Best Restaurant Edinburgh City Centre – The iconic castle dominates the city’s skyline day and night, so there’s surely no better place than the Scottish capital to enjoy a meal or drink against a picturesque backdrop. Not all Edinburgh restaurants are centered around the Castle. Some instead have views of the Firth of Forth or the city from a high hilltop.
This guide highlights eight of Edinburgh’s best restaurants with a view – along with four bars that offer drinkers stunning views while sipping a drink. If you’re looking to serve up stunning city skylines with your meal or drinks, look no further than this covetable dozen.
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Twenty Princes Street is in the Hotel Indigo. As the name suggests, it is located on Princes Street, right in the beating heart of Auld Reekie.
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This award-winning Edinburgh restaurant specializes in modern Scottish cuisine. From vegans, seafood lovers and vegetarians to dedicated carnivores, there is something for everyone. Your sizzling steak or colorful meatless plate can also be washed down by the impressive wine, drink and cocktail list.
From the Josper Grill to the Juniper Bar, the dining experience at Twenty Princes Street spans from appetizer to dessert. Until then, enjoy the magnificent view of the center of the Scottish capital.
The highlight of the city’s Thai restaurant, Chaophraya, is sipping with a view of old Edinburgh Castle while enjoying a sumptuous Thai feast.
You don’t just look through the window here. Rather, it is an entire wall of flat glass designed specifically for this purpose. In summer there is also an open-air square where the rooftops of the city are almost close enough to touch.
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Both the menu and the decoration are Thai with a modern twist. This place even offers cooking classes. Perfect for recreating authentic versions of fragrant curries and stir-fries at home.
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While the name ‘Kyloe’ may refer to a foreign climate, it is actually a traditional Scottish term for Highland cattle. This gourmet Edinburgh steakhouse is all about the finest cuts of Aberdeen Angus, all accompanied by the freshest local produce.
The restaurant’s signature Australian Cabernet Sauvignon red wine list, known as the “Angus the Bull” red wine list, is hearty, as is the grill menu. White, rosé, sparkling and even orange wines from all over the world are available, as are craft beers, gins, cocktails and of course whiskeys.
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Overlooking Edinburgh, this restaurant offers a view of the castle even more charming than the cowsheds inside.
As the name alone tells you, The Lookout is one of the best restaurants with a view in Edinburgh. Perched atop Calton Hill, the hotel’s floor-to-ceiling windows offer expansive views of the historic cityscape.
This all-day dining restaurant is open daily from 10am to 5pm and until 10pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The menu is based on fresh, locally sourced ingredients and is served with more than a touch of contemporary culinary flair.
The Lookout restaurant welcomes visitors with open arms, although due to its popularity, reservations are always recommended. The wine flight dinner menu is good value and can include flavors such as Dunbar crab cake, Perthshire venison and Scottish cheese.
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No, that’s not a typo – Edinburgh’s Harvey Nick’s Forth Floor Restaurant takes its name from the famous Firth and Bridge, which you can admire over dinner or a drink in the Window Bar.
From 11:00 a.m. there is food all day. One of the best spots in town for afternoon tea, a cocktail or a glass of celebratory champagne.
The menu takes inspiration from around the world, so you can start with Greek-style hummus, Thai fishcakes or soup with focaccia. Starters include Scottish Borders steak, chipotle and mushroom tacos or seared cod. Elegant desserts include a pretty pistachio polenta cake or rhubarb crumble.
This rooftop restaurant is located in the Grassmarket area of Edinburgh. It’s a neighborhood that really comes alive after dark. The Cold Town House is also close to the Castle, meaning guests and drinkers have a front row seat to the lighted spectacle every night.
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Authentic Neapolitan-style pizzas are topped with creative toppings. And you can wash it all down with a locally brewed craft beer or a glass or two of Prosecco.
Although the pizzas are distinctly Italian, the names evoke local landmarks like Leith, Portobello, Stockbridge and Arthur’s Seat. It was topped with salami, beef tenderloin, grilled vegetables and Italian cheese.
The Outsider is a real gem of a restaurant in Edinburgh. In the Old Town, in historic IV. It’s on two levels on György Híd, and serves generous portions of tasty, seasonal food — and has excellent views of the castle.
A whole range of daily specials supplement the regular menu. And you can even get a cheap bottle of wine. Delicious appetizers include scallops with basil cream, gnocchi with romesco sauce, venison with mushrooms, or the earthy grilled burger with cheesecloth.
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The location is actually reflected throughout the menu. From the cheese board with Scottish oatmeal to the Edinburgh gin on the drinks menu.
If the view of the water gets you pumped, the Old Chain Pier is definitely the place to be in Edinburgh. Located in Newhaven, the restaurant has uninterrupted views of the Firth of Forth from Trinity Crescent.
As you might expect, seafood is something of a specialty here. Start with real Cullen skink or smoked mackerel pie, followed by fish and chips, hake or mussels.
You can also choose from classics such as Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Haggis with Neep and Tatty or various burgers. So even if you’re not the biggest fan of fish, you’ll be fine. Wee Bairns also work well with failsafes like Fish Goujon or Sausage ‘n’ Puree.
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Hilton’s commitment to the Skybar concept is nowhere clearer than at the Edinburgh office. The hotel is located on Bread Street, close to the Old Town, the University and the Grassmarket area.
The bar is located on the top floor of the Hilton Doubletree and offers panoramic city views. Due to the enormous popularity of the place, advance booking is essential. In fact, the site recommends doing this three months in advance.
Choosing one of the window table packages with Prosecco or Champagne is required if you want a seat with a view.
Edinburgh’s 1820 Rooftop Bar is also known as Johnnie Walker Bar as it is located in the Princes Street area of the famous whiskey distillery. The drinking and dining area offers a wonderful view of the castle and the city center.
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Although more known as a bar, 1820 offers an all day dining menu from light snacks to fuller meals. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the options include dishes with an added Scottish national spirit.
The 1820 Rooftop Bar also serves whiskey-based cocktails. Or, opt for something more global while touring the local sights of Edinburgh.
Located in the center of Edinburgh, Nor’ Loft Champagne Bar has the atmosphere: why wait for an excuse to enjoy a glass or more of champagne? This stylish bar is located in the Market Street Hotel, close to Princes Street and the Royal Mile. One of the best luxury hotels in Edinburgh.
It is an elegant yet comfortable space with colorful chairs upholstered in soft jewel-colored velvet. Marble countertops, comfortable sofas and light wood floors complete the look.
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This rooftop bar offers views of the Castle and Old Town while sipping champagne with plates or a shared plate. For a truly decadent start to the day, reserve a table for brunch.
Waverley Mall is located above the train station of the same name. This laid-back rooftop drinking den has an alfresco terrace in the summer months and offers great views of Edinburgh.
You can order pizza with a dram or cocktail, and whiskey-based concoctions are of course a must. Book one of the ‘Secret Domes’ for the best views and experience, as well as protection from the often harsh Scottish elements.
Cask Smuggler’s drink menus are themed and offer innovative pairings such as gin with kaffir lime, maraschino cherry, lemon and violet liqueur. Or try a smoky blend of whiskey, apple, butter and rosemary.
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Edinburgh has a wide range of bars and restaurants with views. Be sure to book in advance and time your visit to coincide with the sunset for a special experience. If you’re planning a trip to the Scottish capital, read my Edinburgh travel guide.
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