5 of the best restaurants in Edinburgh's Old Town

Edinburgh's Old Town is full of history, but it is also full of flavour. Some of Edinburgh's best restaurants can be found in this area, which is characterised by winding streets and centuries-old buildings.

Published 29th Jan 2018
Updated 18 th Sep 2023

Take a look at our favourite Old Town restaurants and see if any of them tickle your fancy.

Mother India's Café

(3-5 Infirmary St, Old Town, EH1 1LT, 0131 524 9801)


The first Mother India eatery opened in Glasgow in 1996, which was followed by the popular Edinburgh branch in 2008.

This café-restaurant specialises in tapas-style Indian food, making it ideal for sharing, or for a light lunch.

Every dish is freshly prepared, and infused with the most fascinating flavours. The menu lists a whole range of delicious morsels, including patina lamb, made with mint, lamb saag, which has spinach, and chana daal, made from fresh lentils.

Fans of British-Indian cuisine will not be disappointed, as the old favourites, samosas and pakoras, are also on offer at Mother India's Café.

Main dishes cost between £3.75 and £5.95.

The Tower

(National Museum Of Scotland, Chambers St, EH1 1JF, 0131 225 3003)


The west Highland hotel with 'Scotland's best restaurant' and access to tranquil island

Joanna Lumley gave the Tower restaurant a ringing endorsement - “Tower you are fab!” - and we think her enthusiasm is completely justified. The Tower is Scotland's first ever rooftop restaurant, masterminded by James Thomson.

Guests can take in stunning views of Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile as they enjoy the finest of dining. Ingredients are fresh and locally sourced, then cooked to perfection using the most innovative techniques.

The winter menu this year contains such wonders as a ragstone goats cheese panacotta with beet chutney, as well as Perthshire pheasant with spiced red cabbage.

You will also be spoilt for choice when it comes to drinks, as the drinks list has over 200 wines and a distinguished cocktail selection.

A three course set menu costs £36.

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Ting Thai Caravan

(Teviot Pl, EH1 2RA, 0131 225 9801)


The street-food of Thailand has been brought to Scotland by this gem of a joint. It's certainly not fancy, but the food is to die for. Meals are served in cardboard containers at a very reasonable cost, making it popular with Edinburgh's students.

Dining at the Caravan is a fun experience, with the staff's favourites music playing, and the tables crammed together to make a cosy atmosphere.

The kitchen is open plan, so you can see how each dish is created. The Pad Thai is delicious, as is the roti flatbread with chilli jam. There are also plenty of gluten free options.

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Grain Store

(30 Victoria St, Old Town, EH1 2JW, 0131 225 7635)


The Grain Store is situated on Victoria Street, which some believe is the inspiration for J. K. Rowling's Diagon Alley. Under the old shop, the restaurant is housed in a number of alcoves and store rooms, and has been for more than twenty five years.

With its flickering candlelight and authentic stone walls, the ambience is decidedly romantic. The dishes are made with the best Scottish produce, including meat, market fresh fish, and seasonal fruit and vegetables. Everything is made in-house, from bread, to pasta, to dessert. Every dish is presented beautifully, almost making it a shame to eat it.

Make sure to try the Loch Crennan oysters, or the exquisite saddle of roe deer.

Main dishes cost between £17 and £32.


(Royal Mile, 267 Canongate, EH8 8BQ, 0131 558 8737)


Chef Paul Wedgwood and business partner Lisa Channon opened this restaurant in 2007. Their mission statement was to create the “perfect night out”, and, arguably, they have achieved their goal.

For those who want fine dining without pretension, this place is a perfect choice. Diners can stay as long as they wish, as the restaurant does not mind a late closing time.

Paul has travelled all over the world, looking for new flavours to inject into his dishes. He is especially fond of using wild herbs and salads, giving a freshness to his cooking.

Particularly fantastic main courses include the Scottish hogget loin with anchovy, and the butternut squash and spinach rotolo.

Main dishes cost between £18 and £30. 

• READ MORE: 10 of the best romantic restaurants in Edinburgh

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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