Edinburgh’s food scene is decidedly eclectic. Splash out at a Michelin-starred restaurant in the port suburb of Leith, or try a traditional low-key pub in the bohemian neighbourhood of Stockbridge with Culture Trip’s guide to dining out in the trendiest areas of the capital.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
While many tourists who visit Edinburgh each year come looking for traditional Scottish menus, (of which there is no shortage), there are plenty who come for the growing number of innovative dining experiences. Food provenance is imperative to many chefs in the city, so you can expect local, seasonal ingredients served in unexpected ways at these must-visit restaurants.
A Room in Leith Seafood and Game Bistro Bar
Bistro, British, Seafood, European
This cosy restaurant in the unofficial seafood quarter of Edinburgh has more than a whiff of Highland inn about it. For a relaxed evening enjoying good food, settle down at A Room In Leith with a warming bowl of cullen skink or a mug of haggis, neeps and tatties, all washed down with a wee dram or two.
Restaurant, Spanish, Mediterranean, European, $
Housed in a converted warehouse and serving a menu that’s about as far removed from stereotypical Scottish cooking as imaginable, Tapa has earned itself a loyal following among in-the-know residents in Leith. Its take on Spanish tapas dishes provides a break from the norm: there are melt-in-your-mouth ribs, and the chef’s mother offers her own recipe for venison stew that’s not to be missed.
Restaurant Martin Wishart
Restaurant, French, British, $$$
The first of Edinburgh’s restaurants to be granted a hallowed Michelin star, Leith’s Restaurant Martin Wishart could take credit for turning what was once a forgotten corner of the city into one of its most exciting culinary scenes. The chef’s tasting menus are legendary – classic French cooking meets Scottish-caught lobsters and langoustines – and the elegant setting and crisp linen tablecloths in the pristine dining room add to the refined experience.
Hendersons Vegan Restaurant
Restaurant, Vegan, British, $
Though it’s been a New Town fixture since the ’60s, Hendersons Vegan Restaurant only became fully vegan in 2015. From the navy-painted exterior to its plant-based ingredients, it has a wholesome, stripped-back feel, beloved by regulars. Those wanting to sample house specialties would do well to try the vegan haggis, served with red wine gravy and mash, which has drawn customers since 1968.
Bar, Restaurant, Italian, British, $
A lounge-style restaurant that serves cocktails – best enjoyed in one of the red-leather booths – and just a road away from the exclusive shopping area of George Street, Grand Cru is a good choice for an early dinner and drinks. Food is well-priced and portions are generous. Order the mussels with a tarragon cream sauce for a real treat.
The Cellar Door
Restaurant, British, European, $
It’s fair to say The Cellar Dog gets a decent footfall from the Old Town’s busy thoroughfare. A contemporary restaurant with pendant lighting and exposed floorboards, its popularity is not undeserved. Scotland’s natural larder, not to mention its lochs and seas, have been mined by the restaurant’s chefs to produce delicate dishes that put a twist on the traditional.
Restaurant, American, BBQ, $
After a busy day seeing the sights on the Royal Mile, nip into Bubba Q for some good, honest smoked food – think pork sliders, juicy burgers or fully-loaded tacos. The kitchen’s signature barbecue dry rub is used liberally throughout the menu and gives the dishes a unique flavour. Portions are also huge, so skip lunch and come straight for dinner.
Restaurant, Italian, European, $
You can’t go wrong with a neighbourhood Italian, and Piccolino is an excellent choice near Fountainbridge, west of the city centre. As one of the city’s few restaurants that doesn’t serve Scottish dishes, it’s all about home-made pasta and fresh mozzarella here, alongside rich tomato sauces and risottos dotted with squid and prawns.
The Stockbridge Restaurant
Restaurant, British, $
The Stockbridge Restaurant is a sophisticated affair in the stylish suburb of Stockbridge, and a local favourite. Beautifully fresh fish dishes change daily based on the local catch, and hearty game dishes are consistently good. The wine list is strong, and the candlelit dining room, where huge artworks decorate the dark walls, has a decidedly Gothic feel, perfect for a languorous evening.
The Scran and Scallie
Gastropub, Restaurant, British, $$
Everyone in Stockbridge knows that for the best pub grub in town, you come to The Scran and Scallie – the dual enterprise of two of Scotland’s most respected chefs, Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack. Getting a table at this gastropub is no easy task, but with dishes like home-made fish pie or lamb rump with braised shoulder, you’ll be glad you did: it’s like going round to your very posh friend’s house for dinner. Although sadly, you do have to pay.
Quandoo helps you book tables at your favourite restaurants, in an instant. To make your next reservation, download the Quandoo app.
This branded content article was published as part of a commercial campaign that has now ended.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip 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 — and this is still in our DNA today. 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 certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.