Our A-Z of Edinburgh's newest and best restaurants and cafes, from Aizle to Zucca

Has your favourite made it into our eating out alphabet?

Published 22nd Jun 2021
Updated 20 th Sep 2023


Aizle - part of the Kimpton Charlotte Square. Head chef, Stuart Ralston, represented Scotland on the Great British Menu, www.aizle.co.uk

Alby’s - best door-stopper sandwiches, www.albysleith.co.uk

Artisan Roast - making perfect flat whites while newer third-wave cafes were still in nappies, www.artisanroast.co.uk

Aurora - Modern European cuisine on Great Junction Street, www.auroraedinburgh.co.uk


Baba - another one at Kimpton Charlotte Square. Excellent mezze, www.baba.restaurant

Balmoral Palm Court - Add afternoon tea here, served by Omar, to your bucket list, www.roccofortehotels.com

Borough - the menu features roast North Sea Hake with peas, leek and whey, www.boroughrestaurant.com

Bross Bagels - expanding like freshly proven dough, with branches in Portobello, the West End, Leith, Bruntsfield, Stockbridge, St James Quarter, www.brossbagels.com

Bundits – they’ve opened a sit-in restaurant, so we no longer have to eat their bao buns in the car, www.bunditsofleith.co.uk


Cafe St Honore - Chef patron Neil Forbes’ classics include an orange and almond cake, www.cafesthonore.com

Chums - we haven’t been to this new Henderson Street pie shop, from the people behind Solas Neon, but we know it’s going to be good.

Civerinos - on the up, with a new branch in Portobello, www.civerinosslice.com

Contini George Street – always there to console us with pasta, www.contini.com

Creel Caught - opening in St James Quarter, with Gary Maclean at the helm, www.stjamesquarter.com


Dean Banks at The Pompadour - this MasterChef has set up in Edinburgh’s prettiest dining room, deanbanks.co.uk

Dishoom - everyone loves the bacon naans, www.dishoom.com


East PIZZAS - at Morningside and opening in St James Quarter’s Bonnie & Wild Food Hall, www.eastpizzas.com

L’Escargot Bleu - Owner Fred Berkmiller will put hairs on your chest with his Gallic menu, www.lescargotbleu.co.uk


Fhior - gorgeous food with Japanese and Scandinavian influence and produce grown at the Secret Herb Gardenwww.fhior.com

Fin & Grape – seafood and vino, www.finandgrape.com


Gardener’s Cottage - charming venue, with a summer menu that includes duck, asparagus, rhubarb and wild garlic, www.thegardenerscottage.co

Greenwoods - they’ve just arrived, direct from Amsterdam, and we’re loving the pancakes and banana bread, www.greenwoods.eu


Harvey Nichols Forth Floor Brasserie (reliable lunch), Harajuku Kitchen (lovely sushi), Hawksmoor (iron deficiency fix), The High Dive (ace pizza with bright interiors)

Heron - it hasn’t opened yet, but this contemporary venue at the Shore is destined for greatness, www.heron.scot/


Ikigai  - it’s pocket sized, but you’ll have lovely ramen if you bag a table, though they also do takeaway, www.ikigairamen.co.uk


Jupiter Artland Cafe - we were struggling with J, and this place isn’t officially in Edinburgh, but Wilkieston, www.jupiteratland.org

If that doesn't count, does Chez Jules work instead?


Kanpai Restaurant - We love the dragon rolls, www.kanpaisushiedinburgh.co.uk

The Kitchin - No food list can miss out this place, with chef Tom Kitchin’s influential nature to plate ethos, www.thekitchin.com


Leftfield -  seafood platters and a bucolic view, www.leftfieldedinburgh.co.uk

The Little Chartroom - this place, headed by Roberta Hall-McCarron and Shaun McCarron, just turned three. Serving dishes like braised mutton pie, summer veggies and pickled onion ketchup, www.thelittlechartroom.com (also with pop-up Little Chartroom on the Prom, Portobello).

Little Fitzroy - lovely coffee and cakes served from a hatch on Easter Road, www.littlefitzroy.coffee.co

The Lookout - get an aerial view of the capital at this Calton Hill restaurant, currently serving cocktails on the terrace, www.thelookoutedinburgh.co

Lovecrumbs - If you like your icing three inches high, this is your cafe www.lovecrumbs.co.uk


Mary’s Milk Bar - gelato in all of the flavours, from goat’s cheese and quince to Earl Grey and lemon sorbet, www.marysmilkbar.com

Mimi’s - every type of decadent traybake, with six branches, including a new one at Comely Bank, www.mimisbakehouse.com

Mother India - the best king prawn achari, www.motherindia.co.uk


Number One at The Balmoral - plush and luxurious, with new chef Matthew Sherry cooking up a storm, www.roccofortehotels.com

Noto - Aizle’s little sister, with small plates to die for, www.notoedinburgh.co.uk


Ondine - recently refurbished and looking ship shape, www.ondinerestaurant.co.uk

Ostara - how do you like your eggs? In this cafe, for brunch, www.ostaralarder.co.uk


The Palmerston - due to open in early August. Can’t wait, www.thepalmerstonedinburgh.co.uk

Also, The Pitt (street food market), Polentoni (Easter Road Italian), Piggs (best churros).

It’s tenuous, but new Leith cocktail bar The Three Marys is named after three Queens, including Mary, Queen of Scots.


Restaurant Martin Wishart - the best, www.restaurantmartinwishart.co.uk

Restaurant Mark Greenaway – bag a two course Sunday lunch for £29pp   www.markgreenaway.com


Sabzi - Punjabi pop-up to become permanent on July 1,

Salt - heavenly brunch, www.salt.scot

Sen – beautiful food in a dining room full of lanterns, www.senrestaurant.co.uk

Scran & Scallie - pub grub, Tom Kitchin style, www.scranandscallie.com

Soderberg - unpronounceable Scandinavian cakeage, and wonderful coffee, www.soderberg.co.uk


Taisteal (recently moved to Forth Street), Tasty Buns,beautiful TimberyardTing Thai Caravan, Twelve TrianglesDoes 21212 count as a “t”?


Umi - Stockbridge has two good sushi restaurants, this place and Kenji, www.umiedinburgh.com


Valvona & Crolla Caffe Bar - lovely for lunch, and you have to walk through the most beautiful shop in the capital, www.valvolacrolla.co.uk


The Walnut - Recently made-over and looking lovely, www.thewalnutedinburgh.co.uk

Wedgwood - beautiful food on the Royal Mile since 2007, www.wedgwoodtherestaurant.co.uk


Xiangbala Hot Pot – we think this Fountainbridge Chinese hot pot restaurant may have closed down, but since this is the only X we can find, it’s still going in. 


Yamato - perfect tempura and a chic interior, www.yamatosushiedinburgh.co.uk


The only one with a Z we could find is Zucca, which has been beside the Usher Hall for aeons. Let us know if it’s any good. 

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.
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