TripAdvisor users name their top ten recommended Edinburgh restaurants

A small basement bar has fended off competition from venues of national repute to find itself at the helm of TripAdvisor’s top ten recommended Edinburgh restaurants.

Published 10th May 2016
Updated 8 th Aug 2023

Pickles, at 56a Broughton Street, has been praised on the online review site for its relaxed atmosphere.

"I think it is because we are very small, very informal and we have a nice atmosphere" - Johnny Bristow, Pickles

It finds itself at the top of the list, ahead of many of the Capital’s best-known restaurants, many of which are Michelin starred.Owner Jonny Bristow said he was thrilled at the popularity on TripAdvisor. He said: “It’s great. I think it is because we are very small, very informal and we have a nice atmosphere. It is a friendly place.”

The venue, beneath L’Escargot Bleu, is essentially a bar, yet diners will not find traditional pub meals on offer.

Instead Jonny offers the likes of Scottish cheese platters served with bread, oatcakes and pickles (£15).

A choice of patés, including wild boar and duck with red peppers and olives, are also very popular.

Reviewed by The List in October 2103, it was said that “if it had been around for 
decades it would be an institution”.

What they said about ten of the best..

1. Pickles, Broughton Street, rating: 5/5

Pickles is most definitely a bar, yet offers light snacks and sharing platters, inclduing patés. Kirsty said: “Pickles is the perfect place for a few glasses of wine. It’s a cozy, relaxed place with a great atmosphere.“

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2. Aizle, St Leonard’s Street, rating: 5/5

Aizle is loved by diners for the informality of its dining choice. There is no traditional menu, rather a five-course dinner for £45 based aronund the chef’s monthly ‘harvest’. Amanda said: “This place is absolutely amazing. The food was outstanding, coupled with unpretentious surroundings and a lovely waiting team, I can honestly say this is one of the best meals I have ever eaten.“

3. Colonnades, Parliament Square, rating: 5/5

Tucked away in the Signet Library, Colonnades offers a glamorous setting for afternoon tea, “a sumptuous lunch, delicious cocktails and fizz” as well as coffees and cakes. Laura said: “If you want afternoon tea in Edinburgh then you need to go here!”

4. Number One at The Balmoral, Princes Street, rating: 5/5

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One of Edinburgh’s most luxurious restaurants, it is popular for celebrations and special events, as well as by those who simply want to indulge in fine dining.

Nigel said: “The finest of food, expertly cooked and presented in a restaurant exuding outstanding ambiance.”

5. Locanda De Gusti, Dalry Road, rating: 5/5

This is an Italian restaurant which is praised for offering an authentic dining experience.

Francesco said: “I am from Italy and I struggled a lot in finding a place that could remind me something from my home town, then I discover Locanda.”

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6. Verdo, Newington Road, rating: 5/5

Described as a traditional Turkish/Mediterranean barbecue restaurant, diners can expect everything from cold humus starters to charcoal dishes. JayCee said: “This is the ultimate meal with ultimate taste, service and price.”

7. Restaurant Martin Wishart, The Shore, rating: 4.5/5

A French fish restaurant which prides itself on using the finest Scottish ingredients. Bill said: “Fabulous tasting menus in this first-class restaurant.

8. New Chapter, Eyre Place, rating: 4.5/5

Fresh, innovative but classic food, Scottish and modern European food with a twist.

Donald said: “Top food, great service and really nice ambience. Fair pricing.”

9. Michael Neave’s Kitchen and Whisky Bar, Old Fishmarket Close, rating: 4/5

Run by the young Scottish chef Michael Neave, this kitchen offers a wide range of meat and fish dishes. Lesley said: “The food was exquisite and very reasonably priced.”

10. The Caffeine Drip, Melville Place rating: 4/5

No ordinary coffee-house, The Caffeine Drip is a South African eatery, bakery and deli. It offers takeaway, breakfast, lunch and drinks. Nati said: “This place is amazing, the staff is so friendly and food is always on point.”


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