The best small Edinburgh restaurants (expert view)

Edinburgh's restaurant scene is brimming with wonderful little eateries so we asked some of the best bloggers, reviewers and chefs in the city to pick out their favourites.

Published 5th Jun 2017
Updated 18 th Sep 2023

Locanda de Gusti

102 Dalry Rd, Edinburgh EH11 2DW

(As chosen by Fred Berkmiller, chef patron of l'escargot bleu and blanc and Food Blogger Caroline von Schmalensee of Edinburgh Foody)

Picture: courtesy of TripAdvisor

Fred said: "Locanda De Gusti is for me by far one of the greatest restaurants in Edinburgh, it ticks all the boxes.

"Though it's small - it's only a 30 seater - the owners are very hands on, while the staff are happy to serve and have great knowledge of the dishes served and ingredients used.

"Speaking of which, they only use the freshest of the fresh ingredients to create authentic food from Naples with great seafood and great pasta on offer."

Caroline said: "Locanda de Gusti, on Dalry Road, is welcoming and cozy. Chef Rosario Sartore and his team serve up authentic Neapolitan dishes using the best Scottish ingredients.

"The octopus salad is a favourite of mine; and the seafood platter is a real treat."


108 Raeburn Place, Edinburgh EH4 1HH

(Chosen by Food Blogger Nicki Sturzaker of Edinburgh Foody)

Picture: Rollo Facebook

Nicki said: "Run by Ailsa Rollo, this is a fantastic neighbourhood restaurant in Stockbridge with a great atmosphere and a very loyal following.

"Ailsa’s attention to detail and first class and customer service is second to none.

"She is a total perfectionist and has created a menu of dishes that will tempt all of your taste buds. My favourite dish has to be the king prawn spicy Thai green curry with a glass of Zephyr Sauvignon."

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The Table

3A Dundas St, Edinburgh EH3 6QG

(As chosen by The Scotsman's own restaurant critic Gaby Soutar)

Picture: Trip Advisor Traveler

Gaby said: "With ten seats, two chefs and a single table, The Table must be the smallest restaurant in town.

"It's testament to its size and popularity that we haven't managed to bag dinner (£70 for seven courses) there yet, but we'll keep on ringing and hoping for a cancellation.

"Sample dishes include Golden Wonder Cheese and Onion (Isle of Mull cheddar ravioli with onion broth)."


33A St. Stephen St, Edinburgh EH3 5AH

(Chosen by Food Blogger Gary Wood of

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Picture: Purslane

Gary said: "When people ask for recommendations for places to eat in Stockbridge, Purslane will be one of the first places we'll suggest.

"If they ask for a recommendation elsewhere in Edinburgh we'll give them directions to Stockbridge.

"Purslane offer 'casual fine-dining' in an intimate setting, the dishes are beautifully presented and excellent value for money."

New Chapter

18 Eyre Pl, Edinburgh EH3 5EP

(Chosen by Food Blogger Nicki Sturzaker of Edinburgh Foody)

Picture: TSPL

Nicki said: "New Chapter opened last year on Eyre Place by a husband/wife duo from Poland and Spain.

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"Their offering is great value for lovely food, which is always really well presented.

"They have turned a quiet local into a busy restaurant that is popular during the week for lunch, as well as great for dinner. I love their gnocchi, it’s the best in town."

The Stockbridge Restaurant

54 St Stephen St, Edinburgh EH3 5AL

(As chosen by Food Bloggers Jonathan & Zarah Swain of

Picture: Stockbridge Restaurant

Jonathan & Zarah said: "The Stockbridge Restaurant would be our restaurant of choice largely because of their commitment to using local Scottish produce and using it to produce outstanding dishes.

"The restaurant is cosy and understated with the food and the service doing all the talking. They have a fantastic a la carte menu but also do a great set menu meaning it is accessible to everyone."


3 Lochrin Terrace, Edinburgh EH3 9QJ

(As chosen by Amy Brewer of Edinburgh Foody)

Picture: Indaba Facebook

Amy said: "Indaba, tucked away on Lochrin Place, is a fab spot for a relaxed tapas supper with close friends and family.

"Owner Charlton ensures a warm welcome and an array of tempting Spanish, South African and South American sharing dishes are guaranteed to satisfy all palates.

"Choose from unusual daily specials or any number of veggie, fish and meat plates, but don't forget the chilli honey ribs, and a wee portion of the chocolate 'crying cake' to finish is a must."

El Cartel

64 Thistle St, Edinburgh EH2 1EN

(As chosen by Gary Wood of

Picture: El Cartel Facebook

Gary said: "We can’t get enough of El Cartel’s sensational tacos and their guacamole is to die for.

"You can’t book a table, so get down early or add your name to their waitlist – trust us, it will be worth the wait. The atmosphere is always buzzing and the drinks menu will keep you occupied until it’s time to eat again."

The Dining Room at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society Queen Street

28 Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 1JX

(As chosen by Kerry Teakle of Edinburgh Foody)

Kerry said: "For those with a love of whisky, fine wines and superb food, head to the Dining Room at 28 Queen Street. This restaurant, which mixes modern with period decor had a revamp in 2016 and now occupies the first floor at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, with great views over the gardens opposite.

"Chef James Freeman chooses his ingredient thoughtfully, cooks them beautifully and presents dishes in a hugely appealing way.

"Consult their trusted sommelier, Silvère, who will take you on a wine or whisky journey, choosing not just the obvious but delighting you with a different pairing for each dish.

"You could even push the boat out and try their Taster Menu, an indulgent five-course meal, paired with either whisky or wines, which are included in the £75 price.

"There's also a lighter menu du jour, a good pre-theatre option and and an a la carte menu. For the adventurous, try their starter of rabbit, confit and roasted loin with buckwheat, carrots, peas and tarragon, paired with a red Carignan Cotes de Thau from Languedoc in France, which is a winner."

Le Roi Fou

1 Forth St, Edinburgh EH1 3JX

(Chosen by Food Blogger Nicki Sturzaker of Edinburgh Foody)

Picture: Le Roi Fou Facebook

Nicki said: "The newest of the bunch, this opened up only a few weeks ago and chef-owner Jerome Henry from Switzerland has left the big smoke of London to open his first restaurant in our fine city. Just off Broughton St on Forth Street, the restaurant has a great location and the food is even finer.

"Having worked in some great restaurants in London such as Mossiman’s and Les Trois Garcons, he has had an excellent grounding. Jerome is all about fresh, local produce and his scallops are to die for, absolutely amazing with asparagus and fennel dressing."

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