Restaurants in Edinburgh
While many restaurants in Edinburgh, especially in the picturesque Old Town, cater to tourists with rote renditions of pub fare, you don't need to look far to find chefs who are serving up the best of Scottish game and fish, in inspired dishes. And Edinburgh is an international city, albeit no major metropolis, with its share of excellent Indian, Italian, Thai, and other restaurants.
Two of the best restaurants in Edinburgh are found in Leith, the city's historic port. Martin Wishart, the eponymous restaurant from the chef, first received a Michelin star in 2001 and has retained it every year since. It is an expensive night out and reservations are necessary far in advance. (The Honours, in the New Town, is Wishart's contemporary brasserie alternative in the New Town.) The other stand out in Leith is the Ship on the Shore, the place to go for some of the best seafood in Scotland.
Other Edinburgh restaurants not to be missed:
One Balmoral at the Balmoral Hotel
Lothian Road, lined with trendy restaurant options
Mother India Café
Visit a fish and chip shop
The namesake of renowned local chef Martin Wishart, this Michelin one-starred restaurant is housed in an understated building on the bank of the Water of Leith.
Tony Borthwick relocated his Michelin-starred restaurant from the tiny village of Crossmichael to this 38-seat dining room, which opened in December 2006. With inspired dishes (organic pork loin with smoked paprika), he's nipping at the heels of the city's more established chefs.
Despite an unassuming exterior, the Mussel Inn restaurant draws crowds with its menu of fresh seafood imported from the western coast of Scotland.
The bar, whose paneling came from a 19th-century passenger ship, serves local Highland beef.
Edinburgh foodies have been coming to this unpretentious second floor space for 17 years. Seasonal ingredients star in seared Scotch salmon with spring chive velouté, and partridge with chicory.
Located beside St. Andrew’s Square, this café and wine bar is an offshoot of Valvona & Crolla, the city’s oldest operating deli. Inside, the two-story restaurant is designed in a modern European style with marble floors, dark walnut paneling, and glass counters lined with fresh pastries.
The restaurant serves traditional baked Scottish crotin and rabbit wrapped in Parma ham—all cooked to perfection.
Authentic Scottish dishes like kedgeree (smoked haddock and pearl barley) and haggis cakes with whisky-and-leek sauce are served in this cozy basement dining room, where the owner's grandmother's black iron cooking pot takes pride of place on the back wall.
Located in an 18th-century Georgian townhouse, this upscale restaurant is the only public component of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society headquarters.
The chalkboard menu changes with the day's catches at this scenic, nautically themed spot on the bustling waterfront. Loch Fyne oysters are a briny treat, and fish cakes are fat and golden. Reservations essential.
Arrive at midday, before the rugby fans take over, nab a red-leather booth and order a pint of Deuchars and the best pub food: steak-and-ale pie, perfectly fried chips, and creamy cullen skink (fish chowder).