Best Edinburgh restaurants - The Scotsman's top 10

If you are looking for a quintessentially Scottish fine dining experience, Edinburgh is the perfect place to be.

Published 16th Jan 2017
Updated 18 th Sep 2023

The Scotsman food and drink picks ten of the best restaurants in Edinburgh.

With a whole host of award-winning restaurants across the city, any visitor is spoilt for choice. To help you narrow down your search, here are the ten best restaurants in Edinburgh, each with their own unique take on Scottish food.

Our selection of the best Edinburgh restaurants:

The Table

(3a Dundas Street, EH3 6Q6, 0131 281 1689)

Picture: Trip Advisor Traveller

Picture: Trip Advisor Traveller

This intimate restaurant offers a uniquely interactive dining experience.

With only one sitting per evening, for just ten people, you are ensured of the highest possible quality.

'The Table' itself is a stone counter which overlooks a gleaming open plan kitchen, which allows the diners to see their meal being prepared and ask the chefs any questions.

The seven course tasting menu costs £70, featuring the best Scottish produce and highly original flavour combinations. Scottish interior designer Fiona Denholm is responsible for the restaurant's elegant modern look.

Restaurant Martin Wishart

(54, The Shore, EH6 6RA, 0131 553 3557)

In the heart of Leith, Martin Wishart's award-winning restaurant has maintained its Michelin star since 2001 – becoming an Edinburgh institution in the process.

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The menu is based on traditional and modern French cuisine, made with the finest Scottish ingredients.

The interior is calm and elegant, with a muted tan palate. A six-course tasting menu costs £85, and will dazzle you with its ingenious twists on classic dishes.

La Garrigue

(31 Jeffrey Street, EH1 1DH, 0131 557 3032)

Best Edinburgh restaurants

Just off the Royal Mile is a little slice of the Languedoc.

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This rustic, bistro-style restaurant owes its authentic French cuisine to chef Jean Michel Gauffre, who hails from the town of Bedarieux.

Andrew Walker's original paintings of Gauffre's home-town adorn the walls, and the wines all originate from the area, which is nicknamed 'Le Midi'.

A friendly atmosphere and hearty home-cooking make this eatery a home from home for its diners. To top it off, La Garrigue has won two AA rosettes every year since its opening.

Main dishes cost between £14.50 and £24.50.

The Kitchin

(78 Commercial Quay, EH6 6LX, 0131 555 1755)

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Best Edinburgh restaurants

Picture: TSPL

Having earned a Michelin star in 2007 and won Best Restaurant Experience in 2015, Tom Kitchin's restaurant is a must for fans of fine dining.

Kitchin's philosophy, “from nature to plate”, calls for seasonal produce to be brought in every day. The menu boasts top-notch British cuisine brought to life by Scottish ingredients and French techniques. To make sure that meat and fish is as fresh as possible, butchering and filleting takes place in-house.

The décor is heavily influenced by the building's heritage as a whisky warehouse, featuring Scottish wool, wood, stone and glass. The Kitchin's tasting menu costs £85, while the three-course set lunch costs £33.

Castle Terrace

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

Dominic Jack's Michelin-star restaurant can be found just below the formidable Edinburgh Castle, in an elegant Georgian town-house.

“From nature to plate” is the philosophy of both Castle Terrace and its sister restaurant, The Kitchin.

Both restaurants offer top-quality regional produce cooked using French culinary techniques, but Castle Terrace has its own unique atmosphere.

Nods to neoclassical architecture are combined with crisp contemporary style, with splashes of vibrant colour. The seven-course surprise tasting menu costs £80.

The Gardener's Cottage

(Royal Terrace, EH7 5DX, 0131 558 1221)

Best Edinburgh restaurants

Picture: TSPL

If you want a more sociable night of dining, The Gardener's Cottage is a perfect opportunity.

Communal dining tables and a cosy historic building provide a friendly atmosphere and a chance to get to know your neighbours.

Designed by William Playfair as a gardener's home, the B-listed cottage sits at the foot of Carlton Hill.

The restaurant's chefs put an emphasis on building relationships within the local community and finding seasonal Scottish produce for their constantly updated menu. Dinner costs £50 per person.

The Scran and Scallie

(1 Comely Bank Rd, Stockbridge, EH4 1DT, 0131 332 6281)

This family-friendly gastro-pub is Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack's joint venture, and has won the Michelin Guide's Bib Gourmand for 2017.

The menu – with headings in Scottish dialect – offers a mixture of old pub favourites like fish and chips, alongside forgotten classics such as sheep's heid Scotch broth.

The interior retains the building's old features, adding comfortable Isle of Bute furnishings and Scandinavian influences. Main dishes cost between £9.50 and £19.

The Witchery

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

Andrew Lloyd Webber said of The Witchery, “Is this the prettiest restaurant ever?” We strongly suspect that it is. Just a stone's throw from the Castle, The Witchery is housed in one of the Royal Mile's many historic buildings.

The atmosphere is decidedly romantic, with baroque oak panelling, heraldic painted ceilings and a multitude of antique candlesticks.

An eclectic range of dishes is on offer, each with an imaginative combination of flavours. A three-course meal at The Witchery costs £36.


(107-109 St. Leonard’s Street, EH8 9QY, 0131 662 9349)

Just to clarify, “Aizle” - which means “burning coal” in Scots - rhymes with “hazel”.

This restaurant does not offer a traditional menu, but instead gives its diners a list of seasonal ingredients which will be included in that evening's meal.

Depending on sustainability, an ingredient may stay on the menu for a couple of days, or for a few weeks.

Some of the ingredients are rather obscure, such as nori (Japanese edible seaweed) and Michel Cluizel (high-quality French chocolate).

Dinner costs £45 per person.


(Lady Lawson Street, EH3 9DS, 0131 221 1222)

Housed in a 19th century warehouse, which was recently known as Lawson's Timber, is this earthy, family-owned restaurant.

Chopped logs and solid wood tables reflect the building's past, coupled with a new wood-burning stove and tartan throws.

An on-site growing patch provides the kitchen with fresh herbs and edible flowers.

Butchering and smoking of meat also takes place on the premises.

All produce is from artisan growers, breeders and foragers.

The restaurant has won AA Hospitality's Scottish Restaurant of the Year award, as well as receiving three rosettes from the AA guide.

A four-course dinner at Timberyard costs £55.

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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