WE all love our food and treating yourself to a meal out is always exciting, but top notch cuisine alone doesn’t make a foodie experience unforgettable.
Although the scran is very important, so many Edinburgh restaurants have a lot more going for them than just mouthwatering menus.
Here are some of WOW247 Edinburgh’s favourite Edinburgh eateries that offer a unique and amazing overall experience that you won’t find anywhere else.
1. Savouring a taste of total elegance at the Colonnades
Hidden in Parliament House (now home to the Supreme Courts of Scotland) is the secret and stunning Signet Library, out of which the Colonnades restaurant operates. Still a working law library – but unlike any library we’ve ever checked books out of – this place is a plush slice of paradise where you’ll be treated like royalty from the moment you walk in the door.
Expect a Michelin star level of service without the painful price tag and enjoy a glamorous afternoon tea or luscious lunch in the perfectly restored surroundings of the Colonnades.
• The Signet Library, Parliament Square, EH1 1RF – thesignetlibrary.co.uk/colonnades
2. Eating something truly exotic at Kublai Khans
Not many of us busy Edinburgers have the time or money to travel the world and sample different and exciting foods from other cultures. Luckily, if you’ve got a hankering for some exotic meats you can try everything from zebra to kangaroo at Leith-based Mongolian restaurant and takeaway Kublai Khans. There’s also the added excitement of seeing your dinner cooked on a traditional Mongolian barbecue before it’s served.
• 43 Assembly Street, EH6 7BQ – khublaikhan.co.uk
3. Meandering through the Meadows with a crepe from Tupiniquim
On a good weather day there’s no nicer place to be in Edinburgh than wandering the lush, grassy Meadows with a Tupiniquim wrap in hand. You can’t eat in at this cafe since it’s housed in a tiny former police box, but half the fun of buying your lunch here is finding a comfy spot in the nearby grass and tucking in al fresco. Nothing tastes better than a sweet or savoury crepe eaten in the Scottish sunshine.
• Green Police Box, Lauriston Place, EH3 9AU – tupiniquim.co.uk
4. Taking in the stunning Castle view at Chaophraya...
Tasty Thai food coupled with a jaw-dropping view of Edinburgh Castle and beyond makes every visit to Chaophraya an unforgettable experience. Watching the sun set from their rooftop restaurant with a cocktail in hand might even trick you into thinking you’re on holiday.
• 4th Floor, 33 Castle Street, EH2 3DN – chaophraya.co.uk/venues/chaophraya-edinburgh
5. ...or see the city from the other side at the top of Tower Restaurant
Across the other side of town you can take in a different but equally beautiful view of Edinburgh from Tower Restaurant at the very top of the National Museum building. On sunny days or warm nights you can even sit outside on their balcony and look out across the old town as you enjoy a gourmet dinner or some well-earned drinks.
• National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, EH1 1JF – tower-restaurant.com
6. Wolfing and walking your way around the city
There’s nothing more satisfying than burning off your calories as you ingest them and the Eat Walk Edinburgh foodie tour lets you do just that. You’ll visit at least five different Edinburgh establishments for sustenance in the form of tasting plates between touring both the Old and New Towns on foot. Even longterm Edinburgh residents are sure to learn something new about the history of their hometown, as well as getting to sample some sumptuous treats.
7. Snagging an exclusive table at the tiny Dubh Prais
Seating just 24 diners at full capacity, Dubh Prais on the Royal Mile has to be one of the smallest restaurants in the city. You’re unlikely to simply stumble upon this place – hidden behind a single unassuming door on the High Street – but you’ll feel like a celeb if you manage to snag a table. Book in advance and look forward to proper Scottish food at its finest with outstanding service from the staff.
• 123b High Street, EH1 1SG – dubhpraisrestaurant.com
8. Getting cosy in the Gardener’s Cottage
Once the 19th century home of the Royal Terrace Gardens head gardener, this B-listed cottage is now a restaurant where you can have a truly unique social dining experience. Visit for dinner and you’ll be served a set six course seasonal menu as you chat with fellow diners at the long, communal tables. Leave your phones at home and prepare to chat to your heart’s content with fellow foodies.
• 1 Royal Terrace Gardens, London Road, EH7 5DX – thegardenerscottage.co
9. Sampling gourmet grub in a former warehouse
Until recently the site of modern gourmet restaurant Timberyard was a working timber warehouse, but now the building has a new lease of life. Often likened to the top dogs on the Edinburgh restaurant scene – including the Michelin starred Martin Wishart and The Kitchin – Timberyard’s edgy take on fine dining is enhanced by its chic industrial decor.
• 10 Lady Lawson Street, EH3 9DS – timberyard.co
10. Eating what you’re told at Edinburgh Food Studio
The restaurant at Edinburgh Food Studio is a heavenly hidden gem for most local food lovers, but don’t expect to be able to study the menu online before your booking rolls around. The creative culinary minds at the studio don’t publish their menus in advance – instead you’ll eat what you’re given, just like when you were a kid. The upside to this loss of control is that you’ll be served a delicious and unique four course tasting menu, made with seasonal ingredients and put together by skilled and ever-changing guest chefs. No two visits here will ever be the same for your palate.
• 158 Dalkeith Road, EH16 5DX – edinburghfoodstudio.com
11. Feasting on the foraged fruits of Edinburgh
While many restaurants in the city use local Scottish ingredients and produce on their menus, Wedgwood the Restaurant goes one step further. Many of their dishes incorporate foraged leaves and other wild ingredients which co-owner and head chef Paul Wedgwood picks himself from various Edinburgh river banks. Often hailed as one of the greenest cities in the UK, it only seems right that real Edinburgh foodies should sample delights grown naturally right here in town.
• 267 Canongate, EH8 8BQ – wedgwoodtherestaurant.co.uk
12. Grabbing some sun (and a bite) in the Grassmarket
On a sunny summer’s day nowhere in Edinburgh feels more European than the Grassmarket. With plenty of pedestrianised cobbled streets and pavement cafes, you can dine al fresco here at all manner of places. For the full foodie experience we’d recommend sitting out at the Mussel and Steak Bar with a très French portion of moules frites, or grabbing a hog roll to takeaway from nearby Oink and taking up residence on a Grassmarket bench. Of course, a trip to Mary’s Milk Bar is always required when the sun is shining here, too.