Edinburgh restaurants

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Price guide: Mid-range
expert-rated restaurants in Edinburgh
Expert overall rating:4.4 (out of 5)

Authentic Spanish tapas in the heart of Scotland.

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There are hundreds of great places to eat and drink in Edinburgh. Really we have come a long way from ye olde days of deep fried Mars Bars and haggis pies. There has been a revolution in the standard and food being both produced and cooked in this country.

With six Michelin-starred restaurants in the Edinburgh area alone, other restaurants and food producers have raised their game. As a result you will be spoiled for choice. Whether you want to spend a few quid or a shed load of money you can pick and choose the kind of food you like to eat in the atmosphere you like to eat it.

I have featured three of the Michelin-starred restaurants in town because they are my favourites. I will of course list the names of the others but I felt that, as Michelin is already a known standard, I should perhaps draw your attention to smaller, lesser-known establishments which would be easy to overlook.

Every country seems to have a different policy on tipping but here it is generally left to the discrepancy of the customer. As a rule of thumb I  recommend 10% of the total bill. Sometimes if you have party of 8 or over they will automatically charge you 10% but it should state that clearly on their website or when you book. Occasionally a restaurant will add an automatic 10% service charge even if there are just one or two of you which I don't agree with and I have  insisted they take the service charge off to make the point. I am happy to generously tip if the service is good, if not, I don't.

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Each of the restaurants/cafes/coffee shops I have featured offer value for money, great food, consistency and excellent service. I have been involved in the restaurant industry in Edinburgh, both as a consumer and a professional, for over 20 years. During that time my husband started his own restaurant and expanded until we had eight sites in Scotland, he sold them three years ago - so there is no conflict of interest! In addition I was food critic for The Sunday Herald for a year, presented two series of food programmes on STV and was a judge in Channel 4's new food show Iron Chef. I have also been a judge for Restaurant of the Year for the past two years and am going through the process again late 2010 to be announcend February 2012/ To be frank, food is my obsession. I eat out all the time and I am very proud of what Edinburgh can offer.

Geographically I have tried to cover all areas of the city, with a natural concentration in the centre. I hope you find somewhere close to where you are staying. If not please let me know as feedback from you is paramount and I can rectify things.

On an ongoing basis  I will keep my ear to the ground and review any new additions to the Edinburgh food scene, as well as monitoring all featured restaurants with a view to making sure what you read on this list is accurate as it is important you can rely on this.

Cheers! Enjoy! 

Regards, Alison

1st November, 2010