Edinburgh’s Eclectic Cuisine

Restaurateurs of Edinburgh have begun to explore new culinary terrain, offering up a broad spectrum of exceptional dining experiences. Here’s our pick of the many fine and casual dining restaurants.

If you’re in the mood for fine food served in a casual dining environment, Edinburgh has a lot to offer. The Timberyard – set in a stylish and minimal warehouse conversion near to Grassmarket – is inspired by a ‘back-to-our-roots’ philosophy, with local artisan producers taking precedence on the wonderfully varied menu.

In well-heeled Stockbridge, the Scran & Scallie is a delightfully modern gastro pub-cum-dining room offering hearty yet refined Scottish food – named colloquially as ‘Scran’. And over in the magnificent New Town, celebrated Edinburgh restaurateur Martin Wishart serves up the finest seasonal produce and brasserie-inspired dishes at The Honours.

There is plenty to choose from for fine dining lovers, too. Wishart’s acclaim is owed to his flagship restaurant of the same name; Restaurant Martin Wishart was the first in Edinburgh to be awarded a Michelin Star and continues to bring the very best French cuisine to the city – both traditional and modern. Also awarded a Michelin Star – The Kitchin offers delicious British food with a hint of French influence. The atmospheric Leith dining room was once a whisky warehouse, so it lacks nothing in the way of character.

Positioned beneath Edinburgh’s imposing castle, the Castle Terrace restaurant affords a breath-taking view of the city’s iconic landmark. French-Scottish cuisine is served up by esteemed locally born Chef Patron, Dominic Jack, who has travelled the world honing his skills in many of the finest dining establishments.

The Gardener’s Cottage – located in a William Playfair-designed 19th-century house – offers an intimate, inclusive and social dining experience, with long candle-lit communal dining tables and an open kitchen. The chefs consciously nurture sustainable and mutually beneficial relationships with the local community and local producers, and grow many ingredients themselves in the accompanying garden.

Outstanding food does not always need to come with the formalities one normally associates with fine dining. At The Table the mantra is simple; ten seats, two chefs, one table. Guests are encouraged to interact with the chefs and each other during the truly unique 7-course set-menu experience.

Aizle is another innovative restaurant offering a new take on the traditional fine dining experience. With no standard menu, ingredients change monthly according to what is best available locally and seasonally – and these are simply listed to diners, without letting on how ingredients will be paired or in what order they will be served. The creativity of the chefs is masterful, and there is the added option to pair each course with drinks, specially created by Aizle’s in-house mixologist.

Lastly – for unpretentious, delicious and hearty Italian cuisine, look no further than Origano Pizzeria on Leith Walk. The large wood-fired oven lends an authentic smell and warmth, making it an inviting place to escape the elements.
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