Restaurants in Edinburgh
Restaurants in Edinburgh suit all tastes and pockets. Traditional Scottish fare such as Haggis, salmon and Aberdeen Angus beef is widely enjoyed, while international cuisine including French, Italian, Oriental and Indian is also readily available in Edinburgh. The city tends to offer high quality seafood, which is sourced locally and served deliciously fresh. There are a number of Michelin-starred restaurants with famous chefs in Edinburgh; in fact, the city is second only to London for Michelin-starred restaurants in the UK. Popular restaurants in Edinburgh that are Michelin-starred include The Kitchin, 21212, Castle Terrace and Number One in Balmoral hotel.
When eating out in Edinburgh, the best local cuisine, including good old fish and chips, can be found in and around the Royal Mile or the historic port of Leith. For French, Italian and Indian cuisine diners should try the area around the castle, Ocean Drive (also in Leith), George Street and Lothian Road. Those on a strict budget will find many familiar international fast food chains in the city, and vegetarians should not go hungry.
Most Edinburgh restaurants are open daily and reservations are recommended. A 10 percent tip is customarily given to the waiter if the service is good.
Some of Edinburgh's top restaurants are to be found not in the city, but by the sea. In the historic port of Leith just a short bus ride from the city centre you will find Britannia Spice, three time winner of the British Curry Awards and the 'Best Restaurant in Scotland' accolade for the BIBA restaurant awards. Of the waterfront restaurants pride of place goes to this stylish hotspot, serving up traditional cuisine from India, Bangladesh, Thailand and Nepal in its large, immaculate, nautical-themed dining salon. Open Mondays to Saturdays for lunch and dinner and Sundays for dinner.
Address: 150 Commercial Street, Ocean Drive
Telephone: (0)131 555 2255
Witchery by the Castle
Arguably Edinburgh's most renowned restaurant, Witchery has been operating in a historic 16th-century building at the gates of Edinburgh Castle for so long that it has become part of the scenery. Numerous celebrities as well as local fans dine in Gothic splendour on a delicious menu featuring traditional Scots classics, including beef, lamb, game and seafood dishes. Some of the most popular items on the menu are hot smoked salmon with leeks, Angus beef fillet with smoked garlic broth and Scottish oysters. The atmospheric dining rooms and 'secret garden' can be savoured just as much as the food. Witchery offers lunch and dinner, with an á la carte menu. Even those on a budget can enjoy lunching at the Witchery, which offers a reasonable set price for a two-course meal.
Address: Castlehill, Royal Mile
Telephone: (0)131 225 5613
Small and intimate, it is wise to book at La Bruschetta because it is Edinburgh's most popular authentic Italian restaurant, particularly at lunch time when its bistro menu is available. The owner, Giovanni Cariello, is also the chef and is a master of his craft. Specialties usually involve Scottish fish. La Bruschetta is open Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and supper from 12pm to 2pm and 6pm to 10.30pm.
Address: 13 Clifton Terrace, Haymarket
Telephone: (0)131 467 7464
Clam Shell Fish and Chip Shop
No visitor to the United Kingdom worth his or her salt can leave the islands without indulging in a traditional fish and chip supper, and in Edinburgh the Clam Shell on the Royal Mile is reputedly the best 'chippy' in town, and perhaps the whole of Scotland. A veritable emporium of tasty delights, the Clam Shell doesn't stop at just battered fish and crispy fries: there is a whole range of food including local specialties like haggis, black pudding and a range of tasty sausages. The Clam Shell is open daily from 12pm to midnight.
Address: 148 High Street
Telephone: (0)131 225 4338
Tower Restaurant and Terrace
A museum restaurant may not sound particularly inspiring for gourmets, but in Edinburgh the National Museum of Scotland sports a restaurant not inside, but on top, offering spectacular views of the castle and cityscape along with some of the city's finest cuisine. A high point for dining in more ways than one, the Tower has a chic, glamorous interior, excellent service and a vast menu, covering everything from oysters to melt-in-the mouth steaks. Specialities include seafood, especially Scottish lobsters. The Tower is also renowned for its huge award-winning wine list of about 150 varieties. The outside terrace, which seats 70 diners, is extremely popular in summer and arguably offers the best view of the city to be had anywhere. The Tower is open daily from 12pm to 11pm.
Address: National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street
Telephone: (0)131 225 3003
The minimalist stainless-steel and glass interior may not quite suit the medieval image of Edinburgh, but excellent service and first-class food make up for the lack of atmosphere at Izzi, which offers an extensive menu of Japanese and Chinese dishes, including beautifully presented sushi. You may need the staff to help explain the intimidating menu, but this they are happy to do. Enjoy dishes like fried king prawns in honey lemon sauce, sprinkled with minced dry fish, or indulge in Chinese kung po beef. The restaurant is fronted entirely by glass, making it a good spot for people-watching. Izzi is open daily from 12pm to 11.30pm.
Address: 119 Lothian Road
Telephone: (0)131 466 9888
Built into a former bank, this Italian café and restaurant is much less formal than its building suggests. A breezy café and bar style inside serves simple and light Italian staples everyone knows and loves such as pizza and light pastas. The front is great for light daytime snacks and a downstairs accommodates intimate diners. Reservations are advisable except at the café and bar.
Address: 103 George Street
Telephone: (0)131 225 1550
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