10 of the best restaurants in Edinburgh's city centre

In the bustling centre of Edinburgh, there are a whole host of fantastic restaurants to choose from.

Published 20th Mar 2017
Updated 18 th Sep 2023

Here we've done the hard work for you and chosen 10 of the best.


(103 George St, EH2 3ES, 0131 225 1550)


Victor and Carina Contini's Italian ristorante has an illustrious history attached to it.

The Contini family has been in the restaurant business for three generations. Furthermore, the restaurant is on the site of Edinburgh's first Corn Exchange, which later became a Florentine-style banking hall.

Despite the vast scale and imposing architecture of the building, Contini manages to be welcoming and intimate, especially since its recent £250,000 refurbishment.

The interior is now furnished with banquette seating in soft grey leather, and luxurious hangings depicting frescos adorn the walls.

New dishes which are sure to tingle any customer's tastebuds include the sublime Salame Calabrese with roasted aubergine, crème fraiche and pistachio.

Main courses cost between £14 and £24.

The Pompadour by Galvin

(Princes Street, EH1 2AB, 0131 222 8975)

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Edinburgh's Waldorf Astoria is home to this beautiful rococo dream of a restaurant. Established in the 1920s, this ornate dining room was converted into its current incarnation in 2012 by the Galvin brothers.

Jeff and Chris Galvin have already bagged the Urban Restaurant of the Year Award, and continue to dazzle with their expert grasp of French cuisine. Views of Edinburgh Castle only make the experience of dining here even more charming, and the dishes completely conform to the Galvin brothers' ethos: “quality and luxury in simplicity”.

French techniques and Scottish produce are combined to create such wonders as their roast fillet of Peterhead stone bass, or their tender Perthshire pheasant.

Three courses cost £58.

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Number One

(Balmoral Hotel, 1 Princes St, EH2 2EQ, 0131 557 6727)

Picture: Trip Advisor Traveller

This is the number one spot to sample modern Scottish cuisine at its finest.

The restaurant has been open since 1997, but was fully refurbished in 2015, making it even more stylish than before.

You can take a seat on one of the dove-grey wool banquettes, and enjoy the fabulous art on the walls, including a triptych of a Scottish oak tree by Adam Ellis.

However it is the food that is the main event. Dishes include such delights as Balmoral smoked salmon with quail's egg, and Inverurie hogget with mint yoghurt.

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The executive chef at Number One is Jeff Bland, who has held a Michelin star for fourteen years.

The seven-course tasting menu costs £85.

Stac Polly

(29-33 Dublin St, EH3 6NL, 0131 556 2231)


Established in the last decade of the twentieth century, Stac Polly looks to the past and the future with its cuisine.

Dishes include a fillet of Scottish salmon, served with salmon, prawn and lime mousse stuffing, as well as a magnificent Borders pheasant breast with sage and lemon stuffing.

There is an extensive wine list, and Scottish beers from the Orkney Brewery for ale fans.

The restaurant itself is housed in a series of rough-stone-walled cellars, furnished with Bute tweed upholstery.

Main dishes cost between £17.95 and £27.95.

The Dome

(14 George Street, EH2 2PF, 0131 624 8624)

Picture: Trip Advisor Traveller

For the grandest dining rooms of them all, look no further than the Dome.

This brilliantly ostentatious, neoclassical venue contains two restaurants, a tea room and a bar, but the Grill Room is the reigning champion of the four.

The kitchen has been cooking up wonderful dishes for nearly twenty years, with Head Chef Sue Snider at the helm. Local produce is the main attraction, with grass-fed Buccleuch beef and Hornig's haggis from the Lothians.

Starters include the divine Belhaven smoked salmon, and steamed Shetland mussels, while the stars of the main course are the rump of lamb and the grilled sea bass.

Main courses cost between £18 and £33.

Restaurant Mark Greenaway

Castle Terrace Restaurant

(33-35 Castle Terrace, EH1 2EL, 0131 229 1222)

Picture: Trip Advisor Taveller

Dominic Jack is the head chef of this Michelin star establishment. Jack was trained in some of France’s finest restaurants, including l’Arpège in Paris. The restaurant was opened in 2010, and underwent a major refurbishment in 2016.

The décor is characterised by calming, neutral tones, with splashes of rich blues and golds.

There is an impressive mural of Edinburgh Castle on the wall, blending the ancient and the modern.

The Castle Terrace is the sister restaurant of The Kitchin, and they both have the same commendable motto: “From Nature to Plate”.

Locally sourced ingredients are cooked to perfection using classic French techniques.

You can sample such delights as monkfish, Ayrshire pork, or Inverurie lamb.

The surprise tasting menu costs £80.


(2 George IV Bridge, EH1 1AD, 0131 226 1888)

Edinburgh has a long tradition of seafood on the Royal Mile, with oysters having been sold here for over 200 years.

Ondine is the ideal place to soak up centuries of Scottish seafood tradition, as well as discovering new and exciting flavours from across the world.

The fish soup is enhanced with North African saffron, and the rouille has a taste of harissa.

The fish and seafood is sourced from all over Scotland and the UK, from Shetland to the South of England – Ondine always has be freshest and most sustainable produce.

The restaurant’s panoramic windows give diners a fantastic view of the Old Town, and the elegant striped furniture adds a touch of class.

The horseshoe oyster bar also has an ice cabinet, ensuring that all the oysters served are fresh.

Dishes include the classic deep fried haddock, as well as native lobster, and brown crab risotto.

Main dishes cost between £17 and £25, while a seafood platter costs £68.

• READ MORE: 9 new Edinburgh restaurants and bars opening in 2018


(10 Lady Lawson St, EH3 9DS, 0131 221 1222)

The family-run Timberyard restaurant is the perfect place for those who are passionate about quality ingredients.

All the kitchen’s produce is from local artisan growers, breeders, suppliers and foragers.

Furthermore, the wines are from small European producers, and the herbs are from Timberyard’s own raised beds.

The building itself is an old brick warehouse, kitted out with a cosy wood-burning stove. The dishes do not have names – the menu lets the ingredients speak for themselves.

Why not try some duck with parsnip, ramson, onion and black garlic? Or perhaps turbot, with celery, salsify, sea beet and artichoke?

The restaurant has of logs, rough wood tables and substantial pottery, which hint at the warehouse’s industrial origins.

A four course dinner costs £55, and paired drinks costs £40.

Angels with Bagpipes

(343 High St, Royal Mile, EH1 1PW, 0131 220 1111)

restaurants in Edinburgh's city centre
Pigeon with beetroot, Parma ham, balsamic. Picture: Trip Advisor Traveller

Ever since 2010, Angels with Bagpipes has combined the distinguished history of the Royal Mile with a contemporary flair.

Housed in a 17th century building, this restaurant is decorated with bronze, marble, and winged angel candlesticks.

The upper dining room, “Halo” is perfect for a secluded, romantic dinner, while the downstairs dining room, “Chanter”, is ideal for larger parties.

The tasting menu contains such old favourites as haggis, neeps and tatties, as well as delicious salmon and tasty goat’s cheese.

On the a la carte menu, there are such innovative choices as venison with chicory and tonka bean.

A four course tasting menu costs £35, or £50 with wine pairing.

The Witchery by the Castle

(352 Castlehill, The Royal Mile, EH1 2NF, 0131 225 5613)

restaurants in Edinburgh's city centre
Picture: The Witchery

This boutique Gothic hotel is popular with Edinburgh residents, visitors and celebrities alike. Andrew Lloyd Webber once asked “Is this the prettiest restaurant ever?” and we are inclined to agree.

The restaurant is housed in a 16th century merchant’s house, just at the gates of Edinburgh Castle.

The interior is decorated with carved oak panelling, antique candlesticks and tapestries.

The ceiling is painted with heraldry, reminiscent of the Auld Alliance with France. But it is the food, of course, which takes centre stage.

Scottish produce is a must, comprising the finest seafood, beef, lamb and game that the country has to offer.

The Angus beef steak tartare is a particularly lavish dish.

Vegetarians are sure to enjoy the fabulous courgette, chickpea and tofu tagine.

Three courses cost £36.

• READ MORE: The 10 best Edinburgh restaurants according to Trip Advisor

Maddy lives in Edinburgh and has written for the Sunday Herald and the Ed Fringe Review. She is passionate about authentic, sustainably sourced food, and is always keen to discover exciting new flavours.
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