Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Edinburgh
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best Edinburgh restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 357 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 – still under the hotel’s executive chef, Jeff Bland – 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. Aizle Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh The Garden Room in The Kimpton Hotel, 38 Charlotte Square - EH2
“Stunningly good food” – “consistently ambitious, intriguing and successful in its execution of superb ingredients” – is on the daily, no-choice, six-course menu at this dynamic Newington fixture, where everything is baked, fermented and otherwise created in-house. “All the food is good but the fish is really outstanding”. (The name rhymes with hazel, and is Scots for a glowing hot ember).
4. 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.
5. Gardener’s Cottage British, Modern restaurant in Edinburgh 1 Royal Terrace Gardens, London Road - EH7
“The menu is fixed and you sit at one of three large tables with others” at this quirky venture, which occupies a stone cottage in Royal Terrace Gardens. You get what you’re given from a mystery tasting menu on which sustainability is to the fore, with many of the ingredients grown by Charlie the gardener. On practically all reports the food is well-rated, and they must be doing something right having last year now opened The Lookout (see also).
6. Locanda de Gusti Italian restaurant in Edinburgh 102 Dalry Road - EH11
‘Good food from Naples’ is the bold claim on the front of this well-known pizza joint, five minutes walk from Haymarket station, and – though reports were not numerous last year – all feedback is good.
7. The Stockbridge British, Modern restaurant in Edinburgh 54 St Stephen's St - EH3
2019 Review: Consistently good feedback once again on this stylish and “cosy” picture-lined basement in Stockbridge, which produces quality Scottish-accented cuisine.
8. New Chapter Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh 18 Eyre Pl. - EH3
“It’s always a pleasure to dine” at this “beautiful restaurant, slightly off the beaten track in glorious Edinburgh” – the “contemporary décor” is matched by “sublime, beautifully cooked” modern European dishes, which benefit from chef Maciej Szymik’s “very different presentation”. “Staff are welcoming and attentive”. There’s now a sibling brasserie in the West End, Otro.
9. Contini George Street Italian restaurant in Edinburgh 103 George Street - EH2
A converted banking hall provides the “amazing setting” for Victor and Carina Contini’s relanched venture, which now puts small plates centre stage. Reporters praise the “good Italian food with very fresh ingredients” but “friendly and professional staff” also play a big part in “making this place a pleasure”.
10. Fhior Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh 36 Broughton Street - EH1
This two-year-old from ambitious chef Scott Smith and his wife Laura follows the closure of well-regarded Norn in Leith, and presents his take on modern Scottish cuisine in a minimalist city-centre setting – the name derives from the Gaelic for ‘true’. Feedback has been limited so far, and splits between praise for “a really interesting tasting menu” and dismissal of an experience that’s “just unmemorable… apart from the bill!”
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