Looking for the best Edinburgh restaurants? We've found the best places to eat in the Scottish capital. From the top restaurants in Edinburgh to places for brunch, cafés and bars, we have all of the local favourites here...


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olive's top 10 best places to eat and drink in Edinburgh

Foodie neighbourhood spotlight: Stockbridge

Perched on the Water of Leith river and blessed with eye-catching architecture, this hip, upmarket inner suburb is a very pleasant 25-minute walk from central Edinburgh. Beyond its period charms (check cobbled Insta fave, Circus Lane), it is also a tasty place to eat.

Acclaimed fine dining restaurants eòrna and Avery, which previously operated in San Francisco, rub shoulders with ambitious gastropub, the Scran & Scallie, cool basement small plates joint, Skua, and the Last Word Saloon, sister bar to legendary cocktail spot, Bramble. Wine geeks will love pace-setting wine bar, Smith & Gertrude (do not miss its grilled Montgomery cheddar sandwich) and the shopping opportunities at treasure trove, Raeburn Fine Wines, Vino and newcomer, Communique Wines. To accompany those wines, food shop at Stockbridge Market (Sundays) or cheesemongers IJ Mellis or George Mewes. Before the steep climb back into Edinburgh, refuel on next-level croissants at revered bakery, Lannan, or take a moment in craft beer haven, Stockbridge Tap, or Edinburgh Cider Co’s The Cider House.

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Where to stay in Edinburgh

Market Street Hotel

Edinburgh's first member of the Design Hotels group is a slick and slender 98-room pad in the city centre that’s topped with a panoramic champagne lounge and terrace. Top and tail your weekend here, with breakfast from the gourmet pantry or the chef’s counter, then return for a glass of fizz and Queenie scallops as the sun sets over Edinburgh’s dramatic skyline.

Doubles from £142 per night, check availability at booking.com, mrandmrssmith.com or expedia.co.uk

A modern white stone building against the Edinburgh skyline

Rutland Hotel

If you fancy something a bit different to the usual hotel offering The Rutland offers one and two-bed apartments that tick every box in terms of luxury. The roomy apartments are plushly furnished with colourful squishy sofas and dreamy kingsize beds. Rainfall showers, well stocked mini bars, coffee pod machines and treat boxes mean you are taken care of on arrival but still perfectly placed in the centre of town if you want to stock up on goodies. If you are after instant gratification, gourmet steak restaurant Kyloe, The Huxley cocktail bar and Edinburgh Gin Distillery are all housed in the same building.

Doubles from £320, check availability at booking.com or expedia.co.uk

A room at Rutland Apartments featuring a large bed with a white frame, black and white patterned wallpaper, tall black lamps and velvet curtains

olive's top 10 best restaurants in Edinburgh

The Little Chartroom

For modern Scottish

Chef Roberta Hall-McCarron’s Chartroom embodies Edinburgh’s new wave. Once best known for relatively traditional high-end dining, the city is now abuzz with chefs making clever, creative use of Scottish produce in hip, convivial restaurants. Chartroom dishes of mackerel, kohlrabi broth, hazelnut, apple and lovage; or cod, BBQ maitake mushroom, pea, lettuce, shrimp and nori butter, reflect that thirst for new ideas. Sister wine bar and restaurant, Eleanore, is well liked and, this summer, the Chartroom will open neighbouring café and bar, Ardfern. thelittlechartroom.com

The Little Chartoom


The hot seat

Actually, make that hot seats, plural. For chef Stuart Ralston’s team has, at big-ticket restaurants, Aizle, and fish-focussed Lyla, been pivotal in pushing Edinburgh forward. Italian Tipo and the New York inspired Noto are the cool, casual cousins in this growing family. At each the cooking sparkles with sharpness and finesse. Noto’s eclectic sharing plates, in which East Asian flavours shine, might run from Arbroath smokie croquettes with katsuobushi to a beef tartare black garlic potato rösti. Its warm crab butter with sourdough is a contemporary classic. notoedinburgh.co.uk



The special experience

This corner restaurant in Leith is very much a contemporary fine dining experience. Its modish styling and warm vibe create a relaxed setting for chef Sam Yorke’s technically deft one Michelin star cooking. Enigmatic menu descriptions, such as monkfish with “Squash ǀ Mussel ǀ Chipotle ǀ Juniper”, barely hint at the creativity, therein. For example, that monkfish tail is first marinated in homemade shio-koji and, amid its many thoughtful elements, is served in a mussel sauce finished with chipotle and juniper butter, also used to baste the fish as it cooks. Staff happily talk curious foodies through this culinary magic. heron.scot



The one locals love

Formerly Gulp Ramen (and yes, its broth game remains strong), this compact, colourful Leith Walk venue now serves, as well as its much-loved noodles, sandos and dumplings, smartly executed, Asian-influenced small plates. Think barbecued veal sweetbreads with fermented passion fruit and togarashi, or Shetland scallop, black pudding, gochujang butter and Bei Bei pumpkin. mirin.uk


Kitchen Table

A banging brunch

Twelve Triangles bakery is renowned for its sourdoughs, croissants and specialities such as its house kimchi and cheddar swirls. Extending that talent into brunch dishes was a natural evolution. Located amid a small hub of indie food action on Easter Road, the menu at TT’s Kitchen Table ranges from ’nduja, taleggio and honey toasties or a green lentil dhal, to fried cardamom and panela cake with bramble compote, toasted buckwheat and yogurt. twelvetriangles.co.uk


Spry Wines

A wine winner

Behind its Georgian façade, Spry is every inch the modern wine bar: a serene, minimalist space specialising in natural wines, whose short produce-led menu delivers deliciousness in dishes of Tamworth pork, chicken mousse and cauliflower; or nettle ravioli, hazelnut and wasabina leaf. Local foodies also treasure Spry’s basement coffee shop, café and bakery, Ante. sprywines.co.uk

Spry Wines | Izat Arundell

Café St Honore

Date night spot

Located down a cobbled New Town lane, this cute bistro rocks a timeless 1920s Paris look. Broadly French in inspiration, its daily menu features some British and European dishes, too. Think game terrine with celeriac remoulade and cornichons to start, then tomato and pea risotto with Corra Linn cheese. A sustainability pioneer, chef director Neil Forbes is passionate about preserving artisan kitchen skills (in butchery, for example) and uses predominantly Scottish and often organic ingredients. Café St Honore also retails ‘at home’ dishes at Edinburgh Farmers’ Market on fortnightly Saturdays. cafesthonore.com

Cafe St Honore Lobster Tortellini copy


The one chefs rate

Clued-up foodies adore this Portobello fresh pasta shop where you can pick up, say, tagliatelle or lemon and ricotta cappellacci to eat at home, accompanied by sauces such as an eight-hour braised beef ragu or chicken broth for tortellini. Æmilia also serves a daily take-out sandwich, such as porchetta on its house focaccia, luxuriously lubricated with a parmesan and pork drippings béchamel sauce. On Sundays, check its chicken and roasted garlic aïoli sandwich. aemilia.online



Foodie destination

Opened in 2012, the Radford family’s funky warehouse bar-restaurant was a game changer. In its stripped-back aesthetic and foraged ingredients, low-intervention wines and homemade soft drinks, it was an early example of that post-Noma shift away from bells and whistles luxury, to an emphasis on seasonality, simplicity and artisan skills. Timberyard retains that cutting edge and, last year, the kitchen’s inspired use of the Scottish larder (lobster gougère and fermented tomato; aged guinea fowl and bolted greens with smoked yogurt and wild garlic) was rewarded with a Michelin star. Late in 2023, Timberyard opened sister restaurant and bar, Montrose. timberyard.co

Timberyard Landscape

Harajuku Kitchen

Cut-above casual

Born into a family of restaurateurs from Fukuoka, chef-owner Kaori Simpson was naturally drawn to hospitality. At Harajuku, this Slow Food supporter applies family and traditional Japanese recipes to Scottish produce, to create winning plates of prawn gyoza, karaage fried chicken, donburi bowls (including the rafute, with slow-cooked Okinawa-style pork belly), stir-fried udon noodles and sushi. Harajuku has a second outlet at food hall, Edinburgh Street Food. harajukukitchen.co.uk


Foodie experiences in Edinburgh

The Free Company, Balerno

This regenerative farm outside Edinburgh supplies vegetables and rare-breed meats to many of the city’s best chefs. In its handsome restaurant, a former cowshed, chef Craig Turner deploys this stellar produce in an ultra-seasonal six-course menu, unusually priced on a ‘pay what you think it’s worth’ basis (guide £60-70pp including reservation fee). A spring dish of smoked beef fat jerusalem artichokes with sunflower seed emulsion, kohlrabi sauerkraut and skirlie (fried oatmeal) gives you a flavour of Craig’s work. Look out for periodic farm tour and lunch packages, too. the-free-company.com

The Free Company

Summerhall Distillery

From public tastings at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society to Saturday tours at craft beer aces, Pilot, Edinburgh is a dream destination for inquisitive drinkers. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2024, Summerhall Distillery, home of Pickering’s Gin, hosts various tastings and tours led by a dedicated visitor team. Gin lovers can explore the drink’s history, the botanical flavouring process, opt for a hidden, 1920s-style speakeasy experience or learn to make cocktails that pair with Scottish cheeses. summerhalldistillery.com

Summerhall Distillery

Foraging with Wedgwood

Growing up in rural Lancashire, Paul Wedgwood fell in love with the flavour of nettles and has been foraging ever since. For over a decade the chef has led small groups on two-hour foraging walks around an East Lothian loop that takes in farmed, woodland and coastal habitats. It is smoothly planned – guests are given pre-picked and cleaned snack bags of foraged ingredients to eat as they explore. Later they head back to Paul’s Edinburgh restaurant for a tasting menu created using foraged produce. Dates February-August or by request. wedgwoodtherestaurant.co.uk


More of the best restaurants in Edinburgh chosen by the olive team

Tipo – for Italian sharing plates

In Edinburgh’s Aizle and Noto, chef Stuart Ralston and front-of-house ace Jade Johnston have created some of the city’s most exciting modern restaurants – contemporary spaces with pin-sharp cooking. A soothing mixture of natural materials and neutral tones, Tipo (named after the 00 pasta flour) is their Italian excursion, in sharing plates of ricotta gnudi in shellfish bisque or pappardelle with Scottish crab, chilli and parsley. Exceptional ingredients are paired with simplicity, restraint and, at times, ingenious creativity. Tipo’s savoury zeppole (mini doughnuts) is, explains chef de partie Aaron Mosedale, “a version you can’t really find anywhere else, tossed in paprika and dusted in pecorino”. tipoedinburgh.co.uk

A plate of zeppole (mini doughnuts), tossed in paprika and dusted in pecorino

Cardinal – for a tasting menu showcasing Scottish produce

Chef Tomás Gormley has accumulated experience at some of the Scottish capital’s finest restaurants (Michelin-starred Heron and Skua) to launch his first solo venture. The 13-course tasting menu showcases Scottish produce, focusing on fermentation (think ibérico pork cheek with fermented girolles and hen-of- the-woods) and cooking on the wood-fired BBQ (such as smoked Belhaven lobster with pink fir potatoes and chives). cardinal.scot

Chef Tomas Gormley

The Palmerston – for nose-to-tail dishes

The Palmerston inhabits a former bank in Edinburgh’s West End, a history that is reflected in the room’s grand dimensions, although dark green painted walls, warm wooden floors and tables and paintings by local artists give the space a more casual neighbourhood bistro vibe. Owners James Snowdon and Lloyd Morse keep things ticking from 9am with a morning menu of fresh pastries and coffee but come lunch and dinnertime it moves into more serious cooking territory.

The concise menu changes daily depending on what’s available from local suppliers and cooking is confident and hearty with a focus on nose-to-tail eating. A generous slab of Mangalitsa and rabbit terrine is dense, peppery, porky and mildly gamey served with cornichons and warm grilled sourdough. Courgette salad comes with a piquant lemony, herby dressing and little bursts of crunch and creaminess from toasted walnuts and goat’s curd. Fish cooking is on point – a perfectly pan-fried chunk of monkfish is served on a bed of pretty rainbow chard and charlotte potatotoes, then topped with a salty, umami black olive dressing. We manage to fit in a slice of Victoria plum and hazelnut tart at the insistence of our server and it’s a delight – crisp pastry, dense warm frangipane and sweet plums – a memorable end to a faultless meal. thepalmerstonedinburgh.co.uk

The interior at The Palmerston, featuring dark green painted walls, warm wooden floors and tables and paintings by local artists

Ardfern - for Scottish brunch staples and more elaborate plates

Husband and wife team Roberta Hall-McCarron and Shaun McCarron (The Little Chartroom and Eleanore) are opening a third restaurant in Leith with a relaxed coastal feel. The all-day service will start with Scottish brunch staples (think homemade haggis with tattie scones), then move into casual plates such as braised beef shin. Come evening, elaborate dishes include shrimp and langoustine potato rosti paired with a match from the 100-strong wine list. Opening spring/summer 2024. @ardfern_edinburgh

Dish from Ardfern Edinburgh

Dulse – for Scottish seafood

Chef Dean Banks puts the spotlight on Scottish seafood at his first-floor neighbourhood restaurant in Edinburgh’s West End. International twists liven up the fish that’s straight off the boats, including lobster crumpet with yuzu brown butter, seared hake with kimchi hollandaise and baked North Sea cod in Goan curry. The wine and cocktail bar downstairs is great for a pre-dinner aperitif, such as the signature pepper dulse and Lunun Gin martini. dulse.co.uk

The downstairs bar at Dulce featuring bright blue chairs, wooden tables and plants

Hawksmoor – for a Sunday roast

Bottomless jugs of thick, varnish-like bone marrow gravy, huge fluffy yorkies and a molassey sticky toffee pudding served with clotted cream – that’s what Sunday roast dreams are made of, and probably why this Scottish outpost serves up to 180 of them every week. Founders Will Beckett and Huw Gott say Sunday roasts are really about two things: memories and produce. “We have so many memories of meals with people we love dating right back to our childhood, and Sunday roasts were always a special occasion at our homes. A really great roast needs really great produce and Scotland is probably the best place in the world for that. One of our happiest times was travelling around the country meeting passionate farmers and eating amazingly well – the Hawksmoor Edinburgh Sunday roast is the result!” thehawksmoor.com

A tray topped with a white plate with slices of meat, vegetables and roast potatoes on

Twelve Triangles - for pastry perfection

This benchmark bakery, which has seven Edinburgh outlets, including its Kitchen Table café, is all about artisan craft. Both in its baking and the way – in homemade pickles, ricotta, cultured butters, ice creams or house condiments – it builds superior flavour into every element of its work. Baking-wise, check TT’s miche-style rye starter sourdough, its twice-baked pain au chocolat (topped with a brown sugar, ground hazelnut and toasted sourdough breadcrumb frangipane) or its croissant
dough kimchi swirls. “There’s something about the funky, sour spiciness of kimchi mixed with a strong cheddar that’s truly delicious,” enthuses co-founder Emily Cuddeford. twelvetriangles.co.uk

Hero bakes: miche sourdough; mixed-seed house loaf; sourdough hot cross buns; kimchi swirls; twice-baked pain au chocolat.

Colonnades, Signet Library – for afternoon tea

The ornate creations served within the Colonnades are as dazzling as the interiors of this stunning Georgian library. Bespoke silver tea stands arrive laden with modish savouries, such as a beetroot and goat’s cheese choux or roasted courgette pesto focaccia. Scones follow, but also an array of jewel-like sweet items as varied as spiced apple frangipane tarts and blackberry and matcha bubble tea. thesignetlibrary.co.uk

Considerit – for vegan desserts

Plant-based, vegan, dairy free: Considerit ticks all the boxes. Grab an iced cinnamon bun or gorgeously gooey Oreo or Biscoff doughnut plus an oat milk latte or vegan ice cream milkshake at this low-key bakery and cafe (all chipboard benches and student vibe) on Edinburgh's Southside. Before you leave, stock up on their hand-crafted chocolate bars (popcorn, chai spice and smoked sea salt flavours). consideritchocolate.com

Edinburgh Fermentarium – for kombucha

Swing by the Saturday morning farmers market, below the castle, to give your gut a boost. At Edinburgh Fermentarium's stall you can sample tubs of sauerkraut (meadowsweet is mix of lemongrass, lime leaf, carrot, onion, chilli peppers, ginger and salt), kimchi and sauerkraut water or buy a scoby to make your own kombucha. edinburghfermentarium.co.uk

Lannan Bakery - for elevated pastries

Stockbridge is a rising foodie hot spot, particularly around Hamilton Place (Smith & Gertrude wine bar, restaurant Eòrna, etc). Darcie Maher’s handsome takeaway bakery, Lannan, is also big news. Expect to queue on Saturdays for its revered viennoiserie or cardamom buns. Lannan’s crème brûlée danish, an upmarket croissant pastry custard tart, is a must-eat if available. “The custard has to be just set, glossy, super-wobbly, and the sugar on top torched a deep, amber caramel,” says Darcie. Lannan’s savoury items are gorgeous, too. Merguez, braised fennel and Monte Enebro cheese sausage rolls arrive in an ornate croissant pastry lattice. Instagram @lannanbakery

Hero bakes: croissants; cardamom buns; crème brûlée danish; coffee and caramelised white chocolate pain suisse; Kissabel apple pies.

Crème brûlée pastries at Lannan bakery

East Coast Cured – for Scottish charcuterie

Wander down to Leith to check out Scottish charcuterie producer East Coast Cured. This family business creates a range of cured meats in the store's basement; think earthy venison, pork and sloe gin salami, rare-breed smoked chorizo, Saddleback pork saucisson sec and pungent porcini and truffle salami. eastcoastcured.com

Kyloe – for the best Scottish steak

There are other things on the menu (including spankingly fresh local seafood like scallops with café de paris butter) but steak is the star of the show at Kyloe, sourced solely from great Scottish suppliers including the award-winning Hardiesmill. The grass-fed, dry aged, pedigree Aberdeen Angus steaks are a revelation, expertly cooked and served simply with a choice of classic sauces and sides including bone marrow gravy, beef shin mac n cheese and crunchy dripping chips. kyloerestaurant.com

pedigree Aberdeen Angus steaks on a wooden board with a green salad

Damm 27 – for a hearty lunch

Grab a booth for lunch at rustic-chic restaurant Damm 27. Dishes are designed for sharing but portions aren't dainty. Tuck into a hearty one-pot spiced aubergine caponata with salty slabs of grilled halloumi, the rich stew layered with peppers, capers olives and onions or rich bouillabaisse packed with chunks of fish, prawns and mussels, charred gruyere-topped bread to soak up the juices. Facebook: MeadowsTapEdin

Bross Bagels – for bagels

Join the queue at one of the four branches of Bross Bagels (Leith, Portobello, the West End and Bruntsfield) launched by Canadian comedian, Larah Bross, in Edinburgh in 2017. Each has a tailored selection but try a Montreal (traditional cream cheese, salmon, red onion, capers, dill and a squeeze of lemon on a sesame seed bagel) or a Hungry Vegan (smashed avo, tomatoes, chilli oil and rock salt on a multiseed bagel). brossbagels.com

Grazing by Mark Greenaway – for bistro vibes

Chef Mark Greenaway has moved out of his eponymous restaurant – and into the Waldorf Astoria. Grazing by Mark Greenaway is a big, bustling bistro with turquoise banquettes. Start with treacle sourdough smeared with duck skin butter then choose from big and small plates and a smattering of concept dishes – order the 'BBQ Shitake mushrooms, toast, truffle' the mushrooms sprouting from a chunk of a trunk. And to finish? Sticky toffee pudding soufflé. markgreenaway.com

Lady Libertine – for cocktails

In the dimly lit basement of the Edinburgh Grand, bearded bartenders rustle up mean martinis and bespoke cocktails at hipster hangout Lady Libertine. The ground floor bar has a unique vibe (think fin de siècle European train station) and an extensive sherry menu. Sip a La Gitana manzanilla or glass of Fernando de Castilla Antique Palo Cortado and step back in time. ladylibertine.co.uk

Aizle – for a surprising tasting menu

Aizle is set in the beautiful Garden Room at the Klimpton Hotel. The multi course tasting menu changes constantly depending on what is available and there is a real focus on low waste/sustainability with everything from the addictive black treacle soda bread and koji butter to the aged kombucha in the cocktails made in house. Don’t expect to read a menu online, you’ll only know what you are having when you sit down at the table but do expect delicate, refined dishes such as Cured trout, fermented daikon and tomato water dashi and Oyster and shitake mushrooms with parmesan cream and king oyster mushroom jelly. aizle.co.uk

A chocolate whisky dessert with miso ice cream and kataifi pastry plus a plate of petit fours

The Lookout by Gardener's Cottage – for earthy ingredients with views of the city skyline

The latest restaurant from chef Dale Mailley - whose rustic-chic, communal dining field-to-fork favourite, Gardener's Cottage, was joined in 2017 by a Leith-based bakery, Quay Commons - has hungry diners running up the hill. All clean, pared back lines inside a glass box built on a cantilever and part-suspended over the north-west slope of Calton Hill it's part of the new City Observatory complex, redeveloped by The Collective as a contemporary art venue. Think sweeping views of the city skyline and out over the Firth of Forth as the backdrop for Mailley's ever-inventive menu of seasonal dishes such as cured sea trout with scurvy grass, malted rabbit and hare yakitori.

Fhior – for innovative seasonal cuisine

Scott Smith wowed Edinburgh diners with his first restaurant, Norn, in Leith. Having bagged Edinburgh Restaurant of the Year, the announcement of its sudden closure sent shockwaves across the city. Fans didn’t have to wait long to taste his cooking again, however; his follow-up project, Fhior (Gaelic for true), opened on Broughton Street in summer 2018. In a string of small Scandi-chic rooms, the restaurant serves four- and seven-course tasting menus with a playful element that lets seasonal ingredients sing. Eye-poppingly creative dishes live up to the hype: ‘baby gem lettuce, hogget, pea, goats' curd', for instance, entails warm braised lettuce, tender, torn lamb, sweet peas and puree offset by a tart, tangy goat's curd. fhior.com

Langoustine dish at Fhior

White Horse Oyster and Seafood Bar – for a classic seafood feast

You can't beat 'a buck a shuck', and Oyster Happy Hour runs from 4-6pm Monday to Thursday at the White Horse Oyster and Seafood Bar at the bottom of the Royal Mile. This sleek seafood restaurant, in what was once an 18th-century inn, has a bespoke green marble bar, custom-designed oyster tank, leather banquettes and exposed stonework, and dishes up a smorgasbord of seafood. The smattering of exquisite small plates designed for sharing includes tender octopus with pine nut, mint and basil, moreish monkfish satay, chargrilled mackerel with pickled beetroot and horseradish and crab and crayfish toast with chilli, orange and avocado, as well as traditional seafood platters. whitehorseoysterbar.co.uk

Toast – for Edinburgh's first wine café

Leith's vibrant waterfront has long been a foodie hub with its jostling of Michelin-starred restaurants and quirky gastropubs. Toast, a cool jazz-filled wine café in an old art gallery on The Shore is a buzzing place for brunch. Think exposed brickwork, a mix of high tables and turquoise velvet banquettes and tables spilling out onto the pavement. Tuck into a creamy bowl of porridge with roasted pistachios, coconut and honey, Mexican inspired huevos rancheros, chilli and lime-infused smashed avocado with sun-blushed tomatoes on sourdough toast or shakshuka, that rich tomato, roast pepper, chilli, onion and aubergine stew baked with two eggs. The wine list is the other draw, of course. Wines by the glass are changed weekly to keep the locals on their toes and around a third of the 100 or so wines on the list are organic, natural or biodynamic. toastleith.co.uk

The American Bar, Gleneagles - for 1920s prohibition glamour

Where? A 45-minute drive from Edinburgh is the five-star, 100-year-old hotel Gleneagles. Tucked away within the hotel is The American Bar. It has a 1920s and 30s opulent interior with stylish touches such as Scottish heather-dyed cashmere wall panels.

What to order? The bar’s latest cocktail menu, The Book of Berries, is inspired by pocket Observer Books and focusses on the botanical berry. Wanting to create deep bonds within the setting, the bar has creatively used ingredients from the hotel itself. Drinks such as the Cucumber – cucumber ends from the hotel kitchen used to create a cucumber wine which, combined with gin and a jasmine liqueur, results in a bright, refreshing and slightly savoury cocktail. Other intriguing serves include the Bell Pepper made with the cores of red pepper, a mai tai style drink using an orgeat derived from avocado pits, and the Blueberry cocktail created with surplus blueberry muffins baked at the hotel. The signature serve is the martini – using one of three gins created in partnership with South Loch Distillery in Edinburgh. gleneagles.com

Opulent 1920s interior of The American Bar, Gleneagles

Lowdown – for cosy chats over coffee and cake

Lowdown Coffee is a cool café in the bright basement of a grand Georgian terrace on George Street. Owner Paul Anderson sources his beans from Swedish coffee roaster Koppi, founded by champion baristas Anne Lunell and Charles Nystrand – who also occasionally hold workshops and tastings at Lowdown. The inspiration for the clean, minimalist design was Japanese not Scandinavian, however. Anderson studied furniture designer and his father was an architect and the space feels more like a friend's flat than a café with its kitchen counter-layout. The whole place is designed to encourage social interaction – yes cosy chats over coffee and cake. lowdown.coffee

Cairngorm Coffee – for approachable coffee culture

The capital is sprinkled, cappuccino chocolate shaker-style, with independent coffee shops and micro-roasteries and Cairngorm Coffee is one of the best. Owner Robi Lambie veered down different design routes for his two branches, setting them apart from the mainstream chains. The Frederick Street basement café with its rustic, rough-hewn wood groove is mountain hut chic. You could hole up here nursing a latte for days amongst the coffee bean sacks. Melville Place, however, is a sleeker, more contemporary option. Think high tables (a bar of wood sandwiched between copper) along with copper angled iPad holder tables and state-of-the-art equipment: the first Sanremo Opera espresso machine in Scotland. And the coffee? Roasted in the Cairngorms, of course. cairngormcoffee.com

Twelve Triangles – for slow fermented sourdough and pastries

From dough to doughnuts: Twelve Triangles' story began back in 2015 with a spot of experimentation - slow ferment, cold-prove doughs. Now, this tiny bakery just of Leith Walk sells a range of breads – including a dark and devilish charcoal loaf, gourmet doughnuts and pastries. It’s also since expanded to a second branch in Portobello and the Twelve Triangles Kitchen Table, a café, gathering place and the venue for regular fermentation workshops. twelvetriangles.co.uk

The Bearded Baker – for bagels, doughnuts and coffee

Rowan Taylor is the Bearded Baker – or bagel man. At this cute little joint in Canonmills you can choose from a range of combinations running from your classic smoked salmon, cream cheese, pickled cucumber and dill to the P.B.B – smooth peanut butter and sliced banana with an optional drizzle of honey. He also makes a mean doughnut, plump and doughy, caked in sugar and oozing fillings from white chocolate and pecan to lemon meringue. thebeardedbaker.co.uk

Smith and Gertrude – for cheese and wine

Whether you want to sink a pint or nurse a peaty dram Edinburgh has more than its share of hipster hangouts, sleek whisky bars, old-world pubs and late night drinking dens. Smith and Gertrude, in perkily pretty Stockbridge with its delis, patisseries, cheesemongers, butchers and bakeries, is a new departure, however, a retro-chic wine bar that’s all reclaimed wood flooring, vintage radiators and a simple concept: wine, cheese, company. The carefully curated wine list features natural, organic and biodynamic bottles, as well as orange wines. It serves daily changing wines by the glass, weekly wine flights and regular tastings. And then there's the cheese – from Ubriaco, an Italian cow's cheese served with aged Balsamic to an Irish Killeen with quince – along with charcuterie platters. smithandgertrude.com

A weekend break in Edinburgh

Start your day at the stylish Söderberg, located in the heart of the Quartermile, where you can enjoy your morning coffee with cardamom-laced buns. Walk around the Old Town, then head to modern Japanese bistro Harajuku Kitchen for Kaori Simpson’s tempura, sushi, gyoza and noodle dishes.

Enjoy a breath of fresh air out on Portobello beach, where charming restaurant The Little Chartroom has set up a takeaway kiosk in front of the arcade. BBQ-finished dishes include tempura oysters and cheffy flatbreads with fillings such as tandoori carrots and octopus with clams and XO sauce. It’s worth heading to the original intimate restaurant on a Sunday, when they swap out the meat main course on the set menu for a twist on a classic Sunday roast.

As evening approaches, pay a visit to small plate-focused Noto, a minimalist restaurant located down a cobbled New Town alley where New York meets Asian cuisine (don’t miss the char siu pork bao with teriyaki and spring onions). Or try nose-to-tail dishes at brand-new The Palmerston, housed in a former 20th-century bank in Edinburgh’s West End. Alternatively, check out Fhior for Scandi-chic dining, where you can choose from four- or seven-course tasting menus that let seasonal ingredients sing. End the evening with martinis and bespoke cocktails at Lady Libertine, in the atmospheric basement of the Edinburgh Grand.

Where to stay

Top and tail your day at the Market Street Hotel, with breakfast from the gourmet pantry or the chef’s counter, then return for a glass of fizz and Queenie scallops as the sun sets over Edinburgh’s dramatic skyline. Doubles from £130 per night, check availability at booking.com


Photography credits: Stephen Lister (Cardinal)

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