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As Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh has a certain dining standard to live up to; especially when the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is in town during the summer. A wide variety of cuisines, atmospheres and styles make up Edinburgh's restaurant scene, offering its inhabitants and tourists numerous options: traditional Scottish cuisine (don't forget to order haggis), Thai cuisine, French cuisine, Italian cuisine; Fluid Edinburgh has it covered with the best restaurants in Old Town, New Town, Leith and the West End.
Restaurant Martin Wishart
Leith / Restaurant / Cuisine: Modern British
Restaurant Martin Wishart boasts an elegant and romantic atmosphere with its cream and chocolate coloured walls and gently lit rooms, but it's the food that draws diners in from far and wide. Found in the Port of Leith, this restaurant is a combination of two worlds, presenting the very best of both traditional and more contemporary French cuisine, yet using only the finest Scottish ingredients. It has been well rewarded for its efforts, having been presented Edinburgh's first Michelin Star in 2001, and repeating that achievement every year since. With one chef for every two guests, you're virtually guaranteed to have an impressive meal, and always with that added personal touch.
New Town / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Thai
Thai restaurant in New Town - There aren't many Thai restaurants in Edinburgh that can boast a rooftop view of Edinburgh Castle like this. This New Town hidden gem is one of those restaurants that can. It's not just the splendid views that put this restaurant in our Top 10, though. The opulent decor also helps out; and so does the authentic, modern, creative Thai cuisine and masterful drinks, all enjoyed under the glass ceiling, free from the (occasionally) tiresome elements outside. A restaurant that certainly provides that wow factor!
Old Town / Restaurant / Cuisine: Scottish
Royal Mile - This Scottish restaurant certainly didn't make this list for it's affordability, but it still remains the typical choice for a Top 10 restaurant enumeration. For a posh night out, it's definitely recommended. Ideally located on Edinburgh's historic Castlehill, this luxuriantly decorated rustic restaurant is highly reputed throughout the city. Many celebrities have tasted the renowned Angus beef, smoked salmon and lobster dishes, and savoured fine wine from its award-wining selection
Old Town / Restaurant / Cuisine: British
A restaurant called Heights promises at least one thing, and so it's hardly surprising that the restaurant is found in the tops of a hotel in Grassmarket, presenting an absolutely stunning romantic panoramic view of Edinburgh Castle from its windows. Still, once the gasps have died down and the vision clears, diners will start to focus on their food a bit more. Luckily for them, Heights also boasts a fine-dining experience to match its sumptuous views. Using only locally sourced suppliers, Heights may be found in a hotel, but it works hard to provide a luxurious experience of Scottish cuisine with a local touch, the food and the view serving to ensure you never forget exactly where you are.
Carlton Hill / Restaurant / Hotel / Cuisine: French
21212 restaurant likes to be different. Not many fine-dining restaurants offer a suite of luxury rooms for when you're ready to call it a night. At the other end of the scale, this Michelin starred restaurant also offers a two course lunch on weekdays from as little as £20. And, just to keep everyone on their toes, they also like to change the entire menu of French style cooking every single week. At least the restaurant itself remains fairly constant: a beautiful Georgian townhouse with contemporary furnishings yet with many of its original features still in tact. This is the only place to come for a little variety in a well-known setting.
Old Town / Restaurant / Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Old Town - The Kurdish and Middle Eastern restaurant on Johnston Terrace in Old Town is undeniably one of the best restaurants in Edinburgh. Hanam's offers a wide variety of flawlessly spiced traditional dishes including a range of perfectly grilled shish kebabs, delightful vegetarian casseroles, and all sorts of delicious meat dishes. Not quite hungry yet? Well, I just like to take a seat, relax with a shisha and some tea, and enjoy a snack or a light, yet rich Middle Eastern delicacy.
Leith / Restaurant / Cuisine: Modern British
Leith - Located near Leith Docks, practically on the Firth of Forth, this is a lovely restaurant to dine in, not only for its scenery, but also for its spacious and nicely decorated dining area. Its French-influenced British cuisine is one of a kind, as the menu changes with the seasons, depending on the products provided by each period of the year. Only organic and local produce is used to concoct these scrumptious starters and dishes, which will please those to whom ethical dining is essential
Old Town / Restaurant / Cuisine: French
Old Town - I can't afford to travel to Paris to indulge in exquisite French cuisine. But luckily, this restaurant is right around the corner, conveniently located on Victoria Street. The traditional 'carte du jour' includes mergez sausages, foie gras starters, fondues and scrumptious duck, steak and fish. Their extensive menu even includes excellent North African and Scottish dishes. Edinburgh students on a budget, take note: elegant 3-course dinners are a very affordable price on Tuesdays.
Number One Restaurant
North Bridge / Restaurant / Cuisine: Scottish
An outstanding culinary experience, this Michelin-starred restaurant, situated in the Balmoral Castle, is rich in style and luxurious atmosphere. Some of the striking features include golden-velvet banquettes and rich-red lacquered walls shipped from Hong Kong. The walls are adorned with art from the Institute of Art in London which give the restaurant its unique atmosphere. The team provides exceptional cuisine using only the finest and freshest Scottish ingredients. Poached scallops, foie gras, asparagus, Barbary duck, and cauliflower and truffle risotto are only some of the spectacular dishes you can taste. A full a la carte menu is offered alongside the chef's six-course tasting menu.
Hotel du Vin Bar & Bistro
Old Town / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: French
True French cuisine in the heart of Scotland capital. Dark-stained floorboards, restored fireplaces, framed pictures and paintings, soft lighting and comfortable chairs make this venue one of Edinburgh's most pleasant. This restaurant serves up dishes that are fresh, seasonal, locally sourced and - where possible - organic. The prices are moderate, the ambience elegant and comfy. The menu includes classical French onion soup and British rock oysters, Normandy chicken and 28-day dry-aged steaks, and desserts such as crème brûlée and tarte tatin. There is a sommelier, always on hand ready to advise, guide, match or recommend the perfect wine. You can also dine alfresco if you ask nicely.
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