Eating out in Edinburgh

Lunch and supper

Have you heard? We have no fewer than 5 Michelin starred restaurants in Edinburgh. If you think they'll be way out of your budget, think again. A glorious lunch awaits you for under £30 per person. Around the city centre, there's the ever inventive Paul Kitching at 21212, Number 1 restaurant at the grand Balmoral Hotel and Dominick Jack's creative, delicious flavours at Castle Terrace Restaurant. A short bus ride to Leith brings you waterside, where Tom Kitchin celebrates 'Nature to Plate' at The Kitchin and Martin Wishart brings a French twist to Scottish produce at his namesake restaurant.

We've many exciting young chefs who are making waves. They focus on flavours, their menus changing regularly with the seasons. Check out Gardeners Cottage, not far from the shopping streets, where they pick vegetables and herbs from their own garden. And at Blackfriars just off the Royal Mile, you can make your choice between tasty bar snacks or a meal in the restaurant – a real haven for meat lovers. 

Our Scottish seafood is exported across the world, so don't miss the chance to savour succulent scallops, the freshest mussels you can imagine or perhaps some of our wonderful langoustines. The Mussel Inn on Rose Street is a firm favourite for laid back eating. Alternatively, try Ondine for something more sophisticated or Fishers in the city or in Leith with its great value early evening menu.

If you're on the move and need something speedy, we've got some fabulous eating spots. Union of Genius is a soup cafe, each day offering 6 different soups that cater for any dietary requirement, all served in recyclable packaging. Look out for their soup van Dumbo on George Square too. Social Bite is another truly unique fast food spot – every single penny of their profits is donated to good causes and a quarter of their workforce is made up of formerly homeless people – and their sandwiches are extremely good too. We've also got an astonishing array of artisan bakeries in town, where you'll not only find fantastic sourdough and yeasted breads, but savoury tarts and pastries and lots of sweet somethings too, of course. 

Afternoon Tea

We've definitely got a penchant for afternoon tea in Edinburgh which very nicely embraces our love of really good coffee and tea. Whilst we wouldn't suggest going as far as one blogger did and trying 100 different espressos, you truly are spoilt for choice. The experts behind Artisan Roast are considered the kings of coffee. They have their own cafés, but also supply many of the best cafes in the city. The queen of teas has to be the award winning Pekoe Tea – you can sample their range in their shop in Tollcross and in many other fine establishments across Edinburgh. Luckily, if you get addicted to either, you can purchase their products online.

Visiting a city is exhausting work, so why not reward yourself with afternoon tea? If you like the surroundings to match the sumptuous array of sandwiches and cakes, head for Gran Caffe at the Signet Library (weekdays only) or Peacock Alley at the Caledonian Waldorf Astoria. For a more relaxed atmosphere, head for Anteaques (whose tea blends are supplied to may Edinburgh cafés) or Lovecrumbs, where you just might find your favourite cake in the wardrobe (really). It's also probably the best place in town for cheese scones.

Food to buy, share and savour

Visit a market and get to the heart of the city. Edinburgh's Farmers' Market must surely have one of the most impressive backdrops of any market, with the castle looming above. It's held every Saturday morning from 9am to 2pm – stallholders vary from week to week, but you'll find all types of meats, cheeses, fruit and vegetables, pies and beers. 

Stockbridge Market can be found on Sundays in the heart of the Stockbridge area of Edinburgh and now on Saturdays in the Grassmarket, just round the corner from the Farmer's Market. Here you'll find a more diverse range of foods. Markets that are particularly good for streetfood include the Platform 2 market at Waverley Railway Station (every Friday from 11 am to 7pm) and the Tram Stop Market (right outside John Lewis) on Thursdays and Saturdays. We're particularly fond of Jones and Son's pulled pork and macarons from Mademoiselle Macaron. 

If you're visiting on a day when there's no market, there are still plenty of fabulous food shops to visit. Iain Mellis has 3 mouth-watering cheese shops across the city where you can sample many wonderful cheeses made in Scotland, or visit Coco Chocolate and the Chocolate Tree, both in Bruntsfield. If you're looking for presents, head for Cranachan and Crowdie on the Cowgate – it's stocked full of food and drink and every item is made in Scotland.

After hours

We're justly proud of our drinks in Edinburgh. You'll find ingredients made in house for a taste you'll not find elsewhere – head to Sygn for cocktails especially curated by the bar team, or if gin is your thing, there's Heads & Tales, Edinburgh’s latest gin bar. What makes this one extra special is that it is also a distillery with two stills! 

Innis & Gunn pioneered beer aged in whisky barrels for that extra special taste – you can visit their headquarters for special tastings. Or if something sparkling is more up your street, look no further than the G & V hotel (until recently called Hotel Missoni) for the best Prosecco in town or to sign up for a masterclass. And of course, there's whisky. You've probably heard it said before, but there truly is a whisky for everyone, and what better place than Edinburgh to discover your tipple? Eat at the Dining Room at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society and taste the amazing single cask malt whiskies they bottle there while you're at it. 

Wherever you're heading, make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment. For more delicious forays into Edinburgh's wonderful world of food and drink, check out Danielle's blog, Edinburgh Foody.