32 Best Restaurants in Edinburgh and the Lothians, Scotland

Bread Meats Bread

$$ Fodor's choice

This family-run burger joint has gained a nationwide reputation for its unusual toppings such as beef brisket, pastrami, kimchi, and gochujang mayo. Take a seat inside the chic, reclaimed-wood interior and choose from a menu packed with amped-up burgers as well as chicken, veggie, and halal options.

Cannonball Restaurant

$$$ Fodor's choice

The name refers to one of the most delightful quirks of Edinburgh's Old Town—the cannonball embedded in the wall outside, said to have been fired at the castle while Bonnie Prince Charlie was in residence (not true, but a good story). The atmosphere in this three-story restaurant and whisky bar is casual and relaxed, despite the gorgeous art deco dining room with views of the castle esplanade. Victor and Carina Contini, whose unique brand of Italian-Scottish cuisine has been drawing crowds for more than a decade, preside over all. The inventive menus change seasonally, but perennial favorites include the bread-crumbed haggis "cannonballs" and the lobster thermidor macaroni and cheese.


$ Fodor's choice

Amid an ordinary row of shops, the facade of this vegan and vegetarian Indian restaurant may be unremarkable, but the food is exceptional and great value, too. You'll find south- and west-Indian specialties, including dum aloo kashmiri (a medium-spicy potato dish with a sauce made from honey, ginger, and almonds) and baingan achari (red-hot marinated eggplants). Consider the affordable lunchtime buffet for £8.99.

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$ Fodor's choice

A bakery-café with an inordinately sweet tooth, Lovecrumbs joyously, deliciously, and unashamedly focuses on what really matters in life: cake. It serves delectable confections of all kinds, from sumptuous Victoria sponges to heavenly peanut-butter brownies to mouthwatering lemon tarts. You'll find an occasional savory baked good on the menu, but don't count on it. Eat inside with a cup a coffee among the quirky knickknacks, or get your cake to go. The opening times are advertised with the caveat "roughly," but you will know the place by the appreciative crowds at busy times.

155 W. Port, Edinburgh, EH3 9DP, Scotland
Known For
  • extraordinary cakes galore
  • junk shop-esque decor
  • large crowds despite unpredictable opening times
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Reservations not accepted

Mimi's Bakehouse—Leith

$ Fodor's choice

Despite its large interior with acres of seating, this bakery-café still regularly has lines out the door. The reason is simple: it bakes the best cakes in Edinburgh, using everything from Oreos to Reese's Pieces to strawberries and cream. It also serves great breakfasts, all-day brunches (with dishes like black pudding eggs Benedict and five bean chili), and an excellent afternoon tea. From the exceptional food to the fun decor, the friendly service to the reasonable prices, this is a must-try dining experience.


$ Fodor's choice

For a quick, cheap bite while wandering the Royal Mile, you can't beat Oink—possibly the best hog roast (pulled pork) in Edinburgh. Located on Canongate (there are two other outlets, but this one is the best), it was founded by two farmers in 2008, and their high-quality, hand-reared pork has proved a huge hit ever since. The idea is simple: choose your bread, choose your stuffing (try the haggis), and choose your sauce, then watch it all being combined with delicious pulled pork and—on request—salty crackling. There are three sizes available: piglet (80 grams, about 3 ounces), oink (160 grams), and grunter (250 grams).

Restaurant Martin Wishart

$$$$ Fodor's choice

Leith's premier dining experience, this high-end restaurant combines imaginative cuisine, luxuriously understated decor, and a lovely waterfront location. Renowned Michelin-starred chef Martin Wishart woos diners with his inspired menu of artistically presented, French-influenced dishes. To get a flavor of everything the restaurant has to offer, choose the ever-changing, multicourse tasting menu (£110); there's also a mouthwatering vegetarian tasting menu, and you can mix and match to tailor your perfect meal. To experience Martin Wishart's creations on more of a budget, visit for lunch from Wednesday to Friday, when the set menu is £42.50. Reservations are advised midweek and essential on weekends.

The Bonnie Badger

$$$ Fodor's choice

A charming concoction of sandstone walls, raftered roofs, and roaring fireplaces, as well as a lovely garden area, this upmarket inn is the ideal spot for a pub lunch. Owned by star Edinburgh chef Tom Kitchin, the menu at first appears to be fairly by-the-numbers British pub fare—think fish-and-chips, steak pie, and sausage and mash—but with superior local produce and a dash of culinary imagination, classic dishes are transformed into something special. If you're feeling energized after your meal, there's a free pool table in a side room, as well as Gullane golf course just down the road; if you're feeling lazy, there are beautifully appointed bedrooms upstairs.

The Honours

$$$ | New Town Fodor's choice
Run by Edinburgh restaurant grandee Martin Wishart, the Honours is a more relaxed (though almost as pricey) alternative to his eponymous flagship in Leith. Inside its gorgeous black-and-white, art deco interior, diners can enjoy a range of excellent Scottish seafood dishes; but those in the know order the meat, with extraordinary rare-breed sirloin and fillet beef steaks as well as delicious game like roe deer, guinea fowl, and rabbit. Desserts are rich and indulgent, and service is impeccable.
58a North Castle St., Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH2 3LU, Scotland
Known For
  • mouthwatering meat dishes
  • beautiful art deco decor
  • impeccable service
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon., Reservations essential

The Little Chartroom

$$$$ Fodor's choice

For fine dining with a touch of theater, it's hard to beat this superb open-kitchen restaurant, where you can sit at the bar and watch the skilled chefs prepare and assemble each course. The à la carte menu is small—there's a choice of just three starters, three mains, and three desserts—but it's filled with innovative and exciting dishes, such as dressed crab with curry and smoked almonds or spatchcock partridge with haggis and celeriac. A three-course meal with set you back around £50 without drinks.

14 Bonnington Rd., Edinburgh, EH6 5JD, Scotland
Known For
  • cozy kitchenside seating
  • small but varied menu
  • unique creations like sweetcorn custard
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon.–Wed. No lunch Thurs. and Fri., Reservations essential

The Lobster Shack

$$ Fodor's choice

North Berwick's most consistently popular dining option isn't a traditional restaurant, or even a restaurant at all—it's a shack. That's testament to the sheer quality of the seafood served at this take-out stand, where freshly caught lobster, crab, haddock, and mussels are cooked before your eyes and served in boxes with double-dipped chips, ready to eat in a fold-up chair, on a harbor wall, or while strolling along the beach. The food is in such high demand there's a pop-up Lobster Shack in Edinburgh during the Festival Fringe.

North Berwick Harbour, North Berwick, East Lothian, EH41 4JL, Scotland
Known For
  • amazing lobster and chips
  • beautiful harborside location
  • good value
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Oct.–Mar.

The Pompadour

$$$$ | New Town Fodor's choice

Sophisticated surroundings, spectacular views, and sumptuous cuisine make this restaurant, originally opened in 1925, one of Edinburgh's best spots for fine dining. Head chef Dan Ashmore uses his expertise in great Scottish produce, from venison to sea trout, to serve up a stunning, "mystery" seven-course tasting menu (it comes in a sealed envelope; it's up to you when, or if, you want to take a peek). The paired wines compliment each course perfectly. For lesser appetites, there's also a £55 three-course menu available for dinner or a £35 three-course Sunday lunch.


$$ Fodor's choice

There are few restaurants that feel so wonderfully, well, Edinburgh as this one. The freshest seasonal ingredients, mostly sourced from small local producers, go into creating delicious, inventive fare. The menu is constantly changing, but with pairings like scallop with unripe gooseberry and fig leaf ice cream, you can be sure of some surprises. The dining room, a former Victorian warehouse that's enjoyed a stripped-back, hipster refurbishment, is hugely atmospheric, and the young professional crowds are always lively.

10 Lady Lawson St., Edinburgh, EH3 9DS, Scotland
Known For
  • exciting dishes
  • hip interior
  • pricey multicourse menus
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon.–Wed. No lunch Thurs., Reservations essential

Wedgwood the Restaurant

$$$ Fodor's choice

Rejecting the idea that fine dining should be a stuffy affair, owners Paul Wedgwood and Lisa Channon are in charge at this Royal Mile gem. Local produce and some unusual foraged fronds enliven the taste buds on menus that radically change with the seasons; expect deliciously quirky pairings like scallops in a cauliflower korma or roe deer with buttermilk. The dining space is smart but informal, and the professional staff have mastered the tricky task of giving guests space to relax while always remaining attentive. Consider the three-course lunch deal for £25; that's less than most mains in the evening.



Set within the upmarket Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel, Baba serves tasty Middle Easternspecifically Levantinefare in a colorful, shabby-chic setting. Dishes are designed for sharing so take your pick from the mezze and grills menu, where highlights include the baba ghanoush (with pomegranate seed and mint) and the beef and bone marrow kofte. It's tempting to fill up on warm pita bread, but try to save space for a cardamom panna cotta dessert. Individual dishes aren't extravagant, but it's surprisingly easy to rack up a sizeable bill.

130 George St., Edinburgh, EH2 4JZ, Scotland
Known For
  • costs that quickly add up
  • delicious hummus with a zhug (Yemeni hot sauce) kick
  • inventive takes on Middle Eastern staples


$ | Old Town

With its primary color interiors, blaring 1980s hip-hop soundtrack, and brightly dressed waitstaff, this pizza diner may be Edinburgh's most upbeat dining option yet. Luckily, the food is equally joyful: take your pick from a dozen delicious pizza pies, from meaty feasts to vegan delights, or opt for a tasty pasta or salad instead. The clientele skews young and hip, but the quality of the food means it'll appeal to everyone.

Contini George Street


Set within a grand former banking hall on George Street, this superb restaurant serves light but satisfying Italian favorites divided into primi, secondi, and dolci, all within an airy setting of grand Corinthian columns, an open marble-topped bar, intricate wall hangings, and soft gray banquettes. The food choices are strictly seasonal, but regularly appearing favorites include the Scotch beef carpaccio and the homemade ravioli with ricotta and spinach. Come for a light lunch or, with the help of the extensive wine list, a long and indulgent dinner.

David Bann


This hip eatery, situated just off the Royal Mile, serves exclusively vegetarian and vegan favorites, and its inventive dishes and modern interior make it a popular place with young locals. The menu changes constantly, but the invariably creative, flavorful dishes often leave carnivores forgetting they're eating vegetarian. The food is very affordable, and there's free water with mint and strawberries. You may need to book in advance during the summer.



The city's most inventive Indian restaurant, Dishoom serves up an all-sensory experience, from the smells that greet you (delicious whiffs of incense mixed with aromatic spices) to the sight and sounds of the interior (the decor is all distressed-wood panels and chandeliers, inspired by Bombay's 1920 Iranian cafés) to the taste of the food itself. A tapas-style menu of deliciously tender meat, seafood, and vegetarian dishes welcomes you, along with delicious desserts. Wash down your meal with your pick from the extensive beer and cocktail menu, or come early for breakfast (the sausage and bacon naan rolls are to die for).

3a St. Andrew Sq., Edinburgh, EH2 2BD, Scotland
Known For
  • incredible lamb salli boti
  • great cocktail and mocktail menu
  • unique Indian breakfast rolls



Tucked down narrow Thistle Street, Dusit doesn't register on most travelers' radars, but it has been a local favorite since 2002. An authentic, contemporary Thai restaurant run by Bangkok-born Pom, the menu here delights with deliciously creamy curries, spicy stir-fries, and fragrant seafood specialties, all of which use a mix of fresh local produce and imported Thai vegetables. If you're dining as a duo, opt for the banquet menu (£29.50 per person) to try a little of everything.

49A Thistle St., Edinburgh, EH2 1DY, Scotland
Known For
  • award-winning Thai food
  • local haunt
  • good value lunch menu



Owner and chef Scott Smith, who previously ran the award-winning Norn, serves seasonal, Scandinavian-inspired fare here with rare Scottish ingredients, from beremeal (an ancient form of barley) bread to sea buckthorn. Choose from seven to 10 courses for dinner (£65 to £90), with menus arriving sealed in envelopes; you're encouraged to trust the chef and leave them unopened until after dessert. There's no à la carte here, but the lunch option is a four-course menu—and something of a steal at £35 a head. The decor is similarly Scandi-minimalist (almost austere), with plenty of plain white walls and wood veneer. 

36 Broughton St., Edinburgh, EH1 3SB, Scotland
Known For
  • modernist decor
  • old-school Scottish dishes with a Scandinavian flair
  • multicourse menu options chosen by the chef
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon.–Wed.

First Coast


This laid-back bistro, just a few minutes from Haymarket Station, has a loyal following—and for good reason. Its multicultural menu combines Scottish classics with everything from Thai sweep potato soup to Italian affogato. Hardwood floors, stone walls, soft-blue hues, and seaside paintings set a coastal theme. The international wine list is as varied as the daily specials. Lunch and early-evening menus offer good value, with three courses for £16.

Grazing by Mark Greenaway


Despite the name and the smattering of shared plates on offer, Grazing is mostly about traditional, hearty bistro fare done brilliantly. Set within a lavish yet unstuffy dining room, the restaurant's menu of seasonal dishes with inventive twists adds a real sense of fun to this consistently excellent dining experience. The menu is always changing, but a typical three-course meal might consist of barbecued shitake mushrooms on toast, hake with black-and-white-striped cannelloni, and sticky toffee pudding soufflé.

Rutland St., Edinburgh, EH1 2AB, Scotland
Known For
  • fun and inventive dishes
  • attentive service
  • prices that can add up
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon. No lunch



Kurdish food may not be as well known as other Middle Eastern cuisines, but dishes like bayengaan surocrau (marinated slow-roasted eggplant) and lamb tashreeb (a flavorful casserole) are worth checking out. Hanam's proudly promotes Kurdish cuisine, but also serves more familiar and equally delicious Middle Eastern fare, from shish kebabs to falafel. The deep-red interiors have a relaxed vibe, and you can bring your own alcohol. It's also possible to smoke a hookah pipe on the heated terrace.

La Garrigue


Edinburgh is blessed with several excellent French bistros, and this is one of the best. Although the modern decor evokes Paris, the food has the rustic flavor of the southern Languedoc region. The à la carte and prix-fixe menus are full of Languedoc classics like cassoulet (a rich, slow-cooked casserole with Toulouse sausage) alongside dishes that use fresh Scottish ingredients. Try the deliciously floral lavender crème brûlée for dessert—a surprisingly light finale to a heady dining experience.

Number One


Clublike but unstuffy, this outstanding basement restaurant, set within the Edwardian splendor of The Balmoral hotel, is made for intimate dining. The food is extraordinary, with a menu that highlights the best of Scottish seafood and meat in inventive fashion—from scallops and sturgeon to lamb and beef. However, the prices make this a place for serious special occasions; the seven-course menu is £110 per person, without wine. Service is impeccable and friendly, as you would expect for these prices.

1 Princes St., Edinburgh, EH2 2EQ, Scotland
Known For
  • wonderfully intimate setting
  • inventive dishes
  • very expensive
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues. and Wed. No lunch, Reservations essential



This fabulous seafood restaurant just off the Royal Mile makes waves with its expertly prepared dishes from sustainable fishing sources. The menu is populated with Scottish seafood staples, from salmon and sea bream to lobster and langoustines, but these are often served in interesting and surprising ways. A wall of windows shines bountiful amounts of sunlight on an attractive monochromatic dining room and an art deco oyster bar. The location is perfect for a walk-in lunch during the week, but you may need to book in advance for evenings and weekends.

2 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1AD, Scotland
Known For
  • best oysters in Edinburgh
  • delicious fish dishes
  • lavish decor
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon., Reservations essential

The Boat House


Scotland's natural larder is on display at this romantic restaurant on the banks of the Forth. Seafood is the star of the show, and chef Paul Steward is the man behind the imaginative yet unfussy recipes. The mussels, plucked straight out of the Forth, are always a good option; otherwise, just ask what's fresh that day. If it's sunny out, choose a table on the patio for spectacular views of the Forth Bridge.

The King's Wark


This gastro-pub at The Shore in Leith combines a beautiful historic setting with great quality food and a wide selection of Scottish gins. At lunchtime, the dark-wood bar does a roaring trade in simple fare such as gourmet burgers, fish cakes, and haggis (traditional or vegetarian), but in the evening, the kitchen ups the ante with a chalkboard menu of locally caught seafood specialties, from hake to monkfish. Exposed stone walls attest to the building's 15th-century origins. Come on Sunday and choose from the legendary brunch and roast dinner menus.

The Kitchin

The Kitchin
Enter photo credit

A perennially popular high-end dining option, Tom Kitchin's Michelin-starred venture packs in the crowds. Kitchin, who trained in France, runs a tight ship, and his passion for using seasonal and locally sourced produce to his own creative ends shows no sign of waning. Unfashionable ingredients such as ox tongue, tripe, and pig's head emerge heroic after Kitchin's alchemy, and he works his magic equally dexterously on more familiar elements such as seafood and venison. To sample this rarified culinary world on a (relative) budget, try the three-course set lunch for £45.

78 Commercial Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6LX, Scotland
Known For
  • nose-to-tail philosophy
  • lovely setting
  • very expensive dinners
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon., Reservations essential