The Compass Bar

The Compass Bar
44 Queen Charlotte Street, Edinburgh, EH6 7EX
  • Telephone 0131 554 1979
  • Bar open Sun–Wed 10am-11pm; Thu 10am–midnight; Fri/Sat 10am–midnight.
  • Food served Mon–Sun 10am–10pm.
  • Average price £5.95 soup and sandwich deal (set lunch); £15 (evening meal)
  • Website

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Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2014 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

This review is taken from the 2013 edition.

Prepare to be swept away by one of the best looking bars in Leith – and it's got stiff competition – because Compass is designed for dramatic effect, with two rooms opened out into one high-ceilinged corner unit, with blood-red walls, a bit of foliage and some nicely exposed brickwork combining for a sense of subtle sophistication. It's a great bar to drink in, with a few cocktails joining a contemporary range of beers, wines and spirits, and an old-fashioned style of service that's cheerful without being obsequious. The food is good, although maybe as far below high-end bistro standard as it is above typical pub fare. The Cullen skink is meaty and the hake fillet in a wine and bacon sauce is nice and tender, although both are somewhat overwhelmingly creamy.

  • High point: A great looking drinker's bar
  • Low point: Some of the dishes are a bit rich and calorific
  • Provides: Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access
  • Music on stereo: easy listening
  • Capacity: 60
  • Largest group: 45
  • Open since: 2004 (2009 under current owner)
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 10
  • House wine: £13.95 per bottle

Comments & ratings

4. EDR24 Jul 2011, 10:16pm4 stars The Compass Bar Report

Went back here recently and I'm afraid my previous review was plain wrong. It was even better. Went there on a Wednesday night; service was great, choice was great, food was great and the portions were more than generous. But the real clue as to how good it is is that on a Wednesday in June it was full. Book now while you can still get a table. Marvellous.

3. EDR24 Aug 2010, 3:00pm3 stars The Compass Bar Report

Superior pub grub. Fast & friendly service and between 4 of us we had 10 courses with not one negative comment. Must commend the fish cakes in particular, were really good.

Probably won't be the very best food you'll ever have but with large portions, pleasant atmosphere and good value for money you will not be disappointed when you dine here.

2. Louis Jadot26 May 2010, 11:00pm5 stars The Compass Bar Report

This is a great asset to the area, very good quality fresh cooked food, nice selection of beers and wines, very friendly staff.

Having visited Compass many times I must say that "Soul Momma's" review is not indicative of my own experiences.

1. Soul Momma8 Sep 2009, 6:50pm2 stars The Compass Bar Report

The above review was maybe done quite a while ago, or maybe we just came on an off night....?
Had 'sun blazed roasted tomatoes with goats cheese bruschetta and rocket salad' £5.95. Result - 3 small pieces of French bread, wee tiny bit of goats cheese on top with 3 cherry toms and small portion of salad pretty tasteless and I am a lover of goats cheese and veggie food! Something I would call a dull starter and a total rip off. My partner had a haggis burger which he said was "mush". Lovely spot but won't be going again unfortunately.

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Average rating 3.5/5 from 4 reviews of The Compass Bar.

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