golden embossed sign that says "Bramble"

Bramble Bar

Casual and unassuming, Bramble is on the World’s 50 Best Discovery List for a reason. The bartenders here make the best cocktails in the city.
Editors' Picks
bar and restaurant with a polished wooden bar and an ornate ceiling

Cafe Royal

Located across the street from The Balmoral hotel, Cafe Royal is an ornate Victorian bar offering a wide array of ales, whiskies and seafood.

Mum's Great Comfort Food

This merry neighborhood watering hole serves elevated pub grub (the Wagyu beef burgers come from the purveyor who supplies Zuma and Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons) and hipster reinterpretations of Scottish staples. Sausages and mash sounds a bit more exciting when the mash comes in varieties like black pudding with apple and caramelized leek with bacon.

It seemed appropriate, and quite Scottish, on a chilly autumn evening, to indulge in a whisky cider while waiting for my pumpkin and sage savory pie to appear. I had just finished congratulating myself on my order when the waiter emerged with a puff pastry as voluminous as the 16th-century Scottish crown I had seen on display earlier that day at Edinburgh Castle. "Well it's a pie, not a daisy!" he quipped gleefully upon seeing my stupefied expression. Needless to say, I wasn't allowed to get up from the table until I had made a passable effort to finish my vegetables (“Seriously, it's Mum's restaurant!”). Mum's vigilance aside, the pub's versatile menu and irreverent vibe make it a fun place for children to experience the local cuisine. Portion sizes are generous, so dessert-lovers should plan to save room for decadent Scottish specialties like cranachan: toasted oats and whisky-marinated raspberries blended with vanilla cream.

Number One

Edinburgh's Michelin mainstay, located in the Olga Polizzi-outfitted basement of the Balmoral Hotel, earned its star back in 2003 and has maintained it ever since. The plush dining room, refurbished in crimson and velvet, is a refined retreat perfect for enjoying Chef Jeff Bland’s innovative Scotland-by-way-of-France cuisine.

Editors' Picks
shiny red store front with a photo of pandas in suits over the window

Panda & Sons

For those seeking the city’s best speakeasy, look no further than Panda & Sons, located in what looks like a vintage barbershop.

Rollo Restaurant & Wine Bar

A local favorite, this restaurant and wine bar in Stockbridge serves upscale small plates like lamb salad and haggis bon bons.
nearly empty whisky glasses on a bar

SCOTCH Whisky Bar at the Balmoral

Housing over 500 varieties of Scotch whisky, SCOTCH is a “don’t miss” whisky bar for both whisky novices and connoisseurs.

The Dome

Housed in a former bank building, The Dome's magnificent Greco-Roman facade and towering columns set the stage for four extraordinary dining establishments in Edinburgh.

The Gardener's Cottage

Multi-course tasting menus all too often involve a dress code, a steep check and postprandial penance, be it a calorie-induced coma or a three-day juice cleanse. The Gardener's Cottage, so named because it occupies the former residence of the royal palace gardener, offers a mercifully low-impact approach. Situated on a lonely hillside, with candlelit communal tables and an open kitchen, the cottage is a fairytale of warmth and bonhomie. The menu is earnest and uncomplicated, with culinary exhibitionism ceding the spotlight to Scotland's seasonal bounty. My November visit met with hearty hedgehog mushroom tagliatelle and fresh apple juice infused with sea buckthorn (an antioxidant-rich orange berry that grows on Scotland’s coastal shrubs). Everything, from the fennel crackers that accompanied the roasted winter squash, to the traditional oatcakes served with local cheese, was made in-house.

Editors' Picks
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The Kitchin

The Kitchin is a Michelin-starred jewel that offers contemporary, “nature to plate” Scottish fare with a French twist in Edinburgh. Read Indagare's review.

The Raeburn

Set in an old Georgian house in the trendy Stockbridge neighborhood (about a ten-minute drive from Old Town), The Raeburn consists of a fashionable boutique hotel, lauded restaurant and cool bar. The handsome cocktail space features tufted leather booths, wood paneling and copper and brass fixtures. Outside there is a garden terrace with oak picnic tables that are perfect for an afternoon aperitif on a sunny day. Don’t miss a meal at the restaurant, where the warm atmosphere is matched by a locavore menu of updated British classics. Game features heavily on the menu, and on Sundays the kitchen cooks up a classic roast that draws a crowd of sophisticates and hipsters.

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The Scran and Scallie

The Scran and Scallie in Stockbridge serves elevated Scottish pub fare, including steak pie and seafood, in a cozy, rustic-chic setting.
Editors' Picks

The Ship on the Shore

This casual, yet sophisticated establishment in the hip waterfront district of Leith serves some of the city's best seafood. Don't miss the delicious Shetland mussels, Loch Creran oysters, Scottish lobsters or king scallops.

The Witchery by the Castle

For more than four decades, The Witchery has served traditional Scottish fare in a 16th-century building near the summit of the Royal Mile. Legend has it this Old Town institution is haunted by the ghosts of women who were burned at the stake on neighboring Castlehill during the reign of James VI. Children are welcome at lunchtime and in the early evening, when the restaurant serves its popular pre-theater supper.

Editors' Picks
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This Old Town restaurant serves multi-course tasting menus of locally-sourced fare in an industrial-chic space.
Editors' Picks

Urban Angel

Either of Urban Angel's friendly cafés (there is another at 1 Forth St.) makes a charming place to refuel while shopping on Princes Street or taking in the New Town sights. Espresso and pastries are conveniently available for take-away throughout the day, but those who can manage a proper time-out will be rewarded with wholesome, satisfying food. Oatmeal porridge with honey is a breakfast worthy of any brisk Edinburgh morning. At lunchtime, vegetable chili with coriander rice and citrus crème fraîche hits the spot.


The menu at this contemporary Scottish kitchen features sustainably sourced seafood and unusual wild herbs foraged along Edinburgh's riverbanks – often by Paul Wedgwood himself. The restaurant also curates lovely bespoke picnic hampers for those who prefer to enjoy their lunch in a park or atop one of Edinburgh's seven hills.

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