There’s no shortage of foodie hotspots in Edinburgh. The city is chock-a-block full of delicious dining experiences that will have you dreaming about your next lunch date. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite to eat with friends or colleagues, idling the hours of the afternoon in a cosy pub or are celebrating a special occasion, Edinburgh is here to satisfy your food cravings.
Clear your schedule and get ready to experience the best flavours around the city with our top lunch picks.
1. Hendersons, Barclay Place
When it comes to veggie and vegan options in Edinburgh, the options here are endless. Head down to Hendersons during your next lunch outing with friends or family. To tempt you, here is a pic of the restaurant’s delicious starters on offer from salt and chilli cauliflower wings, beetroot and red onion and goats cheese tart and soup of the day, you’re definitely in for a treat with all dishes using locally sourced ingredients. Complement your meal with a refreshing beverage. Choose from a wide selection of fresh juices, hot drinks, soft drinks, beers, wines and refreshing cocktails which include espresso martinis and Aperol Spritz. Hendersons prides itself on being dog friendly so make sure you bring your beloved pooch along; they’ll be barking mad to miss it!
Celebrating a special occasion? The restaurant can be booked for private dining for parties of up to 18 people. If you’re booking for more than 6 people, get in touch with the restaurant via email to see if there is availability.
2. Eleanore, Albert Place
This Leith gem is bound to cook up a storm with its foodie delights. Open for lunch Saturday – Monday, Eleanore is set to be a real catch for seafood lovers with oysters, crab and BBQ monkfish making a star appearance on the menu. There are also meat dishes including venison and game sausage and veggie options are available too. Enjoy a lunchtime feast with the restaurant’s set menu which includes three snacks, a choice between two main courses, and a dessert. Treat a loved one to an e-gift card for the ultimate culinary experience, you can even get a hard copy if you email them directly.
Tables snap up very quickly so make sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment. Parties of 6+ will need to contact the restaurant to make a booking and all online lunch reservations will require debit/credit card details. Please note, Eleanore only accept card payments.
3. The Scran and Scallie, Stockbridge
Meet one of Edinburgh’s coolest neighbourhoods, Stockbridge. You’ll find some of the best lunch spots here including The Scran and Scallie. With a list of accolades under their belt, you can never go wrong on quality. Enjoy a sit-down meal with your favourite tipple where you can browse the extensive wine list and range of locally brewed ales and artisan beers. For the main event, dig into delicious hearty comfort food. The restaurant’s famous steak pie uses Aberdeen Angus beef shoulder covered in puff pastry with bone marrow at the centre. Children of all ages and well-behaved four-legged friends are welcome too. Looking to buy something special for a loved one? A gift card from The Scran and Scallie makes the perfect gift for any occasion.
There are special menus for wee scallies under 12 and if you need space for a pram or children’s highchair make sure to mention this in your booking. Parties of 7+ can contact the restaurant’s Reception Team by phone to see if there is availability.
4. Secret Herb Garden, Damhead
Enjoy a little peace and quiet with some garden zen at Secret Herb Garden. Located just outside of Edinburgh, get ready to dine alfresco for lunch. Its ever-changing menu offers a delicious line-up of flavours including charcuterie boards, veggie boards and potato frittata using only local suppliers and freshly grown produce onsite. Make sure to leave room for some tasty homemade baking afterwards. Invite along friends and family for an afternoon tea date with sandwiches, scones, sweet treats, cakes and macaroons aplenty. Why not add a glass of fizz to your afternoon spread? The kid’s menu offers soup, a selection of sandwiches and fruity flavoured drinks to satisfy wee appetites.
Give the gift of the Secret Herb Garden and treat a loved one to a gift voucher for afternoon tea. Gift vouchers are also available to spend in the shop which stocks herbs, gin and other goodies.
5. BABA, George Street
Bringing a slice of the Mediterranean to Edinburgh’s city centre is BABA. Inspired by traditional Lebanese food, it’s the perfect restaurant for a big family affair. There are lots of different seating options for small and large groups with the main restaurant seating 6-10 people and the spacious snug sitting 8-10. Groups of 10 and more, can feast like kings and queens from the BABAnquet menus. If you’re feeling hungry, indulge in their feasting dishes which can be shared between two people. Highlights include yoghurt-marinated whole grilled sea bream, verbena harissa, fennel and orange shredded salad or cote de bôeuf, grilled veg, harissa, zhug, tahini and herbs. Straight from the grill, you can enjoy barbecue-glazed chicken leg, slow-cooked lamb shoulder and grilled sea bass to name a few. There’s always room for pudding of course, sweeten the deal with yoghurt panna cotta topped off with candied cumin, strawberries and honey or dark chocolate and tahini crémeux, cherries and crème fraîche. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available.
Make sure to elevate your meal with a delicious cocktail or mocktail from the extensive drinks menu.
6. Rabble, Frederick Street
Rabble step up to the plate when it comes to delicious comfort food. You’ll find all the traditional favourites including bangers and mash, smoked cheddar mac & cheese and heavenly desserts which include sticky toffee pudding, dark chocolate torte and vanilla ice cream. Indulge in the pork fillet wellington, accompanied with Stornoway black pudding, Swiss chard, piccalilli purée, smoked bacon savoy cabbage & crackling, it’s no surprise that this dish is a favourite amongst diners. For our veggie friends, be sure to try the roast squash & sweet potato tagine with lemon cous cous & toasted almonds or crispy halloumi salad. Cocktail drinkers are in for a real treat. Choose from a wide range of classics including French martinis, margaritas and a classic twist on the pina colada – frozen blue raspberry colada. The kid’s menu is full of lovingly prepared dishes that cater to all tastes and on Sundays they even eat half price! What’s not to love?
Fancy treating someone to an overnight stay? Rabble offers a range of gift cards in its boutique hotel which include breakfast or dinner and lunch options or book a fabulous champagne lunch.
7. The Sheep Heid Inn, Duddingston
Sundays were made for roast dinners at The Sheep Heid Inn. The trio of roasts come served with beef, pork and chicken, crackling, covered in bread sauce and stuffing wrapped in bacon. During the week, there’s lots of appetising dishes to choose from with vegan friendly options too including the spiced coconut curry and plant-based burger. Enjoy a sweet treat from the dessert menu. You’ll find a wonderful selection of desserts including the Lotus Biscoff chocolate bomb or choose a mini dessert and a hot drink with a choice of home-baked chocolate brownie, apple & rhubarb crumble and white chocolate cheesecake. Kids can tuck into dishes including chicken breast strips, cheeseburger sliders and linguine with all main courses containing at least one of their five-a-day. The restaurant even has its own courtyard, a perfect place to relax in the Scottish sunshine.
The fun doesn’t stop after lunch, head to the Skittle Alley and strike it lucky as you compete against family and friends. Keep your energy levels up with the food and drinks package while you bowl or take your pick from the buffet inspired à la carte menu.
8. 63rd+1st, Frederick Street
Manhattan comes to Edinburgh at 63rd+1st, a brand-new dining spot in the city’s Frederick Street. With delightful nibbles and starters like charred padron peppers, jammin’ chicken lollipops and Brooklyn’s legendary mozza corn dogs, the menu is as extensive as it is delicious. For mains, you can choose from the Manhattan burger, chicken parmigiana and a selection of steaks including fillet, sirloin and rump. Like a bit of surf and turf? Choose one of its mouth-watering steak toppers including garlic and chilli prawns and scallop thermidor. If you’re in need of a pudding fix, take a bite out the Big Apple with the classic baked New York cheesecake or the waffle ice cream cone flight.
Feel like a cocktail connoisseur in no time and browse through its dazzling cocktail list. From strawberry daiquiris and cosmopolitans to whisky sours and bloody Mary’s, you’ll be in cocktail heaven in no time. Low and no alcohol drinks are also available too.
9. The Caley Sample Room, Angle Park Terrace
Located to the west of Edinburgh’s city centre, The Caley Sample Room is essentially one of the best lunch spots: It’s family-friendly, serves your favourite pub food classics and offer a selection of beers, craft ales and cider on tap. They also have a range of dishes that are free from animal produce suitable for our veggie and vegan friends and a children’s menu is available too. It’s easy to spend your entire afternoon here and is a great spot to hit when you’re with a big group. You can even get your footie fix with live sport available and have your favourite canine companion by your side.
10. The Broughton, Broughton Street
Last but by no means least, we’ve got one of the best places for lunch to add to your foodie hit list. Diners at The Broughton will be able to sink their teeth into mouth-watering mains including lemon poached ocean trout, crispy sesame chicken and the chargrilled lunch burger streaming from the kitchen, all naturally accompanied by delicious sides to complement your meal. The kids menu is traditionally fuss free, with plenty of options for under 12’s such as haddock goujons, chips and broccoli or meatballs in tomato sauce with rigatoni pasta.
Make sure to top it all off with a retro pudding. The world is your sweet, frozen oyster with its homemade ice cream and sorbets or if you’re feeling extra indulgent, try the sticky toffee pudding.
Heading out on a gastronomical tour across Scotland? Get ready to whet your appetite with these foodie suggestions:
- Restaurants & Places to Eat in Scotland | VisitScotland
- 6 of the best pizza places in Edinburgh, recommended by an Italian | VisitScotland
- 10 Best Coffee Spots to Try in Edinburgh
- Top Outdoor Dining Spots In Scotland | VisitScotland
- 11 Traditional Scottish Food Dishes to Try | VisitScotland
- 16 Amazing Scottish Island Restaurants | VisitScotland