While Scotland may not have a reputation for fantastic food (after all who wants to eat cured pigs’ blood or square tendon breakfast sausages), Edinburgh is becoming a bit of a foodie destination. With independent eateries, Michelin-star restaurants and hipster coffee shops popping up across the capital, there’s plenty to choose from. So, forget boring restaurants and bars, our guide dishes up some of the most exciting and unique places to dine in Edinburgh.
A personal favourite, the award-winning Panda & Sons is a modern take on 1920s speakeasies. To the unsuspecting, it looks like a barbershop, but when you go down the stairs and through the bookcase, you’ll discover a stylish bar. Panda’s serve craft, creative cocktails including ones served in top hats, Chinese food cartoons and under smokey domes. Visiting here is certainly an experience, and we can attest to their yummy concoctions.
Tower Restaurant at National Museum of Scotland
Are you ready for stunning views over your favourite Edinburgh landmark? The upscale Tower Restaurant is not only situated at the top of the National Museum, but it also provides sweeping views of Edinburgh Castle. The food’s half-decent too, and they offer a fantastic pre-theatre menu, making it the ideal place to dine before heading around the corner for a show at the Edinburgh Playhouse. Alternatively, you can enjoy afternoon tea here for a quintessentially British experience.
Located in a converted Victorian pump house, The Devil’s Advocate offers a truly unique dining experience. It’s a great place to learn about Edinburgh’s history, and it’s extensive whisky shelf, featuring over 400 bottles, lets you sample the capital’s favourite drink. The menu boasts seasonal as well as Scottish ingredients for the full experience. With its award-winning dishes and stunning setting, The Devil’s Advocate is unsurprisingly a top choice for dining out in Edinburgh.
While Scotland is known for whisky, we also have a thriving gin scene. The Jolly Botanist, near Haymarket, is one of the best places to sample Scottish gin. They have an extensive gin collection and are careful to pair each gin with the perfect tonic and rare botanicals. It’s a special place and another personal favourite. We could easily spend the evening drinking here.
The Dome, in the heart of Edinburgh New Town, is an Edinburgh institution. Located in a magnificent former bank so features high sweeping ceilings and plenty of historical touches. The menu has local dishes, which use some of the country’s finest ingredients and offers a taste of Scotland. Dining at The Dome is a delightful experience, and we certainly recommend it.
Housed in the former Caledonian Insurance Company building, Amarone offers stylish, contemporary dining. You can book a private dining room and enjoy your meal in the building’s vault. Amarone also has an extensive wine menu including a unique wine, from which it takes its name, that’s made using a unique process called Appassimento, which gives the wine a robust and rich flavour. Wine-lovers will especially enjoy dining here.
Anyone visiting Edinburgh needs to make visiting Ghillie Dhu in the West End a priority. Situated in a grand Victorian building with a beautiful wooden interior, the Ghillie Dhu represents some of the best parts of Scottish culture. You can dance the night away to live music or experience a ceilidh, Scottish dance similar to country line dancing. The Ghillie Dhu is a fantastic, unique place for a dram or two.
On London Road, the Gardener’s Cottage is in a charming Georgian building built in 1837 by William Playfair (1790-1857). It was originally home to a tenant gardener, who would rent out keys to locals that wanted to use the garden to grow vegetables. Today, the garden still produces produce, which the restaurant owners now use to create seasonal and sustainable dishes. Everyone eats at a communal table, allowing for a welcoming and friendly atmosphere.
After enjoying the best Scottish restaurants, sleep the night away at one of our excellent holiday flats. We have an extensive selection of five-star self-catering apartments across the beautiful city of Edinburgh. Most of our apartments are within the city centre so you can easily walk to top attractions, renowned restaurants and trending bars so you won’t need to worry about public transport on your night out.
Written by Karen
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