Gastronomy in Edinburgh

food in Edinburgh
Updated by vera2019 on 15 October, 2019

Edinburgh has more restaurants per head than anywhere in the UK, making this city a foodies' delight. Whether you're after traditional Scottish dishes, international cuisine, or fine dining, you will find food for all palettes in Scotlands capital.

Traditional Scottish food

You have most likely heard of haggis, Scotland's national dish. This is certainly not a dietary staple in Edinburgh, despite what the stereotype may say! However, there are plenty of restaurants in the city where you can try haggis served the traditional way - with ‘neeps' (swede) and ‘tatties' (mashed potatoes), and a whisky sauce.

Other classic Scottish dishes include venison, Cullen Skink fish soup, scallops and black pudding, and salmon dishes.

Some of Edinburgh's best restaurants to try classic dishes at include Makars Gourmet Mash Bar, Whiski bar and restaurant, The Scotch Whisky Experience, and the Royal McGregor pub on the Royal Mile.

International cuisine in Edinburgh

Edinburgh offers a huge variety of restaurants - any cuisine you can name, and you will find restaurants serving it up. Indian food is especially popular in the UK, and you will find Indian restaurants all over the city. Other multinational culinary delights you will find in Edinburgh include Cantonese, Thai, Japenese, Turkish, Lebanese, and Italian amongst others.

Street food is less common in Scotland than in other countries (mainly due to the weather!) but there are pop-up food festivals throughout the year. A weekly staple is The Pitt food market in Leith. This indoor and outdoor event features local suppliers and cultural fusion-type dishes, with live music and a bar too. The Pitt should definitely be on your Edinburgh to-do list!

Fine dining in Edinburgh

Edinburgh currently has three Michelin-starred restaurants, as well as several other highly accredited eateries. Michelin-accredited locations include Restaurant Martin Wishart and The Kitchin in Leith, 21212 off the east end of Princes Street, and Number One inside the Balmoral Hotel.

Other must-visit restaurants showcasing the best of Edinburgh's culinary scene include The Witchery on the Royal Mile, Timberyard near the Grassmarket, and Aizle in Southside.

Breakfast and brunch in Edinburgh

Meeting friends for brunch is a popular social activity in Edinburgh, and there are plenty of cafes of varying budgets to try. A traditional Scottish cooked breakfast comprises of fried egg, bacon, Lorne sausage, buttered toast, baked beans, black pudding and/ or haggis, Lorne sausage, and tattie scones. It is undoubtedly a filling selection!

Other popular breakfast and brunch options with locals include eggs and avocado on toast, and Eggs Benedict, as well as healthy and vegetarian options.

Top brunch spots in Edinburgh include Loudons in Fountainbridge, The Pantry in Stockbridge, Urban Angel in the city centre, and Montpeliers in Morningside.

Afternoon tea in Edinburgh

Brits love afternoon tea! This meal comprises of small sandwiches and savouries, scones with jam and clotted cream, and cakes; all served with tea or coffee.

Edinburgh's most luxurious hotels all offer afternoon teas, as well as bakeries and cafes around the city.

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