Restaurants and cafes in Edinburgh cater to diverse tastes, from traditional Scottish food to a wide range of international cuisines.
Edinburgh is Scotland’s Michelin star capital. Five city restaurants hold the coveted award meaning you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to fine dining. As of 2015, 21212, The Kitchin, Number One, Restaurant Martin Wishart and Castle Terrace (star chef Tom Kitchin’s second venture in the city) are all on the Michelin honours list.
It’s not all about costly fine dining though. Edinburgh has restaurants and cafes to cater to every budget and taste, from the aforementioned gilded finery all the way down to the humble deep-fried Mars Bar, that reportedly ‘classic’ Scottish treat that hardly anyone who lives here has actually tried.
You fancy some fish and chips? We’ve got fish and chips. The title of best Edinburgh chippy is hotly contested, and often ends up as a head to head between the Tailend and the Alba D’Oro. Shirley Manson’s on team Alba D’Oro, Garbage fans.
Kebab aficionados will not be disappointed. Palmyra on Nicholson St offers healthy(ish) shawerma and falafel flatbreads, and nearby Beirut is a good place for a halloumi wrap. Plenty of rotting donner skewers for fans of a more traditionally British street food – just head towards the late night lights.
Italian cuisine is well represented in Edinburgh. Pizza from La Favorita, Dough, Civerinos and Anima all come highly recommended. La Favorita has proven such a hit with the locals that it’s expanded from its Leith Walk base with pop up food trucks beside the Royal Mile’s Tron church. Nearby Civerinos offers a contemporary take on the pizza; expect some unusual ingredients, on-point interior design and a characterful social media presence.
For a taste of Thailand, the queues out the door of Edinburgh University-adjacent Ting Thai Caravan speak volumes about the food offer in the laid-back, quality fast food interior. Bluerapa next to Haymarket is a low key family-run gem, while those looking for something a bit more glamorous would do well to head to Thai Orchid or Chaophraya, which boasts stunning views across the city centre rooftops to Edinburgh Castle.
For Chinese, it is essential to visit Chop Chop. They appeared on Gordon Ramsey’s F Word, don’t you know? Their dumplings and garlic aubergine have inspired elaborate praise even from that angry chef man, and their unlimited buffet is the stuff of local legend.
For cafes, the accolade of Edinburgh’s favourite is regularly awarded to cake magicians Lovecrumbs. They’ve just opened a new sister cafe, Twelve Triangles, which focusses on pastries and doughnuts complete with a mouth-watering array of flavours. Coffee from Artisan Roast is available across the city, while Brew Lab, Filamentand Cult offer solid alternatives in beautifully designed interiors.
Of course, the list of the best restaurant of cafe in Edinburgh will be ever-changing. Luckily we’re here to keep on top of it with our coverage of venues and events, exhaustively researched and collated here in the Food and Drink section. We also run an annual Food & Drink Survey, with results published every January to provide you with our readers’ top tips on their favourite Edinburgh restaurants and cafes.
If you’re organising an event or spot any information which needs listing or updating, let us know by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org with the event and venue details.