If you find yourself in beautiful Scotland, dinner at one of the Michelin-star restaurants in Edinburgh should be on your must-do list. After all, what better way to end a day of sightseeing, whisky tasting and castle touring than dinner at one of Edinburgh’s top fine dining experiences at a Michelin-star restaurant?
We begin with Chef Paul Kitching’s 21212 restaurant. Set in a charming Georgian townhouse in Edinburgh’s Royal Terrace, this fine dining hotspot has been delighting diners with contemporary French fare since 2009. 21212 actually refers to the number of dishes per course. Within one of the stylishly decorated rooms – each with a dedicated lounge area – you’ll feast on innovative flavor combinations. In fact, the menus change weekly. At the time of writing, we’re tempted by smoked salmon with pineapple and almonds and a warming soup with potato, chives and garlic.
Meaning a “glowing hot ember or spark” in Scottish, Aizle is a warm gathering space in the heart of the city. Housed in the Garden Room at The Kimpton Charlotte Square, Aizle showcases an ever-evolving menu of house-made dishes. We’re already impressed by the website that showcases seasonal harvest items. “Autumn Harvest” included a bounty from figs, cherries and artichokes, Lanark blue cheese and North Sea crab. The six-course tasting menu heavily centers around what’s local and in season. And we’ve heard the aged kombucha shouldn’t be missed.
Venture just outside of Edinburgh’s city center where the Old Town meets Southside on Sailsbury Place to a converted shop where you’ll find Michelin-starred Condita. Inside, an understated modern space of whitewashed walls decorated with banners over the windows, origami blackbirds perched on branches and a large skylight inviting the afternoon sun welcomes you. This intimate space seats just six tables where diners pour over a surprise five- or eight-course tasting menu of modern dishes. A hand-drawn bookmark calls out some of the key ingredients. But should you have any curiosities about the menu, amicable Chef Conor Toomey is happy to chat. Delight in the seasonal, mostly organic dishes impeccably presented, sometimes arriving on pebbles and wooden spoons. Much of the produce is sourced from a walled kitchen garden in Borders. Organic wines complement the meal and malt whiskies finish the occasion.
The Glenturret Lalique
Self-described as “an exclusive jewel-box dining room,” the Glenturret Lalique restaurant offers an intimate dining experience within a glass-walled room overlooking distilleries and the River Turret. Michelin-star restaurants in Edinburgh all offer something unique, and this cozy spot’s six tables sit beneath two five-tier Lalique chandeliers. The cosmopolitan, multi-course tasting menu is a decadent experience. Start with sea buckthorn, liver and cocoa. Feast on the main course including Highland Wagyu, barbeque eggplant and morel. Finish with crème fraîche sherbet, raspberry and woodruff. A vegetarian tasting menu is also available from Chef Mark Donald. Donald started at Noma in Copenhagen before returning to Scotland and later working at Number One restaurant, where he secured a Michelin star before joining Glenturret in 2021.
In the port of Leith, Edinburgh, restaurant Martin Wishart has been impressing diners and critics since 1999. The seasonal menu harmonizes Scottish and French brasserie cuisine. In addition, the chef also prepares a six-course tasting menu each evening. You’ll even find a vegetarian, vegan and extensive seafood menu of locally sourced fish and shellfish. From a business lunch to an elegant evening out, the variety at Martin Wishart impresses a range of patrons. The staff are eager to provide wine pairings as well.
At the heart of the experience is Martin Wishart himself, an Edinburgh-born chef who trained under such renowned chefs as Albert Roux, Michel Roux Jr, Marco Pierre White and John Burton-Race. Wishart has worked in the kitchen since he was 15 and employs classic French cooking techniques to his locally sourced meals. The restaurant has held a Michelin star since 2001 and has been voted The Sunday Times 5th best restaurant in the UK.
Among Michelin-star restaurants in Edinburgh, Number One is one of the top-ranking restaurants in the city. Located in the basement of the Balmoral hotel, find a dining room elegantly decorated with red-lacquered walls lined with contemporary art of large triptych prints and upholstered banquettes. The romantic, luxury ambiance is the perfect setting to linger over the seven-course menu. Scottish dishes featuring seasonal produce with international flair are the result of Chef Mathew Sherry’s innovations and expertise. A sample menu may take you from canapes and caviar to Goosnargh duck to artisan cheese.
With so many options, enhance your time in the beautiful Scottish capital by dining in one of the many Michelin-star restaurants.
Still curious about Michelin dining? Learn what to expect when fining at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Or, explore the 10 most beautiful villages and small towns in Britain and Ireland.