Five unique dining experiences to enjoy in Edinburgh

Tired of the same old restaurants? Here are five uniquely enjoyable dining experiences in the capital to try out.

Published 23rd Aug 2017
Updated 18 th Sep 2023

It’s Festival season in Edinburgh and we’re all being bombarded with stories of fantastic hypnotists and experimental comedy coming from all corners of the city.

Edinburgh in August is a time where the city comes alive, where you can discover all kinds of new experiences and where people from all over the world come to find that once-a-year vibe.

But what about the food? We took a look at the best experiences Edinburgh has to offer from a gastronomical point of view.

The Edinburgh Food Studio

(158 Dalkeith Rd, Edinburgh EH16 5DX)

Dining Experiences

One of the coolest restaurants in the city right now, you won’t find a menu to peruse for the Edinburgh Food studio.

Instead, guests eat what is put down in front of them with an ever-changing menu dictated by the seasons and what the chefs can find fresh.

They’re not just a restaurant either, they also have a “Research Hub” where the owners Ben and Sashana try out new recipes and publish the results.

If you’re in town for the Edinburgh Festival and fancy experimenting with food, this is the place for you.

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(2 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1AD)

Island cafe with stunning views to team up with Michelin-recommended Edinburgh restaurant for one-off supper club
Dining Experiences

Picture: Ondine

An Edinburgh classic, Ondine has been serving some of the best seafood in the city since 2009 and is still going strong.

While seafood may not be a unique experience in Scotland, sitting an Ondine’s oyster bar certainly is.

Curving around the centre of the room, the impressive bar is home to a feast of oysters.

Choose from a variety of options, including Oysters Mignonette, Ceviche Oysters or shellfish from Jersey, Menai, Dorset and Loch Fyne.

If you’re feeling particularly hungry, there are platters to share which are so large you may feel like you’ll never get through them. (Trust us, you will.)

New Scottish restaurants added to the Good Food Guide

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(62 Elm Row, Edinburgh EH7 4AQ)


Picture: Bodega

This tiny Mexican on Leith Walk has only 15 seats yet is well loved by Edinburgh locals. You’d better like tacos if you’re going to make the trip, as that’s pretty much all they serve.

Choose from beef, prawn, avocado, chicken and much more, each one more delicious than the previous.

It’s also BYOB in this little gem which means you can nip to the Tesco along the road and grab some cheap beer to wash down the tasty spices on offer.

The staff are also a delight, going above and beyond to cater for any dietary requirements and generally dishing out sound Festival advice.

El Perro Negro and Ka Pao team up for kitchen takeover in Glasgow 

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The Kitchin

(78 Commercial Quay, Edinburgh, EH66LX)

Picture: The Kitchin

From one extreme to the other, The Kitchin is one of the best known dining spots in Edinburgh.

Headed up by the famous Tom Kitchin, visiting this restaurant is an experience in itself. However, if you’re really looking for a unique meal during the Edinburgh Festival, go for the “Surprise Tasting Menu.”

As the name suggests, you have no idea what it is you will be eating before you visit. However, as with all of Mr Kitchin’s menus, everything is sourced from Scotland’s own larder. Head in with an open mind and an empty stomach and get prepared to be wowed.

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The Table

(3a Dundas Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6QG)

Dining Experiences

Picture: The Table

If you like to get up close and personal with the people cooking your food, you should head to the The Table.

A unique dining experience during the Edinburgh Festival, or at any other point of the year, only 10 people per night are served at the long counter behind which owner Sean Clarke whips up the dishes.

Sean takes the reservations, cooks the food and even washes up the dishes while guests can chat to him about the food.

It’s a completely immersive experience but bookings are scarce. Keep an eye on their website and social media channels for last-minute cancellations.

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