Living Like a Local in Edinburgh

Brewer Dougal Sharp's favourite spots in this Scottish city

As founder and master brewer of Innis & Gunn (famous for its oak-aged beer), Dougal Sharp knows where to eat and drink in the Scottish capital. He also knows a thing or two about the best sights to see. Here are some of his favourite spots.

Local cuisine

“One of my favourite restaurants is Kyloe [Restaurant and Grill]; they serve fantastic Scottish steak. For something special, you can’t go wrong with Ondine. It’s a stunning seafood restaurant run by award-winning chef Roy Brett; he is utterly outstanding. And Edinburgh also has a lot of great Indian restaurants. I like Khushi’s for curry.”

Whisky

"The Scotch Whisky Experience is a heritage centre where you can learn all about Scotch whisky."

Summer fun

“In the summer, Edinburgh turns into one of the party capitals of Europe with festivals. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the biggest arts festival in the world. It runs during August [Aug. 5 to 29, this year] and is brilliant for kids. There are loads of shows, comedy, magicians, music and storytelling. Occasionally it’s sunny, too.”

Sunday pub

The Beer Kitchen by Innis & Gunn on Lothian Road is a fantastic place—it serves brewery-fresh beer and boilermakers [a whisky shot with beer chaser], amazing wine and great food. I always go on Sundays because we do this really cool beer-can chicken for Sunday roast.”

Must-see

“Right in the centre of the city, there’s Arthur’s Seat [in Holyrood Park]—it’s beautiful. It’s actually the core of an ancient volcano, which is now just a hill that you can walk up for excellent views of Edinburgh Castle.”

Favourite historic site

"The Georgian House in Charlotte Square [in the New Town area of Edinburgh]. It recreates what a house would have looked like in the late 1800s."

Gin detour

Pickering’s makes really excellent gin. The distillery is just south of the city centre and well worth a little trip.”

Day trip

“North Berwick is a short train ride from the city. It’s a nice little town. The beaches are sheltered and there’s a paddle area by the sea, so it’s safe for children. There are great fish and chip shops and some really nice little pubs.” 

Getting there: WestJet flies to Glasgow (about 67 kilometres from Edinburgh) once a day from Halifax.