The City Café

The City Café
19 Blair Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1QR
  • Box office 0131 220 0125
  • General enquiries 0131 220 0125
  • Opening times Mon–Sun 11am–1am
  • Seasonal times Festival: Mon–Sun 9am–3am.
  • Bar open Mon–Sun 9am–1am.
  • Food served Mon–Sun 9am–10pm.
  • Email
  • Website www.thecitycafe.co.uk
Photo of The City Café
City Café

American-style bar and diner with a pool table, good quality burgers and one of the city's best pre-club atmospheres.

Eating & Drinking Guide

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

Over the decades and across various owners, the City Café has maintained its place in the folklore of Edinburgh nightlife simply by not changing too much. The American-style diner look and feel hasn’t budged and the menu is dependably unflashy, including exotically flavoured burgers, hot dogs, club sandwiches, nacho plates and grazing boards, with a few contemporary pub classics like chicken Caesar salad and macaroni cheese. There’s a focus on breakfasts which happily make no pretence of starting your day off healthily: sweet Belgian waffles, vanilla pancakes, French toast with maple syrup or bacon and varying styles of hollandaise and eggs will see you right. These, a much-loved pool table and a great pre-club atmosphere make the City Café a strong recommendation for any time of day or night - still got it, never lost it.

The List's rating
7

Menu

Cooking

Service

Ambience

Appeal

?
David Pollock visited The City Café
  • High point: Great late-night atmosphere
  • Low point: The downstairs function room is currently out of action
  • Notable dish: Californian burger with chicken breast, cheese, guacamole, lettuce, tomato and gherkin.
  • Average price: £7 (set lunch); £14 (dinner)
  • Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
  • Live entertainment: DJs on Sat, pub quiz on Thu.
  • Capacity: 70 seated
  • Open since: 1985
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 7
  • House wine: £18 per bottle

Reviews & features

How to experience the magic of the Edinburgh Fringe in 24 hours

1 Aug 2018

If you only have a day to spend and are looking for some fun, we've got you covered

It's the biggest arts festival in the world and it transforms the city of Edinburgh during the month of August. Over 50,000 performances of over 3000 shows took place in 300 venues last year. 'How do I begin to work my way through this titanic…

Best bars with games in Edinburgh

21 May 2018

Try your hand at Pacman, pinball, darts and other pub games

Ping-pong, Pacman and pool, table football, and even a whole room of retro arcade machines: order a side of fun with your burger and beer at these bars where it's playtime every time. Fancy a shot?

Edinburgh's City Cafe introduces 7lb burger challenge

1 Feb 2013

The mega-sandwich will cost you £30, unless you can finish it in 45 minutes

The City Café has delved deeper into its 1950s Americana and come up with a food challenge that would floor most, but undoubtedly not all, of our supersized cousins across the pond. Their Ultimate Burger Challenge offers up Edinburgh's biggest burger…

Bar crawls: Edinburgh - The Prudent Student

18 Nov 2011

A cheap and cheerful crawl from Marchmont to Grassmarket

I have a confession to make. I’ve never really been much of a bar crawl sort of gal. The idea of systematic drinking (vb. to lash, I suppose) with a bunch of overgrown rugby boys, with their girlfriend’s underwear on as outer wear, has never really…