Posh haggis, pub grub and the perfect hotels – check out this guide to find the coolest places to stay and the best restaurants to book in Edinburgh.
Edinburgh is lots of things; handsome, gregarious, ancient and delightfully quirky. One of the best ways to make the most of this wonderful capital is to discover its countless hotels and restaurants.
Eating in Edinburgh is an experience all its own – with eateries ranging from cozy pubs serving up traditional Scottish fare to Michelin-starred wonders and elegant seafood spots.
As for the best hotels in Edinburgh, take your pick from a selection of stellar stays. Swish retreats, kid-friendly stays and gothic glamour – whatever your style, the Scottish capital delivers.
From deciding where to stay in Edinburgh with a family to hunting down the finest haggis in town, it’s important to get the most out of your stay in charming ‘Auld Reekie’. To help you on that quest, here’s a rundown of the coolest foodie hotspots and greatest stays in the city.
Best restaurants in Edinburgh
For Scottish seafood: Ondine
Roll up your sleeves and get cracking – Ondine is the freshest seafood joint in the city. The gorgeous sea bream curry, shellfish platters and relaxed vibe mean it’s where everyone wants to be. Grab a seat by the window – the panoramic views over Edinburgh’s old town provide an enchanting dining experience.
The catch on your plate comes from local legends such as Welch Fishmongers, a family-run business that’s been working the east coast shoreline since the 1890s. Ondine also team up with Scottish fishermen to source the most succulent lobster around.
For gluten-free pizza: Mamma’s
Locals have been feasting on Mamma’s handmade pizza since the 1980s. Long before the days of takeaway apps, this was the first pizza-delivering restaurant in Scotland. Since then, there have been five marriages among Mamma’s team – testament to the old adage that food is truly the way to the heart.
So go ahead and fill up on pizza, pasta, fries, salads, nachos, brownies and ice cream floats. Looking for something a little out of the ordinary? Try ‘The Soprano’, which arrives at your table crowned with salmon, feta, capers, spinach and corn.
For great pub grub: The Scran & Scallie
This gastro pub in the suburb of Stockbridge nails fine fare in one of the city’s most affluent neighborhoods. Its tartan-and-tweed aesthetics work with and against the hip, modern wallpaper from Scottish design house Timorous Beasties.
Dine on lobster ravioli, game pie, or braised hogget shoulder – but should you be hankering for pub staples, The Scran & Scallie is the one of the best restaurants in Edinburgh for fish and chips. Here they’re cooked by a kitchen containing not one, but two Michelin-starred chefs.
For Nordic-style fare with a Scottish twist: Timberyard
Scotland’s capital isn’t renowned for its Scandi-esque cuisine, but Timberyard is the perfect fit for sustainable food enthusiasts. On the lunch and dinner menu are venison, scallop and pigeon dishes, washed down with inventive drinks such as woodruff and meadowsweet cream soda.
The setting is a cleverly converted warehouse with wood-burning stove and plenty of rugs. The edible flowers and herbs comes straight from the garden, meat and fish are smoked on site, and other produce is handpicked from local artisan growers.
Best hotels in Edinburgh
For gothic glamor: The Witchery
Think Downton Abbey with a dash of Dracula. Walls are covered in luxurious red velvet, chapel-like bathrooms glimmer with gilded gold, while gothic four-poster beds lure you in. The Witchery is without a doubt Edinburgh’s most extravagant stay.
Each of its dramatic suites offers something unique – the Old Rectory with its show-stopping silver bathtub, the Turret’s lavish super king-sized bed, and the Library’s secret bookcase that doubles as a door leading to a hidden bathroom.
If you can tear yourself away from your flamboyant chamber, your table in the Secret Garden restaurant downstairs awaits. Your Instagram account is about to go into overdrive.
For cozy charm: B+B Edinburgh
Wondering where to stay in Edinburgh on a budget? Award-winning B+B Edinburgh delivers great value alongside a cool ambiance. This privately owned boutique bed and breakfast hotel offers a range of accommodation from single occupancy to large family rooms.
Each features a mix of pristinely retained Victorian period features – painted ceilings, grand fireplaces and brass fixtures – blended with quirky design details. Spend some time in the lounge – the dark wood, marble furnishings and galleried library have a timeless romance about them. Breakfast feels like a four-star affair, especially if you opt for the Full Scottish with haggis and square sausage.
For historic family retreats: The Scotsman
Position yourself in the heart of the city and its history with a stay at four-star hotel The Scotsman. These Baroque buildings were once home to The Scotsman newspaper, which is still going to this day. If you’re wondering where to stay in Edinburgh with kids, this spot puts you nice and close to the castle and the Royal Mile.
Even better, the curved bay windows of your room at The Scotsman will be looking right over them. Family appeal isn’t limited to the location: there’s an indoor swimming pool, onsite restaurants with kids’ menus, babysitting service, multiple room options, and even Edinburgh Monopoly board games to while away an hour or two.
What’s your favorite Edinburgh dish or destination? Be it a dinner, drink or dreamy hotel – tag us in your Scottish travel photos on Instagram.