Our Favourite Restaurants Near Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh is a town with real magic in its bones. A gloriously compact capital city with a blend of medieval and Georgian architecture that has bedazzled locals and tourists alike for generations. The crown jewel in the city's enviable skyline, however, is the iconic Edinburgh Castle. As the city's most popular tourist attraction also offers enough delights to take up the vast majority of your day, however, you're going to want to finish your day-out with a good meal. Mercifully, there are plenty of wonderful restaurants near Edinburgh Castle.
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Chaophraya Edinburgh (4th Floor, 33 Castle Street, Edinburgh EH2 3DN)
Thai cuisine is very easy to prepare, but very difficult to get right. Chaophraya is a chain that not only gets it right but manages to do so whilst lending a little creativity to typical Thai curries and other delicacies, all served in a sleek, modern setting. What this rooftop restaurant really boasts, however, is an absolutely stunning view of the castle. Very impressive indeed, particularly when lit up at night.
The Witchery (352 Castlehill, EH1 2NF)
The dining spot has become an Edinburgh institution thanks to the decadent, gothic décor and an ever-changing menu built around the finest local Scottish produce. It's also a restaurant steeped in gothic history, with the late 16th century building standing on the site where many women were burned at the stake as witches. Hence the name. The food is fine dining, but it's all local produce and it's right by the castle gates so couldn't be more convenient.
Angels with Bagpipes (343 High St, EH1 1PW)
If the name alone isn't enough to tempt you, then the lush décor and decidedly Scottish cuisine cooked with the finest fresh local ingredients certainly will. Located at the heart of Old Town on the iconic Royal Mile, the 17th century building is small enough to create intimacy but large enough to seat a small family at a push. It also boasts two separate dining rooms; the upper “Halo” room and the lower “Chanters” room, each of which offer a distinct dining experience. Though it's only been around since 2010, it's managed to nurture a reputation as one of the city's foremost establishments.
Nandos Lothian Road (71-73 Lothian Rd, EH3 9AZ)
The chain that popularised the now ubiquitous peri-peri sauce, Nandos has become a UK institution and with good reason. For the money, you're unlikely to get a better meal, and the familiarity of the menu and the size of the restaurant (not to mention its proximity to the castle entrance) mean it's perfectly suited for large families. If you've been trawling around the castle all day with the kids in tow, there are few restaurants more fit for the task of keeping them fed and happy.
Makars Gourmet Mash Bar (9 N Bank St, Edinburgh EH1 2LP)
There can be few dishes more comforting than a good, buttery bowl of mashed potatoes. Makars, located a stone's throw from the University of Edinburgh's New College, have made an art form out of the fluffy stuff. They have done this by taking inspiration from the craft beer industry to carefully select their ingredients and develop an experience that is not only unique and flavourful but surprisingly healthy. Indeed, Makars pride themselves on steering clear of the deep fat fryer and artificial flavour enhancers. Instead, they stick to their guns with honest and delicious food, the likes of which have been cooked in Scottish households for generations.
Tower Restaurant (National Museum of Scotland, Chambers St, EH1 1JF)
As the name suggests, the Tower restaurant is located within the tower above the National Museum of Scotland and offers spectacular panoramic views across Edinburg's rooftop. Run by the inimitable James Thomson, the restaurant offers a brunch, lunch and dinner menu in a romantic setting that can't be ignored.
Castle Terrace (33/35 Castle Terrace, EH1 2EL)
One of the most accomplished and celebrated young chefs in Scotland, Tom Kitchin (that name seems oddly prophetic) opened a second restaurant in 2010 with his friend Dominic Jack. It draws inspiration from his first venue (the aptly named “Kitchin”) with a philosophy on organic ingredients that are prepared in unique, but oddly recognisable ways. The chic, French-inspired cuisine is a cut above many of the other restaurants on this list (and you'll certainly pay for that quality), but for foodies, it's a price almost certainly worth paying. It's also located right across from the castle.
Timberyard (10 Lady Lawson St, Edinburgh EH3 9DS)
A decidedly modern and creative restaurant that favours artisanal produce, this might just be the coolest restaurant in Edinburgh. It's certainly the coolest within walking distance of the castle! Housed in a former industrial space, Timberyard is all about challenging expectations. It's a family-run establishment with a wood burning stove to keep the old brick warehouse warm during the winter months and the food is supplemented by the fresh herbs and edible flowers grown on the raised beds scattered around the space itself. Truly a one-of-a-kind.
Logic often dictates that you should never dine near a major tourist attraction, as the 'better' spots will always be found on the fringes. Whilst Edinburgh offers hundreds of unique and fascinating dining establishments in its nooks and crannies, however, there are just as many wonderful meals and experiences waiting to be discovered along the Royal Mile.