The best restaurants in Edinburgh Old Town come in all shapes and sizes. All of them add something special to what is without doubt the most beautiful part of one of the most beautiful cities in the world (check our guide to romantic restaurants in Edinburgh for something extra special).
What with its centuries-old buildings, winding streets and The Royal Mile all sat casually upon an extinct volcano, we really can’t get enough of Edinburgh.
Whether you’re an Edinburgh local or just planning a trip to the Scottish capital, this quick list of the best restaurants in Edinburgh Old Town means you’ll know exactly where to head when the hunger strikes and you don’t really fancy hitting up somewhere that isn’t going to cut the mustard.
1. The Cellar Door
Truth be told, going just off how The Cellar Door looks from the street, you wouldn’t put it down as one of the best restaurants in Edinburgh Old Town. But, folks, The Cellar Door is just that thanks to a menu that shows off the best of Scotland. You’ll be catered for whether it’s fresh fish, meat or seafood that you fancy, but standout dishes for us include the haggis spring roll starter and the Loch Duarte salmon fillet. The Cellar Door is a cozy underground enclave and there’s a properly good drinks menu to round things off.
44-46 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EJBook Now
2. Mamma’s American Pizza
Far less Scottish but every bit as good, Mamma’s American Pizza is exactly what it says on the tin. But, there’s a twist. As well as indulgent, ridiculously cheesy American-style pizza you can also expect excellent pasta dishes that are far more Italian and feel somewhat refined. A win-win, you could say. Mamma’s American Pizza is probably the best restaurant in Edinburgh Old Town to head to if you’ve got an appetite that seems as though it’s never going to die. Because, trust us, it will here. Get involved.
28 – 30 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2JUBook Now
3. Ginger Restaurant
We do hope you didn’t think there’d be a list of the best restaurants in Edinburgh Old Town without at least one Indian restaurant. That would have been silly, because Ginger Restaurant has been delivering the goods for years and is definitely one of our favourites owing to its signature dishes that always have the crowd going wild. It’s a pretty cosy spot with a mainly orange interior, believe it or not, but the food is without doubt some of the best Indian you’ll find in this part of town.
11 South College Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AABook Now
4. Viva Mexico
Viva Mexico is one of the best restaurants in Edinburgh Old Town and also one of the oldest. Not as old as the Old Town, mind, or the extinct volcano, but pretty old. With age comes wisdom and in the case of Viva Mexico, food that’s of a quality not often seen at Mexican restaurants. The vibe here is always bouncing and the decor is bold, then from the menu we’d recommend the baja fish burrito with cabbage slaw and a white dressing. Also keep an eye out for the rotating fish of the day served a unique Mexican way. It’s a party you can’t miss.
41 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1BSBook Now
We love Biblos and have it down as one of the best restaurants in Edinburgh Old Town because it’s simple and gets everything spot on. It’s also not just a restaurant. It’s a bar and a lounge that’s a wise choice whether you’re after a drink, a quick nibble or a proper meal, all this meaning it’s popular with tourists as well as locals. The menu is chock-full of international dishes, from haggis balls with neeps and tatties in a whisky sauce to peppered lemon chicken and creme brulee for dessert. Biblos is a big hitter in Edinburgh Old Town having withstood the test of time since its birth in 1998.
1 Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1HRBook Now
6. Boteco Do Brasil
Boteco Do Brasil is a celebration of everything that makes Brasil, well, Brasil. At this, one of the best restaurants in Edinburgh Old Town, you’ll find little homages to everything from samba to soccer, but it’s the food that really gets us going. In particular, the traditional Brazilian tapas part of the menu is full of delights and the best we know of in this part of town, but the burgers and the selection of premium grilled meats make a visit worth it by themselves as well. Boteco Do Brasil features a dancefloor and regular live music so go with a group, share some tapas, get loose and celebrate Brasil in the heart of the Old Town.
45-47 Lothian Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1HBBook Now
We’ll be the first to tell you that Checkpoint Edinburgh feels more like a cafe than anything else, but it serves irresistible food and drink in the way a full-service restaurant does, so we’re counting it. Alongside quality coffee and plenty of craft beers, the Checkpoint Edinburgh menu features everything from superfood bowls to burgers, all of which is internationally-inspired so you’re sure to find something to suit your mood. Our hot tip: try the French-Belgian moules mariniere! Checkpoint is also really well priced so there’s little not to love. Definitely one of the best restaurants in Edinburgh Old Town but with cafe vibes.
3 Bristo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 1EYBook Now
8. Gurkha Cafe
Last but so very far from being least, Gurkha Cafe is a Nepalese restaurant serving up all kinds of nice. No matter what people tell you, Nepalese cuisine does differ from Indian and those differences are celebrated here at Gurkha Cafe by way of dishes like poleko bhale kukhura and steamed dumplings. That’s not to say you won’t find some classic Indian dishes as well, just that Gurkha Cafe is very much the best of both worlds and therefore one of the best restaurants in Edinburgh Old Town for mixing things up a bit.
25-27 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1BPBook Now