Spotlight on: Dining in Edinburgh

  • 21212, Edinburgh
    £93 Critics may find the menu a trifle “weird” and “fussy”, but the general verdict on Paul Kitching’s cuisine is that “he deserves every award he is winning” for his Calton Hill townhouse – “prepare to be surprised and enjoy!”.
  • Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh
    £92 “Consistently near perfection”; with its “wonderful” dishes and its “first-class” but “unobtrusive” service, this Leith fixture is, say fans, “the best restaurant in Scotland”; if there is a criticism, it is that the style can sometimes seem a little “stiff”.
  • The Pompadour by Galvin, Edinburgh
    £82 The Galvin brothers’ “lovely” Gallic dining room offers “fantastic views” and some “excellent food and wine”, with the midweek set dinner menu “one of the top bargains” in the city; for the odd critic, though, standards are no more than “average-to-good”.
  • The Castle Terrace, Edinburgh
    £77 “A favourite with Scots and with tourists”, and no wonder! – Tom Kitchin’s “fantastic” dining room, by the Castle, hardly ever hits even the slightest duff note; the worst any reporter could come up with is that the interior is a touch “unimaginative”.
  • Rhubarb, Prestonfield Hotel, Edinburgh
    £76 There’s no denying the “wonderful setting” of this “unique” and opulent country house dining room near the city; while it’s not immune to the odd critique of “style over substance”, fans say it’s “one of the best”, and the wine list “shows that the whole team truly understands food”.
  • Number One, Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh
    £75 “Consistently the best in Edinburgh”, say fans – Jeff Bland’s perhaps “unexpectedly fabulous” cuisine makes a visit to the basement dining room of the grandest hotel in town a “not-to-be-missed” experience; the wine-pairing menu attracts particular raves.
  • Restaurant Mark Greenaway, Edinburgh
    £70 “A great new venue in a good location”; this New Town townhouse-restaurant impresses almost all reporters with its “innovative” and “cleverly presented” cuisine and “fabulous” wine list; service doesn’t always quite measure up.
  • The Kitchin, Edinburgh
    £69 “Tom & Michaela Kitchin are still very hands-on and their restaurant is a credit to them!”; this “efficient” Leith operation provides “real fireworks” – “wow-factor cooking of the highest level, using the best of local ingredients, beautifully presented”.
  • Ondine, Edinburgh
    £63 The setting within an office block off the Royal Mile may be “rather clinical”, but on most accounts the seafood dishes on offer are “worth saving up for”; that said, there were occasions this year when the cooking seemed “more competent than inspired”.
  • The Honours, Edinburgh
    £58 “Five star food at four-star prices”; Martin Wishart’s brassserie-style operation in the New Town is, on most accounts, a “superb” destination across the board – “fantastic for a business lunch or for impressing visitors”.
  • Timberyard, Edinburgh
    £57 With its “postmodern industrial setting”, this former costume store, near the Traverse Theatre, is now the “coolest” venue in town; sample its “imaginative” menu (strong on “unusual locally-foraged vegetables”), and then “relax with a post-prandial drink by the wood-burning stove”.
  • Wedgwood, Edinburgh
    £57 “A little gem, just off the tourist trap which is the Royal Mile”; thanks to the “unusual combinations of ingredients” and “ridiculously good-value lunch menus”, Paul Wedgwood’s cuisine attracts nothing but praise, even if it is slightly “let down by being served in a cramped and slightly sterile basement”.
  • The Stockbridge, Edinburgh
    £52 With its “hearty yet imaginative” menu and “cosy” ambience, this picture-lined city-centre venture is, by all accounts, a “great little gem”.
  • Le Café St-Honoré, Edinburgh
    £48 “This Gallic charmer never waivers!”; this “secret gem” of a New Town bistro is “a perfect place for older romancing”, and the “refined” cuisine it offers is realised to generally “reliable” standards too.
  • La Garrigue, Edinburgh
    £47 “Everything you might hope to encounter in a relaxed but classy French bistro” – this Old Town favourite has “improved over the years”, say its many fans, and offers rustic, family-style cooking alongside a “superb wine list, with wonderful Languedoc delights”.
  • The Dome, Edinburgh
    £47 “The obvious place to meet for a meal in Edinburgh!” – a “timeless” former banking hall provides the “dramatic” and “uplifting” setting for this New Town rendezvous, and the cooking is often surprisingly “imaginative” too.
  • Favorita, Edinburgh
    £45 The Crolla family’s “friendly and fun” Leith Walk venture offers top Italian fare including “superb (wood-fired) pizza”; with four home delivery outlets, it’s “now branching out all through the city” too.
  • Mussel Inn, Edinburgh
    £43
    “Noisy, great-value, good fun, and right in the heart of the city!” – this “basic” but “efficient” and “bustling” New Town stalwart has quite a fan club for its “great” seafood (“including, of course, mussels”).
  • L’Escargot Bleu, Edinburgh
    £42
    “A bourgeois bistro transported from France to the New Town”; its “consistent” cooking and notably “charming” service contribute much to its “authentic” appeal.
  • Scran & Scallie, Edinburgh
    £41
    “The best addition to the Edinburgh pub scene”; with its “fantastic” food and “friendly” and “efficient” service, Tom Kitchin’s “buzzing” Stockbridge boozer is “certainly not your normal pub”.

Edinburgh is a particular highlight for those who love eating out, being the best-provided dining conurbation outside the Smoke. So just in case you’re planning a trip to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August – we shine the spotlight on dining in Scotland’s capital…

 

21212 interior copy21212, Edinburgh

£93

Critics may find the menu a trifle “weird” and “fussy”, but the general verdict on Paul Kitching’s cuisine is that “he deserves every award he is winning” for his Calton Hill townhouse – “prepare to be surprised and enjoy!”.

 

overview-of-the-restaurantRestaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh

£92

“Consistently near perfection”; with its “wonderful” dishes and its “first-class” but “unobtrusive” service, this Leith fixture is, say fans, “the best restaurant in Scotland”; if there is a criticism, it is that the style can sometimes seem a little “stiff”.

 

pompadourThe Pompadour by Galvin, Edinburgh

£82

The Galvin brothers’ “lovely” Gallic dining room offers “fantastic views” and some “excellent food and wine”, with the midweek set dinner menu “one of the top bargains” in the city; for the odd critic, though, standards are no more than “average-to-good”.

 

castle terraceThe Castle Terrace, Edinburgh

£77

“A favourite with Scots and with tourists”, and no wonder! – Tom Kitchin’s “fantastic” dining room, by the Castle, hardly ever hits even the slightest duff note; the worst any reporter could come up with is that the interior is a touch “unimaginative”.

 

rhubarbRhubarb, Prestonfield Hotel, Edinburgh

£76

There’s no denying the “wonderful setting” of this “unique” and opulent country house dining room near the city; while it’s not immune to the odd critique of “style over substance”, fans say it’s “one of the best”, and the wine list “shows that the whole team truly understands food”.

 

number oneNumber One, Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh

£75

“Consistently the best in Edinburgh”, say fans – Jeff Bland’s perhaps “unexpectedly fabulous” cuisine makes a visit to the basement dining room of the grandest hotel in town a “not-to-be-missed” experience; the wine-pairing menu attracts particular raves.

 

RG-0fd7-716Restaurant Mark Greenaway, Edinburgh

£70

“A great new venue in a good location”; this New Town townhouse-restaurant impresses almost all reporters with its “innovative” and “cleverly presented” cuisine and “fabulous” wine list; service doesn’t always quite measure up.

 

the kitchinThe Kitchin, Edinburgh

£69

“Tom & Michaela Kitchin are still very hands-on and their restaurant is a credit to them!”; this “efficient” Leith operation provides “real fireworks” – “wow-factor cooking of the highest level, using the best of local ingredients, beautifully presented”.

 

ondineOndine, Edinburgh

£63

The setting within an office block off the Royal Mile may be “rather clinical”, but on most accounts the seafood dishes on offer are “worth saving up for”; that said, there were occasions this year when the cooking seemed “more competent than inspired”.

 

the honoursThe Honours, Edinburgh

£58

“Five star food at four-star prices”; Martin Wishart’s brassserie-style operation in the New Town is, on most accounts, a “superb” destination across the board – “fantastic for a business lunch or for impressing visitors”.

 


timberyardTimberyard, Edinburgh

£57

With its “postmodern industrial setting”, this former costume store, near the Traverse Theatre, is now the “coolest” venue in town; sample its “imaginative” menu (strong on “unusual locally-foraged vegetables”), and then “relax with a post-prandial drink by the wood-burning stove”.

 

banner-wedgwood-1Wedgwood, Edinburgh

£57

“A little gem, just off the tourist trap which is the Royal Mile”; thanks to the “unusual combinations of ingredients” and “ridiculously good-value lunch menus”, Paul Wedgwood’s cuisine attracts nothing but praise, even if it is slightly “let down by being served in a cramped and slightly sterile basement”.

 

stockbridgeThe Stockbridge, Edinburgh

£52

With its “hearty yet imaginative” menu and “cosy” ambience, this picture-lined city-centre venture is, by all accounts, a “great little gem”.

 

st honoreLe Café St-Honoré, Edinburgh

£48

“This Gallic charmer never waivers!”; this “secret gem” of a New Town bistro is “a perfect place for older romancing”, and the “refined” cuisine it offers is realised to generally “reliable” standards too.

 


la garrigueLa Garrigue, Edinburgh

£47

“Everything you might hope to encounter in a relaxed but classy French bistro” – this Old Town favourite has “improved over the years”, say its many fans, and offers rustic, family-style cooking alongside a “superb wine list, with wonderful Languedoc delights”.

 

the domeThe Dome, Edinburgh

£47

“The obvious place to meet for a meal in Edinburgh!” – a “timeless” former banking hall provides the “dramatic” and “uplifting” setting for this New Town rendezvous, and the cooking is often surprisingly “imaginative” too.

 

favoritaFavorita, Edinburgh

£45

The Crolla family’s “friendly and fun” Leith Walk venture offers top Italian fare including “superb (wood-fired) pizza”; with four home delivery outlets, it’s “now branching out all through the city” too.

 

mussel innMussel Inn, Edinburgh

£43

“Noisy, great-value, good fun, and right in the heart of the city!” – this “basic” but “efficient” and “bustling” New Town stalwart has quite a fan club for its “great” seafood (“including, of course, mussels”).

 

escargot bleuL’Escargot Bleu, Edinburgh

£42

“A bourgeois bistro transported from France to the New Town”; its “consistent” cooking and notably “charming” service contribute much to its “authentic” appeal.

 

scranscallieScran & Scallie, Edinburgh

£41

“The best addition to the Edinburgh pub scene”; with its “fantastic” food and “friendly” and “efficient” service, Tom Kitchin’s “buzzing” Stockbridge boozer is “certainly not your normal pub”.

 

Top of the tips… recommendations for restaurants that haven’t earned a survey rating just yet

VDeep, Edinburgh

TV chef Hardeep Singh Kohli opens Scotland’s ‘first craft beer and curry bar’ on the site of The Vintage pub in Leith’s thriving culinary scene; serving up a fusion of British and classic curry dishes like: Bangras & mash, cauliflower cheese curry and pork cheek vindaloo.

 

Angels With Bagpipes, Edinburgh

£52

Tipped as a handy lunchspot in the heart of Edinburgh, this “very busy” Royal Mile outpost of the Valvona & Crolla empire offers “interesting” Scottish dishes that can sometimes seem a touch pricey for what they are.

 

Chaophraya, Edinburgh

£50

Tipped for its “excellent” castle-view location (once the site of Oloroso, RIP), a Thai restaurant where the food is always “decent” or better.

 

Centotre, Edinburgh

£48

In one of the New Town’s most fashionable streets, an “impressive” former banking hall tipped as a useful (and always “busy”) lunchtime rendezvous; fans hail the Italian cuisine as “authentic” whereas, to critics, it is just “hit-and-miss”.

 

Twenty Princes Street, Edinburgh

£48

“An upstairs grill and smokehouse at the smart end of Princes Street”; tipped for its “lovely sunny location” and “quiet booths” – “a good place for business or a proper conversation”.

 

Calistoga Central, Edinburgh

£43

Surprisingly “difficult to find” for somewhere so central, this “friendly” establishment serves “excellent-value” wines (“try a tasting if you can”) which somewhat eclipse the diverse range of dishes.

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