The best places to eat in Edinburgh, chosen by chef Tom Kitchin

Chef Tom Kitchin recommends Welch Fishmongers and fish restaurant Ondine for Scottish seafood
Chef Tom Kitchin recommends Welch Fishmongers and fish restaurant Ondine for the best of Scottish seafood (this magnificent turbot is a case in point)

Tom Kitchin became Scotland’s youngest Michelin-starred chef proprietor at just 29. Now aged 40, he and his wife Michaela have two restaurants in Edinburgh: The Kitchin (which they opened in 2006) and The Scran and Scallie in Stockbridge, which they set up with fellow Scot and chef Dominic Jack of Castle Terrace restaurant.

A champion of Scottish produce, you'll often find him at the Edinburgh Farmers' Market, or scoffing street food at Pitt Street market in Leith. His latest book ‘Fish & Shellfish’ is out in August, and is available to pre-order now (£26, Amazon). 

Here, he shares the secrets of sourcing the best seafood, meat, cheese and bread in Edinburgh.

Welch Fishmongers

Newhaven is a well-kept seaside secret, and it’s got a cute little port. Welch Fishmongers is on the harbour; I buy a lot of Scottish fish and shellfish there. The Welch family do brilliant home-smoked salmon and trout. Just now they’ve got halibut and John Dory (I like to barbecue it whole), and soon there’ll be more lobster and mackerel.

23 Pier Pl, Edinburgh EH6 4LP, 0131 552 5883

Ondine

There’s a deluxe fish and chip shop opening on that same stretch this summer called The Fishmarket (think langoustines and chips). It’ll be perfect for a magical blue-sky day. It’s a partnership between Gary Welch and Roy Brett, the chef patron of a fish restaurant in the centre of Edinburgh called Ondine, which is great for platters of fruits de mer and oysters.  

2 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1AD. 0131 226 1888, ondinerestaurant.co.uk

George Bower Butchers

Just along from The Scran and Scallie is George Bower Butchers. They do homemade cold pies as well as game, venison, wild boar, pigeon, rabbit and pheasant in grouse season. I like to buy the whole animal and use all the different cuts. The bacon for breakfast on a Sunday is absolutely fantastic.

75 Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, EH4 1JG; 0131 332 3469; georgebower-butchers.co.uk

George Mewes Cheese

Near Inverleith Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens, George Mewes has French, British and Irish cheese, as well as bread, olives and charcuterie. They’re really friendly. We only use local produce in the restaurants, but I have to admit that when it comes to my days off, I like a fix of French cheese, like comté or brie.

3 Dean Park St, Edinburgh EH4 1JN; 0131 332 5900; georgemewescheese.co.uk

Söderberg

This Scandinavian bakery does wholesome open sandwiches with lots of spelt and rye. My wife’s Swedish and she likes the crayfish and smoked fish, so it must be good. They’re popping up all over town. There’s one near The Meadows, so you can grab a sandwich and then take it to the park.

27 Simpson Loan, Edinburgh EH3 9GG; 0131 228 5876; soderberg.uk