Is it even Christmas until you’ve been to a Christmas market? From the start of December, we all collectively agree it’s a good idea to stand outside in the freezing cold, drink slightly warm wine, and buy overpriced tat. And do you know what? It’s great. However, it’s best to have an escape plan, just in case you start to lose feeling in your toes. So we’ve put together a list of the best restaurants near Edinburgh Christmas markets so you can head off, fill up, and thaw out.
Howies Waterloo Place
It doesn’t get much more cosy Scottish than Howies. (Or the “coorie” that lifestyle bloggers are trying to make a thing…) With tartan furnishings, stags on the walls, and a great selection of whiskeys, it’s the epitome of Edinburgh style, without veering into tourist-tacky. Just a five minute walk from the markets, these guys serve up homemade dishes like haggis neeps and tatties and Cullen skink, all with a side of lovely hospitality.
If you’re looking for fine dining restaurants near the Edinburgh Christmas markets, this one will be right up your (Princes) street. Situated just off the Royal Mile, Wedgwood is run by husband and wife team, Paul and Lisa Wedgwood, and specialises in Scottish cooking with Asian influences. There’s a range of menus to choose from, whether you’re heading for lunch or dinner, with full al acarte and a “wee taste of Scotland” six course tasting menu served in the evening, alongside a festive menu in December. We’re huge fans of their Scotch beef fillet, and confit pork belly, perfect for warming you up after a day in the cold. These guys are really sleigh-ing it.
Sometimes, after a hard day drinking mulled wine, all you want is meat and plenty of it. Enter Fazenda. This rodizio restaurant has a pretty unique concept where you turn a card up or down, depending if you want more food. If the green side is up, waiters will come round and offer you different cuts of hot fresh meat. Then fill up your belly from their tasty salad station that also features sushi and more. You’ll be so full after visiting Fazenda you might be mistaken for Santa on your walk home.
Right in the heart of the Old Town, Cannonball restaurant is not only a restaurant near the Edinburgh Christmas markets, it also has a gorgeous view over the castle. From this vantage point, you get to watch all the hustle. Start off with a selection of their Scottish oysters from Cumbrae, Lindisfarne, or Isle of Mull, and then really push the boat out with some tasty grilled Scottish lobster. They serve up a great selection of wines and fizz, and their cocktails like the rusty Cannonball, and Edinburgh Gin Bramble will have you skipping along the road like Prancer.
Truly a spot for whatever you fancy, Ondine describe themselves as the kind of place where “you can roll up your sleeves and enjoy fish and chips, or indulge in a grand seafood platter.” After the overpowering smell of candy floss and bratwurst, this sounds like heaven to us. Just less than ten minutes walk from the markets, the walk up Fleshmarket will whet your appetite for their delicious seafood. You can either grab a table or sit up at their bar where you get to watch the team prepare and serve oysters to your fellow guests (and obviously eat your own).