36 Best Restaurants in Edinburgh 2021

Looking for the best restaurants in Edinburgh for your next trip? Our list of cult eating places has everything from steaks to pizza, brunch and seafood.

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  • 17 June 2021
  • • 19 min read

When you’ve only got a weekend to spend in a location full of incredible places to eat, one of the first things to do (for us, anyway) is plan and book your visits to all the city’s top restaurants. If you’re searching for the best restaurants in  Edinburgh, you’ll be spoilt for choice, as the city is packed full of different cuisines from around the world that’ll tickle the taste buds of any major foodie. From affordable eating places Edinburgh locals love most to restaurants for special occasions, the city centre’s top eateries cater to all tastes and budgets and we guarantee if you visit any of the places on this list, you’ll leave feeling full and satisfied. Juicy steaks, fresh seafood, local fish and chips, Chinese, pizza, curry… Whatever you’re craving, Edinburgh has a restaurant that does the dish to perfection. Check out these 36 restaurants in Edinburgh in 2021 to make the most of the city’s best bites.

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Best steak restaurants in Edinburgh

1. Wildfire

192 Rose St, Edinburgh EH2 4AZ

If there’s a dish Edinburgh does well it’s a classically served steak from one of the best steakhouses in the city. Serving up juicy cuts of prime Aberdeen Angus beef from Scottish border herds cooked just how you like it, Wildfire is a small family-run steak restaurant in Edinburgh New Town. Choose a ribeye, sirloin or fillet, all very reasonably priced, with a bottle of red to wash it all down, and enjoy the cosy atmosphere of this homely Edinburgh eatery. Wildfire serves all their steaks with a fresh side salad and your choice of fluffy chunky chips or crispy shoestring fries, but don’t forget to order one of their divine sauces to top it all off. Their whisky infused blue cheese sauce is a particularly good choice.

2. Hawksmoor Edinburgh

23 W Register St, Edinburgh EH2 2AA

You may have heard of the brand from its locations across the UK (and even New York), because Hawksmoor is an institution for the best meat around. With Edinburgh being so close to incredible Scottish produce, you know the steaks served here will be of the highest quality. Fillet, sirloin, rib-eye, chateaubriand, porterhouse, T-bone… You’ll get given a whole list of tender, melt-in-the-mouth cuts to choose from, all served inside the stunning Grade A listed ‘building of national importance’, formerly known as the National Bank of Scotland Banking Hall. 

3. Kyloe Restaurant and Grill

1-3 Rutland St, Edinburgh EH1 2AE 

Meat lovers are in for a real treat during a dinner at Kyloe Restaurant and Grill. Here it’s all about providing customers with a great dining experience, giving the option of perfectly cooked traditional cuts to more unique cuts for a new taste sensation. Head there between Monday and Thursday for a steak dinner for two which comes with two sauces and two of their mouthwatering sides for just £55, plus your choice of beef cut. Like all the best steak restaurants  in Edinburgh, the meat is only of the highest quality and here they use cuts from pedigree Aberdeen Angus delivered by some of the most reputable farms and butchers in Scotland.

Best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Edinburgh

1. Harmonium

7-11 East London St, Edinburgh EH7 4BN

The diverse menu at Harmonium has led every veggie and vegan in Edinburgh to have dined out at this fully plant-based restaurant at least once. When we say diverse, we’re talking pizzas, burgers, (no)fish and chips, vegan macaroni cheese, Scottish-style quesadillas, drunken noodles… And that’s just the main dishes. With such a variety of delicious, colourful food on the menu, it’s no wonder that Harmonium has an atmosphere to match. From brunch-time through to dinner, this vegan restaurant in the heart of Edinburgh is perfect for any occasion. 

2. Holy Cow

34 Elder St, Edinburgh EH1 3DX 

Enjoy a good meal at this homely vegan cafe in Edinburgh New Town. Holy Cow serves up some of the best plant-based burgers in the city as well as some absolutely delicious sweet treats, all made by hand using locally sourced, organic ingredients. Whether you’re after a filling breakfast, lunch or dinner, Holy Cow is a brilliant choice with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Vegan or not, at Holy Cow you’re guaranteed a meal that will hit the spot. 

3. Seeds for the Soul

167 Bruntsfield Pl, Edinburgh EH10 4DG 

Also doing their bit for the planet by proving a vegan diet isn’t just plants is Seeds for the Soul, offering ridiculously good, totally meat-free dishes whether you’re craving a bowl full of natural plant-based goodness or a hearty, meatier (but still meatless) dish. Seeds for the Soul is a hidden gem of a restaurant, located away from the tourist track in the Bruntsfield neighbourhood. It’s one of the best vegan spots in Edinburgh for its innovative menu including a great selection of delicious plant-based burgers, fish-free sashimi and calamari, and much more that’ll inspire even the biggest meat eaters to turn more green.

Best Chinese restaurants in Edinburgh

1. Karen’s Unicorn

8B Abercromby Pl, Edinburgh EH3 6LB 

Karen’s Unicorn is always busy, and not just because it has the best restaurant name in Edinburgh, but because the food is mouth wateringly good. This Cantonese restaurant serves its dishes in huge, satisfying portions that are full of flavour and made using fresh Scottish produce wherever possible. Try their house specialties which include salty & spicy squid and steamed sea bass in a black bean sauce and you’ll immediately see why this is the chosen Chinese of so many Edinburgh locals. Head to the New Town’s best Chinese restaurant for a special occassion or a relaxing date night along with a delicious meal. 

2. Dumplings of China

Is there anything more satisfying than biting into that pillowy-soft dough of a steamed dumpling? At Dumplings of China they serve up all the traditional dishes you’ll find at any Chinese restaurant in the UK, but it’ll come as no surprise that dumplings are their forte. The chefs specialise in handmade, authentic Chinese dumplings after many years of mastering the fine craft, whipping them up fresh inside their small, no-frills restaurant near The Meadows. Get ready for the best Chinese dumplings you’ve ever tried.

3. Street of Beijing

37 Home St, Edinburgh EH3 9JP

The friendly welcome, delicious Chinese street food and fair prices are what make Street of Beijing a firm local favourite Chinese restaurant in Edinburgh. The dishes are all made using traditional techniques from only the freshest ingredients in the city, and they’re pretty unique compared to your typical Chinese eatery. Don’t leave without trying the beef noodle soup or the jianbing as it’s one of the very few places to eat in Edinburgh that serve the traditional Chinese-style ‘pancakes’. We love the simple, casual setting because that must mean these guys are all about the food. At such affordable prices, it’s a perfect spot to pop into for a cheap lunch in Edinburgh.

Best brunch in Edinburgh

1. Loudons

Sibbald Walk (New Waverley) & Fountainbridge

With a menu to fit all diets and cravings, Loudons is one of the top choices for a 10/10 brunch in Edinburgh. Here you’ll find overnight oats, syrupy French toast, a variety of Eggs Benedict, stacks of pimped up pancakes and loads more that taste just as good as they sound. Loudons is a great place to meet friends for brunch and cocktails in the city centre, with its bright and airy interior and beautiful decoration, not to mention the consistently wonderful service from the super friendly staff. 

2. Honeycomb & Co

1 Merchiston Pl, Edinburgh EH10 4NP

Order any of the options from the menu at Honeycomb & Co and you’re guaranteed to be over the moon with your choice. Whether you feel like starting your day with sweet or savoury, it definitely won’t be a quick decision as all the dishes on the list will make your mouth water, from the shakshuka to the fruity French toast. Enjoy some of the best brunch foods in their bright and fun restaurant with an Aperol Spritz or one of their decadent hot drinks - think Dulche de Leche lattes, raspberry hot chocolates and more indulgent flavours to kick start your day. 

3. Urban Angel

121 Hanover St, Edinburgh EH2 1DJ

This cosy local cafe has been known and loved for the past 15 years for its healthy yet hearty brunch classics in Edinburgh city centre. Urban Angel ensures all their ingredients are sustainably and locally sourced, also baking their bread in-house and using freshly ground coffee beans specially selected from different roasteries. Try their Eggs Benedict, balsamic mushrooms on toast or a refreshing smoothie bowl along with one of the best coffees in the city and you’ll see why this spot has been, and always will be, a local favourite. 

Best seafood restaurants in Edinburgh

1. The Ship on the Shore 

24-26, Shore, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6QN

With such an incredible variety of delicious seafood at its fingertips, it’s no wonder Edinburgh is home to some of the best seafood restaurants in the UK. The Ship on the Shore takes enormous pride in the fact that they use only the freshest fish, sourced from sustainable stocks each day. Heading that little way out of the city centre to Leith is well worth the journey for the mouthwatering menu from the classic fish and chips to its impressively large seafood platters served on the Water of Leith’s waterfront. For a memorable meal with great service and a relaxed atmosphere, make a reservation at Edinburgh’s Ship on the Shore.

2. Fishers

58 Thistle St, Edinburgh EH2 1EN and 1 Shore, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6QW

Get your fix of all the freshest and most flavoursome seafood in Edinburgh’s cosy Fishers restaurant. Fishers is now based in two locations, one in the heart of the New Town and the original restaurant in Leith. Wherever you decide to dine, this seafood restaurant will no doubt tick all your boxes on the seafood front, serving up the nicest selection of fish dishes that will seriously get your taste buds going. 

3. Mussel Inn

61-65 Rose St, Edinburgh EH2 2NH

Serving up fresh Scottish and Shetland fish in the New Town, at Mussel Inn it’s all about the food. The simple, no-frills restaurant offers the perfect informal atmosphere while creating outstanding seafood dishes that are packed full of flavour, plus the menu is really quite affordable for such great quality. Tiger prawns, King scallops, mussel pots, sea bass, seafood chowder - all fish is sourced as locally as possible, giving that delicious rich flavour sea-foodies all know and love. 

Best fish and chips in Edinburgh

1. The Gorgie Fish Bar

136-138 Gorgie Rd, Edinburgh EH11 2NS

It will come as no surprise that some of the best fish and chips in Edinburgh come from proper local chippies - the small family-run chip shop takeaways you can smell from the bottom of the road. At The Gorgie Fish Bar, you can expect big portions of freshly cooked, lightly battered fish that melts in the mouth, served separately to the great big pile of chunky chips to make sure they keep crispy and delicious. Pop in and pick up your chippy tea to go and make sure you order the deep-fried haggis on the side - it’s a highlight of the menu.

2. Bertie’s Proper Fish and Chips

9 Victoria St, Edinburgh EH1 2HE

Located on Victoria Street in the heart of the OId Town, Bertie’s Proper Fish and Chips is a fun and informal sit down restaurant famous for its top quality chip shop classics. Using only the freshest, sustainably sourced fish and the finest potatoes possible for the crispiest chips, to get your fill of fish in Edinburgh this restaurant is a top choice. Expect your traditional plates of ‘proper fish and chips’ as well as twists on classic chippy dishes like scampi, battered sausage, and (a classic in Scotland), deep fried haggis. 

3. L’Alba D’Oro

7 Henderson Row, Edinburgh EH3 5DH

L’Alba D’Oro started out in 1975 as a pizzeria, later expanding and adapting to become an upmarket fish and chip shop and an Edinburgh institution. It’s central New Town location and award-winning fish and chips mean this takeaway always has a buzz around it, with locals making it their weekly treat and visitors coming to try one of the best chippies in the city. Their trademark lightly battered fish is haddock sourced from a local fishmonger in Stockbridge while the potatoes are always top quality and seasonally sourced.

Best pizza in Edinburgh

1. @pizza

4 Charlotte Ln, Edinburgh EH2 4QZ

Rather than choosing from a ready prepared menu (although you can still do this if you’d prefer), @pizza lets you create your dream pizza which they cook up right in front of you. From the base to the sauce, to the cheese and unlimited toppings for just £11.95, you know however it turns out it’ll be right up your street. For a really good and unique pizzeria, you’re in the right place.

2. Pizzeria 1926

85 Dalry Rd, Edinburgh EH11 2AA

If you’re looking for an authentic taste of Naples’ signature dish, Pizzeria 1926 is the place to visit. The soft, doughy crust and fresh toppings have put this charming family-run restaurant on the map when it comes to pizzas in Edinburgh as they really are hard to beat. The menu has all the typical topping variations you’d expect from a proper Italian pizzeria, as well as a whole lot of new flavour combinations that will make your mouth water. Expect friendly service and a fun, casual atmosphere every Friday, Saturday and Sunday with some of the tastiest pizza in the city. 

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3. Dough Pizza

172 Rose St, Edinburgh EH2 4BA

Right in the heart of the New Town, Dough Pizza is all about quality, taking real pride in the way they have mastered their classic dough. Here, they only use the freshest ingredients from sustainable sources, so you can count on them to be producing great tasting pizzas with as little impact on the planet as possible. Expect a soft, doughy crust with all the toppings they can fit on including some absolutely delicious vegan and vegetarian options. Made in true Italian style, if it’s an authentic pizza you’re craving in Edinburgh, this is the place for you.

Best fine dining restaurants in Edinburgh

1. The Kitchin

Commercial Quay, 78, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6LX

The Kitchin is the perfect restaurant for a romantic or otherwise special occasion, with its Michelin-star menu and modern interiors creating an all-round incredible dining experience. Located in Leith, the former whisky warehouse is now a beautiful place to eat out with food and service you’ll never forget, plus you might even get to see Tom Kitchin himself making gastronomical magic happen in the open kitchen. If you visit this restaurant, make sure you order one of their three specially created tasting menus using all the freshest, local produce available each season.

2. Wedgwood the Restaurant

267 Canongate, Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH8 8BQ

Located on the Royal Mile, Wedgwood is one of the top places in Edinburgh for Scottish fine dining. Expect an ever-changing menu which adapts to the season, meaning the dishes could even vary as often as day-to-day. For such beautifully presented dishes inspired by Scottish produce and cooking techniques, the menu is actually really quite affordable, making Wedgwood the perfect restaurant for any occasion, fancy or otherwise.

3. Mono

85 South Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1HN

Chic, minimal interiors, some of the friendliest service in the city and exceptional fine dining Italian cuisine, a meal at Mono is sure to be one you won’t forget in a hurry. The menu is creative, exciting and beautifully crafted with strong Italian influences. Order the five course tasting menu for a flavour sensation, all served by the most wonderful team of people who will turn your dinner into a dining experience. 

Best burgers in Edinburgh

1. Bubba Q

209-213 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1PE 

Edinburgh is a city packed full of great burger restaurants, but when you’re craving a big dirty burger overflowing with toppings, you can’t beat a Bubba Q. The cool atmosphere, nostalgic music and epic American menu make it one of the best casual places to eat in the city centre. Expect donut burger buns, some seriously delicious pulled pork and even haggis patties amongst all the classic fillings usually found on a burger menu, plus all the other meaty dishes you’d expect from an American restaurant.

2. Belushi’s

32 Market St, Edinburgh EH1 1DE 

Right by Waverley Station in Edinburgh Old Town you’ll find St Christopher’s Inns’ Belushi’s bar whipping up their famous juicy burgers. Kick off your dinner with a cocktail (two for one during Happy Hour) and choose your burger from the tasty range of beef, chicken and vegan options that all come with a big pile of crispy fries. You can even double up your patty and add four chicken wings if you’re feeling wild. Not feeling a burger? The chicken wings, bar snacks and nacho platters always hit the spot, plus the cocktails and drinks range is enormous. Stop at Belushi’s for dinner and we bet you stay there until close. Would you call us biased if we say our burgers are some of the best in Edinburgh?

3. The Boozy Cow

17 Frederick St, Edinburgh EH2 2EY

With an ‘eat dirty’ policy plastered on their website, you know the burgers here are going to be good. The Boozy Cow serves up a quirky, original burger menu that will make you drool, from Scottish-style haggis burgers oozing with cheese, to a speciality ‘boozy roast burger’ loaded with slow cooked beef, Yorkshire pudding and gravy on the side. When in Edinburgh, you’ve got to try the Scottish delicacy that is a deep-fried Mars bar and here is one of the top places to try it. 

Best Indian restaurants in Edinburgh

1. Dishoom Edinburgh

3a St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2BD

Enjoy one of the most delicious Indian meals in Edinburgh inside a casual yet sophisticated restaurant in St Andrew Square. Dishoom has a cult fanbase in London, so it will come as no surprise that the Dishoom branch is a firm favourite amongst Edinburgh locals as well. Share a few small plates and curries with your table, making sure to order the bhaji, the house chaat and a ruby curry along with a Dishoom cocktail. Make sure you book a table in advance or you’ll be queueing around the corner.

2. Pataka

190 Causewayside, Edinburgh EH9 1PN

Pataka is the kind of restaurant that feels like home as soon as you step inside. The cosy, no-frills decor paired with friendly service and heartwarming dishes attract people looking for a simple yet delicious Indian meal that won’t put a dent in your wallet. The menu has all the typical Indian curries and sides you’d expect, as well as the restaurant’s own specialties from India and Bangladesh. 

3. The Pakora Bar

96 Hanover St, Edinburgh EH2 1DR

Serving up Punjabi street food to the people of Edinburgh, the three brothers behind The Pakora Bar in the city centre opened up a restaurant that’s become an instant local favourite. Pakoras are, of course, the star of the show, made using all different flavours including aubergine, paneer, chicken and even haggis. However they serve all sorts of other traditional Punjabi street food dishes, like samosas, dhals and pakora wraps, along with curries and Indian grills. For a super affordable lunch that’s incredibly tasty, The Pakora Bar is one of the best for a flavour packed bite to eat. 

Best Italian restaurants in Edinburgh

1. Frizzante Proseccheria

95 Lothian Rd, Edinburgh EH3 9AW

Frizzante is a must visit Edinburgh restaurant if it’s a flavour-packed Italian meal you’re craving. The Italian chef and restaurateur along with his son created a huge delicious menu fully inspired by their home city of Naples, with a slight Edinburgh twist. Pizza, pasta, risotto, milanese, burrata, affogato, tiramisu… For a taste of Italy, this is your place.

2. Mamma Roma

4-7 Antigua St, Edinburgh EH1 3NH

Mamma Roma offers an incredible selection of authentic Italian dishes that will curb your carb cravings and make your mouth water. The homemade pastas and beautifully cooked meat and fish taste like they're straight out of Italy with the rich, creamy sauces washed down with a good glass of wine. At Mamma Roma, the atmosphere is always great, which is likely thanks to the ever-amazing service and the outstanding menu.

3. La Locanda

61 Cockburn St, Edinburgh EH1 1BS

This charming eatery in the heart of Edinburgh is known for serving up some of the tastiest classic Italian dishes in the city. There’s no pizza or pasta menu here, just a small selection of some truly outstanding Italian dishes cooked to perfection. Browse the menu or opt for the special and order a glass of wine from their well-crafted selection, and we’re sure whatever you end up going for will give you the ‘wow’ factor.

Best cheap eats in Edinburgh

1. Oink

Victoria Street & Canongate

Inside the pink shop front on Victoria Street is one of Edinburgh’s most popular cheap eats and for good reason, as the hog roast rolls are something else. A soft bun packed as full as possible with pulled pork and stuffing before being topped with your choice of sauce is the perfect cheap takeaway lunch to munch on whilst exploring the city centre. 

2. Ola Kala

202 Morrison St, Edinburgh EH3 8EA

Nothing is more satisfying than a Greek pita bread stuffed full of spiced chicken, salad and all the sauce you want and Ola Kala makes sensational gyros! It’s only a small place, so either pull up a chair or order to go, just make sure you sit down before you eat as it’s guaranteed to get messy. The pitta bread is homemade and filled with freshly cooked chicken, a crispy salad and French fries.

3. Red Box Noodle Bar

51 W Nicolson St, Newington, Edinburgh EH8 9DB 

You know the prices here are going to be good because this place is a classic student place to eat. Red Box serves up one of the best cheap eats in Edinburgh - a big box of noodles made exactly how you fancy. Choose your noodles, choose your meat, choose three types of vegetables, your sauce and you’re ready to go for under £7.

Want more? Check out our Edinburgh travel tips ahead of your trip to the medieval city…

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