The Best French Restaurants In Edinburgh

Photo of Madeleine Bazil
9 February 2017

Just a hop, skip and jump (or rather, a short flight) from France, it’s no surprise that Edinburgh is full of exemplary French restaurants. If you are feeling tired of haggis head over to one of these excellent Francophone dining spots.

Edinburgh | © barnyz/Flickr

Chez Jules Bistro

Bistro, French
This friendly and casual bistro in New Town serves up French classics like coq au vin and escargots, as well as fun, modern delights such as the ‘macaroni cheese with ‘un twist’. Accompany your meal with a French wine from the extensive wine list, or stay true to Scottish roots with a Caledonian ale.

La Garrigue

Bistro, Restaurant, French, $$$
La Garrigue – Creme Brûlée flavored with lavender
La Garrigue – Creme Brûlée flavored with lavender | © Caitriana Nicholson/Flickr
With rustic, country cooking inspired by owner Jean Michel Gauffre’s home of the Languedoc region in Southern France, this charming restaurant claims the title of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s favorite French bistro and offers views through the windows of Calton Hill.

Café Marlayne, Antigua Street

Bistro, Restaurant, French, $$$
Café Marlayne Edinburgh
Café Marlayne Edinburgh | © STV Photos/Flickr
This contemporary and cool restaurant incorporates a café and a bistro. At the front of the space is the coffee shop, featuring comfortable seating, and further back is the dining room. Come by for a unique and French-inspired breakfast, lunch, pre-theater dinner, or late dinner, as well as takeaway sandwiches or coffee.

Maison Bleue

Bistro, French, $$$
Maison Bleue
Maison Bleue | © morebyless/Flickr
This eclectic bistro, located in the heart of Old Town on Victoria Street, fuses together French, North African, and Scottish cuisine to create a result like no other. For a special occasion, book ahead to reserve the ‘Bedouin Feast Experience,’ a special prix-fixe meal which includes lamb cooked for a minimum of 6 hours in Moroccan spices.

The New Chapter

Bistro, Restaurant, French, $$$
With high ceilings, pale wood, and blackboard specials, this bistro is casually elegant, and offers robust French food at great prices. Don’t miss the confit de canard en cassoulet, or keep it light with a grilled goat’s cheese toast with walnut, rocket, sesame, balsamic, and honey dressing.

Petit Paris Edinburgh

Restaurant, Bistro, French, $$$

This rustic and welcoming bistro is located just moments from Edinburgh Castle and from St Giles Cathedral. With hearty and flavorful food, mouth-watering desserts, and a lengthy list of wines and aperitifs, this is a restaurant not to miss.

L’Escargot Blanc

Restaurant, Wine Bar, Bistro, Wine, French, $$$

Airy and light-filled, with walls covered in old photos and vintage posters, this bistro specializes in contemporary and seasonal French fare. Go for the entrecôte, made with Scottish rib-eye, or the pumpkin risotto with crème fraiche and comté cheese, winter vegetables, and pan-fried duck egg.

La P’tite Folie

Restaurant, French
This sophisticated restaurant in Edinburgh’s West End is warm and atmospheric. Go at lunchtime for the two-course lunch menu, or order from the à la carte menu at dinner. Start off with a kir royale to sip on as you peruse the menu, which is chock-full of seasonal seafood and fresh ingredients, and then move on to a bottle of Beaujolais.

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