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A meal out with the whole family, lunch out with friends, a romantic date night, a quick pre-theatre bite to eat...whatever the occasion for your meal out, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of choice Edinburgh has to offer. It’s a city that’s home to everything from amazing authentic street food stalls to the most elegant of Michelin-starred restaurants - so how do you decide which to choose? Take a look at our guide to places to eat in Edinburgh for some ideas.
The Witchery is a seriously atmospheric restaurant: set in a 16th century house on a cobbled street, it’s a stunning dining room with wood panelled walls and ceiling, beautiful arched windows and tall, ornate candlesticks on each table - it wouldn’t look out of place in a Harry Potter film. The menu’s focused on seasonal Scottish produce, from the freshest of chilled seafood platters to a tender lamb Wellington for two to share - try the oysters Rockefeller, grilled with spinach and a rich, creamy Hollandaise sauce.
The Witchery, 352 Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NF
In a former warehouse near the Castle, you’ll find Timberyard: a bright and airy industrial-style restaurant with a hipster look and feel. The menus make the most of ingredients from local artisan producers, and the team even grow their own herbs and edible flowers for both food and drinks alike. In the evenings, choose from a four, six or eight course menu with some intriguing flavour combinations (such as cured halibut with kohlrabi, pine, horseradish and sorrel) and be sure to check out their outdoor seating area - it’s a great suntrap in the summer, and the blankets and woodburner keep it warm in the winter.
Timberyard, 10 Lady Lawson Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9DS
Walk through the door of Aizle and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a countryside restaurant, with its relaxed and rustic vibe. It may be in student territory but you’re in for a surprise: there are no menus here, just lists of seasonal ingredients that change on a regular basis, from which your meal will be concocted. Each visit offers a surprise five-course menu, with anything from a beetroot, mackerel and gooseberry dish to an innovative carrot meringue with Muscadet jelly dessert. Don’t leave without trying their inventive cocktails either.
Aizle, 107-109 St Leonard’s Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9QY
Formerly a gardener’s cottage (hence the name), The Gardener’s Cottage is a compact restaurant within the Royal Terrace Gardens where sociable dining is the order of the day. It’s a seriously simply decorated place with whitewashed walls and low-hanging lighting, where diners sit together at communal tables to enjoy a menu that’s posted on the blackboard at one end of the room. Dinner is a seven-course set menu (there’s a vegetarian menu available too), and changes regularly - it’s pretty inventive too. Definitely one to visit if you’re happy to mingle with strangers for a unique experience.
The Gardener’s Cottage, 1 Royal Terrace Gardens, London Road, Edinburgh, EH7 5DX
Just a stone’s throw from Haymarket station, Locanda de Gusti serves top-notch Neapolitan food in a contemporary yet rustic setting. White-clothed tables sit alongside bare stone walls and rustic-looking wooden dressers for a relaxed feel, and the menu’s all about good, homely Italian cooking with big, gutsy flavours. The menu changes daily, depending on the fish, seafood and meats available from the markets: the mixed grilled seafood is always a winner, and we love the light creaminess of their homemade tiramisu.
Locanda de Gusti, 102 Dalry Road, Edinburgh, EH11 2DW
For somewhere truly exclusive, The Table is the place to be. Here, seated around a counter beside the open-plan kitchen, just ten diners per night get the chance to enjoy a seven-course tasting menu, the dishes all innovatively and humorously named. It’s a cross between theatre and dining, enjoying a fantastic meal while interacting with the chefs and watching them hard at work. Don’t forget to bring a bottle too - you’ll just pay for corkage.
The Table, 3A Dundas Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6QG
In a part of the West End that’s packed full of chain restaurants, Forage & Chatter is a breath of fresh air. It’s a rustically-decorated basement restaurant with plenty of natural wood and tartan-backed seats, which echo its ethos of using great Scottish produce. As you might guess from the name, there’s a real focus on foraged ingredients: think Douglas fir, wild mushrooms, pesto herbs and more. If it’s on the menu when you visit, try the hake with mussels and gnocchi for a great demonstration of their kitchen skills, and some truly fantastic flavours.
Forage & Chatter, 1A Alva Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4PH
Sister restaurant of The Kitchin, The Castle Terrace is a warm and inviting restaurant in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle that’s been open since 2010. It may be fine dining, but it’s a restaurant that’s comfortable and not at all stuffy, and we love the huge mural of Edinburgh’s skyline that takes up the whole of one wall. The food is truly beautiful - in both its presentation and its flavours - with flavours that are perfectly suited to the season of your visit. If you’re dining from one of the tasting menus, we definitely recommend going for the matched wine too - the pairings are expertly done.
The Castle Terrace Restaurant, 33-35 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh, EH1 2EL
Tags: Edinburgh, Good For Groups, Date Night, International, Business Dining, Fine Dining, Casual Dining, £ - £20-£30, ££ - £30-£40, £££ - £40+, International, Business, Date Night, Extensive wine List, Restaurant
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