Café Royal Circle Bar

Café Royal Circle Bar
19 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
  • Bar open Mon–Wed 11am–11pm; Thu 11am–midnight; Fri/Sat 11am–1am; Sun 12.30–11pm.
  • Food served Mon–Sat 11am–9.45pm; Sun 12.30–9.45pm.
  • Average price £20 (lunch); £20 (evening meal)
  • Website

Beautiful, historic pub providing an escape from nearby Princes Street, filled with traditional pub fare, real ale and malts.

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2016 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.

Certainly one of the most beautiful pubs in Edinburgh, if not Scotland, the architecture of the Café Royal has been called both innovative and wilful. Some might also add ‘educational’ as the hand painted Doulton life-sized tile portraits of great inventors lining the south wall reminds of the origins of the printing press, the steam engine and the electric motor. Gleaming white marble floors, brass chandeliers and dark wooded surrounds generate a sense of welcoming Victoriana, as does the perpetual clink of glasses from the patrons surrounding the central circular bar. A substantial whisky display and a daily changing range of real ale keep both local and tourists enthusiastic, hence seating in padded booths is ever in high demand. The menu holds the line between sound Scottish pub fare and oyster bar. And oysters do demand one’s attention as crushed ice bedded platters hosting glistening half shells pass through the room. Despite being a magnet for tourists, Café Royal maintains its genuine local feel and identity and remains a truly special place.

  • High point: Stunningly beautiful setting to sink oysters and pints
  • Low point: Getting hold of a table can warrant executing a few rugby moves
  • Notable dish: Oysters
  • Private dining: 32 in restaurant next door
  • Provides: Gluten-free options, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Free wi-fi
  • Capacity: 50
  • Largest group: 40
  • Open since: 1863
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 13
  • House wine: £18 per bottle