A culinary awakening has swept through the charming Scottish city.
The local food movement has blossomed with full force in Edinburgh—a cause for celebration that’s likely lost on anyone who still associates Scotland with heavy dishes made up of indiscriminate ingredients. While there’s still plenty of haggis, meat pies, and fried fish and chips to go round (and thank goodness for that), the recent culinary awakening that’s swept through much of the western world has touched this tiny, historic city, too, resulting in new approaches to handling the country's impressive natural larder. With most of its land mass surrounded by water, it should be no surprise that Scotland has some of the best seafood on offer: Everyone knows Scottish salmon, but the unbelievably creamy oysters are like nothing you’ll try from the States, and that’s to say nothing of the scallops, haddock, and other local fish you can try. And with much of that land to the North and South dedicated to rolling hills dotted with happy-looking livestock, there’s a bounty of lamb, beef, pork, and interesting game birds to go round. Urban gardens and foraging, have caught on, as has a style of cooking that sometimes borrows from its Nordic neighbors. But perhaps the best accolade to describe the cuisine you’ll find is freshness. With so little ground to cover, ingredients don't have long to travel before hitting your plate. Here, a few of our favorite spots to grab a bite.