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.
Restaurant, British, Contemporary, $$$
Visitors always leave Timberyard
amply impressed, as it really couldn’t be any hipper! Set in a sleek industrial warehouse, complete with arty exposed brick and carefully selected furnishings, this family-run extravaganza of an eatery champions local artisan producers, growers, breeders and suppliers. For days that demand outdoor dining and boozy lunches, the south-facing sun trap of a yard is delightfully unrefined, yet stylistically seamless.
Bar, Wine Bar, Restaurant, Italian, $$$
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.
Bistro Du Vin
Bistro, Restaurant, Restaurant with Rooms, Wine Bar, Contemporary, European, $$$
A gem within a gem, Bistro du Vin
is a cracker of an eatery tucked inside the first-class boutique Hotel du Vin. With a knowledgeable sommelier, smart menu and chic décor, the set-up is seamless. However, the pièce de résistance is the courtyard, which is suited to intimate alfresco dining in summer months with divine seasonal nosh and innovative cocktails. Oh, and the wine list? Umpteen stars!
Restaurant, Spanish, Tapas, Soul Food, $$$
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.
Restaurant, Thai, $$$
, 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.
Bistro, Restaurant, French
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.