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Restaurants in Edinburgh

With a thriving food scene, there is no reason to go hungry when visiting Edinburgh. With restaurants to suit all tastes and pockets, hungry travellers need not survive only on traditional Scottish fare such as Haggis, salmon and Aberdeen Angus beef, despite being widely enjoyed. A broad range of international cuisine is readily available in Edinburgh, along with numerous modern cafes, bistros and gastropubs feeding the city's growing gourmand culture. Quality seafood is also a highlight, 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. These renowned establishments 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 budget will find many familiar international fast food chains in the city. Edinburgh has many popular restaurants serving tasty vegetarian and vegan fare.

Most restaurants are open daily and reservations are recommended. A 10 percent tip is customarily given to the waiter if the service is good.

$$$$$ | Indian

Britannia Spice

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. Traditional cuisine from India, Bangladesh, Thailand and Nepal is served up in a large, immaculate, nautical-themed dining room. The restaurant prides itself on fresh ingredients, perfected flavours and fantastic service. Open Mondays to Saturdays for lunch and dinner and Sundays for dinner.

Address: 150 Commercial Street, Ocean Drive
Telephone: +44 131 555 2255

$$$$$ | Local

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 Scottish 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: +44 131 225 5613

$$$$$ | Italian

La Bruschetta

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

$$$$$ | Fish

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 may be the best 'chippy' in town, although there have been some mixed reviews. A veritable emporium of tasty delights, the Clam Shell doesn't just stop at battered fish and crispy fries: there is a whole range of food including local specialties like haggis, black pudding, a range of tasty sausages and deep-fried mars bars on offer.

Address: 148 High Street
Telephone: +44 13 1225 4338

$$$$$ | Modern Eclectic

Tower Restaurant and Terrace

Positioned above the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, Tower restaurant offers 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 moreish steaks.

Specialities include seafood, notably 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 10am to 10pm, open until 10.30pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Address: National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street
Telephone: +44 13 1225 3003

$$$$$ | Italian

Contini Restorante

Formally known as Centotre, this Italian café and restaurant is much less formal than its facade suggests. A chic café and bar style inside, Contini serves simple and light Italian dishes. Although Centotre originally focused on Italian staples, Contini puts a greater emphasis on creativity, balance and showcasing the quality of their produce. Their menu has evolved to include dishes that can be shared and diverges from the standard format of starter, main and pudding. The front is ideal for brunch and light lunches; downstairs is more suited for intimate diners. Reservations are advisable except at the café and bar.

Address: 103 George Street
Telephone: +44 13 1225 1550

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