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Plan Your Trip to Edinburgh: Best of Edinburgh Tourism

A city jam-packed with culture going on around the clock
Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh is renowned for its heritage, culture, and festivals. Take a long walk around the centre to explore the World Heritage Sites of the Old Town and New Town, as well as all the area’s museums and galleries. Pause to fortify yourself with tea and scones at the city’s charming tea rooms or duck into a traditional pub. Then head out to take in one of Edinburgh’s many events—including the famous summer festivals of culture, or the Winter Festivals of music, light, and ceilidhs.

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Essential Edinburgh

Traveller Guides

Eat your way through Edinburgh at any budget

It doesn’t matter how often I return to Edinburgh; there’s always somewhere new to eat. The city of seven hills has everything from lavish tasting menus and Michelin-starred restaurants to cafes and fast food joints. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten in the same restaurant twice. Here’s my guide to the high-end eateries and the low-tier takeaways.
Samantha Priestley, Yorkshire, UK
  • Wedgwood The Restaurant
    2,427
    This small and intimate restaurant on the Royal Mile served my partner the best venison he’s had to date (seriously, he still talks about it). We ordered from the a la carte menu rather than choosing the tasting menu, but it looked so good on other tables that we regretted not getting it. The staff here is kind and attentive. Our helpful waiter even told us where to go in town to buy our favourite cheese from the cheese board.
  • Wahaca Edinburgh
    1,191
    We had lunch at this Mexican place behind the rows of High Street shops while we waited for our train. It’s perfect for a fast meal. They serve street-food-style Mexican dishes, the service is quick, and the food is good. We ordered tacos, quesadillas, and the crispy cauliflower bites, and everything was tasty.
  • Number One at The Balmoral
    1,934
    We were lucky enough to stay at the iconic Balmoral Hotel for a few nights, but you don’t have to be a guest here to dine in their Michelin-starred restaurant, Number One. The tasting menu has seven courses that include local dishes ranging from langoustine from the Isle of Skye to Roe deer from a nearby estate. You can also request a three-course dinner menu ahead of time if you prefer.
  • Hummus
    55
    Don’t be fooled by the name of this cute little café in the Morningside neighbourhood of the city; they serve much more than hummus! That said, the hummus here is the best I’ve ever had, and if you do like a simple bowl of hummus and some flatbread, you’ll be in heaven. It’s a Lebanese café, so they also serve tabbouleh, falafel, and spiced cakes. The food is delicious, and the atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming.
  • Dean Banks At The Pompadour
    313
    Upstairs in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel is The Pompadour, a Michelin-starred restaurant. There’s a bit of a nautical theme, which we liked, and the menu is seafood-heavy. The 10-course tasting menu includes an Arbroath Smokie and Blue Finned Tuna but also a vegan menu. Go for the wine pairing, or delve straight into the long list of whiskeys with the Whisky Flight Experience.
  • The Alchemist Edinburgh St James Quarter
    275
    This bar and restaurant in New Town creates unusual and bizarre cocktails that arrive in the kind of containers you probably used in chemistry class. But they also serve good bar food that works perfectly for a night out or lunch. They serve a collection of dishes as varied as their cocktails - mostly Asian-inspired and including Tempura Hake and Katsu Curry, though you can also choose a simple chicken in a basket or a steak.
  • The Cellar Door Restaurant
    1,659
    Edinburgh gets busy on weekend nights, and we stupidly hadn’t booked anywhere to eat dinner. We walked into The Cellar Door, not expecting any luck, but the manager kindly seated us by the bar upstairs. While downstairs was busy, upstairs was quiet and suited us perfectly. I had the spring rolls to start, followed by roasted carrot risotto. They do a six-course tasting menu with a wine pairing, which I’m definitely getting next time.
  • Cafe Miro
    349
    We had half a day in the coastal area of Portobello on our last visit to Edinburgh, and we stopped for a quick lunch in Miro’s on the Prom. It sits opposite the beach, on the promenade, and serves light bites and cakes. We ordered the haggis fritters, which are a must-try while you’re in Edinburgh. There’s a laid-back seaside atmosphere in this quiet café, but it does get busy on weekends.
  • Monteiths
    1,632
    Down a side street off the Royal Mile, Monteith’s is underground in the basement of the building. We had small plates at the bar on our first visit and returned a second time for the venison loin and the mushroom and goat’s cheese Wellington. The food is impressive, but the atmosphere makes it unique. The cosy low lighting, tartan upholstery, and intimate bar area bring home the hidden basement feeling.
  • Holy Cow
    346
    We stopped here for a quick burger for lunch before visiting the Surgeon’s Hall Museum. If you’re vegan or have someone vegan in your party, this is a top-quality café that serves the best vegan burgers I’ve tried in Edinburgh. The burgers all come with chips, and you get a lot of food for the money, but leave room for the cheese-free cheesecake; it’s not to be missed.

Edinburgh Is Great For

Bookshops galore

Killer scones and baked goods

Late-night revelry