Seafood has played a huge part in Scotland's national cuisine for centuries and helped to shape towns and cities all around the nation's coastline.
A perfect natural larder, Scotland’s lochs, rivers and seas have provided some of the best seafood available anywhere in the world.
It should be no surprise then to find some of the country's top seafood restaurants in the capital. Here is a selection...
Located just off the Royal Mile, this is the one seafood restaurant in the capital you really must visit.
Ondine, voted Best Restaurant in Scotland 2018, offers Scottish produce coupled with amazing worldwide flavours; classic fish soup enhanced with North African spices, razor clams with Iberico chorizo and Sicilian lemons or Shetland mussels cooked in an Asian broth of fermented ginger & black bean with freshly shredded coriander.
Only trusted suppliers are used, meaning menu items like the lobster and oysters are always the freshest and of the highest grade available. Speaking of oysters, the restaurant’s famed Oyster Happy Hour, which runs from 5:30-6:30pm Mon-Sat, offers five varieties of oyster to choose from at just £1 a shuck.
Ondine's festive menu will also be served from November 26th until December 22nd, with two courses priced at £30 and three courses at £35.
Visit: 2 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1AD, 0131 226 1888, www.ondinerestaurant.co.uk/
White Horse Oyster and Seafood Bar
This is all about sharing small plates of wonderful seafood. Their selection ranges from simple seafood like razor clams and hand-dived scallops to more inventive dishes like mussels with pig cheek and fennel, scotch bonnet-cured salmon or octopus with merguez (spicy sausage).
Despite being located inside an old inn, the interior gives off a modern feel with almost-black walls, a lobster tank, lanterns made from floats and artfully mounted creels and boat propellers.
Their £1 an oyster happy hour actually runs for two hours at a time, between 4pm and 6pm from Mon-Thu. These delicious oysters can washed down nicely with a glass of wine, fizz or an artisan cocktail.
Visit: 266 Canongate, Royal Mile, EH8 8AA, 0131 629 5300, www.whitehorseoysterbar.co.uk/
The Ship on the Shore
This wonderful little nautical themed restaurant is something of a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds, with an interior that will transport you back to the halcyon days of travel by cruise ship.
With a more sedate atmosphere, the Ship is a great place for breakfast or lunch. You could opt for a Champagne breakfast or try out the Bunnahabhain-smoked salmon with scrambled eggs. It's the perfect place to enjoy a quiet meal where the focus is on enjoying the food in front of you and not on the patronage around you.
Their fresh Scottish seafood is delivered daily from local fishmongers and the menu reflects this with a highly recommended section for crustacea & molluscs, featuring dishes like Loch Creran Champagne tempura batter oysters and the Ship’s famous smokehouse platter.
The Ship is also offering a delicious looking festive menu (Dec 1st-23rd) of three courses for £30.
Visit: 24-26 Shore, Edinburgh, EH6 6QN, www.theshipontheshore.co.uk/
With a focus on seasonality and innovation, the Kilted Lobster’s menu changes regularly to reflect what’s available at the time of year.
This cosy little Stockbridge restaurant offers some truly fun dishes such as calamari fritte with aioli, smoked salt and pepper and the fillet of Shetland salmon with crab risotto, though of course we recommend the eponymous Kilted lobster. Founder Colin Hinds is a massively popular figure and has more than 20 years' experience in the industry having also worked in France, Australia, Indonesia, London and the Caribbean.
The restaurant is also engaged in various social projects to support people living in Edinburgh. Examples have included closing up the restaurant to invite families and individuals facing financial hardship to come and dine there, or providing job training for school leavers and bespoke cookery classes for budding chefs. They have also run cookery classes for individuals diagnosed with food related health conditions such as diabetes or food allergens.
Visit: 112 St Stephen St, Edinburgh EH3 5AD, 0131 220 6677, www.kiltedlobster.com/home
Fishers in Leith
There is more than one of these restaurants in Edinburgh, but the original has served local residents great seafood dishes for more than two decades.
Housed in a 17th Century watchtower, Fishers serves up classic Scottish dishes like Shetland mussels, Anstruther Smoked salmon and the seafood platter. In summertime, there are few better places to enjoy some mussels while sitting outside on the docks of Leith. Should you be looking for something a little closer to town then check out their sister restaurant in the city centre on Thistle Street.
Visit: 1 Shore, Edinburgh EH6 6QW, 0131 554 5666, www.fishersrestaurants.co.uk/
It describes itself as a contemporary seafood restaurant using the best Scottish produce served with a distinctly Mediterranean and international flavour.
Among the most inviting dishes are Shetland mussels steamed with white wine, chorizo, chilli and a rich tomato sauce, and the shell-on king prawns seared and seasoned on the grill and served with smoked paprika aioli.
The main menu is accompanied by a carefully curated wine list of old and new world wines and a specially created cocktails list.
Visit: 77b George Street, EH2 3EE, 0131 226 3000, www.cadizedinburgh.co.uk/
Loch Fyne Seafood and Grill
This restaurant is located on Newhaven harbour in an old fish market dating back to the 1890s, where there is still an active fishing community. Inside, the restaurant is bright and airy with warming wooden floors, furniture and striking artwork depicting scenes from Loch Fyne and maritime images.
Dishes range from fish and chips and seafood tagliatelle to whole baked lobster or Loch Fyne fisherman's stew. If you're feeling adventurous, why not try their hot and cold shellfish platters packed with oysters, mussels, clams, squid and langoustines to name a few. The restaurant also offers an evening deal menu where you can pick a main meal and glass of wine for £15.95.
Visit: 25 Pier Place, Newhaven Harbour, Leith, EH6 4LP, 0131 559 3900, www.lochfyneseafoodandgrill.co.uk/locations/edinburgh