The Blackbird

The Blackbird
37–39 Leven Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9LH
  • Telephone 0131 228 2280
  • Seasonal times Open until 3am during Festival and Christmas period
  • Bar open Mon–Sun 10am–1am.
  • Food served Mon–Sun 10am–10pm.
  • Average price £17.50 (lunch); £18.50 (evening meal)
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Photo of The Blackbird
The Blackbird

Colourful, lively bar popular with students and workers alike for its good craic and great cocktails.

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2017 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

The Blackbird is a very recognisable species in Edinburgh; an old local, rejigged and remade into a new local, appealing to a younger, broader demographic. This one, formerly the Auld Toll, suits its makeover handsomely, with attention to eyecatching detail meaning there’s never a quiet spot for the eye. There’s an impressive cocktail list with a great reputation, particular highlights being The Dreamer (a fragrant rum-based concoction) and their take on the Boulevardier, utilising drink-du-jour, cold-brew coffee. Food is approached with an imaginative sensibility, based around throwing flavours at each other to see if they stick. Raspberries, smoked cheese and walnuts all rub shoulders in a starter salad, while a main of confit duck features crispy plantain, pears and za’atar as accompaniments. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but there’s the unmistakable feeling that someone’s having fun in the kitchen, which is nice, as there’s plenty of fun being had out front.

  • High point: Serious cocktails in one of the best beer gardens in town
  • Low point: Sometimes the flavours don't stick
  • Notable dish: Confit duck leg with plantain crisps, za'atar, pears, roast pumpkin and sour cherries
  • Private dining: 35 in dining section.
  • Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
  • Music on stereo: Lively beats.
  • Live entertainment: Sunday sessions live music with local musicians. Also have live music at special events e.g. New Year and Blackbird's birthday.
  • Capacity: 60 (plus 60 in garden)
  • Largest group: 64
  • Open since: 2012
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 16
  • House wine: £16 per bottle