The best restaurants in Edinburgh


Leith, photo by Jenni Douglas

All countries in Europe have something special to their cuisine, some unique features that they can call their very own. But as much as cuisines differ, perhaps one of most distinctive ones is Scottish food. Although cultural exchange over the centuries brought many international dishes to Scotland, authentic Scottish cuisine is still a strong influence in many of the best restaurants. So if you find yourself in Edinburgh during your travels, you will be in the perfect location to start your journey in the world of Scottish cuisine, both of the traditional and the contemporary kind. And since fine dining is one of the greatest pleasures of travel, you won’t be sorry to try some of the best restaurants in Edinburgh.

The Ship on the Shore

Leith is not exactly Edinburgh’s tourist hub, but many travelers flock to see HMY Britannia, the former yacht of Queen Elizabeth II. The Shore of Leith was originally the port of Leith, and it still retains a sort of scenic port town atmosphere. One of the best restaurants in Edinburgh is located right on the shore, and is fittingly called the Ship on the Shore. The seafood chowder is one of the restaurant’s specialties, but the bowl of steamed Shetland mussels is also pretty spectacular.

Ondine, George IV Bridge

photo by Nick Callaghan on Flickr

If you are a fan of seafood but you prefer more refined and modern recipes than the good old traditional chowder, then you should head to the Ondine, one of the most recent additions to Edinburgh’s seafood scene. All of the ingredients are locally sourced, and the preparation has earned the restaurant several rewards already. Indulge in oysters, shellfish and a fantastic sea bream curry.

The Kitchin, Commercial Quay

The Kitchin is a Michelin starred restaurant where everything comes in exchange of a hefty bill, but the food is so delicious that you won’t find it in you to complain about the price. This amazing restaurant is another one of the well established stars of Leith’s dining scene will tempt you with elaborate and small portioned dishes like pig’s head and langoustine, tartar of Orkney beef or prunes in armagnac.

Wedgwood, Cannongate

photo by Bob Jones on Flickr

Wedgwood is right at the heart of Edinburgh’s tourist hub, the Royal Mile, so the location alone ensures that the food at this place doesn’t come cheap. And cheap it is definitely not, but the service and the menu are truly irreproachable. Many of the dishes are inspired by traditional Scottish cuisine – you can indulge in pigeon with haggis. neeps and tatties (mashed turnip and mashed potatoes), or the exquisite Caorunn gin, pink pepper, rhubarb and vanilla trifle.

The Grain Store, Victoria Street

If you are a meat eater who’d rather have meat as both main dish and side dish and the veggies only as an afterthought, you will love the Grain Store, where you can eat the very best of Scottish meat and fish. Beef, lamb, venison, you name it – and the dishes are very affordable too. Plus, the decor is amazing: bare brick walls, shiny wood and a great view of the street.



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