Our friends at the TartanSpoon Food and Drink Blog have been writing excellent restaurant, bar, and product reviews for years. With their awards ranging from the regrettable "wooden spoon", passing through "bronze" "silver" and "gold" spoons, and peaking with the much coveted "Tartan spoon" award. They're one of the best food blogs in the UK, and there was no one better to ask when we were thinking about where to eat in Scotland's capital.
So, with more than a spoonful of help from their expertise, here's our list of their favourite places to eat and drink in Edinburgh in 2018, neatly broken down into courses. Sounds like a perfect restaurant crawl to us.
If you're looking for more reviews, check out their main website at www.tartanspoon.co.uk.
Leos Beanery, 23A Howe St, Edinburgh EH3 6TF
If you are looking for poached eggs on sourbread toast accompanied by a variety of Scottish toppings like black pudding, Scottish salmon and big bowls of steaming porridge and roasted coffee, then this is the place to go. Located on Howe St, it’s only a 5 minute walk from Princes Street in central Edinburgh.
One Square, 1 Festival Square, Edinburgh EH3 9SR
With Afternoon Tea’s on the rise perfectly sandwiched between lunch and dinner, finding the ideal venue to indulge in savoury and sweet treats mid afternoon is serious business; but One Square at the Sheraton know how it’s done. At £32 per person, you will most definitely leave feeling substantially full with a belly full of deliciousness having spent the best part of two hours chatting over Prosecco and tea with your bestie whilst watching Edinburgh go by!
Kilted Lobster, 112 St Stephen St, Edinburgh EH3 5AD
Serving up the very best of Scottish Seafood that has been ethically and sustainably sourced. Their creative dishes will leave you wanting more and their Kilted Lobster dish, either a whole or half lobster served with crayfish butter and confit sweet potato is the ultimate indulgence. All the profits from the restaurant go towards helping the disadvantaged people in the community – the restaurant closes every Tuesday night to offer complimentary dining to those in need.
Nok's Kitchen, 8 Gloucester St, Edinburgh EH3 6EG
A true hidden gem! A wee family run establishment on Gloucester Road in Stockbridge. They are super friendly, and very very welcoming. You almost feel like you are sitting around their family table. Their food is true Thai with spices and heat tailored to your tastebuds and over the top presentations, but oh so worth it.
Harvey Nichols, 30-34, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2AD
Take the elevator to the Fourth Floor in Harvey Nichols, grab a table on the balcony overlooking St Andrews Square and the Edinburgh skyline and enjoy one of my favourite gins, Old Curiosity, which changes colour when you add tonic!
The food is pretty great too – bright vivid Summer dishes served in a relaxed atmosphere.
Tonic, 34A N Castle St, Edinburgh EH2 3BN
Their current menu is loosely themed on Children’s storybooks and characters, and will take you on a trip down the rabbit hole into the land of childhood nostalgia. You’ll see nods to Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins, Harry Potter, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Dumbo and many more. I can recommend the Scrumdiddlyumptious cocktail. It transported me back to being a kid at Christmas. The aromas and tastes you’ll pick up are warm toasted marshmallows, even a hint of warm ginger and nutmeg and it will appeal to your inner child.
Ishka, 83 Morrison St, Edinburgh EH3 8BU
I wished I could eat the menu backwards starting with desserts, as Ishka in my book, are one of the best places for desserts in Edinburgh. They truly are dessert masters. The Berry and Coconut Dessert is outstanding! Frozen berry mix, warm coconut & vanilla soup, salted peanut crumble, mint syrup and candy floss. Recently they hosted a dessert and cocktail tasting event, the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Keep an eye on their facebook page for similar events.
One of the most recognisable prints in Scotland, Emily Mackenzie's "50 Shades of Scotland" print manages to pick 50 simple shades from this beautiful country, and transforms them into a journey through Scottish history, and Scottish culture.
We caught up with Emily and asked her about her hometown of Edinburgh, and for her advice on how to make the most of being an artist in the city.
The Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens is the green and growing heart of Edinburgh. Big enough to spend the day in, it's the perfect place to take a packed lunch and try to get lost among the trees.
If it's a little too far for you to visit, then here's a little tour from our most recent visit to the Gardens.