Best-of Guides Edinburgh

The Best Restaurants in Edinburgh

9 Restaurants
Scotland’s capital city is packed with history and tradition, yet at the same time never stands still. It’s perhaps best-known for hosting one of the world’s largest street parties at Hogmanay but it’s also the world’s leading festival city throughout the year thanks to a host of cultural events including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the stunning spectacle that is the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Edinburgh is much more than just events, however; always evolving and moving forward, it’s also home to an eclectic dining scene and a host of top restaurants. Here are a few of our favourites.
Updated on 22 March 2024
15 Salisbury Place, EH9 1SL Edinburgh
££££ · Modern Cuisine

Sitting over on the university side of the city, close to Holyrood Park and the path up to the famous Arthur’s Seat, is this Michelin-Starred restaurant with just six tables. They take their surprise menu concept seriously here, making every effort to conceal the nature of the dishes until served, with the ‘menu’ consisting of just a few drawings of ingredients that will feature. Chef Conor Toomey adds well-judged playful elements and is at his most skilful when elevating seemingly simple ingredients and combinations to new heights.

3 Royal Terrace, EH7 5AB Edinburgh
££££ · Modern British

Chef and restaurateur Stuart Ralston is a big player in the Edinburgh dining scene, with no fewer than four Michelin-recommend eateries in his roster. This, the youngest of his restaurants, is a seafood-focussed operation that puts Scottish produce front and centre. A tasting menu format allows for greater seasonality and though it may be pricey, you’ll get some luxury ingredients for your money. As an added bonus, it’s situated in the city’s famous Royal Terrace – if you enjoy a grand Edinburgh townhouse then this is the place for you.

47a Thistle Street, EH2 1DY Edinburgh
££ · Modern British

Another of Stuart Ralston's many restaurants in the city is this good value eatery is inspired by his time working around the world. There’s a pan-Asian influence in particular, with dishes like temaki and bao buns on the menu, and the cooking is uncomplicated and appealing, boasting fresh, well-balanced flavours. The chocolate and miso dessert has been on the menu since they opened, becoming something of a signature, and is perfect for those looking for a rich finish to their meal.

10 minutes’ walk from Noto is the Michelin-recommended hotel Kimpton Charlotte Square, which is also home to Noto’s sister restaurant, aizle.

33a St. Stephen Street, EH3 5AH Edinburgh
££££ · Modern Cuisine

The suburb of Stockbridge is home to this bijou restaurant nestled in the basement of a fine period house near the Royal Circus. Run with real pride and a big heart, it features modern dishes that blend a classical French base with a creative edge. Local, seasonal produce plays a big part in the cooking, which at lunch takes the form of a great value fixed price menu. Two tasting menus of differing lengths are available for dinner, as are two levels of wine pairings.

Staying the night? Nira Caledonia, a Michelin-recommended hotel, is just a 3 minute walk away.

The Lookout by Gardener's Cottage
Calton Hill, EH7 5AA Edinburgh
£££ · Modern British

If you need to get away from the bustle of the city for a while, then take a brisk walk to the top of Calton Hill. Up there, you will find this stylish restaurant that enjoys an unrivalled setting. Whilst the spectacular city views are clearly the draw, their strong local and seasonal approach to cooking offers plenty of appeal too, with Scottish produce like Isle of Skye lobster and Perthshire venison on display. If you can’t secure a table then consider the Gardener’s Cottage at Royal Terrace Gardens, which comes from the same stable.

Need a hotel? Head down to the foot of Calton Hill for a stay at the Michelin-recommended Apex Waterloo Place Hotel.

The Scran & Scallie
1 Comely Bank Road, Stockbridge, EH4 1DT Edinburgh
££ · Scottish

Unfussy, comforting and thoroughly enjoyable, it’s easy to see why this gastropub on the edge of Stockbridge has been a hit since day one. It’s perennially busy, so be sure to book or you might miss out on the relaxed atmosphere and pub favourites like their signature fish pie. Scottish ingredients are incorporated throughout the hearty cooking and it’s all very good value. Stick around for dessert as this is often where the kitchen shines brightest. Young ‘scallies’ have their own menu, so you can bring the whole family along.

The Spence
39 St Andrew Square, EH2 2AD Edinburgh
£££ · Modern British

If you fancy a touch of glamour during your time in Edinburgh, then head over to the luxurious Gleneagles Townhouse hotel and its restaurant, The Spence. The building was once the Royal Bank of Scotland HQ and much of the Victorian splendour has remained for a truly grand setting to dine in. ‘The spence’ is a Scottish term for the ‘the larder’, so it comes as no surprise to see the country’s fine produce allowed to shine in dishes which are rooted in classical technique – some eye-catching presentation is an added bonus. Don't forget to begin your visit with a drink at the bar, as the team were awarded the Michelin Exceptional Cocktails Award in 2024.

The Spence is a part of the Gleneagles Townhouse hotel, which is recommended by Michelin.

10 Lady Lawson Street, EH3 9DS Edinburgh
£££ · Modern British

Tucked away near the famous Edinburgh Castle is one of the city’s finest restaurants, easily identified by its bright red doors. Once a warehouse for storing theatre sets, the restaurant has retained a certain visual rusticity which pairs well with the clean, no-nonsense cooking that extracts big flavours from just a few ingredients; there is certainly no small amount of skill involved in creating understated dishes that are so impressive. The wide-ranging wine list contains plenty to please fans of natural and low-intervention options.

Looking for somewhere to stay in the Old Town? Michelin recommends Virgin Hotel Edinburgh, a 10 minute walk from Timberyard.

110 Hanover Street, EH2 1DR Edinburgh
££ · Italian

Another Stuart Ralston operation, this time with his brother Scott heading up the kitchen, there’s a distinct Italian slant to this Hanover Street spot just a stone’s throw from Noto. A relatively new addition to the Edinburgh dining scene, it boasts quality homemade pastas like pappardelle with crab and chilli, alongside a selection of small plates and the occasional larger one. The cooking is straightforward, fresh and flavoursome whilst sticking to a reasonable price point.

Just round the corner from tipo is the Michelin-recommended Intercontinental Hotels Edinburgh The George.