Edinburgh Gastronomy: Cafes, Bars, Restaurants – Road.Travel

Edinburgh Gastronomy: Cafes, Bars, Restaurants

Road Trip Route. Have breakfast with oysters., Lunch at a Michelin-starred restaurant., Drink Scotch whisky..

The answer to the question "Where to go from England for the weekend" at first glance seems ridiculous: what a first-world problem, all of Europe is on your doorstep, and airfares can be cheaper than a taxi. But on closer inspection, it's not as simple as that: there aren't many destinations where you can plan a two-day holiday without spending one of them on the road. One of them is Edinburgh. Daria Radova has put together her guide to the cool bars and restaurants in the Scottish capital.

Gastronomy. From: Edinburgh

Daria Radova. Travel Expert.

Travel Itinerary and Road Trip Route

Day 1: Where to eat and drink in Scotland's capital?

I've rounded up not just the best bars and restaurants, but also those that use local farm products and walk to them through historic districts and landmarks. Almost all of them are within walking distance from the city centre.


Edinburgh is a small city. The train from London arrives right in the heart of the city, at Waverley station near the historic city and Edinburgh Castle. There are plenty of restaurants, shops and hotels nearby and you can check in as soon as you arrive. Which means no travel time, a quick way to drop off your luggage, have time to eat dinner and return to your hotel. By doing so, you can have a full Friday night and have an experience instead of arriving and going to bed.

Brasserie Prince

For breakfast we head to Brasserie Prince by Alain Roux. Michelin-starred chef Alan Roux of the famous Roux dynasty is in charge of the restaurant's cuisine. The menu is a fusion of French cuisine and Scottish culinary traditions. The latter has a reason: Brasserie Prince was named after Prince Charles Edward Stuart, touchingly referred to in Scotland as "Prince Charlie the Handsome". For breakfast, don't be greedy and go straight for the oysters - all the seafood here is excellent, and there are usually several kinds of oysters, depending on the morning's catch. Aperitifs include delicate champagne cocktails with rose syrup and dried flowers.


For lunch, you can head to the small, cosy restaurant, cleverly disguised as a hotel restaurant, which actually has so much more to offer. Paul Kitching and his partner Cathy O'Brien are in charge of the kitchen - they both have 60 years' experience in Michelin restaurants. They opened their hotel and restaurant 21212 in 2009. In 10 years, the restaurant has won numerous awards and its own Michelin star. There is no point in writing what we ate there, as the menu in the restaurant changes every week. For example, back then it had smoked salmon and haddock baguette and the Pink Panther, a glazed Victorian biscuit.


A more relaxed place to dine, without a Michelin star, but with a strong recommendation in the Michelin Guide. The small, family-run restaurant cooks with Scottish farmers' produce and blends it with cuisines from around the world. Taisteal's multicultural approach emerged when founders Gordon Craig and his wife Lucy travelled to China. Must-try pork breast and cheeks with cauliflower and Scotch egg, and roast venison with topinambour and truffle ravioli. It's a case of eating the ingredients individually - they're so fresh and high quality (thanks to the Scottish farmers!).

Restaurant Martin Wishart

We have dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant with a very long list of awards. Inside is a typical environment, everyone eats in silence, the music plays very quietly. So it's worth getting ready to talk in whispers (but the food is worth it). A visit to Martin Wishart can be combined with a stroll around Leith, the historic part of Edinburgh next to the waterfront and the harbour. The restaurant was created by Martin Wishart, one of Britain's best-known chefs and arguably the most famous in his native Edinburgh. He studied with French restaurateur Albert Roux, rebellious chef Marco Pierre White and chef and broadcaster John Barton-Reiss - from each of his mentors he seems to have learned the best to open his own restaurant. The beautiful thing is that even though Wishart has become a virtuoso in the academic intricacies of French cooking, his heart has remained loyal to Scotland and local food - the chef uses local produce in his dishes and the scallops, crabs and lobsters arrive in the kitchen still alive. That's why the restaurant is located on the coast.

The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen

A beautiful bistro in a historic building with crystal chandeliers and a bar that looks like a looking-glass. It was the home of writer Susannah Ferrier, considered by Walter Scott to be the equal of Jane Austen in the 1780s, and also frequented by poet Robert Burns. Just the place to unwind after the Michelin silence and the clinking of forks on plates, it is bohemian fun, noisy, great food and very tasty cocktails. The menu features food made with local, seasonal produce. For example, sea scallops from the Orkney Islands with orange stew and squid ink sauce. If we'd stayed in Edinburgh longer, The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen would probably be one of those rare places we'd definitely return to - it's one of those rare places you can't get tired of.

SCOTCH Whisky Bar

You wouldn't expect Edinburgh to offer more Scotch whisky than London, but there are plenty more "specials" to choose from. For example, there is the excellent Scotch Whisky Bar with a tasting menu and whisky cocktails. Apart from whisky there is nothing here at all.

Juniper Edinburgh

The most photogenic bar is Voodoo Rooms. Britain's most quirky is Panda & Sons, disguised as a barbershop. For cocktails disguised as tea, head to Copper Blossom where the interior resembles Buckingham Palace. If you want a bar with a view that takes your breath away, go to Juniper, which among other things serves molecular cocktails on dry ice.