Edinburgh is home to some of Britain’s most iconic historical landmarks and the world famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The historic city lies in the shadow of the impressive fortress of Edinburgh Castle, standing tall on Castle Rock. On Princes Street you’ll find the Scott Monument, a looming Victorian Gothic structure commemorating author Sir Walter Scott. If you climb its 287 spiral steps, you’ll be greeted with spectacular views stretching across Edinburgh.
The Scottish capital hosts The Edinburgh Festival Fringe every August. Thousands of people arrive in the city to enjoy its unrivalled programme of arts and culture, with a particular focus on comedy. The festival stages around 3,000 shows each year spread across 300 venues and champions up-and-coming talent from the UK.
Aside from the wonderful entertainment on show and the city’s striking architecture, Edinburgh also has four Michelin-starred restaurants and numerous local eating spots. It’s a foodie haven enticing visitors from all over the UK and abroad.
Here are 5 fantastic restaurants to add to your itinerary if you’re planning to visit Edinburgh.
1. The Kitchin
The Kitchin is one of Edinburgh’s most famous Michelin-starred restaurants.
Founded on the Leith waterfront in 2006 by Tom and Michaela Kitchin, this restaurant combines quality local ingredients with French cooking techniques.
Its ‘from nature to plate’ philosophy ensures that fresh daily produce is brought in from around Scotland. To keep the restaurant close to this philosophy, all butchering and filleting is done in-house every day.
If you’re planning a visit for a special occasion, you might want to consider The Kitchin’s private dining experience. The restaurant can cater privately for up to 20 guests with a specifically designed menu to suit your party’s needs.
2. L’Escargot Bleu
Another Edinburgh staple, L’Escargot Bleu has advocated the use of local produce since opening in 2009.
This long-standing French bistro uses the best Scottish ingredients and channels Parisian home dining in its aesthetic. Located on Broughton Street in the heart of Edinburgh New Town, its menu adapts to the season and features French classics such as steak tartare.
You can sample the culinary delights created by chef-patron Fred Berkmiller through the restaurant’s £12.90 2-course set lunch.
3. Ting Thai Caravan
Ting Thai Caravan started life as a pop-up serving the Fringe’s festival-goers but has evolved into one of Edinburgh Old Town’s trendiest permanent restaurants.
Ting and Ae Tapparat serve up good value, hearty bowls of Thai street food. Their extensive menu is mouth-watering and includes Thai staples such as Massaman and Panang curries, Pad Thai, and warming noodle soups.
The restaurant doesn’t take bookings but is open until 23.00 on Fridays and Saturdays giving you plenty of time to factor this gem into your travel itinerary. It’s one of the most authentic restaurants you’ll find in Edinburgh and is worth a visit at any time of the day.
4. Edinburgh Farmer's Market
Edinburgh Farmers Market sells a vast array of local produce under the glare of Edinburgh Castle, every Saturday.
More than 40 producers set up their stalls on Castle Terrace every week, giving you the perfect opportunity to pick up some local goods. Most stallholders grow or rear what they sell giving the market a real stamp of authenticity.
With the market offering such a great choice, it’s hard to know which stalls to head to if you’re limited on time. Arran Cheese will cater for your dairy needs, while Osso Kitchen is great for speciality produce. Creelers is your go-to for seafood and is there every Saturday.
Aizle prides itself on making everything in-house, from its hand-churned butter to the vegetables it grows outside.
This charming restaurant has a constantly changing 5-course tasting menu based on its own curated list of local and seasonal ingredients. With its well-maintained vegetable garden, view of Arthur’s Seat and push for homemade produce, Aizle has a real countryside ambiance to it.
Aizle translates from Scots to English as a glowing ember or spark, and the name is fitting for a restaurant driven by local inspiration and delivering such an impressive dining experience.
Whether you’re after traditional Scottish fare, cooking with French flare, or exquisite Thai street food, Edinburgh has it all. It has a thriving culinary scene, supported by visionary chefs such as Tom Kitchin. Local produce is important to many restaurants here, with each one delivering dishes in their own style and always with a warm Scottish smile.