Edinburgh World Heritage - Food Heritage Trail


Food Heritage Trail

The Edinburgh Food Heritage Trail offers a new way to experience the city’s World Heritage Site, revealing some of the hidden links between the city’s unique built heritage and it food traditions.


Use this trail to explore the nooks and crannies of the Old and New Towns, discover the city’s food history, experience Edinburgh’s culinary traditions and dine in some of its historic locations. Supported by the VisitScotland Year of Food and Drink Growth Fund.


Tron Kirk

Here fruit and vegetables were sold from stalls. Look out for the sculptures of baskets of fruit in nearby Hunter Square.


Parliament Hall

This was the location for Edinburgh's most lavish dinner, the Lord Provost’s banquet for King George IV on his visit in 1822. Over 300 people were entertained to an eight course meal served on gold and silver plate.


Dunbar's Close

A recreated seventeenth century garden, once typical in the Canongate, which would have provided herbs, vegetables and fruit for the owners.


Queen Mary's Bath House

This quirky building is actually a banqueting pavilion in what was once a private garden, a place to retire to with select guests and enjoy a dessert course.



This medieval market place was a place of bustle of noise, as drovers brought their cattle here to sell.


West Bow – doocots

On the top floors here you can see oval-shaped holes, intended to allow pigeons to nest as a source of food for the residents.


Dean Village

Today a picturesque location on the banks of the Water of Leith, but once a bustling centre of the milling industry. Look out for the stone plaque marking the buildings of the Bakers' Guild, showing cakes and pies going into the oven on paddles.



Look out for the arched entrance to the old Stockbridge Market in St Stephen Street.


Edinburgh Castle

In 1440 David's Tower was the scene of the 'Black Dinner', where the Earl of Douglas was murdered in front of the young King James II during a banquet. One of the highlights is the Great Hall, built by King James IV for state banquets like one staged in 1513 for the Irish chief Hugh O'Donnel of Tyrconnell. www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk


Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Royal Dining Room here was first used by Queen Victoria, and is still used today by Queen Elizabeth II. Also look out for the small supper room where Mary, Queen of Scots was dining with courtiers when her Secretary David Rizzio was brutally murdered. www.royalcollection.org.uk/visit/palace-of-holyroodhouse


Gladstone's Land

This well preserved Old Town tenement showcases high-rise living from the 1600s, at the time of wealthy merchant Thomas Gledstanes. www.nts.org.uk/property/gladstones-land


Georgian House

The Georgian House in Charlotte Square highlights the grandeur of life in high-society around 1800, with its elegantly furnished interiors and a fully-equipped Georgian kitchen. www.nts.org.uk/Property/Georgian-House



A critically acclaimed seafood and shellfish restaurant, led by Edinburgh-born award winning chef Roy Brett. www.ondinerestaurant.co.uk


Cannonball House

A seventeenth century townhouse with stunning views. Taste Our Best Accreditied restaurant, cafe and ice cream parlour, serving contemporary Scottish cooking inspired by buying direct from over 70 artisan Scottish suppliers, and the family's one acre kitchen garden. www.contini.com



Opened in 2004, serving award-winning classic Italian dishes in one of Edinburgh's beautiful former banking halls. www.contini.com


Edinburgh New Town Cookery School

Follows in the city's long tradition of cookery schools, and offer something for every level of ability, from chefs to homemakers and students to food enthusiasts. www.entcs.co.uk


Edinburgh Farmers' Market

Keeps alive the tradition of street markets in the Old Town, and offers a huge variety of fresh local produce from over 50 specialist producers. www.edinburghfarmersmarket.co.uk


The Fudge House

The Di Sotto family has been making luxury fudge in the heart of the Old Town for sixty years, with everything made by hand in the kitchens of their shop – a tenement dating back to the seventeenth century. www.fudgehouse.co.uk

Welch's Fishmongers

This family-run-business maintains the tradition of selling seafood in this old fishmarket dating back to the 1890s. Today a wide variety of fresh, diverse and quality sourced fish is available all year long. www.welchfishmongers.co.uk


Newhaven Harbour

Picturesque Newhaven Harbour was once home to a thriving fishing community, whose fishwives were a familiar sight in the Old and New Towns, selling the day's catch from wicker creels carried on their backs.


The Gardener's Cottage

The Gardener's Cottage has breathed new life into a historic building dating back to 1837 in the leafy setting of Royal Terrace Gardens. With a focus on seasonal cooking and social dining, a 6 course set menu is served in the evenings on long communal dining tables. www.thegardenerscottage.co

Old & New Towns - The Architecture of Food

Visit Gladstone’s Land in the Old Town and the Georgian House in the New Town, both run by the National Trust for Scotland, to see how cookery and dining changed with architecture over the centuries. Read more...

‘Wha’ll buy frae me!’

For hundreds of years city residents bought their food at street markets, a tradition kept alive today in the Edinburgh Farmers Market. Click on the image above to see our short video or read more...

Fruits of the Sea

Seafood has always been important in Edinburgh, and in the past oysters were particularly plentiful. Click on the image above to see our short video or read more...

The Practice of Cookery

Edinburgh has a tradition of cookery schools stretching back to the Georgian period, and continued today with the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School. Click on the image above to see our short video or read more...

Dine in Historic Style

Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site has over 1,500 listed buildings, so there are many opportunities to eat in stunning historic surroundings. Click on the image above to see our short video or read more...

A Taste of the Exotic

This fascinating snippet from the archives of the National Library of Scotland shows that the country's love of curry has a long history. Read more...

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