The Ultimate Guide to the Best Food and Drink in Edinburgh
When it comes to food, Edinburgh has something for everyone.
From traditional Scottish meals to international cuisine, the city is home to a diverse range of dining options that are sure to satisfy even the most discerning palates.
In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the best food and drink options in Edinburgh and in the charming neighbourhood of Bruntsfield to give you a wide range of options to choose from when staying in Scotland’s capital city.
From the city’s thriving food scene to Bruntsfield’s top-rated restaurants, bars, and nightlife venues, we’ll show you everything that Edinburgh has to offer when it comes to dining and nightlife.
So, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned local, read on to discover the best food and drink in Bruntsfield and throughout Edinburgh.
History of Scottish cuisine
Scotland has a rich history that dates back centuries. It’s known for its hearty, comforting dishes that are perfect for our country’s often cold and rainy climate.
Traditional Scottish cuisine is based on locally sourced ingredients such as beef, lamb, fish, and game, as well as hearty staples like oats, barley, and potatoes.
Some of the most common Scottish meals and snacks to look out for whilst visiting Edinburgh include:
- Haggis, neeps and tatties
- Scotch broth
- Cullen Skink – a deliciously creamy seafood soup
- Black pudding
- Tattie scones
- Aberdeenshire butteries
- Dundee cake
- Sweet treats like shortbread and tablet
Edinburgh’s food scene
Edinburgh is home to a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and bars that showcase the best of Scottish cuisine. Whether you’re looking for a cozy pub serving up fish and chips or a Michelin-starred restaurant offering a tasting menu, you’re sure to find something that suits your taste buds in Edinburgh.
The Edinburgh food scene is renowned for its quality, diversity, and creativity. With a thriving restaurant scene, innovative chefs, and access to some of the freshest ingredients in the country, Edinburgh is a must-visit destination for food lovers.
Keep reading to discover some of our top picks for restaurants in Edinburgh!
Famous Edinburgh foods
Edinburgh is famous for its hearty, comforting cuisine that’s perfect for warming up on a chilly Scottish day. From savory dishes to sweet treats, there are plenty of famous Edinburgh foods that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.
One of the most iconic Scottish dishes is haggis, a meat pudding made from sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs that are minced with onions, oatmeal, and spices (we know it sounds rough, but it’s genuinely delicious!).
Haggis is often served with neeps and tatties, which for non-Scots are mashed turnips and potatoes, as well as a whiskey sauce to go on top. While it might sound daunting to some, haggis is a must-try dish when in Edinburgh, or anywhere else in Scotland! You can also sample vegetarian Haggis in most restaurants if the sheep liver is a bit too much for you…
In addition to haggis, Edinburgh is also famous for other hearty dishes like Cullen skink, a creamy soup made with smoked haddock and potatoes, and Caledonian cobbler, a meat pie filled with lamb or beef and topped with mashed potatoes.
For something sweet, try cranachan, a dessert made with whipped cream, toasted oats, honey, and raspberries.
The best food and drink spots in Edinburgh
If you’re a food lover visiting Edinburgh, you’re in luck – the city has a thriving culinary scene with something to suit every taste.
From traditional Scottish cuisine and Scottish seafood, to international dishes ranging from Indian to Japanese, you’re bound to find something to tickle your tastebuds when in Edinburgh.
Here are a few of the most popular Edinburgh restaurants we recommend checking out:
This Michelin-starred restaurant in the Leith area of Edinburgh is known for its inventive, modern Scottish cuisine. Chef Tom Kitchin sources many of his ingredients from local suppliers, resulting in fresh, flavorful dishes that attract visitors from all over the UK and beyond.
Discover more about The Kitchin through their site.
For seafood lovers, Ondine is a must-visit. This elegant restaurant overlooks the historic Royal Mile and serves some of the freshest, most delicious seafood in the city. Discover a mix of creative and traditional Scottish seafood at a reasonable price in Edinburgh at Ondine.
If you’re looking for something a bit different, head to Dishoom for some delicious Indian-inspired cuisine. The restaurant’s stylish decor and creative menu make for a memorable dining experience.
Dishoom is in the centre of Edinburgh on St Andrews Square, just off Princes Street.
The Scran & Scallie
This gastropub in the Stockbridge area of Edinburgh offers hearty, comforting dishes made from locally sourced ingredients.
The menu changes frequently to reflect the seasons, but you can always count on tasty pub classics like fish and chips and steak and ale pie when visiting The Scran & Scallie.
Dulse is the perfect spot for Scottish seafood. Located in Edinburgh’s west end, you’ll find fresh fish with internal twists to create a menu that is both varied and traditional.
Discover mouthwatering and unique seafood dishes such as lobster crumpet with yuzu brown butter, seared hake with kimchi hollandaise and baked North Sea cod in Goan curry.
Located in the heart of Edinburgh – but named after a district of Tokyo – Harajuku Kitchen specializes in modern Japanese bistro dishes and traditional family recipes.
Expect a delicious range of dishes perfect for sharing, including tempura, sushi, and noodle dishes. For main courses you’ll be able to choose between meat or vegetarian, with options such as tempura aubergine curry, tofu teriyaki and pork gyoza dumplings all available.
These are just a few of the many fantastic restaurants in Edinburgh – be sure to do some exploring and see what other delicious dining options the city has to offer!
Bruntsfield’s dining and nightlife scene
Located to the south of Edinburgh’s city centre, Bruntsfield is a charming and vibrant neighbourhood that boasts a variety of independent shops, cafes, and restaurants. It’s a popular destination for both locals and visitors alike, offering a unique blend of historical charm and modern amenities.
If you’re looking to discover the vibrant nightlife and delicious eateries in the delightful neighbourhood of Bruntsfield, then this section is for you!
Check out some of our top recommendations for eating and drinking in Bruntsfield:
A popular Bruntsfield spot with a lively atmosphere and delicious food, including brunch favorites like eggs benedict and avocado toast.
Montpeliers is one to add to your list if you’re looking for a fun, evening drinking haunt in Bruntsfield.
This cozy gastropub serves up a range of tasty dishes, from burgers to seafood to vegetarian options. It’s bar is laid-back and offers a fantastic selection of beers, cocktails and wine.
The Blackbird is a must-stop if you’re staying around Bruntsfield or Morningside!
The Hanging Bat
A must-visit for beer lovers, this quirky bar offers a wide selection of craft beers and ciders, as well as tasty snacks like Scotch eggs and sausage rolls.
The Hanging Bat is the perfect place for an early evening drink after a day of exploring the city.
A former church that has been converted into a unique bar, you’ll find a great range of craft beers and ales as well as pub grub, good tunes and a friendly atmosphere at The Cloisters!
If you’re keen to set up base in Bruntsfield as you explore the historic city of Edinburgh, one of the most welcoming and sophisticated places to stay is Black Ivy Boutique Hotel.
With our stylish decor, fantastic restaurant, lively bar, and inviting outdoor terrace, it’s the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day of exploring the local area. Why not check out the available rooms to get an idea of what to expect?
If you’re keen to discover more about what the area of Bruntsfield has to offer, you can do so via our blog on the best things to do in Bruntsfield.
Black Ivy in Bruntsfield
In addition to all of the great cafes, bars and restaurants in Bruntsfield, Black Ivy’s own restaurant and bar is without doubt one of the best places for food and drink in all of Edinburgh. We’re open 7 days a week and serve food from 8am – 10pm every day, with fantastic options for breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner!
We offer a varied menu that is vegan and vegetarian friendly, with our in-house restaurant serving up a wide range of delicious dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. Book a table now for the date and time that you need!
We also boast a lively bar which is the perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine in Bruntsfield. Plus, our outdoor terrace is the ideal spot to soak up the Scottish sun (when it’s shining, of course!).
Our terrace stays open and serves drinks until 1am every night of the week, so if you’re ever looking for a fun and welcoming spot to unwind in when in Bruntsfield, our outdoor terrace is the perfect location for you!
Whether you’re after a fantastic dining and nightlife experience in Bruntsfield, or are simply in need of a comfortable and welcoming place to stay during your trip to Edinburgh, look no further than Black Ivy Hotel and Restaurant. We offer fantastically priced rooms and are located in a quiet but convenient location that is only 15 minutes from Edinburgh’s Old Town by foot.
You can conveniently book a room online or give our team a call to find out more about our service, prices and location.
You can reach us at: 0131 564 1901.