Where to Eat in Edinburgh, Scotland | EDINBURGH FOOD GUIDE

Edinburgh is always somewhere that will have a special place in my heart. I finished my last two years of secondary school here and even though it was difficult to adapt to rainy, Scottish weather, my whole family and I fell in love with the city. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

It's full of beautiful architecture, an extremely rich history and friendly Scots. It's where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter ⚡️ (which is evident when you go down places like Victoria Street which was the inspiration for Diagon Alley), where you can hear bagpipes wherever you are in Old Town (although sometimes it's just a CD that tourist shops play loudly to entice you in lol) and where you can drink as many different varieties of whiskey that your heart desires. 

All-in-all, it's a great place for a city break and with direct flights & trains from both Bristol and London, it's easy enough to get to from Bath. This was the first time that I've been back since Summer 2016 and, excitingly, so many new food gems have popped up! 🍴

With all my recommendations from both friends who went to Edinburgh University and friends from the city itself, as well as all of the lovely people who messaged me on our instagram, we found some of the best food that we've ever had. Here's what we got up to.

The Outsider

If you're looking for a killer view of Edinburgh Castle (see above) and delicious food at a *very* reasonable price, look no further than The Outsider. Lunch mains were around £6-9 and made with high-quality, local & seasonal produce. They have a solid main lunch menu as well as a couple of daily-changing specials as well as a dinner menu which looks fantastic albeit much more expensive.

We would recommend the crusty bread (which came with a delicious herby garlicky olive oil dip), the burger (to quote my boyfriend "one of the best ever") and the sundried tomato gnocchi which came with the most incredible walnut pesto ever. Probably the best gnocchi I've ever had. 

George IV Bridge (Old Town)
£-££ (lunch)
£££ (dinner)

The Witchery

For a more special experience with the most incredible interiors (think plush sofas, candles, tapestries on the walls, wood panelling on the ceilings and an overall medieval vibe in a 16th Century building), go to The Witchery. The name comes from the hundreds of people who were burnt at the stake just next door on Castlehill for being 'witches'. Right by Edinburgh Castle, this restaurant is probably the most vibey and atmospheric of all the restaurants in the city centre, with great food and service to match.

We would recommend the partridge and the halibut as mains, the smoothest mashed potato as a side, the sticky toffee pudding & the Paris Brest dessert which was basically a hazelnut-lovers dream. 

Royal Mile (Old Town)


I'm a big fan of Scandinavian-style restaurants & cafés and Söderberg is no different. Recommended to me by a dear friend who studied at university here and who loves cinnamon buns as much as I do, I knew we had to go. 

Söderberg has seven branches in Edinburgh, most of which are bakeries serving their prized buns (cinnamon, cardamom, raspberry etc.); perfect for afternoon fika. They also have one proper restaurant which we visited on the first day. The food was so simple yet delicious and fresh and we loved the buns so much that we went to one of their bakeries close to our Airbnb for breakfast on our last day. 

We would highly recommend their sourdough pizzas (delicious base & such fresh mozzarella), the halloumi & courgette salad (which came with the most *incredible* spinach, crème fraîche & garlic dressing), their smoked salmon smörrebröd (open sandwich) and, of course, their cinnamon buns. Best buns we've ever had (and we've had a lot). 

Restaurant is in Lister Square (Quartermile)
Bakeries are various 

Rhubarb at Prestonfield House

This, with The Witchery, is one of the most, if not the most, special restaurant I've ever been to. Set in a luxury hotel, it's slightly more exclusive than The Witchery and the Rhubarb restaurant has a grander, Regency feel. The food is excellent and the service is second-to-none. Start with an apéritif and warm bread served on a platter while you decide what to eat and take in the ambience of the place.

We would highly recommend the chateaubriand for two. The meat is succulent and it comes with a lovely range of vegetables. The potatoes came both as dauphinoise (sliced with cream) and duchess (mashed & baked) and it also came with a range of sauces - the béarnaise was our favourite.

P.S. The ladies powder room is any pink-lovers dream & so plush.

Prestonfield Road (around a 10-minute drive from the city-centre, nearish Arthur's Seat)

Urban Angel

This independent cafe was one of my favourites when I lived here - and it made me so happy to see so many of you recommend it! We came here for breakfast on Saturday morning and weren't disappointed; the food was just as I remembered and the staff were incredibly friendly. It gets busy so be sure to go early. 

We would recommend the avocado toast (a classic that you can't get wrong), the açai bowl (one of the best we've had) and the freshly squeezed orange juice.

Hanover Street (New Town)

The Gardener's Cottage

Imagine a cute little cottage surrounded by vegetable patches. Then imagine that it had been turned into a light, airy restaurant with three long, communal tables. That's what The Gardener's Cottage is. The intimate restaurant is warm and inviting and the food is absolutely fantastic. Lots of the vegetables are grown in the garden so it can't really get any fresher. 

The menu changes often and the weekday lunch menu is significantly better value at £15 for 2 courses or £19 for three, however this limits you especially if you have dietary requirements. We happened to go on Sunday for lunch so unfortunately didn't have a chance to try the set menu. 

We started with a parsnip soup that was topped with crushed chestnuts which had a lovely texture and flavour. We also got a side of the homemade focaccia which was served with seaweed butter and was insane! It came warm and had lovely chunks of sea salt scattered on it - so yummy. 

As our mains, we went for the skate wing with capers, cauliflower, brown butter and potatoes. We also went for the ox cheek with jerusalem artichoke, leek and kale. Both dishes were spectacular and had so many different elements of flavour to them. If you happen to go to the Gardener's Cottage it's unlikely that the same dishes will be available, but be assured that all of the dishes were spectacular so I'm sure yours will be too.

Royal Terrace Gardens, London Road (Broughton)

The Elephant House

As the true birthplace of Harry Potter, The Elephant House couldn't not be included on this list. With a beautiful view of Edinburgh Castle (it's a few doors down from The Outsider), you can imagine how J.K. Rowling's mind ran wild as she wrote. 

It's a great place for coffee or tea. They do lunch too but we've never tried it so can't comment! If you're not too bothered about getting something, you can go in to have a walk around and take photos, just remember to donate £1 to the charity box (a great idea)! 

George IV Bridge (Old Town)

Mary's Milk Bar

This cute, retro ice cream parlour has the best gelato in Edinburgh (in my opinion). Mary trained at the gelato university in Bologna, Italy (yes - that's really a thing!) and now makes her gelato and chocolate every morning. 

The flavours are unique and wonderful and no two days are the same (although they always have their 'milk' and 'chocolate' flavours). I used to come here all the time when I lived here and it's so great. This time we got one peanut, lemongrass & chilli one (SO unique and flavourful) and one dark chocolate. They were both so creamy and absolutely delicious.

19 Grassmarket (Grassmarket)

The Scran & Scallie

This rustic-chic gastropub was created by two of Scotland's top chefs. They have a seasonal menu with a 'nature to plate' philosophy, serving some classic pub dishes (ham, egg & chips, fish pie etc.) as well as some seasonal favourites. It was given a Michelin Bib Gourmand award in 2019 (classed as exceptional food with good prices), so you know it'll be good! 

My brother & Dad got the Highland wagyu burger, I got the spelt & lentil burger and my Mum got one of their seasonal mains which was a smoked mackerel, green bean, tomato and feta salad. We liked our burgers a lot and the chips were absolutely incredible. My mum LOVED her salad - she was raving about it for days!

P.S. They're dog-friendly 🐕

1 Comely Bank Road (Stockbridge)

Hula Juice Bar

When I said I was going to Edinburgh so many of you recommended this as a brunch spot. It's one of your classic juice bars & healthy eateries that is definitely on the 'instagrammable' side of decor. 

My brother got banana, hazelnut & Nutella porridge which was made with Scottish oats and super nice and warming. I got the acai bowl which I was kind of disappointed with because, although it looked very beautiful, the acai flavour wasn't strong at all. I really wish that places would stop using so much coconut milk in their acai bowls lol - it was still nice for a smoothie bowl, but not nice for an acai bowl. We also got a 'sunshine in a cup' smoothie (mango, peach, pineapple & orange) which was super yummy. 

I actually had been here a couple of times a few years ago, and I would highly recommend their lunch options! Both venues get busy (especially the Grassmarket one), so get there early!

103-105 West Bow (Grassmarket)
94A Fountainbridge (Fountainbridge)

The Original Rosslyn Inn

This family-friendly, family-run business is a must if you're visiting the famous Rosslyn Chapel and have worked up an appetite. It's only a few minutes from the chapel and prides itself on using as much Scottish produce as possible - the fish comes from Musselburgh and is all sustainably-sourced Scottish fish, the beef is grass-fed Scotch beef and the veggies are sourced from Scottish soil when possible.

Lots of us got the fish & chips (this is the smaller portion) which was absolutely delicious. The fish was so incredibly fresh and the batter was nice and light. My brother got the beef burger which was fantastic. Their homemade garlic mayo is also super nice. 

P.S. They're dog-friendly! 🐕

2-4 Main Street (Roslin)

Have the best time in Edinburgh! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿