From exceptional Michelin-starred experiences to simple basement eateries, Edinburgh is a foodie’s paradise catering to all budgets and genres. Breakfast, lunch and dinner- delight those tastebuds with the best ideas, innovation and produce Scotland has to offer. Make sure to book before you go, to experience these must-eats.
1. Special occassions
The best of Scottish food and ambience delivers plenty of Michelin stars, but prices are hefty and tables hard to come by. Lunch deals – the full Michelin experience at a fraction of the price – are a great alternative. The Kitchen, Restaurant Martin Wishart, 21212, Castle Terrace or No. 1 at The Balmoral are the pick for us.
Aizle is an experimental restaurant at the vanguard of modern Scottish cooking; expect set menus featuring the day's freshly harvested ingredients. Gardener’s and The Food Studio’s both have communal seating if you’re feeling sociable and according to locals, newcomer Norn, featuring fare from Scottish foragers, is the place to watch.
3. Meat lovers
Scotland is all about the beef and carnivores drooling for sirloin and rib eye are well served. The burgers are best at Buffalo’s, for aged-cuts go to Steak and sister Field Grill or meet for a succulent Sunday Roast at The Chop House.
Origano’s antipastos, sharing plates and home-baked breads make this Leith Walk eatery a choice spot, but it’s the pizzas, catering for all appetites and tastes, which really shine. La Favourita’s attention to detail cements it as a local’s favourite.
5. Fish n' chips
For traditional Scottish fish dinner local chippies – fish and chip takeaways – abound. Head to the pubs and eateries of Leith’s shoreline for crisp battered fish and salted chips, or try grilled fish, mussels, shellfish, soups, platters or fishcakes. Check out The Ship on The Shore, Fishers, The King’s Wark or Teuchters Landing.
6. Bistro & gastro pubs
Still in Leith, seek out rock solid bistros along the waterfront. Canons’ Gait is Edinburgh's true gastro pub or, in New Town, enjoy the relaxed setting at The Dogs or The Cumberland’s beer garden. Pricier options include Scran & Scullie and The Honours.
7. World eats
Mother India’s, Bollywood or the basic Mosque Kitchen are the curry go-tos. Chop Chop offers Chinese with a difference and former pop-up Ting Thai Caravan is recommended. El Cartel & Bodega are the go-tos for tacos or Broughton Deli’s global menu can't be beat.
Bluebird Cafe delivers huge portions of Southern comfort; vegetarians rate The Pantry and for a treat, try Brandon’s of Canonmills truffle oil chips. Ethical diners head to Social Bite and any of the Earthy venues are best for oddball dietary requirements.
9. Afternoon Tea
Mimi’s Bakehouse – of Leith, Old Town and Corstorphine – help pull in the crowds thanks to delectable devilish pastries and gooey cream-stuffed cakes. For those who prefer savoury, Mimi’s also have plenty of tasty options – pastas, pies, soups and the like. The Elephant House has a wonderful selection of cakes, great coffee and of course is most famous for being the place where J.K. Rowling sat down to write Harry Potter.
10. Ice Cream
Get your lips around some of Edinburgh’s tastiest ice creams, gelatos and sorbets made by the marvellous Mary herself – graduate of Bologna’s Gelato University – at Mary's Milk Bar. At weekends punters lining up outside her charming Grassmarket store.