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. Bread Meats Bread

    $$ | West End

    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...Read More

  • 2. Cannonball Restaurant

    $$$ | Old Town

    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...Read More

  • 3. Kalpna

    $ | South Side

    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...Read More

  • 4. Restaurant Martin Wishart

    $$$$ | Leith

    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...Read More

  • 5. The Bonnie Badger

    $$$

    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...Read More

  • 6. The Honours

    $$$ | New Town

    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...Read More

  • 7. The Little Chartroom

    $$$$ | Leith

    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...Read More

  • 8. The Pompadour

    $$$$ | New Town

    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...Read More

  • 9. Timberyard

    $$ | Old Town

    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...Read More

  • 10. Wedgwood the Restaurant

    $$$ | Old Town

    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....Read More

  • 11. 21212

    $$$$ | New Town

    Paul Kitching is one of Britain's most innovative chefs, and the theatrical dining experience at 21212 delivers surprises galore. Set within a Georgian town house,...Read More

  • 12. Baba

    $$$ | New Town

    Set within the upmarket Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel, Baba serves tasty Middle Eastern—specifically Levantine—fare in a colorful, shabby-chic setting. Dishes are designed for sharing so...Read More

  • 13. Bonsai

    $ | South Side

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

  • 14. Civerinos

    $ | 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,...Read More

  • 15. Contini George Street

    $$$ | New Town

    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,...Read More

  • 16. David Bann

    $ | Old Town

    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...Read More

  • 17. Dishoom

    $

    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...Read More

  • 18. Dusit

    $$ | New Town

    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...Read More

  • 19. Fhior

    $$$$

    Owner and chef Scott Smith, who previously ran the award-winning Norn, serves up seasonal, Scandinavian-inspired fare here with rare Scottish ingredients, from beremeal (an ancient...Read More

  • 20. First Coast

    $ | Haymarket

    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...Read More

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