The Most Unique Restaurants and Dining Experiences in Edinburgh
Whilst Edinburgh Castle and the annual Fringe Festival might draw in the punters looking for an easy weekend away, it's in its unique culinary offerings that the city reveals its real heart and soul. Whether you're celebrating a special event or simply celebrating the artistry of world-class dining, there are enough unique restaurants in Edinburgh to keep even the most demanding foodie sated. Here, we'll go through our favourites and will underline exactly what makes each one so unique and so worth experiencing for yourself.
The Witchery (352 Castlehill, EH1 2NF)
Situated at the tip of Edinburgh's famous Royal Mile right next to the gates of the castle, The Witchery offers fine dining with a distinct nod to the past. It was named for the unfortunate women that were burned at the stake outside the castle gates. The building itself, meanwhile, dates by to the late 16th century.
A truly theatrical dining experience that you won't soon forget.
Six by Nico Edinburgh (97 Hanover St, Edinburgh EH2 1DJ)
More fine dining, but with a bold, ephemeral twist. Six by Nico (which also boasts a sister location in Glasgow) is referred to as an “evolving” restaurant, which completely changes up the specially tailored six-course tasting menu every six weeks. Hence the name and hence the reputation.
Visit every six weeks and get a completely different experience every time!
The Pop Up Geeks (Arch 14, 27 E Market St, EH8 8FS)
Geek culture has officially gone mainstream in recent years. Why not celebrate that fact at one of Edinburgh's hippest night spots? The bar has become a haven for nerds of all types, offering a themed pop-up experience that changes every three months. From the sci-fi oddness of Rick and Morty and the Stephen king-indebted 80's beauty of Stranger Things, to the world of Harry Potter and the post-apocalyptic world of Fallout; there's a theme for all seasons and all predilections.
The perfect venue for one-of-a-kind after dinner drinks.
The World Famous Frankenstein (26 George IV Bridge, EH1 1EN)
Less of a restaurant and more of an overall tourist experience, the Frankenstein Pub (named for the iconic Mary Shelley book of the same name) is located on the George IV Bridge at the heart of the city's thriving Old Town. Housed in a gloriously gothic 19th century church, the venue is themed after the classic 'golden era' horror films and includes the kind of theatrics that wouldn't be out of place at a Disney theme park. The menu, meanwhile, offers exceptionally varied American and Scottish cuisine and is very reasonable. There's even a German Bierkeller in the basement!
One for the stag and hen parties or the more adventurous big nights out.
The Voodoo Rooms (19a West Register St, EH2 2AA)
The venue that perhaps exemplifies the unique character of Edinburgh more than any other, The Voodoo Rooms can be found in the city's beating heart, right next to Waverley Station. Formerly known as the Cafe Royal Bistro Bar, the Voodoo team have transformed the dilapidated building and restored it to its former glory over numerous floors and rooms offering everything from fine dining to light-up dance floors. From live music and food to drinks and one-off events, The Voodoo offers a little bit of everything.
If you only hit one place in Edinburgh on a good night out, this is the place to be.
The Gardener’s Cottage (1 Royal Terrace Gardens, EH7 5DX)
Sat in the beatific Royal Terrace Gardens at the foot of Calton Hill, this very special restaurant was named for the fact it was built in 1836 as the gardener's home. The restaurant's décor exudes a singular old-world charm and the food is classic Scottish comfort food, with a locally famous seven-course set menu that only uses the finest local produce. The dining here is not intimate, but more of a shared experience, with long, communal tables and an intimate atmosphere that offers an experience like nowhere else in the city.
A perfect restaurant for families looking to experience all the warmth and character of the city.
Full Moon Dinners at the Secret Herb Garden (32A Old Pentland Road, Lothianburn, EH10 7EA)
A hidden gem on the outskirts of the city that gives diners the excuse to dine out beneath the stars; the Secret Herb Garden offers a culinary experience right out of a Hollywood movie. As the name suggests, the menu is centred around the herbs grown in the garden, leading to some exceptionally unique and powerful flavour combinations. Keep an eye out for local events and make sure you book in advance! This one always sells out.
A favourite amongst locals that offers a perfect evening out in the warm summer months.
The Table (3a Dundas Street, EH3 6Q6)
The very definition of exclusive, this fine dining establishment offers an “interactive” dining experience with one table, ten seats and one chef. It's not cheap, but it's certainly special.
The pinnacle of what they call “dinner theatre.”
A Meal for All Seasons
The sheer variety of restaurants, bars and unique drinking and dining venues in Edinburgh alone is enough reason to pay the city a flying visit. And we've only scratched the surface here. Spend enough time in the city yourself and you'll begin to realise that you could dine out every evening for a month and never have the same experience twice. Edinburgh is truly a foodie paradise!
BUY A GIFT CARD