The Grain Store
The Grain Store has been around for 25 years and is still going strong. Expect traditional Scottish cuisine; this essentially could mean anything from roe deer to locally scavenged oysters (and haggis, naturally). Relax in the most romantic of settings as the twinkling of candles dance in the soothing shadows. Everything is made in house so expect the finest quality. Hours can be spent chatting away in this cosy cave of comfort. Caution — the bread is to die for, as is their pasta, and in-season vegetables and meats. The desserts are tempting and delicious, so save some room.
The Grain Store, 30 Victoria St, Old Town, Edinburgh, Scotland, +44 131 225 7635
Right along the Royal Mile, through a vine laced archway adorned with twinkling fairy lights, sits Monteiths. Only those in the know are aware of the culinary treats that lie hidden within. This woody, intimate gastropub has a magnetic atmosphere with amazing food and cocktails to match. Choose The Sloe 75 for your drink while munching on some crackling fried squid, and discover the well kept secrets of this enchanting retreat.
Monteiths, 61 High St, Edinburgh, Scotland, +44 131 557 0330
Angels With Bagpipes
If Heaven were Scottish, it would look (and taste) a lot like Angels With Bagpipes. This contemporary bistro is a fusion of the finest British cuisine with a perfect touch of Italian flair. Plan to eat at this wee gem for that perfect date night, or any night for that matter. The freshness that can only be found in local Scottish produce can be experienced in every bite at this fine place. It offers a welcomed alternative to the stereotypical touristy food.
Angels With Bagpipes, 343 High St, Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland, +44 131 220 1111
Scotland is home to truly magnificent waters. For years, seafood has been sold up and down the Royal Mile. Ondine appreciates this and offers an astonishing array of oysters and seafood in abundance. Expect an explosion of flavours from across the world, which add that perfect touch to the fresh local produce. Try the fish soup and detect the North African influences of orange and saffron or opt for the Shetland mussels cooked in Asian broth. This seafood paradise must be celebrated, as it is undoubtedly one of the best restaurants in the city.
Ondine, 2 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland, +44 131 226 1888
The people of Edinburgh (as well as the visiting tourists along the Royal Mile) were granted a gracious gift when Wedgwood opened its doors in 2007. Head Chef Paul Wedgwood ingeniously crafts traditional Scottish dishes with fresh modern creativity. The word has quickly spread about this delicious destination. Wedgwood was listed by the Sunday Times as being one of Britain’s Top 100 Restaurants. The real cherry on top is that this spot is accessible to almost everyone with fantastic lunch deals.
Wedgwood, Royal Mile, 267 Canongate, Edinburgh, Scotland, +44 131 558 8737
The Holyrood 9A
You can’t beat a good gourmet burger and a beer. The Holyrood 9A has both. Choose from a cracking selection of Scottish beers and some fine picks from around the world too. Spirit and wine lovers will have a field day with the top notch selection of crafty cocktails. The burgers are mouth wateringly good and cooked to perfection. If you’re a picky eater they have you covered with the many fantastic gourmet burger options (and vegetarian options too). This place is open late so make sure to stop in and soak up the joyous atmosphere.
The Holyrood 9A, 9A Holyrood Rd, Edinburgh, Scotland, +44 131 556 5044
One taste of David Bann’s scran will make the most devoted meat lover a lifelong vegetarian. Situated in the vicinity of the Royal Mile and the Cowgate, this stellar venue is arguably one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Scotland — and the UK for that matter. Each detail in every dish is meticulously thought out and presented impeccably. The diverse worldly menu is so exciting that it can be tricky to order. Who knew that tofu could have so much zest or that chocolate compliments Portobello mushrooms? The proof is in the pudding so embrace the culinary adventure.
David Bann, 56-58 St Mary’s St, Edinburgh, Scotland, +44 131 556 5888
Take a trip to Mexico right in the heart of Scotland and order the best fajitas in town. This Mexican-run family restaurant has been in business since 1984 and is as authentic as it gets. Anticipate the perfect balance of colorful and cosy inside this little hole in the wall. Begin your Mexican holiday with the sizzling fajitas that send endorphins running throughout the body. From overflowing burritos to quesadillas, tacos, and enchiladas, Viva Mexico has it all. Of course, the whole spread isn’t complete without a pitcher of margaritas.
Viva Mexico, 41 Cockburn St, Edinburgh, Scotland, +44 131 226 5145
Makars Gourmet Mash Bar
Mashed potato is the culinary glue that binds all food together. Makars Gourmet Mash Bar pays homage to this truth with potatoes galore. Once more, every single food item is locally produced and free from all the bad stuff. Delight in thick, creamy, fluffy mash of all kinds like the Scottish cheddar and chive, whole grain mustard, classic butter and cream, or even black pudding. Pair any of these with beef short ribs, lamb shank, and of course the neep’s best friend — haggis.
Makars Gourmet Mash Bar, 9 N Bank St, Old Town, Edinburgh, Scotland, +44 131 226 1178
Situated at the top of the Mile, nestled beside the castle, is one of Edinburgh’s finest places to dine: The Witchery. This grand place could only exist in Scotland. Its old architecture and decadent vibe is lavish on a whole new level. Indulge in meals (in either of the two dining rooms) made from the finest and freshest Scottish produce such as game, seafood, haggis, and lamb. Delight in the extensive offering of over 800 wines, whiskies, and 30 champagnes. Fall in love with the Angus beef steak tartar — it is a little peace of Heaven on earth.
The Witchery, Castlehill, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland, +44 131 225 5613