Here, after many requests, is the list of my current favourite places to eat in and around Edinburgh. It includes a few of the timeless classics and a couple of newbies who really deserve a mention in their own right… must start writing more! I’m always hearing of new places to try so my faves do change as new places spring up and I find lovely gems that have been hiding away down cobbled streets. Here is this month’s to do list!
Special Treat or a little more pennies
Martin Wishart’s is one of Edinburgh’s Michelin-starred restaurants but in my view is one of the best. As the List says ‘It’s the place for special occasions, expense accounts and deep-pocketed foodies’. I went on expenses thank god! It’s a quiet and refined feeling with very attentive and professional staff. The tasting menus paired with wine provide the best way to appreciate what the kitchen can do unlike some places I’ve been where it feels like an afterthought. Featured dishes include beetroot paired with a cigarillo sugar crisp filled with foie gras, and halibut made into a delicate cocktail with mango and passion fruit. They also offer the opportunity to coo in the kitchen for half a day and learn a few tricks.
The Table Edinburgh
The Table is located on Dundas Street. The centrepiece is a fantastic stone counter (not a table!) that comfortably sits 10 people in front of an open-plan kitchen. We booked out the whole place for a birthday and it was an unforgettable experience. Guests dine in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere as friends, sharing the enjoyment and excitement of sampling some of Scotland’s best dishes after they have been prepared right in front of your eyes. Sean Clark really involves diners in the food explaining each dish and happily sitting down to chat after service. He has plenty of experience too having honed his culinary talents and expertise under the tutelage of Anthony Garlando, Adriano Cavagnini, Martin Wishart and Gordon Ramsay. The menu costs £60 and is bring your own at present so actually works out a steal. Unfortunately I think they are booked until August so if you can get in do!
Great food that costs a little more but worth every penny!
Edinburgh Food Studio
The creation of Edinburgh chef Ben Reade (previously head of research at the Nordic Food Lab Copenhagen and the Scratch series pop up) and his partner Sashana Zanella who is also a chef and passionate about food and research. They have created the studio as a research space hosting events, masterclasses to learn about topics such as butchery, distilling, foraging, and to have guest chefs to work with them to serve diners Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. You arrive from 7:30 to sit on two long tables and enjoy a set menu dinner for £35 which is usually around 4/5 courses. Check out my photo for what we had on their foraging evening last week, we enjoyed the fruits of scotlands winter larder including foraged mushrooms, venison, seaweed, I wish they gave out a menu because my memory is terrible but it was fabulous. Every weekend they have a different famous and talented chef cooking for 3 nights only and a 4 course Sunday Brunch. Go before everyone discovers it!
The unending favourite restaurant for a while now I know. I love the expectation at Aizle waiting for your food, and seeing the monthly list of ingredients always inspires a visit to see what creations are on offer. I’ve written about the menu before here
Scran and Scallie
This is a review thats long overdue and a place I have been back to many many times for their take on great pub food. Obviously the place is from the infamous and talented star Edinburgh duo of Tom Kitchen and Dominic Jack. The food at Scran & Scallie reflects the team’s ‘From Nature to Plate’ ethos and includes fresh, modern dishes alongside some forgotten classics including some stranger ones such as bone marrow and toast (really tasty) and pigs ear carpaccio (not one i’ll order again).
Their steak pie is a revelation, langoustines often feature on the speacials doused in garlic butter, as does Scottish game, fresh fish and shellfish. The pub is open seven days a week serving lunch, bar ‘scran’ and dinner as well as an extensive drinks menu throughout the day.
The Gardener’s Cottage is committed to creating and serving excellent food using the best seasonal, local produce while nurturing sustainable and mutually beneficial relationships with the local community and local producers. You eat on long tables so while not romantic its really good fun.
Wedgewood on the Royal Mile
Lovely Scottish produce, exquisitely cooked and well presented. The staff are really friendly making you feel very welcome and relaxed. Great place to take your mum!
For really brilliant sushi you cant go wrong with Kanpai. Tender and tasty teppanyaki sirloin beef is served on a sizzling platter, the freshest of fish is combined in a delicious sashimi salad and the gyoza are outstanding. Grilled aubergine in a sweet miso sauce is also a treat and although the sushi may be slightly more pricey than at other establishments it is certainly worth the extra expense.
Harvey Nicholls Brasserie
The fourth floor brasserie offers all day dining with a great view. The food is consistently good but not excellent however their current January deal of 3 courses and a cocktail for £20 is well worth the trip up to the restaurant to enjoy the view!
Great eats for less pennies
Quite possibly one of my favourite restaurants period. Tequila, tacos and hip hop #winning! Home-made, authentic, fresh Mexican street food. Served with an extensive range of tequilas, mezcals, cocktails and frozen margaritas. All in a relaxed and very hipster atmosphere.
No reservations but you can grab a cocktail over the road at the Bon Vivant while you wait! http://www.elcartelmexicana.co.uk/
Bread Meat Bread
For when only a great big messy hug of a tasty burger will do! This place is the business, easily the best burgers in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Go on try it you wont be disappointed.
Cheeseboards and wine, do you need to read on? A charming and relaxing retreat in the heart of Edinburgh’s vibrant Broughton Street area. Nestling beneath L’Escargot Bleu it’s an ideal place to chill out over a glass of wine, a beer or a bottle of port and a delicious range of platters and light nibbles including Scottish Cheese selection with plenty of pickles.
For let’s face it a really good pizza, a frozen negroni and some fantastic antipasti. Thanks guys you’re awesome!
Those bubble prawns are going to keep you coming back for more and luckily its right next to my work!
Not sure they have a website so here is their page on Zomato https://www.zomato.com/edinburgh/ting-thai-caravan-old-town
Characteristically great French food – what more could you want! Oh the wine, yes that’s pretty darn good too. They have some brilliant menu offers and lunch deals.
Read this far? Let me tell you a secret – my absolute favourite place right now isn’t in Edinburgh ssshh!
If you have a car check out The Cellar at Anstruther, it quite literally blew me away when we went last weekend. One of the most faultless and fabulous meals I have ever had. Every single course was sensational. Using the best of that produce from local suppliers whenever possible, The Cellar offers great Scottish food served in a unique and beautiful restaurant. Complementing the food are impressive selections of locally produced beers, Scottish gins, whisky and carefully selected wines from around the world that are all really well priced. http://www.thecellaranstruther.co.uk.
Please do send me your favourite places to explore 😉