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Whether it is a first date or your 50th anniversary, one of the most favourite ways to celebrate is to eat out.
So, how do you guarantee that where you book will be that cosy, low lit place perfect for couples?
This guide will give you pointers to the best romantic restaurants in Edinburgh, taking the headache out of your itinerary planning.
As far as romantic things to do in Edinburgh go, eating out is always top of my list.
Never mind Munro bagging, my husband and I are restaurant baggers.
For me, it’s all about this ambience, how restaurants showcase Scottish fare and most of all value for money. So let’s tuck in…
Note: I have identified which restaurants offer delivery.
Romantic Restaurants Edinburgh City Centre
1. Six by Nico Edinburgh
Looking for a romantic dinner in Edinburgh that won’t break the bank while still impressing the other half?
Six by Nico has your back, six times over.
Situated on Hanover Street in the heart of the city centre, this basement restaurant is dark, ideal for dates looking to hide in the shadows.
The innovative restaurant offers a six-course tasting menu based around a theme such as Thai street food, ‘The Chippie’ or ‘Willy Wonka’.
Creative chefs must be living their best lives at Six by Nico.
There’s plenty of conversation with every round which fits the brand’s slogan nicely – A Story Every Six Weeks.
You may have guessed from the slogan, the menu changes every six weeks so there’s a reason to return for your one month anniversary!
It is a set menu but you can advise the team about any allergies or dislikes beforehand.
Gemma, Everything Edinburgh, hates coriander and they were kind to her when she visited during the Thai street food theme.
Since Six by Nico is one of the best date night restaurants in Edinburgh you have to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Delivery is available. Check out the website for more.
- Address: 97 Hanover St, Edinburgh EH2 1DJ
2. Howies Restaurant
Howies owns a collection of restaurants in Edinburgh.
Its flagship at Waterloo Place sits under the watch of Calton Hill, just minutes away from The Balmoral Hotel.
The restaurant is located in a Georgian hall which was made to celebrate the Battle of Waterloo at the East End of Princes Street.
The large windows let in lots of light which compliments the simple decor. It’s a really pleasant room to dine in.
While the standard of food is high, there is no pretence at Howies. The staff are friendly, the restaurant is welcoming and the menu has enough variation to cater for any date.
Gemma recommends the salmon for main and their signature banoffee pie.
Since the menu is seasonal, you will only get the above items if they are fresh.
However, you are guaranteed a Scottish menu and options for vegetarians and vegans.
If you prefer to dine in the Old Town, Howies is also situated at Victoria Street and on Victoria Terrace, you will find Scotts Kitchen for indoor and outside dining.
Howies also features in our best Christmas dinners in Edinburgh guide.
3. Chez Jules
Chez Jules, the French restaurant, is perfect for that first date.
The busy yet comfortable atmosphere draws you in and as you snake your way to the table, your senses are bombarded with the noise, the smells and the sights of this bistro so there is plenty of distraction if you need a bit of support in the conversation department.
On the table, you receive water and a basket with bread, charcuterie, olives and pickles.
This is for you to enjoy as you peruse the menu.
The wine comes in jugs and is served in small glass tumblers.
It is a little bit of genuine France in this Scottish city.
While the A la Carte menu is very affordable, the bargain hunters will appreciate the lunch menu which is served from 12 noon until 4pm.
If you prefer to pay for the first meal, this is a decent choice if you’re not sure about the date 😉
Chez Jules offers delivery. Check the website for more details.
- Address: 109 Hanover St, Edinburgh EH2 1DJ
This Thai restaurant is always high on Edinburgh couple date night bucket lists because of its fourth-floor views of Edinburgh Castle.
With ground to ceiling glass windows overlooking Princes Street Gardens, this family-owned UK business is one of the best places to see the Castle lit up at night.
Chaophraya’s menu includes classic Thai dishes such as pad Thai and ‘reimagined’ options too.
Request a table with castle views for the perfect date night.
One of the few rooftop bars in Edinburgh.
Love Thai food? Check out our guide to the best Thai restaurants in Edinburgh.
- Address: 4th Floor, 33 Castle St, Edinburgh EH2 3DN
5. Bonnie & Wild at St James Quarter
If you are looking for a casual date night meal in Edinburgh, head to four floor of St James Quarter for the Bonnie & Wild Marketplace.
The space is divided up into sections with different food stalls showcasing food from all over Scotland so you can order Chinese from Glasgow while your date goes for seafood from with islands.
You don’t have to sit near your preferred food stall as you are given a buzzer once you have ordered and paid.
Soft and alcoholic drinks are ordered via the app.
A super relaxed dining option which provides a bit of chat around the set up!
Old Town Romantic Restaurants
6. The Witchery By The Castle
Nestled just below Edinburgh Castle, this is certainly one of the top three romantic places to eat in Edinburgh.
Oozing with history, The Witchery offers a choice between two rooms depending on what kind of atmosphere you are after.
The Secret Garden is one of Edinburgh’s best-kept secrets.
Lit almost completely by candlelight, what better situation is there for a romantic liaison?
As you step down the stairs into the room, your eyes are drawn to the hand-painted ceiling then towards the French windows that lead onto the terrace.
For a different vibe, The Witchery room is set in the 16th century Merchant’s house.
Here you will be seated on red leather chairs and the walls are wood-panelled.
The reminders of Edinburgh’s past and the ghosts of the building surround you.
If you love somewhere that offers history as well as romance, then The Witchery is for you.
For a budget-friendly option, The Witchery’s lunch menu is served from noon until 6pm.
This means you can still enjoy this restaurant and have money left over to go and explore the romantic activities that Edinburgh has to offer.
For inspiration, have a read of this article.
7. The Grain Store
A true favourite of ours, where we celebrated our engagement, is The Grain Store.
Set on the instagrammable Victoria Street, this is easily one of the cosiest restaurants in Edinburgh.
Filled with alcoves and tables for two, you feel the intimate setting ripe for romance.
Using only the best of Scottish produce, this restaurant makes everything on site.
- Address: 30 Victoria St, Edinburgh EH1 2JW
Romantic Places to Eat Edinburgh‘s Leith Neighbourhood
The hip suburb of Leith is known for its food scene and every Saturday there is a farmers market selling local produce.
There are three recommended restaurants for date night in this area.
8. The Kitchin
Tom Kitchin and his wife, Michaela, own the world-renowned restaurant The Kitchin.
It is another of our favourites, where we return to when we can.
Kitchin is the youngest winner of a Michelin star and his fine dining restaurant is situated near Leith’s waterfront, perfect for an after-dinner stroll or pub crawl.
A warm welcome is offered to everyone stepping through the doors by the uninformed, kilted waiters and as you are taken to your seat, your senses are awakened.
The romantic low lighting, muted colours and the smells of the food set your mouth watering.
The ethos of the restaurant is ‘nature to plate’.
What you order, will often have been delivered by one of the many local suppliers that very morning.
Showcasing the very best that Scotland and Britain has to offer, you will be smitten – not just with your date, but also with this restaurant.
Tasting menus begin at £100 per person.
A la Carte options is a little cheaper and the set lunch menu is very affordable.
- Address: Commercial Quay, 78, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6LX
Fine dining your thing? Here’s our guide to affordable luxury under £30
9. Martin Wishart
Another Michelin starred restaurant in Leith is Restaurant Martin Wishart.
Situated on The Shore at Leith, this fine dining restaurant offers French-style cooking with the best of Scottish ingredients.
Having stood the test of time, 10 years later, Wishart often sees first dates bloom into return visits.
The bright airy interior makes the most of the light from the windows and looks out over the Water of Leith.
The tasting menu lines up 8 courses and there is a cheaper market menu for those on a smaller budget who enjoy investing in good produce.
Once again, there is a lunch menu, served on select week days.
- Address: 54 Shore, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6RA
10. Fingal Edinburgh
Last but by no means least, one restaurant that is firmly on my ‘must-visit list, is Fingal.
This unusual restaurant is onboard the Fingal ship.
The ship was originally built to bring parts to various lighthouses around Scotland.
Now docked beside the royal Yacht Britannia, the owners have made the most of this vessel and created a luxurious place for you to dine and stay.
Decked out with copper ceilings in the bar which cleverly reflects the sea from the floor to ceiling windows, the art-deco look creates a Great Gatsby romantic feel.
If it is a place for a very special moment, then Fingal is where you should book.
There is the option of afternoon tea, from £40 per person.
The dinner menu starts from £10 for a starter and £20 for a main course.
Stockbridge’s Best Restaurant for Couples
Sure, Stockbridge is known more for its cafe scene and Sunday farmers market but there is one restaurant that stands out for food presentation, personal touches to decor and its side serving of cheekiness.
The menu consists of bites, bowls, plates and sides and the food is served by unpretentious yet attentive and informed staff.
Inside and outdoor seating is available at this family-run boutique wine bar.
ROLLO is owned by trio which includes of an architect, sculptor and fashion designer and it shows in the set up, menu and marketing.
- Address: 108 Raeburn Pl, Stockbridge, Edinburgh EH4 1HH
12. Rhubarb at Prestonfield House
Rhubarb is one of the most romantic restaurants in Edinburgh and I would know! Keep reading to find out why.
This fine-dining restaurant is part of Prestonfield House, one of the best hotels for a romantic trip to the city.
The reason I love this place so much is because I got married here and they served our wedding breakfast to our wedding party in the Garden Room.
As soon as you enter this hotel to be taken through to the restaurant, you are immediately aware of the romance this place has to offer.
The red, black and gold colours are warm and inviting.
Seated, your eyes wander around the room to the chandeliers setting the mood, the candles on the table and the many different portraits on the walls.
You are here to enjoy Scottish and local produce at its very best.
If you are on a budget, go for the set lunch menu. There is also a dinner and A la Carte menu.
You do need a designated driver (free parking) or a 10-minute taxi from the Old Town but it is worth the journey.
Rhubarb made it to the big screen! Fans of 4OD’s Love At First Sight may recognise it as the dinner date for one of the couples who honeymooned in Edinburgh.
The sister restaurant to Rhubarb is The Witchery mentioned above.
- Address: Priestfield Rd, Edinburgh EH16 5UT
Our Romantic Edinburgh Guides
- Best hotels for couples
- Romantic things to do in the city
- Perfect proposal spots around the Old and New Town
- Lovely rooftop bars in Edinburgh with castle views
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Edinburgh offers the romance hunters some of the very best of the most romantic restaurants for you to explore.
You won’t be disappointed with wherever you choose, and the choice and quality will bring you back time and time again.
♡ Tell us, which is your favourite romantic restaurant to dine at?
About the author: Hi, I am Ruth. A Highlander living in Fife longing for the mountains of home but I can’t give up the delights of the big city!