found in the Garden Room at The Kimpton Charlotte Square.


Book lunch in Leith at Borough. The modern restaurant features elevated Scottish cuisine, with frequently changing menus to respect the season’s produce (the four-course evening meal changes several times a week at least). While these are set, the kitchen is very able to accommodate varying dietary requirements. It’s run by the power couple team Darren and Aleks, who’ve spent time cultivating their relationships with local suppliers, to curate an extra special larder of ingredients for Borough. The result is a sustainable and relaxed dining experience that’s loved by foodies and tipped for Michelin recognition.

Kora by Tom Kitchen

The latest offering from local Michelin-starred chef Tom Kitchin, Kora showcases Scottish cuisine with a “nature to plate” ethos. Opened in July 2022 by the Kitchin husband and wife team behind several other hit city venues, it’s named after the Greek Goddess of flowers, vegetation and spring, representing its close relationship with native farmers, foragers, growers and gatherers. Kora is found in Bruntsfield, open seven days a week, with Head Chef James Chapman at the helm in the kitchen, producing sustainable seasonal dishes to the neighbourhood’s discerning diners.


Radicibus is a contemporary fine dining restaurant in Edinburgh’s Stockbridge, run by husband and wife team, Mara Allevi and Giovanni Petitto. Radicibus, literally means food from the roots and the restaurant celebrates the finest Italian cuisine using the best Scottish produce from local sustainable suppliers. Mara and Giovanni draw upon the culinary techniques of their home region of Marche, in central eastern Italy bringing a taste of their home to customers through Mara’s handmade pasta, their traditional recipes, and Giovanni’s knowledge of wine to create the perfect pairing menu. Their glorious five and seven-course tasting menu are the perfect way to experience a delicious culinary journey (every Thursday to Sunday. This restaurant is NOT to be missed!


Found in Edinburgh’s historic port town (and foodie central) Leith, Heron has a strong focus on seafood, with dishes such as smoked haddock chowder and crispy squid making an appearance on the menu. It also places an emphasis on Scottish cuisine with local ingredients and flavours. And while its food is high-end and refined, it’s also known for being affordable and accessible. Heron’s interior design is sleek and modern, with minimalist decor and an open kitchen that allows diners to watch the chefs at work. It was founded in 2019, by chef-patron, Edward Murray (who had previously worked at Michelin-starred restaurants in London and Edinburgh) and his wife, Dale.

First Coast

First Coast, is local, independent neighbourhood restaurant located just a short walk from Haymarket train station on Dalry road in the city’s west end. The restaurant has earned a strong reputation for serving modern Scottish food over the 20 years since it opened and is named after a small village in Wester Ross in the Northwest Highlands of Scotland where the owner fondly remembers eating delicious Scottish produce during his childhood holidays. Daily deliveries of fresh fish and Aberdeen Angus steak from Henderson’s butchers as well as a variety of tasty vegetarian options and a cosy and welcoming setting make it a must for anyone visiting the capital.

Ka Pao

With a name that roughly translates as “holy basil” in Thai, this one makes our list. Although its range of small plates will take you on a flavoursome journey across the whole of Southeast Asia; to places visited by the well-travelled and talented kitchen team. Expect bold flavours and some unexpected combinations; signature dishes include corn ribs with salted coconut, shrimp and lime; grilled pork and bone marrow sausage; and braised beef and apache potato massaman curry. The vibe here is chilled and stylish and with a kids’ selection offered alongside the main menu, it’s suitable for all the family.


Timberyard is a family-run restaurant in the heart of Edinburgh. Set in an authentic warehouse dating back to the 19th century when it was built as a props & costume store. The now-converted warehouse is a spacious old timber yard made intimate with slouchy seating, a woodburning stove and chunky wooden tables. The menu is ingredient-led, created with respect to nature & produce, and sourced from local, artisan suppliers & Scotland’s larder. Full of energy & life they champion growers who showcase true terroir expression, stability & elegance. The cellar is made up of wines the team love to drink. Made by friends of Timberyard who respect the land & grape, while the whisky selection explores unusual expressions from well-known distilleries. The shelves are full of independent bottlings, new & old.


Celebrating its fifth birthday this year, Baba brings the flavours of the Levant to George Street, in the form of small mezze plates and feasting dishes of grass-fed côte de boeuf and whole sea bream. The portions are ideal for sharing, which is handy, as you’re sure to want a taste of everything on the table. But you can also plump for a delectable grilled main all to yourself. Everything is packed with flavour and exotic spices and served in stylish, bohemian surroundings, worthy of its location (the restaurant is part of the Kimpton Charlotte Square with entrances both within the hotel and on the street).

The Palmerston

Image by James Porteous

Named after its location in the heart of Edinburgh’s West End (Palmerston Place), The Palmerston is a chic eatery and bakery, with a European bistro vibe. Sourcing quality ingredients from land and sea – by building relationships with suppliers – is key to the restaurant’s modus operandi, with menus changing daily based on availability and ensuring the freshest food. The day begins with house pastries and coffee, then with two and three-course set lunch menus (available Tuesday to Friday), followed by à la carte dinner service, when you can enjoy plates such as rabbit and prune terrine with rhubarb chutney and toast; or lumache, with braised peas, chilli, mint and pecorino fresco accompanied with wine from their incredible wine cellar.

The Kitchin

Follow more of Edinburgh’s Michelin stars out of the city centre and to Leith, where some of the best eateries lie. Tom and Michaela Kitchin set up on the waterfront in 2006, followed by a swift succession of plaudits and prizes. Their philosophy ‘from nature to plate’ ensures an ever-changing selection of seasonal dishes. As well as a la carte and affordable lunch menus, the chef offers a ‘surprise tasting menu’ and celebration of the season. Game, fish and seafood are all locally sourced highlights, including lobster freshly caught in almost doorstep waters. The interior is dark, sophisticated and designed not to pull focus from the magnificent food.

The Little Chartroom

Another charmingly teeny contemporary restaurant is The Little Chartroom. As its name suggests, there’s a nautical theme going on, with striking blues contrasting with crisp white rustic walls, tongue and groove and wooden furniture. Ahead of the lunchtime session, brunch seekers can pop in for some divine Puddledub bacon, a mimosa or a Rwandan batch brew coffee. The menu’s eclectic and contemporary, with some international influences. The Little Chartroom is upmarket, yet bohemian and a little bit hipster, placing it perfectly for Edinburgh’s discerning younger foodies who prefer to stray from the mainstream Michelin star path.

Grazing by Mark Greenaway

Diners at Mark Greenaway’s Edinburgh venue are encouraged to relax, unwind and graze, as they feast on fare from this lauded, accoladed and awarded chef, who has his own cookbook and regularly appears on the telly. The restaurant is found on the ground floor of the Waldorf Astoria Caledonian; a light-filled space thanks to large sash and case windows and sophisticated, understated furnishings allowing the focus to fall on the showstopping food. The courses offer a ‘twist on tradition’ all presented with imaginative attention to detail. There are a la carte dishes, sharing platters, steaks and a seven-course surprise tasting menu to choose from.

Dean Banks at The Pompadour

The 2018 finalist of MasterChef: The Professionals, took over the five-star Waldorf Astoria’s famed restaurant (originally named after Madame Pompadour, Louis XV’s mistress), in 2021. Its intricate period dining room and sought-after castle views have long made The Pompadour a city fine dining favourite, but under Dean Banks’ relatively recent leadership, it’s further flourished. Tasting menus come in the form of lunch, classic, chef’s signature and vegan options, with paired wine flights available. Local produce from land and sea is key, but there are many unusual Asian and Mediterranean influences evident in the creatively designed dishes. More than just a meal, a visit here is a sensory experience.

Number One Balmoral

For the ultimate in sartorial elegance, the Balmoral is Edinburgh’s go-to spot. The large hotel envelops you before you’ve even entered, from its prestigious location at the top of Princes Street and North Bridge. Its premier restaurant gained a Michelin star in 2003 and has four AA rosettes. Number One’s modern Scottish menu had been developed by Chef Mark Macdonald. Art and design are central to the restaurant’s ambience. The striking lacquered walls are bold red and yellow textile accents that add vibrancy, contrasted by soft grey woollen upholstery.

Martin Wishart

Staying in the Shore area of Leith, you’ll find another big player on the Michelin-starred foodie scene. Wishart was born in the city but has trained under Albert Roux, Michael Roux Jnr and Marco Pierre White. The cooking style is classically French – expect lots of feather-light souffle. And menus range from four courses to eight, as well as a lighter lunch option and wine pairing suggestions (discovery or classic). For those who like to be clued up on their cuisine, the restaurant holds occasional cookery demos, such as ‘learn then lunch’. There’s more muted decor here – soft greys, whites and contemporary wood panelling all helping to draw focus to the plate.


The grand Georgian architecture of Edinburgh’s New Town is perfect to house fine dining establishments such as Paul Kitching’s five-star establishment. The 38 seater restaurant boasts many period features alongside contemporary yet sumptuous furnishings. There are never more than three choices per course here, but as these change weekly, it’s a brand new experience every time. The unusual dish names such as Paul’s Been to Cordoba, Aries the Ram and Hot Dog Fish appeal to many diners in search of a quirky approach. And if you can make an overnighter of it, there’s the option to book one of the onsite bedrooms.


This is an intimate hidden contemporary-styled gem and was recently awarded a Michelin Star, tucked away where the Old Town meets Southside.  During the day, light pours into the airy whitewashed room from the large skylight. Condita has six tables and food is prepared for the number of diners booked in (no walk-ins allowed). The vibe is leisurely, so expect to be in for the night, as you soak up the experience, rather than having a quick bite. The range of organic wines is a boon, as well as the pre-dinner method Champagne. The presentation is imaginative, with meals arriving on pebbles, wooden spoons and artfully arranged. Much of the produce comes from a walled garden in the Borders, which accounts for the proliferation of perfectly fresh herbs.

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