If you’re looking for the best restaurants in Edinburgh, you’ll want to check out these luxurious options. From Michelin-starred dining to exquisite views, these restaurants will make your dining experience truly special. Whether you’re looking for an intimate setting or a grand affair, you’re sure to find the perfect spot for your next meal in the Scottish capital.
Named after its location in the heart of Edinburgh’s West End (Palmerston Place), The Palmerston is a chic eatery and bakery, with a European bistro vibe. Sourcing quality ingredients from land and sea – by building relationships with suppliers – is key to the restaurant’s modus operandi, with menus changing daily based on availability and ensuring the freshest food. The day begins with house pastries and coffee, then with two and three-course set lunch menus (available Tuesday to Friday), followed by à la carte dinner service, when you can enjoy plates such as rabbit and prune terrine with rhubarb chutney and toast; or lumache, with braised peas, chilli, mint and pecorino fresco accompanied with wine from their incredible wine cellar.
Follow more of Edinburgh’s Michelin stars out of the city centre and to Leith, where some of the best eateries lie. Tom and Michaela Kitchin set up on the waterfront in 2006, followed by a swift succession of plaudits and prizes. Their philosophy ‘from nature to plate’ ensures an ever-changing selection of seasonal dishes. As well as a la carte and affordable lunch menus, the chef offers a ‘surprise tasting menu’ and celebration of the season. Game, fish and seafood are all locally sourced highlights, including lobster freshly caught in almost doorstep waters. The interior is dark, sophisticated and designed not to pull focus from the magnificent food.
The Little Chartroom
Another charmingly teeny contemporary restaurant is The Little Chartroom. As its name suggests, there’s a nautical theme going on, with striking blues contrasting with crisp white rustic walls, tongue and groove and wooden furniture. Ahead of the lunchtime session, brunch seekers can pop in for some divine Puddledub bacon, a mimosa or a Rwandan batch brew coffee. The menu’s eclectic and contemporary, with some international influences. The Little Chartroom is upmarket, yet bohemian and a little bit hipster, placing it perfectly for Edinburgh’s discerning younger foodies who prefer to stray from the mainstream Michelin star path.
Grazing by Mark Greenaway
Diners at Mark Greenaway’s Edinburgh venue are encouraged to relax, unwind and graze, as they feast on fare from this lauded, accoladed and awarded chef, who has his own cookbook and regularly appears on the telly. The restaurant is found on the ground floor of the Waldorf Astoria Caledonian; a light-filled space thanks to large sash and case windows and sophisticated, understated furnishings allowing the focus to fall on the showstopping food. The courses offer a ‘twist on tradition’ all presented with imaginative attention to detail. There are a la carte dishes, sharing platters, steaks and a seven-course surprise tasting menu to choose from.
Dean Banks at The Pompadour
The 2018 finalist of MasterChef: The Professionals, took over the five-star Waldorf Astoria’s famed restaurant (originally named after Madame Pompadour, Louis XV’s mistress), in 2021. Its intricate period dining room and sought-after castle views have long made The Pompadour a city fine dining favourite, but under Dean Banks’ relatively recent leadership, it’s further flourished. Tasting menus come in the form of lunch, classic, chef’s signature and vegan options, with paired wine flights available. Local produce from land and sea is key, but there are many unusual Asian and Mediterranean influences evident in the creatively designed dishes. More than just a meal, a visit here is a sensory experience.
Number One Balmoral
For the ultimate in sartorial elegance, the Balmoral is Edinburgh’s go-to spot. The large hotel envelops you before you’ve even entered, from its prestigious location at the top of Princes Street and North Bridge. Its premier restaurant gained a Michelin star in 2003 and has four AA rosettes. Number One’s modern Scottish menu had been developed by Chef Mark Macdonald. Art and design are central to the restaurant’s ambience. The striking lacquered walls are bold red and yellow textile accents that add vibrancy, contrasted by soft grey woollen upholstery.
Staying in the Shore area of Leith, you’ll find another big player on the Michelin starred foodie scene. Wishart was born in the city but has trained under Albert Roux, Michael Roux Jnr and Marco Pierre White. The cooking style is classically French – expect lots of feather-light souffle. And menus range from four courses to eight, as well as a lighter lunch option and wine pairing suggestions (discovery or classic). For those who like to be clued up on their cuisine, the restaurant holds occasional cookery demos, such as ‘learn then lunch’. There’s more muted decor here – soft greys, whites and contemporary wood panelling all helping to draw focus to the plate.
The grand Georgian architecture of Edinburgh’s New Town is perfect to house fine dining establishments such as Paul Kitching’s five-star establishment. The 38 seater restaurant boasts many period features alongside contemporary yet sumptuous furnishings. There are never more than three choices per course here, but as these change weekly, it’s a brand new experience every time. The unusual dish names such as Paul’s Been to Cordoba, Aries the Ram and Hot Dog Fish appeal to many diners in search of a quirky approach. And if you can make an overnighter of it, there’s the option to book one of the onsite bedrooms.
This is an intimate hidden contemporary-styled gem and was recently awarded a Michelin Star, tucked away where the Old Town meets Southside. During the day, light pours into the airy whitewashed room from the large skylight. Condita has six tables and food is prepared for the number of diners booked in (no walk-ins allowed). The vibe is leisurely, so expect to be in for the night, as you soak up the experience, rather than having a quick bite. The range of organic wines is a boon, as well as the pre-dinner method Champagne. The presentation is imaginative, with meals arriving on pebbles, wooden spoons and artfully arranged. Much of the produce comes from a walled garden in the Borders, which accounts for the proliferation of perfectly fresh herbs.
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