From street food to fine dining, Edinburgh's restaurant scene is one of the finest in Scotland, if not the UK, and in it you'll find some of the most exciting eateries around.

With over 2,000 restaurants listed for the city on Trip Advisor alone, any resident foodie or visitor to the Edinburgh Festival will be spoiled for choice.

Thankfully, The Scotsman’s own critics have reviewed most of them meaning we can draw on their experience and knowledge to create a list of the top 12 restaurants in the capital.

12 of the best restaurants in Edinburgh

The Kitchin

(Score: 95%, address: 78 Commercial St, Edinburgh EH6 6LX)

best Edinburgh restaurants

Picture: TSPL

There was only going to be one winner on this list and Tom Kitchin’s chic Michelin-starred eatery was the only one of our top restaurants to score higher than 90 per cent.

Our premier critic Gaby Soutar reviewed the celebrity chef’s eponymous eatery in 2015, waxing lyrical about everything from the decor to the desserts – which she described as “symphonies of tasty bits”.

READ OUR REVIEW OF THE KITCHIN HERE

Baba

(Score: 90%, address: 130 George St, Edinburgh EH2 4JZ)

Best Edinburgh restaurants

The team behind Glasgow’s popular Ox and Finch restaurant opened their first Edinburgh venture to much fanfare in October 2017 and much like its west coast counterpart, Baba lives up to the hype.

Gaby visited in December 2017 and gave the new venue a solid 90 per cent rating placing it on a par with established Edinburgh favourites like Taisteal and Number One.

In her review she raved about the haggis and harissa kibbeh and chicken shawarma as well as the Baba signature hot drinks.

READ OUR REVIEW OF BABA HERE

Taisteal 

(Score: 90%, Address: 1-3 Raeburn Pl, Edinburgh EH4 1HU)

best Edinburgh restaurants

Picture: Greg Macvean

This popular restaurant in Raeburn Place is named for the Gaelic word for journey or travel and offers a selection of Scottish dishes carefully curated by Chef Gordon Craig and inspired by his travels abroad and “recipes from around the world”.

Gaby visited Taisteal in February 17, 2017, scoring it 90 per cent she described the food as “insanely good”, with dishes such as the Singapore squid and the maple and five spice Gressingham duck breast being particular standouts.

READ OUR REVIEW OF TAISTEAL HERE

Southside Scran

(Score: 85%, address: 102 Constitution St, Edinburgh EH6 6AW)

Michelin Edinburgh Bib Gourmands

Picture: Southside Scran

Top Scottish chefs Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack’s joint venture focuses on their “shared love of France and its cuisine”, and brings a little bit of that Gallic flair to the south side of the city.

The menu features the kind of Scottish ingredients that are sure to have any mouth drooling with Loch Fyne oysters, Highland wagyu beef and a selection of North Sea favourites all making an appearance.

READ OUR REVIEW OF SOUTHSIDE SCRAN HERE

Leith Chophouse

(Score: 90%, address: 102 Constitution St, Edinburgh EH6 6AW)

best Edinburgh restaurants

There was always going to be at least one steakhouse on this list and in Leith’s Chophouse, which opened its doors on Constitution Street in 2015, Gaby Soutar found her winner.

Offering up to 90 day dry-aged cuts of British beef,  Gaby described the rib-eye as a cross-hatched beauty that was “almost as soft as fillet” as well as praising the seafood dishes like the monkfish scampi and lobster bisque.

READ OUR REVIEW OF LEITH CHOP HOUSE HERE

Number One

(Score: 90%, address: 1 Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2EQ)

best Edinburgh restaurants

Number One

Offering Michelin-starred dining in the opulence of one of Edinburgh’s most luxurious hotels, our reviewer Claire Gardner agreed that The Balmoral’s Number One restaurant deserves its reputation as one of the top eateries in Edinburgh.

Scoring it 90 per cent, Claire loved the starters like the Balmoral whisky smoked salmon with lemon butter, quails egg and caviar, and the main of rose veal sweetbread with Scottish asparagus and Madeira sauce.

READ OUR REVIEW OF NUMBER ONE HERE

The Lookout by Gardener’s Cottage

(Score: 90% address: Calton Hill, Edinburgh, 0131-322 1246)

Michelin Edinburgh Bib Gourmands

The Lookout by Gardener’s Cottage

Described by Gaby as one of Edinburgh’s “best new restaurants”, The Lookout offers not only some sumptuous dishes but also some incredible views views of the east side of the city.

The newest restaurant from the team at Gardener’s Cottage on London Road, it specialises in rustic dishes with a modern twist created using seasonal ingredients.

Expect the likes of North Sea hake, Gigha oysters, foraged herbs and seabuckthorn ice cream to appear on their enticing tasting menu.

READ OUR REVIEW OF THE LOOKOUT BY GARDENER’S COTTAGE HERE

Fhior

(Score: 90% address: 36 Broughton Street, Edinburgh, 0131 477 5000)

foraged food in Edinburgh

Picture: Interior shot of Fhior

The founder of the hugely respected – and sadly now closed – Norn, Scott Smith and his wife Laura, are once again setting Edinburgh’s culinary scene alight with their latest offering.

Fhior, an adaptation of the Gaelic word for ‘true’, offers two exciting tasting menu options, the 4 course (£40) or 7 course (£65), with local ingredients – Sweet-smoky bere meal bread made with malted barley is baked fresh every day – featuring heavily.

Stripping back the theatrics and focusing simply on creating a unique tailor made experience for every diner, Gaby states Fhior is quite simply one of the “hottest” tickets in town.

READ OUR REVIEW OF FHIOR HERE 

Borough

(Score: 85%, address: 50-54 Henderson Street, Edinburgh, 0131-629 2525)

Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Filling the gap left by Scott Smith’s Norn, Borough is aiming to fill the big shoes of its predecessor. Luckily, it’s in safe hands as Norn Alumni Darren Murray takes the helm.

Offering a modern European menu featuring the likes of turbot ceviche, Veal Carpaccio and Smoked Coley, Borough impressed Gaby with its excellent ambience, service from the restaurant manager Richard Kyle and his team, and the “life-affirming” dishes.

READ OUR REVIEW OF BOROUGH HERE

Condita 

(Score: 85%, address: 15 Salisbury Place, Edinburgh, 0131-667 5777)

Condita Edinburgh

Picture: Neil Hanna

Keeping things simple, intimate and consistently delicious is this cracking little restaurant in Salisbury Place.

Doing things a little bit differently, Gaby notes that it doesn’t have a menu as such and instead offers a surprise tasting menu that is seasonal, “mostly organic”, and sources much of its produce from a 19th century walled garden in the Scottish Borders.

With five (£50) or eight courses (£80) on offer and only six tables, its usually filled to the brim with happy customers – so it’s probably best to book in advance.

READ OUR REVIEW OF CONDITA HERE 

Le Roi Fou

(Score: 85%, address: 1 Forth St, Edinburgh EH1 3JX)

best Edinburgh restaurants

Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Located just off Broughton St on Forth Street, this small eatery which was opened by Isolde Nash & London chef Jérôme Henry has been getting a lot of rave reviews including from our very own critic Gaby Soutar, who gave it 85 per cent.

Describing the food as beautiful, and the art filled interior as stylish, Gaby loved the seafood dishes such as the Isle of Skye scallops and the North Sea cod.

READ OUR REVIEW OF LE ROI FOU HERE

The Fishmarket

(Score: 85%, address: 23a Pier Place, Edinburgh)

Picture: Jon Savage

Locations don’t come more iconic than Newhaven Pier but thankfully the reputations of the team behind The Fishmarket are big enough to match.

Roy Brett of Ondine fame and Gary Welch, owner of Welch Fishmongers, are the pair who’ve decide to take on the task of making this place one of the best in the capital to get seafood and boy are they doing a good job of it.

Gaby was massively impressed by the popular new venture, loving the delicious seafood and describing the fish and chips here as the “best in Edinburgh”.

READ OUR REVIEW OF THE FISHMARKET HERE

 

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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