8 Fantastic Edinburgh Restaurants With Amazing Castle Views (2023)

Edinburgh is a beautiful city with incredible architecture, stunning views, and the best and most diverse restaurants. Put all this together and you’ve got a recipe for a perfect dining experience. No matter where you eat out in Edinburgh, it’s going to be special, but you can’t get much more special than eating at a restaurant with a view of the castle. The iconic Edinburgh Castle sits on a hill overlooking the city below, but some of the tucked-away streets and squares hide you away from its splendor, so you aren’t guaranteed a view of this ancient building while you dine. To make sure you can gaze at the castle while you eat, here’s my pick of Edinburgh restaurants with castle views.

8 Fantastic Edinburgh Restaurants With Amazing Castle Views (1)

1. Chaophraya

Chaophraya is a true hidden gem. In fact, you might need Google Maps to find it! It looks unassuming from the outside, but once inside you’ll find out what all the fuss is about. This Thai restaurant has incredible views. The restaurant has a rooftop location and is beautifully designed inside, with the outer wall being entirely glass. The rooftop location and the floor-to-ceiling windows mean you can see the castle from anywhere in the restaurant. The menu here is really extensive, and you might feel like you’re faced with a novel when you open it up. There’s also a separate vegan menu, meaning everyone is catered for and the choice in dishes is phenomenal. Take some time to choose; they have every Thai dish you can think of.

Pro Tip

Book a table in “the glasshouse” which runs alongside the main restaurant on the rooftop, and you’ll enjoy spectacular views of the castle and all of Edinburgh. This is like sitting out on the terrace but protected by a glass wall and ceiling, meaning you can enjoy that outdoors feeling with great views even if the weather isn’t great.

(Video) Top 10 Restaurants & Dining Experiences in Edinburgh, Scotland (Best Restaurants, Pubs, & More)

8 Fantastic Edinburgh Restaurants With Amazing Castle Views (2)

2. Cannonball By Contini

Situated on Castle Hill, Cannonball by Conti is literally laying in the arms of the castle, and you can see this iconic old building up close from the windows of the restaurant. You can’t really get much closer than this. The menu here is sumptuous, but the tasting menu is especially good. There’s also a vegetarian option for the tasting menu. I’d recommend pairing the tasting menu with the wine flight. It’s a little expensive, but so worth it. There’s no comparison to taking your time over these small dishes, paired perfectly with wine, while gazing out the window at the castle. The produce here is seasonal, meaning the menu differs depending on what time of year you visit, and where possible, it’s locally sourced, so you know it’s authentically Scottish.

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3. The Lookout

The Lookout is perfectly named. Perched high up on Carlton Hill, the restaurant supplies views not just of the castle, but the entire city of Edinburgh. This is like a lookout point that’s a restaurant. It’s a stunning location, and you really do feel like you’re way up in the hills. This is a small and unique restaurant that many visitors don’t seek out because it’s a walk to get to it. The walk is worth it though, as you are rewarded with the most incredible scenes. The walls are glass from top to bottom, so no matter where you sit, you have those sought-after views. It’s a lovely place to go for breakfast or brunch, as the light is ideal for the setting early in the morning. There’s a laid-back atmosphere in the restaurant, and it always feels like a lazy Sunday morning. It’s the perfect place to sit back with a coffee in the morning or a glass of wine in the evening.

Pro Tip

In the evening, The Lookout has a tasting menu with a wine flight. It’s a good selection, but much more expensive than you’ll find elsewhere in the city. You’re paying for the incredible views here, so I’d recommend going for breakfast or brunch.

(Video) Exploring Edinburgh | Edinburgh Castle + Eats (Makars, Haggis Box & Afternoon Tea)

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4. The Outsider

The Outsider, despite its name, looks fairly modest from the outside, but once you’re inside you’ll find a restaurant with a lively atmosphere and great food. There’s something of a buzz around this restaurant that tells you people want to be here. It serves some amazing seafood dishes, and you can enjoy your meal with uninterrupted views of the castle. One of the things about this restaurant that keeps visitors coming back again and again is the fact that the menu is always changing, and it’s always so good. This means no matter how many times you eat here, you’ll always find something different. There are some elements of the menu that stay the same, but for the most part, you can expect to be surprised. I love the ad-hoc feel of the menu, even though in reality it’s anything but. I’d recommend eating seafood while you’re here, as it really is their specialty.

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Pro Tip

I love seeing an extensive wine list in a restaurant, and The Outsider has a really solid and lengthy list. The French Picpoul de Pinet is perfect with fish.

5. The Pompadour At The Waldorf Astoria

After his appearance on MasterChef: The Professionals, Dean Banks made something of a name for himself, but food lovers already knew how great his food was. He now runs The Pompadour restaurant at The Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Princes Street. This is most definitely fine dining. The restaurant is beautiful and simple while being luxurious at the same time, just like the food. Everything here is beautifully designed and thoughtfully laid out, and the food keeps closely to the local bounty of Scotland. The elegance inside the restaurant is perfectly matched by the views of the castle, which can be seen from the restaurant windows. This restaurant first opened in 1925, and you’ll find much of that original atmosphere still exists here. The décor stays close to its history; there’s a whisper of those roaring ’20s in every corner.


6. The Johnnie Walker Experience

The Johnnie Walker Experience on Princes Street can feel like a world of sensory overload. The colors in the bar are bright and neon, the whisky has a punch, and the food being cooked in the kitchen smells incredible. But if you want a little quiet time to enjoy pulled pork doughnuts with a dram of whisky and your own thoughts, ask for a table out on the terrace and you’ll find peace and the most incredible view of the castle. The restaurant is perfectly placed, right across the road from the castle. With nothing in between to hinder the view, it’s simply breathtaking. This is more than a restaurant; as the name suggests, it’s an experience, and you can combine a trip for lunch or dinner with a distillery tour and a whisky cocktail in the bar.

Pro Tip

Some of the seating in the restaurant is a little uncomfortable. You might also find, if you visit for lunch you’re seated on sofas rather than a table and chairs, which will make eating lunch uncomfortable and difficult. Ask to be seated at a table, or better still, on the terrace for those views.

7. Harvey Nichols

Harvey Nichols has a name that speaks about luxury, but even though the store’s reputation precedes it, the restaurant on the rooftop here offers comforting food, and even quite hearty meals. The idea is that this is a pitstop mid-shopping. Most people heading to Harvey Nichols are doing so for the shopping experience, so the bar and restaurant upstairs are an added bonus rather than a destination in their own right. But I’d encourage anyone to seek the restaurant out whether you’re going shopping or not. The menu is perfect for a mid-shopping break, but also for brunch and lunch even if you’re not shopping. The rooftop location of the restaurant makes it a beautiful spot to stop and take some time out. One wall is entirely glass, and if you step out onto the terrace on a clear day, the castle is right there in front of you.

(Video) The beautiful Castle view from Tower Restaurant Edinburgh

8. Yo Sushi

Yo Sushi is a well-loved chain of sushi restaurants, but not many branches have a view like this one. As the small plates of sushi snake their way around the conveyor belt in the window of the restaurant and you sit upon the high stools and try to choose from the train of goodies, look up and you’ll see you have the most perfect view of the castle. If you’re not familiar with the food at Yo Sushi, it’s small plates of sushi dishes on the conveyor belt with other dishes to be ordered from the menu. It’s sushi fast food and not for everyone’s taste, but this particular branch does have the added value of being in a prime castle viewing spot.

Pro Tip

If you haven’t been to Yo Sushi before, watch those small plates. They pile up fast and before you know it, you’ve spent a fortune.

For more ideas on a trip to Edinburgh, check out these articles:

  • The Unique Cocktail Bar In Edinburgh Where You Can Stay The Night
  • 4 Reasons This Classic, Luxurious Hotel Is A Must-Visit
  • 7 Can’t-Miss Authentic Pubs In Edinburgh
(Video) 3 Days in Edinburgh, Scotland


Which cafe has views of Edinburgh Castle? ›

Keeping in the New Town area, Harvey Nichols top floor restaurant has a lovely view over St Andrews Square and Edinburgh castle. Whether going for a full meal or tea and scone.

What is Edinburgh's most historic restaurant? ›

Edinburgh's Sheep Heid Inn is said to be Scotland's oldest restaurant and the world's eighth-oldest. Guests over the years include the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns and more recently, the Queen and Kelly Clarkson.

How many Michelin star restaurants are in Edinburgh? ›

Edinburgh. Renowned for its thriving food scene and home to three Michelin restaurants, Edinburgh truly gives visitors real flavour when it comes to food and drink experiences.

Was any of Harry Potter filmed in Edinburgh? ›

Although Edinburgh wasn't used to film any of the scenes in Harry Potter, it is where J K Rowling wrote the books and found a lot of inspiration for characters and locations.

Where is the most beautiful scenery in Scotland? ›

20 Most Beautiful Places In Scotland
  1. 01 Dunnottar Castle, Aberdeenshire. ...
  2. 02 Bow Fiddle Rock, Moray. ...
  3. 03 Isle of Iona. ...
  4. 04 Traigh Hornais Clachan Sands, North Uist. ...
  5. 05 Bealach Na Ba, Wester Ross. ...
  6. 06 Loch Ken, Galloway Forest Park. ...
  7. 07 Glenfinnan, Fort William. ...
  8. 08 Eoligarry Beach, Isle of Barra.

Which cafe in Edinburgh did J.K. Rowling write Harry Potter? ›

Opened in 1995, The Elephant House has established itself as one of the best tea and coffee houses in Edinburgh. Author J.K. Rowling ,had her first book published while she was writing in the back room overlooking Edinburgh Castle, making The Elephant House the “birthplace” of the series of Harry Potter novels.

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With its perfect location, luxurious service, and rich history, the Balmoral Hotel has long been the hotel of choice for celebrities, prime ministers, and royalty alike. As you wander the streets of Edinburgh you can't help but feel a sense of wonder.

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1. Bruntsfield/Morningside. This attractive leafy neighborhood is one of the most affluent in Edinburgh.

What was Frank Sinatra favorite restaurant? ›

Patsy's Italian Restaurant: Frank Sinatra's Favorite.

What is the most famous food in Edinburgh? ›

Haggis is the national dish of Scotland for good reason. You'll find this spicy meat pudding on the menu everywhere in Edinburgh, and you can find vegetarian versions too. There are even whole restaurants that specialise in the dish!

What was Marilyn Monroe favorite restaurant? ›

Barney's Beanery

In a vintage story by Route 66 Magazine, Monroe's penchant for Barney's Beanery's chili is revealed. She would often stop in during the filming of the same Some Like it Hot for a comforting bowl of the chili that is still on the menu today.

Did Edinburgh lose a Michelin Star? ›

Edinburgh has lost one of its Michelin Stars with the news the Number One at The Balmoral restaurant no longer holds the prestigious accolade. The capital was also overlooked in terms of new restaurants earning the revered culinary distinction, despite hopes the city could bolster its Michelin Star haul.

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Tokyo has eleven restaurants with three Michelin stars (the most of any city in the world), plus dozens of other top-notch eateries to choose from.

Which UK city has most Michelin Star restaurants? ›

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  • London – 82 Michelin Stars.
  • Birmingham – 5 Michelin Stars.
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  • Bristol – 4 Michelin Stars.
  • Cumbria – 8 Stars.
  • Buckinghamshire – 4 Stars.
  • Surrey – 4 Stars.
  • Wiltshire – 4 Stars.
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Where is J.K. Rowling's House in Edinburgh? ›

Rowling and her family now live behind high hedges in the Edinburgh area of Branton.

Where is Diagon Alley in Edinburgh? ›

Diagon Alley / Victoria Street

It's easy to see where J.K. Rowling got her inspiration for Diagon Alley. Victoria Street curves down towards the Grassmarket and is within Edinburgh's Old Town - recognised as a World Heritage site.

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Victoria Street was built between 1829-34 as part of a series of improvements to the Old Town, with the aim of improving access around the city. Previously, access from the Grassmarket to the Lawnmarket was via the West Bow, a very steeply sloped and narrow lane.

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Isle of Skye

If ever a unicorn would prance, it would be on this mist-shrouded, mountainous island. Skye is undoubtedly one of the most magical places to visit in Scotland.

What is the number 1 tourist attraction in Scotland? ›

Edinburgh Castle

It takes the title of Scotland's most-visited paid-for attraction, and is, of course, one of the most popular tourist sites in Scotland.

What is the most photographed thing in Scotland? ›

Situated at the junction of Glen Etive and Glen Coe, Buachaille Etive Mor (The Great Shepherd of Etive) is the most photographed mountain in Scotland.

Why is the Elephant Cafe closed? ›

A cafe where JK Rowling wrote parts of her Harry Potter books cannot reopen because the building's owner has gone into liquidation, the BBC understands. The Elephant House cafe was one of several properties badly damaged in a blaze on George IV Bridge in Edinburgh in August last year.

What hotel did J.K. Rowling finish Harry Potter? ›

A decade after J.K. Rowling put down the final words of Deathly Hallows, Pottermore visited The Balmoral hotel in Edinburgh to see the room where the author completed the seventh Harry Potter story.

Why is the Elephant House in Edinburgh closed? ›

A year on from the George IV Bridge fire, the Elephant House is still unable to re-open, as the building's owner has gone into liquidation. The cafe where J.K. Rowling wrote much of her bestselling Harry Potter books was seriously damaged in a fire on George IV Bridge last August.

Who is the most famous person in Edinburgh? ›

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  • Sean Connery. If ever there was a charming and smooth-talking persona in history, it could only be the one and only Sean Connery. ...
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  • J K Rowling. ...
  • Dolly the Sheep. ...
  • Alexander Graham Bell. ...
  • Stuart Sutcliffe. ...
  • Gail Porter. ...
  • Irvine Welsh.
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Taking its name from Edinburgh's notorious 19th century serial killers, the former of whom was hung just along the road in the Lawnmarket, the Burke and Hare is Edinburgh's best known, pole-dancing and strip bar, located at the top of what is fondly referred to as the "pubic triangle."

What is the most desirable street in Edinburgh? ›

21 December 2022

Bank of Scotland has revealed Scotland's most expensive streets, with prestigious Ann Street in central Edinburgh taking the top spot. The street, known for its stunning aesthetics and classic Georgian architecture, will now set wealthy buyers back an average £1.7 million (£1,685,000).

Is there a hidden city under Edinburgh? ›

Descend into a section of Edinburgh's legendary Underground City, where a population once lived in utter misery. Forgotten for centuries and only recently unsealed, this part of the vaults is known as Damnation Alley.

What percentage of Edinburgh is black? ›

Profile of Ethnicity in Edinburgh
White: Other White2.6%1.1%
Mixed or multiple ethnic groups2.1%0.1%
Asian, Asian Scottish or Asian British6.6%1.2%
9 more rows
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What was Elvis's favorite restaurant? ›

THE Arcade Restaurant

The Arcade is not only the oldest diner in Memphis, it has been a local favorite for years. Elvis loved The Arcade and regularly ordered their fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. In his honor, there is an Elvis booth decorated with pictures of the King of Rock 'n' Roll.

What is Ed Sheeran's favorite restaurant? ›

Sheeran returned from Buckingham Palace to stop by his favourite curry restaurant in his home town of Framlingham in Suffolk. He was described as "our local hero" by the restaurant Curry India, whose owner thanked him for his loyal custom over 10 years.

What was Dean Martin's favorite restaurant? ›

Da Vinci is best known as Dean Martin's favorite joint, and, sure enough, the Dean Martin Booth is adjacent to the small bar.

Where can I take pictures of the Edinburgh Castle? ›

Blackford Hill. Blackford Hill is just south of the city centre and is home to the Edinburgh Royal Observatory, an ancient hill fort, and a spectacular view of the city. If you want to get that perfect postcard shot of the entire city, including the castle, this is where you want to go.

Is it worth it to see Edinburgh Castle? ›

Despite its touristy-ness, will we still get something out of it? Edinburgh Castle lives up to the hype, but it's a lengthy experience with lots of information. To get a first-hand experience of Scottish monarchic history, though, there's nowhere better to turn.

Can you see Edinburgh Castle without paying? ›

Edinburgh Castle

Entry to the castle is not free, but you can walk up to it and take in the fantastic views. Edinburgh Castle tickets are cheaper if you buy online (£18 per adult) but paying at the gate will cost £21.

What is the street in Edinburgh with view on castle? ›

Princes Street in Edinburgh - Edinburgh's Main Shopping Street with Stunning Castle Views – Go Guides.


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