Foodie's Trip to Edinburgh, Scotland

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Advisor - Yaroslava Andrijauskas
Curated By

Yaroslava Andrijauskas

  • Food & Wine

  • Solo Travel

  • Group Travel

  • England

  • Edinburgh

  • Scotland

  • Local Culture

  • Local Food

  • Sightseeing

An aerial view of the Calton hill
Curator’s statement

From the moment I first arrived in Edinburgh, it captivated my heart, from the streets of Old Town and New Town being UNESCO world heritage sites to the history of the city and the country itself. Museums, galleries, and parks are plentiful, not to mention the castles! The food scene is exceptional, with every restaurant offering unique and traditional dishes made with seasonal and local ingredients. I'm an absolute fan of afternoon teas and cozy cafes, which Edinburgh has many of. There are so many amazing things to see and do here, but it's best to experience it for yourself.

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Where to stay in Edinburgh

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Things to do in Edinburgh

A castle on the top of a mountain

-Royal Scotsman a Belmond Train - if you love trains and Belmond Hotels, this is a must-to-do in Edinburgh. This lux train will welcome you aboard with a piper. You will sleep in one of the luxury rooms or suites. Be entertained after dinner. Sip on amazing whiskies. All while riding through marvelous Scotland. They even have a divine spa on board. All you have to do is choose an itinerary (ranging from 2-7 nights) and the date. The price does include everything, even off-the-train activities - depending on the itinerary you've selected. Book well in advance, it tends to sell out. (tour & experience)

- Go for an afternoon tea! - a very British thing to do, will make you feel like royalty and is so worth it. Edinburgh has wonderful afternoon tea places. Some of my favorites are at The Witchery by The Castle, Georgian Tea Room at The Dome (especially for Christmas), and Palm Court at the Balmoral Hotel. If you want a very unique experience, have an afternoon tea at Colonnades at Signet Library. Make as much noise as you'd like, no one is going to shush you. (experience)

- The Chocolatarium - if you are a chocolate lover, or have some positive feelings towards chocolate, go here. Their micro-factory chocolate tour was voted #1 best food experience in the UK for 2022. They have a few different experiences to choose from. Such as truffle-making, chocolate & wine experience, etc. (tour & experience)

- The Scotch Whisky Experience - it might be your first time trying scotch whisky or maybe you're an expert in it, either way, you need to come here. They have over 3000 bottles of whiskies from different distilleries! Choose your experience and indulge in the history of the whisky-making craft and all the amazing flavors. (experience)

Mary King's Close - Explore the underground dead end that was once a thriving part of the Old Town in the 17th century. Listen to the fascinating stories that have occurred here, including the rumored hiding place of a prominent royal and a haunting tale of a young girl.

- Calton Hill - for the best city views go to Calton Hill, especially for the sunsets (be prepared for the crowds). It is a truly spectacular place from which you can view the surroundings in the 360˚ view. This is also a location of a collection of different iconic Edinburgh landmarks. (landmark & city views)

- Princes Street Gardens (including Scott Monument & Ross Fountain) - While strolling through what used to be an artificial lake back in the day, the picturesque Princes Street Gardens, take a moment to appreciate the Ross Fountain, crafted by a talented French sculptor. The stunning views of Edinburgh Castle atop Castle Rock make for an excellent photo opportunity. Take the chance to visit the Scott Monument, a towering gothic structure dedicated to Sir Walter Scott. Although the small viewing balcony may or may not be accessible, climbing the stairs offers a unique perspective. It's worth noting that the Scott Monument is one of the largest monuments in the world dedicated to a writer.

Places to eat & drink in Edinburgh

An oyster served on a plate.


For some places, you don’t have to wander far!

Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel:
- enjoy a delicious day meal or a weekend brunch at their garden-inspired space The Garden (think greenery, glass roof, and wicker chairs).
- Or taste buds and an eye-boggling 6-course tasting menu at Aizle, and definitely add drink pairings to go along with it. You will thank me later.
- They’re also associated with a great Mediterranean restaurant, Baba. Definitely go for their grilled hand-dived scallop with burnt butter. It’s served very creatively on a beautiful scallop seashell.
- The Raeburn’s menu is just perfect (that’s how I discovered the hotel in the first place). Highly recommend their Sunday roast with all the trimmings and their Smoked Salmon starter.

- The Devil's Advocate - is a hidden gem, an amazing gastropub tucked away on Advocate's Close. You might pass by it and not realize it. Reservations are strongly suggested as it might be hard to get in, especially on the weekend. They have an excellent selection of drinks and Scottish whisky. I recommend trying their dry-aged rib eye steak or perfectly cooked pork belly with chorizo and white-bean-sweet-potato cassoulet. Everything on the menu is delicious, especially when paired with a dram of good whisky or a nice cocktail.

- Monteiths - is tucked in between the buildings right off the Royal Mile and situated mostly in a basement, but don't let it fool you, the vibe and food here is amazing. Try their rum & raisin pudding with old-fashioned caramel (going straight for dessert on this one) and salted cod.

- Scran & Scallie - another amazing gastropub, this one in Stockbridge, almost right across from The Raeburn Hotel. Try their smoked trout rillette and home-cured salmon with rye starters, while for the main go for vegan curry with pilau rice and pan-fried cod with fennel and orange.

- Urban Angel - a fantastic spot for breakfast, brunch, or lunch. They’re open from 9AM every day. Try their za’atar spiced scrambled eggs on toast with spicy hollandaise, oat milk porridge with pear-apple-ginger compote with almond crumble *AND* custard (incredible!), and their halloumi burger with chili jam & garlic aioli is a must amongst other great items. They also have great smoothies, juices, and pastries made freshly with organic ingredients. I yet have to try everything on their menu myself *(yes, I’m on a mission).*

Things to keep in mind:

There are many, many amazingly delicious places. I definitely recommend trying the traditional Scottish dish - haggis. It is my absolute favorite and each restaurant puts their own twist on it.
Some menus are subject to changes as many places opt-in for seasonal ingredients.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Kelly Hendrix’s guide, Culture & Adventure in Scotland: Edinburgh and Loch Lomond.

Advisor - Yaroslava Andrijauskas

Travel Advisor

Yaroslava Andrijauskas

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Edinburgh.