The Bon Vivant

The Bon Vivant
55 Thistle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1DY
  • Telephone 0131 225 3275
  • Seasonal times Festival and Christmas: late license to 3am.
  • Bar open Mon–Sun noon–1am.
  • Food served Mon–Sun noon–10pm.
  • Average price £12 (set lunch); £25 (evening meal)
  • Email
  • Website
Photo of The Bon Vivant

Atmospheric bar/restaurant in the New Town offering smart, stylish and flexible eating and drinking choices.

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2018 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £7.95 (+p&p).

The Bon Vivant does many things right. The dark blue walls, candle light and vintage touches in gold create a cosy yet stylish intimacy. The service is spot-on; from being brought a jug of water even as you go to stand at the bar, to laid-back and knowledgeable waiters. You can spend a happy evening in the bar area sipping on a cocktail like Under the Clootie Tree (gin, apricot, grapefruit bitters, lemon and soda), share a bottle of wine and a series of ‘bites’ or sit down for a full meal. Bites are mini tapas for one, such as crispy squid in a thick squid ink aioli. There are ‘middles’ (starters really) like chorizo in cider with garlic bread. Mains, which change often, include options like duck breast with salsify, red cabbage, pomegranate and sherry – a splendid combination – accompanied by garlic chips or roast root vegetables.

  • High point: Relaxed but with excellent attention to detail
  • Low point: Not great for vegetarians
  • Notable dish: Duck breast with salsify, red cabbage, pomegranate and sherry
  • Average price: £12 (set lunch); £25 (dinner)
  • Provides: Free wi-fi
  • Music on stereo: Laid-back hip-hop
  • Live entertainment: DJs playing hip-hop, funk and soul from 9pm on Fri/Sat.
  • Capacity: 35
  • Largest group: 35
  • Open since: 2008
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 40, 50 including Champagnes
  • House wine: £22 per bottle

Reviews & features

Glass half full - 42Below cocktail world cup

10 Sep 2009

It was a battle of the ages. A dozen warriors armed with silver shakers, crushed ice and angostura bitters striving to become the finest cocktail creator in the world. The Glasgow and Edinburgh heats of the 42Below Vodka cocktail World Cup took place at…