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Top 10 Edinburgh Restaurants

by Dinah Hatch

Top 10 Edinburgh Restaurants

It’s festival time! No, not the ones where you watch Coldplay from two miles away in the drizzle wearing your wellies and eating a £9.50 bag of chips. We mean the Edinburgh Festival, where artists, singers, comedians, actors and every other talent you can imagine converge purely to entertain you. But, take it from an annual festival goer, it’s exhausting dashing from one show to the next all day and you need a booking at a wonderful restaurant at the end of the day to keep you going. Here are our top ten spots to treat your tastebuds (in no particular order)...

Showing below are all 4 records in "Top 10 Edinburgh Restaurants"

21212 Restaurant with Rooms (Restaurant)

3 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh

21212 Restaurant with Rooms, 3 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh

Housed in one of the city’s handsomest streets in Royal Terrace, Paul Kitching’s 21212 is named after the number of courses available (two first courses; one second course; two main courses; cheese; two puddings). There is no obligation to them all, of course (although it is seriously tempting), and its rather nice not to be bedazzled by an array of choice sometimes and put your faith in chef. Each course is an explosion of ingredients carefully matched to make you plead for the next. Kitching is known for his crazy concoctions (which always work) and 21212 is no exception.

The Gardener's Cottage (Restaurant)

1 Royal Terrace Gardens, London Road, Edinburgh

The Gardener's Cottage, 1 Royal Terrace Gardens, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh

This unpretentious foodie hotspot is housed in a Willian Playfair-designed cottage at the foot of Calton Hill and presents a wonderfully communal dining experience, its two cosy rooms filled with long tables that diners sit at (offering marvellous opportunities to eye up what others have ordered). Co-owners Ed Murray and Dale Mailley are very serious indeed about sourcing their ingredients from Scotland’s foremost farmers, producers and foragers and the result is a menu that harmonises the earth’s produce with the chefs’ skills beautifully. The Cottage has a very loyal following, in thrall to a seasonal seven-course menu that changes daily, so book ahead. But even if you can’t get an evening table, pop in at lunchtime for the likes of potted kipper or venison salami.

Restaurant Martin Wishart (Restaurant)

54 The Shore, Edinburgh

Restaurant Martin Wishart, 54 The Shore, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh

Fans of elegant French cooking can call off the search. This superchef’s imaginative, seasonal dishes have been wooing diners in the city ever since 2001 when a Michelin star was awarded for the first time in Edinburgh. Wishart devotees flock to 54 Shore in Leith to savour detailed, exquisite dishes delivering delicate flavours. Wine buffs also make a beeline here, with a list that starts at an OK £26 and soars to premium £1k plus vintages. Try the six course tasting menu for £85 if you are feeling flush (Peterhead mackeral, Loch Fyne Crab Rose Marie, Shetland monkfish, roast breast of Goosenargh duck, raspberry pistachio lychee sorbet Sichuan pepper curd, Valrhona Guanaja chocolate mousse) or nip in for a three-course £32 lunch.

The Witchery by the Castle (Restaurant)

Castlehill, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh

The Witchery by the Castle, Castlehill, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh

An Edinburgh stalwart since 1979, The Witchery sits atop The Royal Mile in the shadow of the castle and has been visited by all manner of celebrity in town but it does not rest on its rather famous laurels and is still a contender on this list despite wonderful newcomers like Timberyard. Choose from the dark, oak-panelled and Hogwartian traditional restaurant, a former merchant’s home, where all daylight cares fade as you ensconce yourself for the next few hours or opt for the rather more modern and airy Secret Garden, entered via a pulpit reception. In either one, the secluded, clandestine Auld Reekie settings are breath-taking. The food, needless to add, matches the sense of occasion. A total treat.

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