Your dog has climbed Arthur’s Seat, splashed about on Portobello Beach, and even had their back scratched by a bunch of friendly students in The Meadows. Talk about a dog’s life. And now, refuelling in Edinburgh needn’t mean dining without them. The Scottish capital has a great selection of dog-friendly restaurants: from Instagram-worthy brunch hangouts to cosy kitchens making home-cooked classics. Here are the best places for dinner à deux (well, à dog).
1. The Torfin
Address & map: 108 St John’s Rd, Corstorphine, Edinburgh EH12 8AX
One look at The Torfin’s Instagram feed, which resembles a camera roll of cute puppy pictures, and you can tell that the staff here have a bit of a soft spot for our hairier counterparts. There’s even a designated Dog Station inside the restaurant, complete with biscuits, water bowls and towels for any mucky paws. Well-behaved dogs are welcome in the bar area until 8pm, though they must be kept on the lead. Food-wise, the menu specialises in great-value hearty classics, with locally sourced meat and fish where possible: Monday’s burger club brings half-price burgers, while Mexican Wednesdays have 50% off fajitas. With dog-friendly bedrooms available for overnight stays (provided a certain someone keeps their feet off the furniture), The Torfin is probably your dog’s new favourite place to wait for people to drop crumbs on the floor.
2. Badger & Co
Address & map: 32 Castle St, Edinburgh EH2 3HT
With such an animal-themed name, it’s only fitting that Badger & Co is an eatery that allows dogs inside. Here, your canine crew is given a warm welcome inside the food-serving lounge area, though it remains humans-only in the restaurant part. While the pooches are distracted by nose-twitchingly-good smells, you can snap them in front of the dreamy interiors: a photogenic mix of leather seats, tiled floors, and statement chandeliers. Badger & Co’s Castle Street address is the former home of Kenneth Grahame, the author of The Wind in the Willows, which explains the arty references to toads, moles and rats throughout. Though they don’t distract from the menu’s creations: gourmet pies, such as lemon-roasted chicken and pancetta, a fig salad, grilled coley fish, plus venison and lamb rump. Expect scrounging.
Address & map: 1 Merchiston Pl, Edinburgh EH10 4NP
Bruntsfield’s Honeycomb & Co is a win-win for dogs and their owners. All the food is made from scratch, which is great for us, and Honeycomb staff are very open to providing complimentary chin scratches–sadly, only to guests with tails. All breeds and sizes of dogs are allowed inside, with each treated to water and a grain-free biscuit. With so much attention on offer (did your dog’s ears just prick up?), it’s no surprise that there are many doggy regulars lapping up the fuss. Food is lunch-only, and delicious: salmon and haddock fishcakes, shakshuka, and a sweetcorn fritter with eggs, mango salsa and smashed avo. (No, your stomach’s rumbling). This restaurant isn’t just dog-friendly, though. All the honey and pollen in Honeycomb’s dishes comes from hives adopted from Plan Bee–a sustainable Scottish business promoting the ecological benefits of bees. Yeah, there’s a lot of buzz about this place.
4. Red Squirrel
Address & map: 21 Lothian Rd, Edinburgh EH1 2DJ
This dog-friendly burger restaurant in Edinburgh means there’s now more than one reason why your dog will get excited about the word ‘squirrel’. Here, the team love bushy-tailed visitors. Its Instagram feed is full of sneaky dog paws and chins peeking onto tables; good boys are even allowed onto seats…as long as it’s just for a quick nap, and not to line up whiskey shots. Warn your pooch that any offenders will be named and shamed in their social media feeds, so it’s best to stick to downing the free water on offer. For humans, Red Squirrel’s liquid speciality is craft beer, with Scottish and international varieties, plus rotating guest ales. The burgers aren’t a run-of-the-mill deal, either. There are many vegetarian options, including halloumi, falafel, and a vegan burger, as well as its famous haggis flavour. Which, according to a little voice coming from the floor, it would be rude not to share.
Address & map: 55A Frederick St, Edinburgh EH2 1LH
Sleek city-centre restaurants often seem as excited about welcoming in doggy guests as your friend who just bought a white carpet. Not so in Rabble–a beautifully designed gin bar and restaurant that is fully dog-friendly. Hidden below street level, close to Princes Street Gardens (another great Edinburgh spot for dog walking), staff happily accept dogs in the bar area and at tables. There’s even a special dog section that features ‘pawsecco’ bowls (thankfully containing nothing more potent than water), and treats. Food falls into the ‘low and slow’ category: locally sourced meat and fish is slow-cooked in a fire pit, which suddenly makes your own BBQ skills feel a little sub-par. Don’t worry, your dog isn’t judging–their eyes are too busy being glued to your plate. Drinks are designed to be a feature here, too, with unpasteurised craft beer poured from copper tanks to give a fresh-from-the-brewery experience, while special events span boozy brunches and cocktail garnishing classes.
Address & map: 42-58 Angle Park Terrace, Edinburgh EH11 2JR
Taking the concept of a post-walk pint to a dog-friendly level, The Caley Sample Room is a restaurant with dog beer. That’s not all. There’s actually an entire menu just for dogs, featuring bottles of Snuffles’ finest liquor (AKA some lovely chicken-flavoured broth) to swig, Pedigree Biscrok Milky Biscuits, and Vitakraft Beef Sticks. Ten years ago, that would have been more choice than on most vegetarian menus. The restaurant’s proximity to popular dog-walking routes such as Harrison Park and Union Canal adds to the high canine footfall (well, paw-fall) here. Outside, large tables and chilled gastropub vibes make it the perfect spot for a lazy Sunday roast, and a glass–or a bowl–of something naughty.
Address & map: 13A Melville Place, Edinburgh, EH3 7PR
An Edinburgh outpost of this Glasgow-born all-day brunch joint opened in 2019, bringing its legendary fried chicken and waffles to the capital, plus four boozy incarnations of the Bloody Mary cocktail. “So, what’s in it for me?” your dog is thinking, with that cute twist of the head. Well, there are water bowls, free treats, and dog blankets for snuggly types. Sometimes the bar even stocks Cham:Paws and Pawsecco–non-alcoholic, vitamin-enriched doggy drinks that won’t have them staggering into the furniture or raiding the fridge at 2am…oh, hang on…nope, we can’t actually guarantee that. The Brunch Club is so into dogs that on Bonfire Night it held a special event for pooches so they could shelter from the loud bangs outside. Dogs are allowed to roam free inside the restaurant, but seats are reserved for human limbs only.
Edinburgh has no shortage of fantastic restaurants that all love making a fuss of dogs. But if you know your little dude will be snoozing before you’ve even ordered your starter, let one of Rover.com’s dog sitters take over for the night. Rover’s local sitters in Edinburgh will treat your dog like one of the family, giving you peace of mind to enjoy three courses knowing that they are happy, waggy-tailed, and well cared for.
Featured image: Brewhemia