75 St Leonard's Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9QR
  • Telephone 0131 668 2917
  • Seasonal times Hours usually extended during Festival and festive period
  • Food served Mon 6–9pm; Tue–Sat noon–2.30pm, 6–10pm; Sun noon–2.30pm, 6–9pm.
  • Average price £12.90 (set lunch); £21 (evening meal)
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Photo of Blonde

Wonderful neighbourhood bistro that knows its own mind and has a dedicated following of locals and foodies

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2017 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

Simple, clean lines meet the eye at Blonde, bright in the daytime, candles enhancing intimacy in the evening. A quiet confidence hums around a bistro that knows what it’s about – Blonde is settling into its 17th year, but doesn't take anything for granted. A warm, moist salad of Stornoway black pudding is accented with tangy goat’s cheese and dried cherries. The unctuous risotto of beetroot, blue cheese and pine nuts is creamy but not heavy, and freshened by rocket. Needing comfort? Casserole of venison is enriched with red wine, chocolate and root vegetables, while grilled fillet of cod spills over its smoked cheddar mash into a pool of velvety creamed leeks. For something lighter, there are lightly dressed but generous salads laden with pan-fried strips of beef, crab meat and crayfish, or mozzarella, artichoke and sun-blushed tomato. Warm and cold puddings delight and tempt while a canny wine list keeps most options under the £20 mark without sacrificing quality or interest.

  • High point: A menu and wine list to tempt the palate without testing the pocket
  • Low point: Wish they did brunch!
  • Notable dish: Grilled cod
  • Private dining: 12-14
  • Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Free wi-fi
  • Music on stereo: jazz
  • Capacity: 70
  • Largest group: 70
  • Open since: 2000
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 12
  • House wine: £15.50 per bottle

Reviews & features

Neighbourhood watch: Newington, Edinburgh

27 May 2011

A guide to the ares of the Scottish capital dominated by Edinburgh University

What’s it like? Okay, we’ll get the inevitable out of the way first. There are a lot of students living in Newington. And while we know some of our readers aren’t that keen on students, their presence does imbue the area with a certain bounce and life…