Edinburgh and the Lothians Restaurants

Edinburgh's eclectic restaurant scene has attracted a brigade of well-known chefs, including the award-winning trio of Martin Wishart, Tom Kitchin, and Paul Kitching. They and dozens of others have abandoned the tried-and-true recipes for more adventurous cuisine. Of course, you can always find traditional fare, which usually means the Scottish-French style that harks back to the historical "Auld Alliance" of the 13th century. The Scottish element is the preference for fresh and local foodstuffs; the French supply the sauces. In Edinburgh, you can sample anything from Malaysian rendang (a thick, coconut-milk stew) to Kurdish kebabs, while the long-established French, Italian, Chinese, Pakistani, and Indian communities ensure that the majority of the globe's most treasured cuisines are well represented.

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  • 1. Aurora

    $ | Leith | British

    Probably the best quality-to-value dining option in Leith, Aurora offers deliciously inventive three-course lunch menus (with plenty of tasty...Read More

  • 2. Bread Meats Bread

    $ | West End | Burger

    This family-run burger joint, first opened in Glasgow in 2012 and expanded to Edinburgh in 2016, has already gained a nationwide reputation...Read More

  • 3. Kalpna

    $ | South Side | Indian

    Amid an ordinary row of shops, the facade of this vegetarian Indian restaurant may be unremarkable, but the food is exceptional and a great...Read More

  • 4. L'Escargot Bleu

    $ | New Town | French

    When it comes to quality at a good value, this pretty little French bistro, situated on one of Edinburgh's trendiest streets, is almost impossible...Read More

  • 5. Oink

    $ | Old Town | British

    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...Read More

  • 6. The Bonnie Badger

    $$ | British

    A charming concoction of sandstone walls, raftered roofs, and roaring fireplaces, as well as a lovely garden area, this upmarket inn is the...Read More

  • 7. The Lobster Shack

    $ | Seafood

    North Berwick's most talked-about dining option isn't a traditional restaurant, or even a restaurant at all—it's a shack. That's testament to...Read More

  • 8. Wedgwood the Restaurant

    $$$ | Old Town | British

    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...Read More

  • 9. Bonsai

    $ | South Side | Japanese

    The owners of Bonsai regularly visit Tokyo to research the casual dining scene, and their expertise is setting a high standard for Japanese...Read More

  • 10. Checkpoint

    $ | Old Town | International

    Originally run as a pop-up during the Festival Fringe, this supercool café-bar is now a permanent part of the Edinburgh dining scene. The coffee...Read More

  • 11. First Coast

    $$ | Haymarket | International

    This laid-back bistro, just a few minutes from Haymarket Station, has a loyal following—and for good reason. Its multicultural menu has everything...Read More

  • 12. Howies

    $ | Old Town | British

    The Victoria Street branch of this bistro chain is a good choice for contemporary Scottish fare, with lots of fresh local produce. Alongside...Read More

  • 13. La Garrigue

    $$$ | Old Town | French

    Edinburgh is blessed with several excellent French bistros, and this is one of the best. Although the modern decor evokes Paris, the food has...Read More

  • 14. The Boat House

    $$ | British

    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...Read More

  • 15. The King's Wark

    $$ | Leith | British

    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...Read More

  • 16. The Original Rosslyn Inn

    $ | British

    This atmospheric inn, on the crossroads in the center of Roslin village, serves tasty, hearty pub grub, including fish-and-chips, burgers, and...Read More

  • 17. The Steading

    $ | British

    This pleasant pub, set within a converted farm building on the roadside of the A702, serves traditional, freshly prepared pub food, along with...Read More

  • 18. Jasmine

    $ | West End | Chinese

    Fresh seafood and meat matched with just the right spices is the main attraction of this small, friendly Cantonese restaurant. The standout...Read More

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