The City Café

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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
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 2019/20 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






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

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21 May 2018

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

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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…