The Traverse Bar

The Traverse Bar
10 Cambridge Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2ED
  • Telephone 0131 228 5383
  • Opening times Mon–Wed 11am–midnight; Thu–Fri 11am–1am; Sat noon–1am; closed Sun unless performance.
  • Seasonal times Festival: extended opening hours.
  • Bar open Mon–Sat 4pm–11pm. Closed Sun, unless performance.
  • Food served Mon–Fri 7.30am–3pm. Closed Sat/Sun.
  • Average price £5 (lunch)
  • Website www.traverse.co.uk/eating-drinking/
Photo of The Traverse Bar

The Traverse bar is a legendary spot among Edinburgh's artistic community. It only serves food on performance evenings, but is open year-round for drinks.

Eating & Drinking Guide

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

From its roots in an abandoned brothel in the Lawnmarket, the Traverse Theatre has certainly come a long way in its fifty years. Still nurturing fresh writing talent and pushing boundaries on two stages, the theatre’s subterranean café and bar provides a less controversial space, while staying true to its bohemian roots. Hide away in one of the sought-after booths with a glass of wine and your book (or script), grab some decent pub grub before the main event, or simply enjoy a pint and observe the artistic set in their natural habitat. The concise menu covers sandwiches and lighter bites including the Traverse burger which sees a moist Campbell’s meat patty between crisp brioche buns, served with salsa and crunchy onion rings. The Sharers, which include nachos and a Mediterranean platter, echo the convivial nature of the place, encouraging friends to settle on one of the long couches for an evening of putting the world to rights.

  • High point: Spacious spot to observe the artistic set in their natural habitat
  • Low point: 'A Play, a Pie and a Pint' doesn't run all year round
  • Notable dish: The Traverse burger
  • Average price: £5 (lunch)
  • Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
  • Live entertainment: Theatre shows and live music
  • Capacity: 6 (6 outdoors)
  • Largest group: 150
  • Open since: 1992