Best places to eat in Edinburgh
Edinburgh has the best restaurant scene in Scotland according to Scotsman Food and Drink. It boasts more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other city in Scotland and the most restaurants per person of any destination in the U.K. With such a dizzying range of options, it's difficult to know where to start. Try these prime picks when your belly begins rumbling in the foodie paradise of Edinburgh.
The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen
Located in the former home of Scottish novelist Susan Edmonstone Ferrier, The Printing Press is inspired by the country's literary and culinary heritage. You'll find hearty breakfasts, multicourse lunches and a selection of simple bar food. Sunday lunch is a decadent affair featuring roasts with all the trimmings and a selection of Bloody Marys. The full bar serves an extensive menu of creative mixed drinks with literary monikers like The Scarlet Letter with Absolut vodka, Chambord, Fair Acai liqueur, raspberry, lemon and pineapple.
Fresh Mediterranean flavors inspired by the Levant fill the menu at BABA. Located in the Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel, this restaurant is a convenient choice for travelers staying on the premises. The grill serves up monkfish, sea bass, lamb shoulder and other distinctive choices so guests can enjoy rich dishes with a distinctive twist.
Contini is housed in a former banking hall that's now designed to resemble a Florentine palazzo. You'll find a selection of Italian specialties with a seasonal twist as the menu changes every six weeks to highlight the best products from the markets in Italy. The Puglian focaccia and pasta are made fresh every morning for an authentic flavor. Choose a multicourse tasting menu or enjoy an a la carte lunch or dinner. Contini offers breakfast and brunch as well, complete with fresh juice and morning cocktails.
Ondine: 2 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh
Ondine features fresh seafood, much of which comes directly from the East Coast of Scotland. Nestled in Edinburgh's Old Town, this restaurant offers a sophisticated dining experience where you can sit back and relax. Sample the oyster bar, try the rich fish and shellfish soup or dig into mains like deep fried haddock, whole lemon sole or roast cod. You can also opt for the prix fixe menu and sample two or three courses.
Civerinos serves mouthwatering Italian street food in a hip environment that the restaurant describes as "humble yet brash; where high art and low culture meet." The menu features pizza piled high with toppings on a crust made from the family's secret recipe. Pasta, bruschetta, eggplant parmigiana and other Italian favorites are on hand as well. Pair your picks with something from the wine menu or try a boozy slushy. Save room for one of the dessert calzones, which feature sweet fillings like Nutella and mascarpone or Toblerone and walnut.
Leith Chop House: 102 Constitution St., Leith
The Leith Chop House specializes in serving some of the best steaks in Edinburgh. The beef is dry aged with Himalayan salt for at least 35 days in-house, then cooked over smoldering coals in the open-flame grill to attain a crisp, caramelized crust. Round out your meal with satisfying sides like mash and gravy, beef dripping mushrooms or bread and bone marrow butter for a rich and filling experience.
You can't beat the freshness of Aizle's dishes, which highlight homemade ingredients like hand-churned butter and herbs from the restaurant's own garden. You'll enjoy a set six-course tasting menu that changes regularly to highlight local, in-season produce. The restaurant is only open from Wednesday through Saturday, and on Sundays in August, so be sure to make a reservation for this distinctive dining experience.
Locanda de Gusti: 102 Dairy Road, Edinburgh
Chef Rosario brings the flavors of his upbringing in Naples, Italy, to the tables in Locanda de Gusti. Artisan products from Italy blend beautifully with Scotland's meat and seafood to deliver a fresh flavorful menu. Rosario uses an original gluten-free recipe for his handmade pasta and desserts. The menu changes daily to feature the best finds from the market and may include specialties like pan-sauteed seafood, braised Scottish beef shin or slow-cooked lamb shoulder.
Whether you're looking for a multicourse treat carefully curated by the chef or you simply want to grab a quick bite in a casual atmosphere, Edinburgh can cater to your tastes. This is one destination where you can delight every palate in your party and rest assured that no one will have to go hungry.