The Best Restaurants for Alfresco Dining in Edinburgh

Courtesy Of Timberyard
Courtesy Of Timberyard
Tori Chalmers

When the sun shows its face, Edinburgh is a vision. The best way to appreciate the accommodating weather is to get out and live, which means food and booze! To make the most of those magical Scottish summer (and winter) days, indulge in our guide to the best restaurants for alfresco dining in Scotland’s capital.

1. Timberyard

Restaurant, British, Contemporary

Timberyard, Edinburgh
Courtesy Of Timberyard

Visitors always leave Timberyard amply impressed, as it really couldn’t be any hipper! Set in a sleek industrial warehouse, complete with arty exposed brick and carefully selected furnishings, this family-run extravaganza of an eatery champions local artisan producers, growers, breeders and suppliers. For days that demand outdoor dining and boozy lunches, the south-facing sun trap of a yard is delightfully unrefined, yet stylistically seamless.

2. Divino Enoteca

Restaurant, Wine Bar, Italian, Wine

Divino Enoteca can do no wrong, and the outdoor patio is no exception. Charming old stone, sleek tables, a canopy of dancing fairy lights and plentiful greenery work together to create what is arguably the most romantic alfresco spot in Edinburgh. Worried about the unpredictable Scottish weather? There’s no need—the outdoor heaters are a welcomed touch, and the fine Italian foods and mindfully selected wines from all over the world will warm you right up.

3. Bistro Du Vin


Wine Cured Smoked Salmon At Bistro Du Vin
© LWYang / Flickr

A gem within a gem, Bistro du Vin is a cracker of an eatery tucked inside the first-class boutique Hotel du Vin. With a knowledgeable sommelier, smart menu and chic décor, the set-up is seamless. However, the pièce de résistance is the courtyard, which is suited to intimate alfresco dining in summer months with divine seasonal nosh and innovative cocktails. Oh, and the wine list? Umpteen stars!

4. Cafe Andaluz

Restaurant, Spanish, Tapas, Soul Food, Mediterranean

© Mark Jensen / Flickr
Cafe Andaluz is a culinary playground where tapas and sangria reign supreme. Although the inside is utterly charming, the outdoor section is just as lovely—and is a prime people-watching spot, as well. Menu highlights include sharing platters; paella; and an enticing range of meat, veggie and seafood tapas. Add a crafty cocktail or pitcher of sangria to achieve some serious #lunching #goals.

5. Chaophraya

Restaurant, Thai

Pad Thai
© jonathanvalencia/Pixabay

At Chaophraya, it’s hard to know which is more incredible—the rooftop terrace, the castle views or the authentic Thai cuisine. Sophisticated and sleek, this stellar restaurant is a favourite of locals and passers-by. The menu boasts a wealth of options, including vegetarian and ultra-spicy dishes, and the terrace is the epitome of perfection. Those new to the Chaophraya scene should consider the set menu; it never disappoints.

6. Petit Paris

Restaurant, Bistro, French

© Pixabay

For a slice of France in Edinburgh, consider Petit Paris. This spellbinding eatery serves up brilliant French dishes at reasonable prices, and the outdoor terrace is central to the hustle and bustle of the historic Grassmarket area. The inside is just as alluring with its whitewashed walls, red checked tablecloths and laissez-faire feels. Expect all the classic French dishes, such as escargot and coq au vin, but the Petit Paris stew of the day is always unsurpassable. Très bon.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article