Take a trip off the beaten track for quality meals

The Gardener's Cottage, run by Ed Murray and Dale Mailley, is all about social, seasonal dining. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
The Gardener's Cottage, run by Ed Murray and Dale Mailley, is all about social, seasonal dining. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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Avoid the obvious choice when it comes to eating out and discover some of our city’s hidden gems. Although restaurants are usually rated highly for a good reason, it’s worth branching out and trying some lesser known places to strike gold. If you’ve already worked your way through restaurants that frequently appear inTripAdvisor’s top 10, try these alternative for a similarly excellent meal.

If you like The Table try… Edinburgh Food Studio

Enjoy an authentic Italian experience at Osteria del Tempo Perso. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Enjoy an authentic Italian experience at Osteria del Tempo Perso. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

If you’re after a dining experience rather than a standard meal, visit restaurant and research hub Edinburgh Food Studio. Serving a seven-course tasting menu reflecting the studio’s inspirations and experiments, this restaurant regularly hosts guests chefs from across the world who have previously worked in top establishments like Copenhagen’s Noma. Visit: 158 Dalkeith Road, EH16 5DX

If you like Forage & Chatter try… The Gardener’s Cottage

Located in a quaint Victorian cottage at the foot of Calton Hill, The Gardener’s Cottage is all about social, seasonal dining, using locally sourced produce. Their long communal tables encourage conversation between diners, and the accomplished menu features unusual combinations of fresh Scottish ingredients. Visit: 1 Royal Terrace Gardens, EH7 5DX

If you like Number One at The Balmoral try… Pompadour by Galvin

Restaurants within hotels can be a bit hit or miss, but the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian gets it spot on with the Pompadour by Galvin. Perfect for a special occasion, the restaurant serves up fine French-inspired cuisine in a lavish Victorian dining room, complete with hand-painted wall panels and a stunning view of Edinburgh Castle. Visit: Princes Street, EH1 2AB

If you like Aizle try… Seasons

There’s no traditional a la carte menu at Seasons. Instead, diners are given a list of ingredients (with the option to cross off any they don’t like) and the chefs create a unique seasonal tasting menu around this. Put your trust in the chefs and sommeliers and you’ll be treated to an extra special seasonal culinary journey with perfectly matched drinks. Visit: 36 Broughton Street, EH1 3SB

If you like Kezban Mediterranean Restaurant try… Pomegranate

With delicious Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food on offer, Pomegranate is the perfect place to enjoy street food and mezze-style dishes. They also have a terrace for al fresco dining, as well as traditional shisha pipes available to bring a little slice of the Middle East to Edinburgh. Visit: 1 Antigua Street, EH1 3NH

If you like The Colonnades at The Signet Library try… Prestonfield House

Afternoon tea at Prestonfield House is a grand affair, with luxurious period surroundings and an impressive selection of handmade cakes and finger sandwiches – all washed down with a glass of champagne. Enjoy afternoon tea by the roaring log fire in the winter, or out in the rose garden and whimsical gothic tea house in the summer. Visit: Priestfield Road, EH16 5UT

If you like Locanda de Gusti try… Osteria del Tempo Perso

With a sister restaurant located just south of Rome, you can rest assured that you’ll be getting an authentic Italian experience at Osteria del Tempo Perso. With specialist ingredients imported straight from Italy mixed with fresh produce from local Scottish suppliers, you can expect to tuck into delicious antipasto platters, light pasta dishes and homemade risottos. Visit: 208 Bruntsfield Place, EH10 4DE

If you like Pickles try… Smith & Gertrude

Smith & Gertrude is a cheese and wine bar which focuses on a simple menu done really well. With a handpicked selection of Scottish and continental cheeses, charcuterie and top-quality wines, it’s the perfect place for enjoying relaxed drinks and nibbles with friends. Visit: 26 Hamilton Place, EH3 5AU

If you like Nok’s Kitchen try… Passorn

For Thai food which perfectly blends authentic flavours, traditional ingredients and fresh Scottish produce, try Passorn. The stylish surroundings match the contemporary menu, which includes signature dishes like crispy sea bass salad and lamb shank massaman curry. Visit: 23-23a Brougham Place, EH3 9JU

If you like Purslane Restaurant try… Wedgwood the Restaurant

Offering fine dining cuisine in a relaxed, non-pretentious environment, Wedgwood the Restaurant is a delightful hidden gem on the Royal Mile. As well as an a la carte menu, Wedgwood offers a ‘Wee Tour of Scotland’ tasting menu which showcases some of Scotland’s finest produce, including wild herbs and ingredients which chef Paul Wedgwood has foraged himself. Visit: 267 Canongate, EH8 8BQ