Scottish Restaurants in Edinburgh
1. Wedgwood Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh 267 Canongate - EH8
Celebrating its fifteenth year, Paul & Lisa Wedgwood’s basement restaurant is on (and partly under) the Royal Mile. Tastefully decorated, it wins strong all-round praise, especially for its competitively priced cuisine (there is a tasting menu, but also a seasonally changing à la carte option with a fair amount of choice).
2. The Stockbridge British, Modern restaurant in Edinburgh 54 St Stephen's St - EH3
Jane Walker & chef Jason Gallagher run this traditional venue in Stockbridge, which is praised as an “intimate and special” place with “well-prepared food, plus efficient and professional service”. The only gripe this year? “some dishes seemed a bit too experimental”.
3. Rhubarb, Prestonfield Hotel Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh Priestfield Rd - EH16
In the same stable as Edinburgh’s famous Witchery, James Thomson’s lavishly decorated hotel sits in 20 acres near Arthur’s Seat and its rococo interior “never fails to please for a romantic occasion”. The food is not centre stage, but is consistently well-rated too, with menu options including an à la carte menu, three-course ‘fine dining’ option and afternoon tea.
4. Aizle Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh The Garden Room in The Kimpton Hotel, 38 Charlotte Square - EH2
“A lovely setting in the atrium that’s not too formal and with a pleasant buzz” sets the scene at Stuart Ralston’s bright, glass-roofed hotel dining room (he and his team moved on from a previous venture of the same name in Newington a couple of years ago). All reports acclaim “outstandingly good and inventive cooking” from the six-course menu (going up to £105 per person in 2023 from £85) and “friendly service”.
5. Bonnie & Wild’s Scottish Marketplace Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh St James Quarter, 415-417 St James Crescent - EH1
2022 Review: Launched in July 2021, Scotland’s largest food hall (and Edinburgh’s first) features a range of chef-led food stalls and restaurants. These include The Gannet East, Creel Caught, Erpingham House, El Perro Negro, east PIZZAS, Broken Clock, Joelato, Salt & Chilli Oriental and CHIX. Also houses Inverarity Morton’s boutique bottleshop.
6. The Spence at Gleneagles Townhouse Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh 39 St Andrew Square - EH2
With 33 bedrooms, the first-ever spin-off from the world famous sporting estate finally opened in June 2022 (it was originally scheduled for 2021) in the former HQ of the Bank of Scotland, complete with an all-day restaurant under the cupola of the former banking hall that’s relatively casual for this grand address. In July 2022, Gaby Soutar of the Scotsman paid it a visit, declaring the food offering as “casual, but with luxurious tweaks. Birthday food”. All seemed generally very satisfactory, although the review stops short of being an out-and-out rave.
7. Creel Caught Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh Bonnie & Wild Marketplace, St James Quarter, 415-417 St James Crescent - EH1
2022 Review: MasterChef: The Professionals winner Gary Maclean opened his first restaurant in summer 2021 on the fourth floor of the Bonnie & Wild Marketplace: Edinburgh's first food hall in St James Quarter. The menu champions sustainable Scottish seafood, with the ‘award-winning Arbroath Smokies’ a signature dish.
8. Howies Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh 29 Waterloo Place - EH1
2021 Review: David Howie Scott’s flagship venue at the foot of Calton Hill celebrates its 30th anniversary last year as a purveyor of inexpensive Scottish classics. The odd reporter feels that it’s “nice enough, but not the stand-out it could be”, but that’s within the context of pretty solid ratings overall. There are two spinoffs in Edinburgh and one in Aberdeen.
9. Angels With Bagpipes British, Traditional restaurant in Edinburgh 343 High St, Royal Mile - EH1
2021 Review: Owned by the Crolla family (who started Valvona & Crolla, Scotland’s oldest deli and Italian wine merchant – see also), this sixteenth century fine dining spot is a beacon on the otherwise touristy Royal Mile owing to its “well-cooked and well-seasoned” Scottish fare and “good value Sunday lunch”; for a truly intimate dining experience, try ‘Halo’, upstairs, which seats just four.
10. Taisteal Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh 1 Forth St - EH1
2022 Review: In 2021, Gordon Craig and wife Lucy moved their well-rated operation of five years’ standing from Raeburn Place to this new address in the New Town, on the site of Le Roi Fou (RIP). Our feedback remains enthusiastic for its innovative use of British ingredients. “There’s a market menu, which is a steal, and full tasting options if you’re feeling hungrier. Highly recommended”.
11. Mono Italian restaurant in Edinburgh 85 South Bridge - EH1
2021 Review: “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”.
12. Fhior Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh 36 Broughton Street - EH1
This “fun, stylish and super-friendly restaurant” from chef Scott Smith and his wife Laura has a very serious mission – to showcase ultra-seasonal Scottish ingredients, many of them grown in their own kitchen garden. The cooking is of “superb quality”, and “the tasting menu beautifully thought through, so each course feels as though it belongs after the previous one”. Fhior, meaning ‘true’ in Gaelic, is the Smiths’ follow-up to their highly regarded debut Norn, in Leith.
13. L’Escargot Bleu French restaurant in Edinburgh 56 Broughton St - EH1
“Like a Gallic hug”, chef-patron Fred Berkmiller’s “properly sourced old-school French cuisine” comes packaged with “Gallic good humour, impeccable service and quirky decoration in this wonderfully authentic restaurant”, “now with new wine bar underneath”. Sadly, its nearby sibling L’Escargot Blanc closed down last year after 18 years.
14. The Witchery by the Castle Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh Castlehill, The Royal Mile - EH1
“Definitely an experience” – James Thomson’s “glorious” 40-year restoration of a 1595 merchant’s house next to the castle makes a “totally unique and intimate location” for a candle-lit meal, either in the wood-panelled dining room, filled with leather furnishings and hung with tapestries, or in the ‘Secret Garden’. The “atmospheric setting” is “perfect for a romantic dinner” so long as you “don’t expect too much gastronomically” from the traditional menu – and there is a “killer wine list – sorry, Wine Bible”.
15. Rico's Italian restaurant in Edinburgh 58a Castle Street - EH2
“Amazing Italian cooking using Scottish produce – impeccable – and with outstanding service” inspires excellent feedback on this stylish and moodily decorated New Town site. It was opened in mid 2021 by Stefano Pieraccini of the Rocca Group in premises vacated by Martin Wishart’s The Honour (RIP).
16. New Chapter Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh 18 Eyre Pl. - EH3
This “popular” local from chef Maciej Szymik gives seasonal Scottish produce a modern European twist, earning general all-round approval. There’s also a spin-off brasserie in the West End: Otro.
17. Timberyard Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh 10 Lady Lawson St - EH3
The Radford family’s Victorian warehouse conversion remains “relentlessly inventive and delicious”, a decade after they were among the first to bring the lessons of ‘new Nordic’ cuisine to Scotland, with foraged or pickled ingredients presented in industrial-style premises. Head chef James Murray (ex-Lyles, Le Manoir & Nur in Hong Kong) joined the team last year. Natural and low-intervention wines are also an important part of the experience. Even a diner who felt “the food is overhyped” said “what an amazing place!”
18. The Palmerston Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh 1 Palmerston Place - EH12
This year-old venture in a converted bank – restaurant, bar, bakery, coffee shop and butchery – “has taken Edinburgh by storm” with its “very unfussy and robust cooking, relaxed atmosphere” – and its excellent in-house baked goods. The “shabby-chic premises belie stunning prep and cooking” from ex-Spring chef Lloyd Morse, who has teamed up with ex-Harwood Arms GM James Snowdon. Top Tip – “on no account depart without buying one of their loaves”.
19. Scran & Scallie Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh 1 Comely Bank Rd - EH4
“Everything is spot-on” at this “lively” and “inventive” gastropub from a top-class chef – “we love it, and it’s great to take international visitors as it showcases Scottish produce”. With its “good pies and loads of local beers”, the place “doesn’t forget it’s a pub” – but the “wonderful, skilled cooking” makes it “more than just that”. He might not like to hear this, but “we enjoyed this far more than Tom Kitchin’s main restaurant”.
20. Restaurant Martin Wishart French restaurant in Edinburgh 54 The Shore - EH6
“Loved it! Everything is just right” at Martin Wishart’s harbourside flagship: one of the city’s most accoladed culinary destinations, where his menus of “Frenchified Scottish ingredients” offer “decadent luxury” in “the cool, gentrified environs” of the Leith waterfront. “Every bit as good as the first time I came nearly 20 years ago”, it’s held a “Michelin star for 20 years for a reason”. It might be “slightly hushed and reverential for my (London!) tastes, but it totally deserves its accolades!”
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