Café Royal Oyster Bar

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Café Royal Oyster Bar
19a West Register Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2AA
  • Telephone 0131 556 1884
  • Opening times Mon–Wed 11am–11pm; Thu 11am–midnight; Fri/Sat 11am–1am; Sun 12.30–11pm
  • Seasonal times The bar is open till 1pm during the Edinburgh Festival and Christmas/Hogmanay
  • Bar open Mon–Wed 11am–11pm; Thu 11am–midnight; Fri/Sat 11am–1am; Sun 12.30–11pm
  • Food served Mon–Sat 11am–10pm; Sun 12.30–10pm.
  • Pre-theatre times Mon–Thu 5–6.45pm.
  • Average price £30 (lunch); £30 (evening meal)
  • Pre-theatre price £14.95
  • Email
  • Website
Photo of Café Royal Oyster Bar
Cafe Royal Oyster bar
Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2019/20 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

Does the revolving door into the Café Royal Oyster Bar have magical properties? It almost might. A spin through that door and you’re time-travelling back to 1863 when this gorgeous Victorian building welcomed its first patrons and gave fashionable Edinburgh ladies and gents a taste of Parisian café society. Fine stained glass and intricately gilded plasterwork recall the Café’s Victorian heyday. Oysters can be had in a variety of ways – perhaps Rockefeller with mornay sauce and spinach, or wrapped in pancetta Kilpatrick-style, or simply over crushed ice and lemon and washed down with a bottle of the house favourite Lanson Black Label NV. Platters bring together lobster, crevettes and shellfish with garlic butter, white wine and fresh herbs, and there are also ‘main event’ dishes of typical Scottish meat as well as fish. Despite its name, the Oyster Bar is definitely a restaurant operation with prices and style to match, but the adjacent Circle Bar provides an equally splendid setting for a dram or Scottish cask ale, with burgers and sandwiches on offer in addition to the seafood.

  • High point: Oysters in glorious period surroundings
  • Low point: Not so strong apart from the simple seafood
  • Notable dish: Oysters
  • Average price: £30 (lunch); £30 (dinner)

More Theatrical than Edinburgh in August, it is a perfect Victorian relic tucked down an alley off Princes Street. The fantastically atmospheric room-a riot of stained glass, murals, mirrors and wood paneling-that's the star. Taste Scottish produce at its best. Pop in to Edinburgh's hidden gem to sample a selection of Scottish cask ales, malt whiskies and why not try our home smoked delights, we smoke food on the premises every day. Don't miss the best oysters and mussels in town. Food is served all day in the bar and restaurant, the bar is open for drinks till late.

Guardian Newspaper–21 June 2008 Irvine Welsh’s (author) favorite restaurant in Edinburgh “As well as being an amazingly beautiful building, the Café Royal is also a great place for seafood. My usual order is a glass of champagne and a plate of oysters. They’re just gorgeous here”

Telegraph Newspaper–24 May 2008 “This polished gem set near Edinburgh’s Castle Rock is worth visiting just to ogle its Victorian opulence. If there had been a pub on board the Titanic, this would have been it.”

Text supplied by third party.

  • Provides: Gluten-free options, Wheelchair access, Pre-theatre menu, Free wi-fi
  • Music on stereo: Nothing, then rock
  • Capacity: 42
  • Largest group: 42
  • Open since: 1863
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 13
  • House wine: £19.95 per bottle