You’ll find exceptional food on your trip to Scotland, and the efforts of restaurateurs in Edinburgh and the Lothians are no exception to this. Here are a few of our top choices, showcasing the quality and variety available in and around the Scottish capital.
Wedgwood the Restaurant
Situated on the busy Royal Mile leading up to Edinburgh Castle, Wedgwood the Restaurant is the culmination of years of working under top culinary stars for Head Chef Paul Wedgwood. Paul and his wife and business partner Lisa aim to offer a relaxed dining experience for diners as they work their way through a Scottish inspired menu, including foraged ingredients gathered by zoologist and forager Ben Robertson. There’s a real emphasis on quality of ingredients at Wedgwood, so deciding on a dish from the delicious menu can be tough. To help diners who find themselves caught in a culinary conundrum, Wedgwood the Restaurant has introduced “Deciding Time”, which consists of canapes and a glass of champagne to delight the taste-buds whilst decisions are being made.
Michael Neave Kitchen & Whisky Bar
Young Scottish chef Michael Neave brings real passion to his restaurant venture. He’s made the time to go out and meet the growers, farmers and fishermen who provide him with his ‘Scottish larder’. The menu at Michael Neave Kitchen & Whisky Bar makes stars of these local ingredients, putting them centre stage in dishes such as West Coast Scallops and Stornoway black pudding, Aberdeen Angus sirloin steak and Scottish salmon with steamed shellfish. Given this restaurant comes with in-built whisky bar, you can accompany your meal with whichever whisky from a very wide range takes your fancy, including Single Malts, Blended Malts and whiskies from beyond the Scottish border. Found in the Old Town, this restaurant is a wonderful option to add to your Edinburgh itinerary.
Number One at The Balmoral
Looking for something particularly special to add to your golfing trip? Then a meal at Michelin-starred Number One at The Balmoral could be just what you need to make your visit even more memorable.
Taking pride of place on prestigious Prince’s Street in the centre of Edinburgh, The Balmoral exudes elegance and history in equal measure. Built in the imposing architectural style you’ll see much of around Edinburgh, The Balmoral’s striking stone clock tower rises high over the city. The Head Chef at Number One at The Balmoral is Mark Donald. Donald’s menu offers contemporary cuisine with creative flair – current dishes include Highland Wagyu beef, beetroot, smoked bone marrow and bitter lead, and North Sea cod, pickled clams, sea kale and tarragon. The restaurant also offers a tasting menu for £95 a person, which can be paired with sommelier selected wines for a sumptuous full dining experience within the stylish confines of The Balmoral.
If you’re looking for something a bit different and quite intimate, then The Table on Dundas Street could be for you. The Table is a conceptual restaurant and the concept is this: there are ten seats, around one table, and two chefs to cater for them all. With a focus on European cooking, The Table allows for only one sitting per evening, where each of the ten guests will work their way through a seven course tasting menu. As owner and talented chef Sean Clark and his fellow chef work to put together elevated, modern dishes, guests – who are sat overlooking the open-plan kitchen - can ask questions about the process to better understand how each dish comes together. This stylish and unique restaurant sets out to offer a relaxed, high-quality experience, and is likely to be one of the most unique dining experiences you’ll encounter in the capital.
Le Roi Fou
Winner of the Scottish Food Awards 2018 prize for Classic Cuisine Chef of the Year, Le Roi Fou credits itself as being a ‘restaurant des artistes’. This award-winning restaurant, found on North Street in Edinburgh, has a range of menus available to fit around your Edinburgh travel plans. As well as the standard a la carte menu, Le Roi Fou also features a tasting menu and a pre-theatre menu. Their menus draw from local waterways such as Lindisfarne and the North Atlantic for their ingredients, before applying a continental European twist in the cooking. Swiss-French chef-patron of Le Roi Fou, Jerome Henry, only opened his restaurant in 2017, but it has already built a strong reputation for delectability upon the foundations of Henry’s experience cooking for celebrity clientele in London restaurants such as Les Trois Garcons and Mosimanns. Experience his cooking talent for yourself after a trip to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, which is only around the corner.
The Bonnie Badger
A charming hotel with a cosy pub and restaurant offers a sophisticated take on traditional pub classics. Recently refurbished by Tom & Michaela Kitchin, this stunning restaurant is in the heart of the Eastern Lothian’s coastal village of Gullane. Dating back to 1836 when it first opened as an Inn, this pub, restaurant and hotel has always been an important part of the local village. Located just 10 minutes walk from the award-winning beach, Gullane Bents, the Bonnie Badger is perfect for a meal after a day of exploring. The menu offers modern versions of the typical pub classics based around chef Tom Kitchin’s ‘From Nature to Plate’ passion, using only the freshest, locally sourced produce. Choose from the restaurant's à la carte menu which features daily seasonal specials, or have a snack in the pub throughout the day.