Food review – Blackfriars Bar, 57 Blackfriars Street, Edinburgh ***CLOSED***

Blackfriars Bar - stripped back interior

Bar food par excellence!

This was our first visit to Blackfriars; we’d heard about its previous incarnation that has been there for years and how it had changed substantially but having not seen it before we can’t make any comments about the changes but what we found was a sophisticated modern craft beer bar with some of the most eclectic bar snacks around…and one of Scotland’s smallest beer gardens out the back!

Blackfriars, as the name suggests, is on Blackfriars St (one of the streets that comes off the Royal Mile) in Edinburgh’s old town. We ate in the narrow bar at number 57 with its stripped back brick wall, metal girders and wooden floors & paneling. At number 61 (almost but not quite next door) there is a restaurant  for more formal dining but both use the same kitchen so don’t be worried about lower standards in the bar.

As we were eating bar snacks we ate them tapas style and here’s what we had…

The food

Blackfriars Bar - Padron peppers
Blackfriars Bar – Padrón peppers £4

Padrón peppers, with their “Russian roulette” element are always a favourite with us. We love these little beer snacks with a plentiful covering of sea salt. Yum!

Blackfriars Bar - Ox Heart
Blackfriars Bar – Ox Heart, braised ox tongue, fried duck egg £7

Now this is ever so slightly unusual for a bar snack! The meat wasn’t too strong and there was a certain tanginess from the shallots and radish. The duck egg was cooked just right and was lovely. This again was quite salty, but what’s a beer snack without salt???

Blackfriars Bar - Fish finger sambo
Blackfriars Bar – Fish finger sambo £6

No , this isn’t a racist name for a roll but rather a slang term for a sandwich, and it was more of a fish “fist” rather than a “finger”! A large slab of fluffy fish in a lovely “Japanese” style batter.

Blackfriars Bar - Chips Bearnaise
Blackfriars Bar – Chips Béarnaise £3.50

Why have chips with brown sauce or ketchup when you can have them with Béarnaise?
A lovely creamy sauce to go with the salted chips.

Blackfriars Bar - Deep fried Brussels sprouts
Blackfriars Bar – Deep fried Brussels sprouts £5

A first for us – Scots do have a reputation for deep-frying anything so we were bound to get there sooner or later! The sprouts were deep fried with puy lentils. Salty and moreish. A healthy alternative to chips and actually pleasantly tasty. This is probably the best way to get kids to eat Brussels sprouts!

Blackfriars Bar - Blue Murder cheese, crackers & chutney
Blackfriars Bar – Blue Murder cheese, crackers & chutney £6.50

A big chunk of good-quality blue cheese. Very creamy and not too strong for a blue, with crisp flatbread. The chutney tasted like fig was the main ingredient (but we could be wrong). A huge slice of cheese so could’ve done with more flatbread.

Blackfriars Bar - Churros
Blackfriars Bar – Churros, chocolate £5

What better way to end the night? Crisp sweet doughnutty goodness. The chocolate wasn’t as thick as the proper Spanish stuff but it was still pretty chocolatey & tasty.


Blackfriars is in a central location but is slightly hidden away at the bottom end of Blackfriars St but deserves to be sought out! The food is excellent and hightly inventive and there’s a great & varied selection of craft beer from Camden, Alechemy, Tiny Rebel, Wild Beer, Williams etc. Prices are reasonable for the deft dishes that you possibly won’t find anywhere else in Edinburgh and service was friendly and attentive. Toilets clean with nice smelling liquid Simple soap and good working hand dryers (we value these things highly!). Don’t forget the tiny beer garden, which we shall be coming back to check out when the weather’s right.


Blackfriars Bar is open Wednesday to Sunday for drinks and food. Bar food is available all day, from opening ’til 10pm.

Wed- Sat: Open from 12pm
Sun: Open from 12.30pm
Closed Monday and Tuesday

Visit their website here.

Blackfriars on Urbanspoon}




I am Emma and with my husband Mark write Foodie Explorers, which is a food and travel website.

I am a member of the Guild of Food Writers and British Guild of Travel Writers.

We have a wide range of judging experience covering products, hotels and have judged, for example, for Great Taste Awards and Scottish Baker of the Year.

Along the way Mark gained WSET Level 2 in Wine and I have WSET Level 2 in Spirits as well as picking up an award with The Scotsman Food and Drink Awards.    

Usually I can be found sleeping beside a cat.

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