Quintessential style - the cool place to be! With inspired menus The Bonham is the perfect haven in Edinburgh's bustling West End. Moments away from Princes Street the dining room overlooks the stately peaceful crescent of Drumsheugh and also over Dean Village and its historic buildings.
It masters the skills of being a hotel with a beautiful restaurant and the ambience of a stylish residence. There is also a lovely lounge bar called the Consulting Rooms, a nod to its former use. One magazine has dubbed it "One of the Coolest Hotels of the Twenty First Century." They very kindly allowed me to bring along some students to see behind the scenes and they were blown away! The Bonham also offer lighter meals and afternoon teas.
Tucked away snugly down a back lane in the New Town off Hanover Street, this stylish French inspired bistro is oozing atmosphere, locally sourced produce and a certain je ne sais quoi.
Member of Slow Food Chefs' Alliance, Neil Forbes, deservedly voted Chef of the Year at the Catering in Scotland Excellence Awards 2014, creates stylish menus where the produce is the star. That year his restaurant also won the Sustainable Business Award and was also a Finalist 2016 for Restaurant of the Year too. He also runs Masterclasses for Slow Food Edinburgh and was one of the chefs who goes to Terra Madre in Turino. Neil is a wonderful asset to Scotland's food scene.
His support and use of organic produce has also earned him Scotland's first Soil Association Organic Restaurant award.
Here is Neil's fab recipe for Peasemeal & Ham Soup using Slow Food Ark of Taste Peasemeal from Golspie Mill
This landmark restaurant looks over the Castle Esplanade and Edinburgh’s historic OldTown. The interior is inspired by the Contini’s family heritage with hints of tartan mixed with great Italian style. Here is Slow Food Founder Carlo Petrini sharing a Slow Food celebration lunch with us all and listening to Victor's speech.
Cannonball Restaurant & Bar is a three-storey eating and drinking experience. The restaurant on the top floor (with lift access) serves award-winning Scottish dishes like Black Pudding Risotto, Slow Roast Pork Belly and Macaroni Cheese with East Lothian Lobster Thermidor Sauce.
At street level is a lovely bar where lighter bites are on offer for extended hours. in the lower floor is the Glengoyne Room, private dining room on the lower ground floor, available for exclusive use for private dining, whisky tastings and functions - a really lovely venue.
Carina Contini, Marcin Medrygal & Suzanne O’Connor are all Members of the Slow Food Chefs' Alliance.
Victor and Carina have newly refurbished Contini George Street. The décor is inspiring: calm soft pewter grey with wonderful rococo feature walls. Candles and banquettes, majestic pillars and immaculate table settings - this venue has style in spades.
The fabulous menu will give you not just a taste of Italy but a complete mind, body and taste experience of finest Italian cooking, with many of our finest local producers featured too!
They are keen supporters of all that is Slow, creating a kitchen garden for sustainable produce for both here and their sister restaurants The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant and Cannonball. Click on their link to read more. Carina Contini, Marcin Medrygal & Suzanne O’Connor are all Members of the Slow Food Chefs' Alliance.
This beautiful café has terrific views over the Forth and is a pleasant short drive from the city centre on the road to the bridge near South Queensferry. They serve hot dish of the day, light dishes, salads, terrines, soups and home baking.
Great supporters of local and home grown produce and a super place to eat. 2009 Winners of the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Award for Food, the Sinclair family have been local food heroes for many years with their lovely jams and chutneys from their West Craigie Jam Kitchen and their wonderful farm soft fruits available in punnets from the shop or pick-your-own. You can even book on a jam making course!
Alongside their cafe they also have a superb food hall with locally sourced meats, fish and cheeses and provisions such as Brodies teas and coffees. They pride themselves in sourcing as much Scottish as possible, from Peelham charcuterie to their own pressed apple juices - and their cheese counter is pure Scottish and featured on Scottish Cheese Trail. There are walks and animals to entertain children too. Well worth a visit... again and again.
A staunch supporter of Scottish produce, James' reputation for excellent food makes this a popular haunt. Charming place, modest size so best to book. The meals are delicious and always with seasonal produce.
The black pot (prais dubh) of the logo sits snugly in the corner. James and Heather created this charming restaurant in the heart of the old town 24 years ago, and ever since it is sought out by locals, tourists and great names alike.
Raymond Blanc has dined here several times – indeed once was turned away when there were no free tables! Great place; lovely atmosphere. Click on link for website to see menus but Telephone Bookings only please. No e mail.
Eleanor has created a sustainable eatery at The Edinburgh Larder in the heart of the Old Town, in Blackfriars Street, adjacent to their new takeaway named Larder Go and also at Whitmuir the Organic Place, all based strongly on Slow Food principles.
They also hold foodie events including Slow Food film nights. Their style is informal and the food excellent. Popular with all ages, botanical drinks, real ales and artisan wines also play a part on the dining experience. The Larder works by forging strong relationships with small suppliers and utilizing the best of what they have available each week on their ever changing menu.
They deliver outside catering, provide meals for weddings and special occasions and are the team behind the Edinburgh Food Social, a social enterprise that aims to make local food more accessible in Scotland, working with schools and communities to develop cooking skills.
Scotland's original for top veggie dining. 50 years young in 2013 and still owned by the Henderson family, now in its 3rd generation. Look out for their cookbooks full of healthy eating tips. Counter service by day and table service in evenings.
The Henderson family is also an art gallery dedicated to the founder Janet Henderson. Janet was an absolute trail blazer, creating innovative salads in the early 60's in Edinburgh and generations have dated and dined here.
It has live music and local produce, often cooked with an international twist reflecting the cosmopolitan chefs over the years. As much as possible is sourced organically. A real treat.
Winner of the Broons Family Business Award 2016
Henderson's Cafe and Deli Holyrood serves delicious vegetarian and vegan food from 9am - 9pm Monday to Saturday. This light and airy venue by The Tun is just a moment up the road from Parliament so perfect for politicians, public, journalists, students et al.
I think it will be a centre for all the chat the way coffee houses used to be before internet...but dont worry, they have wifi too!
Sit on comfy bench seating or delightfully retro Ercol sofas and enjoy delicious sustainable food whilst watching the world go by through large windows onto the street. Also with excellent take away as the name suggests.
A trailblazer since the 60’s Henderson’s has done it again and launched Henderson’s Vegan at what was formerly their Thistle Street Bistro. When Janet Henderson first opened, her recipe for success was farm surplus vegetables, a passion for healthy family eating plus an interest in nutritional developments in mainland Europe. Edinburgers were greeted with raw foods, intriguing salads and seasonal produce cooked in ways not generally seen on the tables of Scotland! She would be delighted to see her grandson carrying on the tradition of innovation, healthy eating and imaginative dishes over half a century on!
Business Development Manager Barrie Henderson said: “We recognise the growing awareness and interest in vegan food within the UK. A vegan diet has been shown to reduce your food-related carbon footprint by 60% (New Scientist July 2015) so, given our passion for ethical and sustainable food choices, at the heart of the Henderson’s ethos, it is a natural direction for us to take.
“At Henderson’s Vegan we will have the opportunity to show people what a wide range of cuisine there is. Most people just think of fresh salads but there are a wealth of exciting dishes, decadent desserts and some of the favourite classics but all without using animal products.”
“It’s an exciting project and we are all very excited about the opening at the end of July - we naturally look forward to seeing you there.”
Henderson's has the perfect package to trailblaze Vegan in Edinburgh with their expertise and we wish them well.
This bistro has the delightful tagline 'French Twist Using The Best of Scotland' and it truly does. Both these delightful bistros are totally French in style yet proud of their use of Scottish produce. Meats, usually named by breed, are often slow cooked for full flavour; fish and shellfish are skilfully cooked with a lightness of touch.
The Auld Alliance is alive here and Fred & Betty have their own version of "entente-cordiale". Fred seeks out others that share his passion for excellence. He is very involved in the Slow Food Movement, often hosting fascinating Big Table events linked with local Slow Food Convivium.
One evening we dined we had steaming pots of moules mariniere, excellent vegetarian woodland mushroom vol au vents and an individual pot au feu brimming with braised lamb and roots slow cooked in their juices.
Originally only upstairs, Fred has newly opened (Nov 2015) at ground floor level Bar à Vin where he is offering a fine selection of wines with top notch range of finest local & French charcuterie with Scottish and Auld Alliance CHEESEBOARD. This is a fabulous meeting place for conviviality and fun, relishing Fred's creative platters of artisan produce.
Finalist, Catering in Scotland Excellence Award Chef of the Year 2016
Scottish Food & Drink Excellence Awards in association with RHASS Food Pioneer Award 2016
Fred is a Member of the Slow Food Chefs' Alliance.
They also have the lovely L'escargot Bleu on Broughton Street.
This bistro has the delightful tagline 'French Twist Using The Best of Scotland' and it truly does. These delightful bistros are French in style yet proud of their use of Scottish produce. Meats, usually named by breed, are often slow cooked for full flavour; fish and shellfish are skilfully cooked with a lightness of touch.
The Auld Alliance is alive here and Fred & Betty have their own version of "entente-cordiale". Fred seeks out others that share his passion for excellence. He famously serves wild Scottish snails sourced from the Isle of Barra, heritage breeds of beef and ethically sourced poultry - nothing but the finest here. Photo credit: from L'escargot.
Rhubarb the restaurant is at Prestonfield House. This magnificient historic mansion has been creatively and sensitively restored to its former glory. Set in grounds with peacocks and highland cattle the whole experience is unforgettable - it is also on record for growing Scotland's first rhubarb, until then an uknown plant.
Members of the prestigious Scotch Beef Club. Prestonfield is an exceptional place: the staff are superb and the food exceptional.
Prestonfield Rhubarb is on Slow Food's Ark of Taste.
Stylish and contemporary, the latest addition to the National Galleries of Scotland makes a gastonomical experience also a cultural one! Here Victor and Carina Contini bring you traditional recipes and fresh produce from local suppliers, and their own kitchen garden, only this time the menu is more celtic than Italian and equally successful.
Their venues are always stylish and enjoyable with superb savoury dishes, sweet cakes and imaginative treats.
There are light bites and substantial meals, all delicious. They pride themselves in local Slow Food, with a map showing where producers are and also growing their own in their kitchen garden. Here is their lamb dish cooked for RHS!
Pure style on the rooftop of the National Museum of Scotland - a view matched only by the menu. This is another inspirational venue and menu from James Thomson, of Prestonfield fame.
This is a smooth luxury city venue, minimalist and chic yet only a short walk from Princes Street in the city centre. Perfect for rooftop lunches, afternoon teas and dinners.
Photo credit: Tower Restaurant
When V & C celebrated 80 years 1934-2014 trading in Elm Row in this fabulous emporium it was quite a party! Here is Philip Contini in their lovely cafe bistro. World class Italian - no food guide worth its salt should be without it!
This amazing treasure chest of Italian gourmet food is a wonderful journey for all the senses. Look upwards and you will see giant risotto pans alongside hams. Inhale the wonderful cheeses and freshly baked breads. There is a wine selection that few could match; an interesting array of arty cookware, and an excellent cafe to the rear.
Mary Contini is also an accomplished writer and her books are on sale here too. Check their website for latest calendar of events.
The latest addition to Valvona & Crolla family enterprise, from the next generation, Mary and Philip''s daughter Francesca, close by Harvey Nicks. High on style and quality dining, a very 'hip' place to be.
A keen supporter of a heady mix of both the finest Italian and Scottish produce including many fine Scottish artisan cheeses on her CHEESEBOARD.
The Wine List is selected by her Father, Philip Contini, grandson of founder Alfonso Crolla, from his award-winning range in Valvona & Crolla. Members of the prestigious Scotch Beef Club. Open all day Mondays to Saturdays then Sunday brunch.
After a successful career with the great John Tovey at Miller Howe, Windermere we
are lucky that Paul has chosen to settle in Edinburgh and opened this fine restaurant here with his wife Lisa. He is a prominent figure on Scotland's restaurant scene for his stylish contemporary Scottish cuisine and wonderful relaxing atmosphere. Paul is renowned for his use of quality, local, fresh ingredients and can be found foraging for ingredients in woods and on riverbanks!
He also spends time in Barbados, and some dishes have a Bajan twist - such as his Bajan Haggis! Ensuring that staff are learning and developing their passion for food and drink is a fundamental part of Paul’s philosophy.
In 2014 Paul started a skills exchange with trainee chefs in Barbados. Paul believes that it’s experiences like this that help to shape a chef and their dishes, much as it has done for him. His most recent venture has seen him begin a partnership with Relish, a restaurant in Barbados.
He presents entertaining cookery shows at the Royal Highland Show for us and has quite a following! He is a regular favourite at the BBC Good Food Show and other festivals around the UK and the Caribbean.
Thistle Awards Hospitality Hero 2015
Try Paul's recipe for Herbed Grains, Glazed goats cheese, Pickled chanterelles, Squash in recipe section (Vegetarian).
Atmospheric cellars with a host of well-selected wines, many offered by the glass. The impressive menu has an emphasis on fine local produce, wholesome Scottish food with a seafood emphasis - you can have a full meal or just a light bite. These home made fishcakes were brilliant!
This West End wine bar has been on the go for over 25 years and is ever a vibrant and popular meeting place. Whighams Wine Cellar is a short stone's throw from Princes Street. Check out their website link for details of their jazz nights too.
A very popular haunt for locals, for refreshments en route home, or for more leisurely dining, evening or lunchtime.
Malcolm Duck took over this well known Aberlady landmark in 2004 and since then has not only been bestowing upon it much tender loving care but also attracted accolades for its food and wines. There are menu options all day from informal tasty dishes to tempt you after a bracing coastal walk or a round of golf (or no excuse required!) to romantic dining too. He takes pride in sourcing the best of Scotland's produce along with real ale, 50 to 60 malts and Ducks wine list.
Ducks has has achieved many accolades including Winner of Best Hotel Restaurant Award at the East Lothian Food and Drink Awards and is a great asset to this pretty village.
This super farm shop on the edge of Aberlady is famous for its own reared wild boar and the farm shop also stocks a range of seasonal vegetables from surrounding farms and a very good range of other Scottish store cupboard essentials.
The cafe is a great place to stop and there is outdoor seating too for the summery days. They have a delicious range of home bakes, soups, sandwiches and daily specials.
An imposing Edinburgh landmark with food to match. Members of the prestigious Scotch Beef Club. Restaurant Number 1 is Catering in Scotland Excellence Award Hotel of the Year 2016. Their Patisserie Chef Ross Sneddon also won the CiS Award for his skills the same year.
This building, its location, its kitchen and former guests is the stuff of legends. The rich and famous have been flocking here for more than a century... if only walls could talk!
Here the ethos is fresh-seasonal-local-sustainable-homemade. With a combined Irish, Scottish, French and Spanish heritage, they cooked their way around the world before opening in Edinburgh. Bia is Irish for food and bistrot is deliberately spelt according to the French! Chef proprietors Roisin & Matthias Llorente are both Member of Slow Food Chefs' Alliance. Photo credit: Bia Bistrot
I have my daughter to thank for finding this one! A lovely hipster hangout. Great coffee, carefully sourced menu items (delicious filled breads, patisserie and other tasty coffee accompaniments) and a delightfully chilled place to be. There is an eclectic and attractive selection of unusual kitchen related goods on sale too. A welcome addition to this end of town and also with a shop on Marchmont Crescent.
Complete with dainty cafe to rear of shop, this lovely emporium specialises in layer cakes, as well as offering Cuckoo’s infamous cupcakes, brownies, scones and a wide range of tray bakes. It has a lovely retro décor and 1950s style coffee machine, offering customers a nostalgic, retro feel. The team at Cuckoo’s Bakery uses only the highest quality, locally sourced ingredients to craft the most imaginatively designed, flavoursome cakes. The provenance of items is something they are clearly proud of making this a very ethical venue.
The team won ‘Best Cake in Scotland’ at the Scottish Baker of the Year Awards 2014 and 2015 for their raspberry and white chocolate cupcake. Also with branch/nest in Dundas Street!
Ben Reade & Sashana Souza Zanella met at the University of Gastronomic Sciences by Bra, Piemonte and from there have travelled, explored and studied food, including a spell at the Nordic Food Lab. They have now crowd-funded their latest venture in Edinburgh that has been open a month (Oct 2015) after a total rebuild of the premises! They have created a stylish contemporary space where food can be celebrated, recipes can be tried out and there will be workshops and meetings too. It will also be open 3 nights a week, Thursdays-Saturdays, as a restaurant with a set menu. Here is our delicious Peelham Farm mutton.
Opened 2013 this restaurant has very good credentials, its owners having served their time at Peat Inn and Wee Restaurant. Their pared down menus brimming with local produce seek to show an essence of Scotland without fuss or fiddling, yet with no shortage of style or flavour on each plate. Menus are innovative often using under-appreciated ingredients, bringing them back to our tables. No e mail address. Reservations by telephone only.
Lovely maritime theme in both menu and décor. Naturally a predominantly seafood menu with particularly delicious bisques. Informal and casual. Very popular with the locals. Also with a venue on the shore in Leith.
This bright and charming bakery and coffee shop is very close to, across the road from Haymarket Station. Comfy sofas, warming stove, small selection of interesting foodie gifts and of course his wonderful patisserie to go with a great coffee.
This artisan bakery also does outside catering and wholesale orders
Refreshingly ethical seafood restaurant founded by Colin Hinds, Member of Slow Food Chefs' Alliance. Great care is taken to source local and sustainable produce, from the shellfish around our coasts to pork from small farms. The Kilted Lobster has also created "Cooking up a Storm,' the Social Conscience of the restaurant, where projects are undertaken in conjunction with the local community.
Chris has transformed this landmark pub into a brasserie dining experience alongside a stylish bar. As he says, local ingredients with modern flair and charm. The menus are mouth-watering and brimming with top notch produce. Friendly and professional, they know their stuff here!
Vibrant and contemporary cafe bistro that has an instantly friendly buzz. The brainchild of Slow Food devotees David & Carey, they create enticing dishes with artisan produce supporting local bakeries, butchers, fishmonger and organic vegetable growers whenever possible. Daily specials on the blackboard, range from brunches to scones and fab coffee; tomato & foraged wild garlic soup with bread; pork & haggis sausage roll with salad & homemade chutney. Family and dog friendly.
Known to many generations of Edinburghers as The Caley, or the Caledonian, this red sandstone landmark defines Edinburgh's West End - indeed it once had its own railway station!
Now home to The Pompadour by Galvin, unveiled in the autumn of 2012, in one of Scotland’s most magnificent dining rooms at what is now the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh. With views of Edinburgh Castle, this private salon cocktail bar and exquisite hand-painted wall panels is more Versailles than Scots!
This informal relaxed bistro cafe on the edge of Stockbridge has a youthful energy and a tempting blackboard menu. Chris Thompson always wanted to be a chef and has great love for food. He took this passion and drive and opened his own restaurant, alongside wife Charlotte in December 2012. All dishes are very ethically sourced and cover a range of home comforts with a contemporary twist and a light touch in pairing foods. Most suppliers are mentioned by name and their suppliers considered their partners. Their pulled pork is delicious.
Craig and Vikki Wood launched their first restaurant in North Queensferry in 2006 where they have been extremely successful. Craig was crowned Chef of the Year 2015 at the CIS Excellence Awards and his passion for good food served simply but with impeccable style has served him well.
The Edinburgh venue is very much along the same lines - neat and sweet. The daily blackboard menu uses seasonal food imaginatively and as a popular venue booking is advisable!
This delightful herb garden and cafe is on the old site of Damhead near Hillend ski slope on the way to IKEA. It is an idyllic spot, beautifully and harmoniously presented with charming outside spots to dine as well as a few tables inside the main building and the largest greenhouse. There are all sorts of things to catch your eye - from vintage gardening tools to good books, home grown produce and interesting garden themed gifts. The home baking is delicious and over lunchtime they also have a quiche of the day with herb salad served in an eco box if you are eating it in the gardens. Fun, fabulous and friendly!
Fine Italian dining and a strong supporter of local produce - from East Lothian beef to seafood straight from the North Sea waters almost on their doorstep - in their own words, our unique Italian style with a twist of Scottish flavours. Osteria is a well known term in Italy where it means a family run restaurant serving good honest local food and wine. It fits well with the ethos of this Scots-Italian gem. No e mail bookings so please call.
Delightful bar bistro in this bonnie village. Totally refurbished, the 'old' crown now has a great 'kitchen' in a lovely setting - natural stone and woodwork, modernist yet restrained and sensitively restored using elements of the old pub in its design.
A cool place to dine with a menu to match. Scotch beef is highlighted along with other local producers, their menu is full of tempting dishes - the home made burgers and smoked sausages were excellent as were the desserts.
A light and airy contemporary space in the heart of North Berwick. This bistro bar has a great range of freshly prepared dishes presented on lovely slate, linen white bowls and blocks of wood. The seafood soup was delicious and their steak platters are very popular too. The front dining section is popular for lunches with large windows to watch the world go by and there is another spacious dining area to the rear.
This hostelry has a long history of providing sustenance and warmth to the weary traveller over the generations and since 2010 has come into its own with new owners creating a great venue worthy of destination dining. It is light and contemporary yet still has the character you would wish. The staff are friendly and enthusiastic and the menu is not only well set out and balanced but also filled with interesting notes on provenance such as the pork is from their own Saddleback pigs grazing on the slopes opposite - and great pork it was too! They have a walled garden and stress the importance of produce throughout the menu. They justly received Catering in Scotland's Pub Excellence Award in 2012. Members of the prestigious Scotch Beef Club. Right on the bridge by the canal it also has two barges available for hire for cruise dining.