Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Edinburgh
Hardens guides have spent 29 years compiling reviews of the best Edinburgh restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 344 restaurants in Edinburgh and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Edinburgh restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Edinburgh Restaurants
1. Number One, Balmoral Hotel British, Modern restaurant in Edinburgh 1 Princes Street - EH2
“Still-fantastic food, service and a very special location” again win powerful support for this landmark hotel’s cosseting and sophisticated basement – long one of the city’s heaviest culinary hitters. And the arrival of new head chef Mark Donald has caused n’er a ripple in reports. Even a rare reporter who isn’t wowed by its luxurious below-ground setting feels “the excellent standards make it a worthwhile destination nonetheless”.
2. Wedgwood Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh 267 Canongate - EH8
“Glad we found them before they became so popular and Paul becoming a personality!” – Paul & Lisa Wedgwood’s “gem of a restaurant” on the Royal Mile (much of it below ground) wins consistent praise for its “fabulous” modern Scottish cuisine: “very well executed dishes from locally sourced ingredients”.
3. Rhubarb, Prestonfield Hotel Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh Priestfield Rd - EH16
With its “rich and opulent” setting, this Georgian former private estate provides a “unique environment” for “high-end” meals that are a feast for the eyes as much as the tastebuds. James Thomson pioneered his borderline kitsch approach to hospitality at his gothic-themed Witchery.
4. Restaurant Martin Wishart French restaurant in Edinburgh 54 The Shore - EH6
“Still the best in Edinburgh” – Martin Wishart delivers “a glorious celebration of Scottish fare” at this “slightly formal” operation. “This is serious no-nonsense cooking from the canapés, to the amuse bouche, and you can opt for the tasting menu, à la carte, vegetarian tasting menu and fish tasting menu; plus a fantastic selection of wine and wine flights”. Stylewise, it’s “a classic modern dining room” in “a nice location by the water in Leith”, and “with a level of service akin to that of a top London hotel”. “The only quibble is the very limited choice at lunchtime” although the set deal is “overall very good value for the price”.
5. Hawksmoor Steaks & grills restaurant in Edinburgh 23 West Register Street - EH2
“New to Edinburgh and certainly living up to its reputation”: the “classy” first Scottish outpost of the famous steakhouse chain – housed in the former Bank of Scotland HQ on St Andrew Square – opened in 2018, and it’s hard to imagine feedback that’s much more positive: all locals extol its “perfect steak”; “friendly” and “well-informed service”; and “great wines”.
6. Mono Italian restaurant in Edinburgh 85 South Bridge - EH1
“Making other fine dining establishments in town look somewhat staid, out of touch and overpriced” – this April 2018 newcomer is “superb”, and some would say “the best restaurant to have opened in Edinburgh in recent times”. “A charismatic space” with “splendid service” – “the reference on its website to ‘progressive Italian dining’ is accurate” and the modern cuisine is “outstanding” – “go downstairs to see the kitchen in action”. To match the fine cooking there’s “an exceptional, mostly Italian, wine list”.
7. 21212 British, Modern restaurant in Edinburgh 3 Royal Ter - EH7
Paul Kitching’s Georgian townhouse – named for the number of options for each section of its five-course tasting menu – celebrated its tenth year in 2019: “it’s a small dining room looking through glass onto the kitchen so you can see the large number of chefs working hard”. His trademark culinary style is “never dull”, although “some dishes have so many distinct flavours it can become confusing”. That’s always been a part of his gastronomic DNA, however, even when he was at Juniper in Altrincham, so why Michelin chose this year to take his star away is a mystery to us, and for most reporters this remains “a little gem in every way”.
8. Timberyard Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh 10 Lady Lawson St - EH3
“I would travel a LONG way for these exceptional, innovative flavours” says a London-based reporter about this Fountainbridge fixture, opened in 2012 in the “charismatic” space of a converted Victorian warehouse, and serving a selection of Ben Radford’s Scandi-influenced tasting menus (from four-courses to eight-courses), offset by a “long” wine list of exclusively natural wines from small European producers.
9. Divino Enoteca Italian restaurant in Edinburgh 5 Merchant St - EH1
This “stylish and relaxed” Italian wine bar and restaurant occupies a basement in the Old Town, and provides a “guaranteed night out” with “high-class food” and in particular an “excellent wine list” – “under the masterly direction of maître d’ Silvio Praino”. Part of the Vittoria group owned by a branch of the Italo-Scottish Crolla clan, it celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.
10. Scran & Scallie Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh 1 Comely Bank Rd - EH4
“Lives up to the hype, year after year” – fans of Tom Kitchin’s Stockbridge gastroboozer insist it serves “hands-down the best pub grub in Edinburgh”. “The menu has a Scottish focus and the décor is fairly tartan-heavy, so it’s a perfect place to introduce visitors to Scottish pub food”. “Charming staff” and “a nice choice of kids’ options” add further to the appeal. Even some fans, though, acknowledge that it’s “not cheap”.
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Restaurant Martin Wishart
Number One, Balmoral Hotel
Scran & Scallie
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