Globally-acclaimed as it may be, the Edinburgh Festival has its roots firmly embedded in Scottish culture.
And as anyone who has visited or lived in Scotland will know, a huge part of that culture is food, and in particular delicious Scottish food.
As huge numbers of tourists will descend upon the city meaning some restaurants will be three times busier than usual in August (you may want to book early).
To help you beat the crowds and get a seat in the best restaurants, we’ve put together our 5 top spots for Scottish food in Edinburgh.
(10-14 Victoria St, Edinburgh EH1 2HG)
If you were to picture the quintessential Scottish restaurant you would likely conjure up an image of Howies.
Serving up a menu of exclusively local dishes, the cuisine is so popular that there are three Howies venues across Scotland.
Inside, the decor is exactly what you’d expect; splashes of tartan, stag heads and a cosy atmosphere.
The menu is a veritable feast of local produce with haggis and game featuring heavily. We’ve also heard their banoffee pie is some of the best in Edinburgh and it’s located close enough to the main festival events that you won’t need to rush through and skip dessert. Perfect.
(61 Frederick Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1LH)
Although not as overtly “Scottish” as Howie’s, The Wee Restaurant has its roots firmly located in Scotland’s larder.
Expect pork belly from Strathspey, mussels from Shetland and Perthshire lamb on a menu filled with the best produce in the country.
It’s not renowned as one of the best restaurants in Edinburgh for nothing; chef/owner Craig was crowned Chef of the Year at the 2015 CIS Excellence Awards and has worked alongside Scottish greats like Martin Wishart.
(36-38 Victoria St, Edinburgh EH1 2JW)
That sounds French, we hear you roar. Well it is, kinda of. French with a Scottish and South African twist.
Another of our listed venues that’s so popular it has multiple sites, the original Maison Bleue is located on Victoria Street, an area steeped in Edinburgh history.
This cosy restaurant features local favourites with an exotic air, South East Asian Cullen Skink and fish and seafood gumbo being stand-out favourites.
Another delicious Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh within stumbling distance to the Festival’s main attractions.
(1 Raeburn Place, Stockbridge, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, EH4 1HU)
If you’re looking for a great Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh with a bit of a twist, this is the place for you. Chef Gordon Craig has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants across the UK and uses the best Scottish produce with elements of world cooking.
Think charred mackerel with kimchi, or roast hake with prawn wontons and curried cauliflower and you’ll be in the right place. Taisteal is one of the most exciting openings in Edinburgh in 2017 and is a great place to experience Scotland’s incredible food culture in relaxed surroundings.
(44-46 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EJ)
It may be touted as the most beautiful word in the English language, but it’s also true that The Cellar Door is one of the best restaurants for Scottish food in Edinburgh.
The menu is small but perfectly formed and features a venison dish that is one of the best we’ve ever tasted.
Wash it all down with a Rob Roy or a Bloody Mary cocktail and you’ve got the makings of a perfect festival evening. Oh, and they also do chocolate workshops where you can make your own treats….