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Cafe Royal - Edinburgh

4.3
4.3
492 Reviews
£26 to £40
Continental

Edinburgh's hidden gem! Traditional oyster bar and restaurant serving fine food and a great selection of continental lagers, beers and local ales.

We're proud of our history without being complacent and we love to see a happy customer. We've always focused on making our pub unique and we are sure you will notice. So pull up a seat, take a tour round our pub and discover what sets us apart from the rest.

** Please note all bookings are for our restaurant, we offer first come first served for drinks in our bar area.

*** Please note due to licencing restrictions under 18's are not permitted in the main bar, we can seat under 18's and over 5's in the restaurant for dining.

**** As we are a listed building we do not have Access toilets on the ground floor.

Make a booking

2 people

May 2022
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21:30


Booked 18 times today

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    Continental, Seafood, Scottish

  • Hours of Operation

    Mon–Wed, Sun 11:00–23:00 Thu–Sat 11:00–00:00

  • Phone number

    0131 556 1884

  • Payment Options

    AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress Code

    Smart Casual

Popular dishes

Menu

Oysters

  • Hot and Cold Oyster Selection

    • Natural

      served with shallot vinegar & lemon

      • Rockerfeller

        spinach, parmesan, Pernod

        • Asian

          chilli, soy, ginger

          Shellfish

          Served hot - Price per person

          • Sharing Seafood Platter

            lobster, oysters, king scallops, langoustines, mussels, clams

            Mussels

            All dishes small £11 | Large £21

            • Arbroath Smokie, Whisky, Cream & Leeks

              • White Wine, Shallots, Parsley & Cream

                Mains

                • Salmon Fillet

                  new potatoes, Tenderstem broccoli, lemon & thyme butter

                  • Fish & Chips

                    haddock, triple-cooked chips, pea purée, tartare sauce

                    • Roast Monkfish

                      mussels, clams, samphire, tarragon, white wine

                      • Black Angus Sirloin Steak

                        triple-cooked chips, tarragon butter, watercress

                        • Black Angus Fillet Steak

                          half lobster, triple-cooked chips, Béarnaise

                          • Mushroom Wellington

                            spinach, gravy

                            • Haggis, Neeps & Tatties

                              whisky, mustard & cream sauce

                              • Prime Beef Burger

                                smoked Applewood Cheddar, burger sauce, gem, brioche bun

                                • Half Roast Chicken

                                  smoked garlic butter, spinach, rosemary salted fries

                                  • Lamb Rump

                                    rosemary potatoes, charred gem, red wine & mint jus

                                    Starters

                                    • Soup of the Day

                                      with malted bloomer

                                      • Traditional Cullen Skink

                                        Arbroath Smokie

                                        • Whitebait & Calamari

                                          tartare sauce

                                          • Smoked Salmon

                                            dill dressing, malted bloomer

                                            • King Scallops

                                              black pudding, pea puree, garlic & parsley butter

                                              • Garlic Prawns

                                                chilli, coriander

                                                Sandwiches

                                                All served with skin-on fries and slaw. Available every day until 5PM

                                                • Isle of Mull Cheddar

                                                  chutney, gem, malted bloomer

                                                  • Sirloin Steak

                                                    smoked Applewood Cheddar, red onion, baguette

                                                    • Smoked Salmon

                                                      cream cheese, watercress, capers, dill, malted bloomer

                                                      • Café Club

                                                        chicken, smoked bacon, avocado, gem, white bloomer

                                                        Sides

                                                        All sides £4

                                                        • Lobster

                                                          garlic butter or Thermidor sauce, triple-cooked chips

                                                          • Garlic Bread

                                                            • Onion Rings

                                                              • Triple Cooked Chips

                                                                • Mashed Potatoes

                                                                  • Tomato & Cucumber Salad

                                                                    Last updated: 1 February 2022

                                                                    What 492 people are saying

                                                                    Overall ratings and reviews

                                                                    Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

                                                                    4.3
                                                                    4.3 based on recent ratings
                                                                    • 4.2Food
                                                                    • 4.3Service
                                                                    • 4.4Ambience
                                                                    • 4Value

                                                                    NoiseModerate

                                                                    Sort by

                                                                    Filters

                                                                    1. GJ

                                                                      GertJanS

                                                                      Limbourg

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      5.0

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      Dined 1 day ago

                                                                      overall5food5service4ambience5

                                                                      Great energetic place in traditional setting. Great shellfish choices on the menu. We had the hot fruit-de-mer, which was delicious.

                                                                    2. JS

                                                                      JoeS

                                                                      Edinburgh

                                                                      2 reviews

                                                                      5.0

                                                                      2 reviews

                                                                      Dined 2 days ago

                                                                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                      Excellent service and ambience. Affordable seafood. Delicious.

                                                                    3. AM

                                                                      AlanM

                                                                      Edinburgh

                                                                      3 reviews

                                                                      5.0

                                                                      3 reviews

                                                                      Dined 2 days ago

                                                                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                      If you’re looking for Michelin Star food without the price tag. This is the place to go. Fantastic !

                                                                    4. NH

                                                                      NicholasH

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      4.0

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      Dined 3 days ago

                                                                      overall4food4service4ambience3

                                                                      Restaurant dating back many years with many original features. Menu choices include many classics, with a reasonable selection of wines. Could be slighty noisy due to the bar section next to the restaurant, but overall a pleasant evening.

                                                                    5. EB

                                                                      ElliottB

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      4.0

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      Dined 4 days ago

                                                                      overall4food4service5ambience5

                                                                      brilliant lunch venue and extensive menu. From relatively simple favourites to daily specials and al a carte. Service was exceptional helping us with beer tastings and in attending to our needs in quiet but attentive manner.

                                                                    6. D

                                                                      Dawggirl

                                                                      Atlanta

                                                                      31 reviews

                                                                      vip
                                                                      5.0

                                                                      31 reviews

                                                                      Dined 5 days ago

                                                                      overall5food5service5ambience4

                                                                      Excellent fillets. Unfortunately, the night we were they they were out of oysters and sea bass. We had been planning to try those! The bar is lovely and quite crowded. Seating there is first come first serve for dining so it is busy. The actual restaurant is small, but nice. Excellent selection of wine.

                                                                    7. PJ

                                                                      PJotter

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      2.0

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      Dined 5 days ago

                                                                      overall2food1service3ambience3

                                                                      Noise from bar too loud. No oysters. Squid starter obviously frozen, not fresh. Mains inedible and sent back. They did not charge for the mains. Overall a very disappointing experience.

                                                                    8. OT

                                                                      OpenTable Diner

                                                                      Orange County

                                                                      2 reviews

                                                                      vip
                                                                      1.0

                                                                      2 reviews

                                                                      Dined 5 days ago

                                                                      overall1food1service1ambience4

                                                                      Food taste like it was previously frozen. A overpriced tourist trap.

                                                                    9. N

                                                                      Newstar

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      5.0

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      Dined 5 days ago

                                                                      overall5food4service5ambience5

                                                                      A very pleasant dining experience, venue and service were excellent. Food good!

                                                                    10. NM

                                                                      NancyM

                                                                      Raleigh

                                                                      4 reviews

                                                                      vip
                                                                      5.0

                                                                      4 reviews

                                                                      Dined 5 days ago

                                                                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                      The service and the food and drinks were amazing! We are so glad we didn’t stick to our hotel’s recommended restaurant list!

                                                                    11. MP

                                                                      MaryP

                                                                      Bath

                                                                      2 reviews

                                                                      2.0

                                                                      2 reviews

                                                                      Dined 6 days ago

                                                                      overall2food2service3ambience4

                                                                      Disappointing!!! We were really looking forward to eating here the decor was lovely and the Menu looked good but one starter arrived with some of the food not warm our vegetarian sons sour dough bread arrived without the seaweed butter it was imported as it was his starter and no one informed us that’s how it was going to be My mains seafood and crab claw pie didn’t seem to have any crab in it !! They did take the 2 starters off the bill but not the experience we were looking forward to it was our special meal in Edinburgh but I really wish we chose differently

                                                                    12. OT

                                                                      OpenTable Diner

                                                                      Yorkshire

                                                                      3 reviews

                                                                      5.0

                                                                      3 reviews

                                                                      Dined 7 days ago

                                                                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                      Great restaurant! Food and decor is fantastic. Only let down was they were sold out of a lot of options on Sunday so we didn’t get to try the dishes we wanted to

                                                                    13. S

                                                                      Sandz

                                                                      London

                                                                      10 reviews

                                                                      vip
                                                                      4.0

                                                                      10 reviews

                                                                      Dined on 14 May 2022

                                                                      overall4food1service4ambience5

                                                                      Horrible food..what has happened to food in Cafe Royal..clearly different chefs!!!… have always used cafe royal whilst in Edinburgh..good pub grub..but oh my no longer good food ..will never return to eat..the chips were absolutely disgusting and chicken was grossly large on the plate with a very mixed up style of a salad ..can’t say any more..will not eat there again

                                                                    14. AK

                                                                      AndrewK

                                                                      New York Area

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      3.0

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      Dined on 14 May 2022

                                                                      overall3food2service4ambience5

                                                                      Opted for the seafood platter which was okay. Some elements didn’t feel as fresh as one might expect. Bread was on the turn. But overall a nice place for lunch with good service. More pub food than restaurant food.

                                                                    15. CW

                                                                      CarolineW

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      4.0

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      Dined on 11 May 2022

                                                                      overall4food4service4ambience4

                                                                      Fabulous venue with a WOW factor- it's amazing to see all the original fixtures and fittings superbly preserved. The food was also great and our waiter was efficient although lacking in charm.

                                                                    16. JP

                                                                      JohnP

                                                                      New York Area

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      5.0

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      Dined on 9 May 2022

                                                                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                      My husband and I had a lovely dining experience at the Cafe Royal. The service was excellent and the food was fresh and delicious. I definitely recommend this restaurant to other diners.

                                                                    17. GA

                                                                      GeoffA

                                                                      Edinburgh

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      5.0

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      Dined on 8 May 2022

                                                                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                      We enjoyed great food (especially the lobster) with excellent service in an amazing atmosphere. It is a shame to share this address as we would want to keep it to ourselves.

                                                                    18. OT

                                                                      OpenTable Diner

                                                                      Edinburgh

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      4.0

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      Dined on 8 May 2022

                                                                      overall4food4service5ambience5

                                                                      It was a great meal. I was disappointed that there is a mandatory 10% gratuity (OK. That's life, but it isn't clear when ordering), but it left a bad taste in the mouth when settling up and leaving the restaurant, that the payment machine then defaulted to an additional gratuity. It's one or the other, not both. It felt a bit deceitful. Food is great. Location wonderful. Service is good. A little slow to get started. Waited an hour for starter.

                                                                    19. DR

                                                                      DavidR

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      1.0

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      Dined on 6 May 2022

                                                                      overall1food2service2ambience1

                                                                      I remember a classy, white linen tablecloth lunch there, but it was decades ago. I went on Friday night with my family and didn't realise that the noise from the bar next door was so great that we couldn't hear ourselves talk. We should have left straight away but - stupidly - stayed. Service so poor - badly understaffed, so I'm not blaming the actual waiters - that I had to help myself to a knife for the main course. Ruined night. Waste of a lot of money.

                                                                    20. FD

                                                                      FernandaD

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      4.0

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      Dined on 6 May 2022

                                                                      overall4food4service3ambience4

                                                                      The waiter wasn't as friendly as I though because the girl at the front door was super nice.

                                                                    21. H

                                                                      Hamish

                                                                      London

                                                                      3 reviews

                                                                      2.0

                                                                      3 reviews

                                                                      Dined on 5 May 2022

                                                                      overall2food1service3ambience1

                                                                      Disappointing. Food was poor and there was limited availability for our initial choices.The staff were friendly but over capacity in terms of the tables they were trying to support. We waited 40 minutes for our starter.

                                                                    22. J

                                                                      Jimmy

                                                                      London

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      4.0

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      Dined on 5 May 2022

                                                                      overall4food4service4ambience4

                                                                      good quality food. Good service. However, no white fish. Seabass not on menu

                                                                    23. RB

                                                                      RosieB

                                                                      Lancashire

                                                                      4 reviews

                                                                      5.0

                                                                      4 reviews

                                                                      Dined on 2 May 2022

                                                                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                      Lovely place, building is a step back in time, friendly service and more than a token vegan choice. Food was delightful

                                                                    24. JB

                                                                      JilyB

                                                                      London

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      5.0

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      Dined on 30 April 2022

                                                                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                      A lovely meal in this famous Edinburgh landmark. Food as always was delicious, scallops and special fish pie. Good wine and exceptional service. We love it and always visit when we’re in Edinburgh. The decor is amazing.

                                                                    25. S

                                                                      Simon

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      3.0

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      Dined on 29 April 2022

                                                                      overall3food4service5ambience1

                                                                      Everything was very lovely until the fire alarm went off and we all had to evacuate, then pay on the street. Awful ending to what was a lovely meal

                                                                    26. J

                                                                      Jaguar

                                                                      Edinburgh

                                                                      11 reviews

                                                                      5.0

                                                                      11 reviews

                                                                      Dined on 29 April 2022

                                                                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                      I visited Cafe Royal about 10 years ago and ate the best venison ever. So this time I decided to go back and sample it again. The recipe is different now, but the place has not changed: It is wonderful to see those mosaic windows and tile paintings. The atmosphere and the service was once again terrific. And venison was excellent!

                                                                    27. SB

                                                                      SusanB

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      5.0

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      Dined on 28 April 2022

                                                                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                      Once again a beautiful meal in a wonderful restaurant in the great city of Edinburgh. The food was delicious and the staff are great. Always spend our last night at cafe royal when visiting Edinburgh. Sutch a treat. Hope to see you soon

                                                                    28. PH

                                                                      PatriciaH

                                                                      Edinburgh

                                                                      14 reviews

                                                                      5.0

                                                                      14 reviews

                                                                      Dined on 28 April 2022

                                                                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                      Delicious food, served by friendly, attentive waiter in beautiful surroundings. Will definitely return.

                                                                    29. EB

                                                                      EuanB

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      4.0

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      Dined on 27 April 2022

                                                                      overall4food2service4ambience5

                                                                      Was disapponted as having heard many people talk of the Cafe Royal mainly due to the food quality which we found pretty mediocre. I had cider battered fish and triple cooked chips,the chips were soft and very soggy which stuck together and I can honestly say the food was not a patch on our local carry out shop. However the ambiance was lovely as were the premisis,the service was very good and friendly,such a shame the food did not live up to the rest of things

                                                                    30. VH

                                                                      ValerieH

                                                                      London

                                                                      4 reviews

                                                                      4.0

                                                                      4 reviews

                                                                      Dined on 26 April 2022

                                                                      overall4food4service4ambience4

                                                                      Great place. Good atmosphere. Experienced staff. Delicious food. Good location. Very much enjoyed it.

                                                                    31. AG

                                                                      AlexandraG

                                                                      New York Area

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      4.0

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      Dined on 24 April 2022

                                                                      overall4food4service5ambience5

                                                                      Beautiful atmosphere inside the Caffè Royal. Impeccable service with very nice waiters. Great food and wine accompanied with background jazz music. I recommend it and for sure I would like to go back

                                                                    32. P

                                                                      Penny

                                                                      Newcastle

                                                                      6 reviews

                                                                      2.0

                                                                      6 reviews

                                                                      Dined on 24 April 2022

                                                                      overall2food2service2ambience3

                                                                      A restaurant with plenty of history, heritage and charm. I’ve dined here before and enjoyed it but this time it felt tired. The service was slow despite the restaurant not being full and the food was very average - my chicken was dry and no finger bowl was offered with the grilled prawns and no- one to be found to ask for one! A little disappointing and not sure I would go back.

                                                                    33. W

                                                                      Wanderer

                                                                      Edinburgh

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      4.0

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      Dined on 24 April 2022

                                                                      overall4food4service5ambience5

                                                                      Nice dinner in a beautiful restaurant. One of my favorites in Edinburgh.

                                                                    34. SZ

                                                                      SofiaZ

                                                                      Edinburgh

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      5.0

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      Dined on 23 April 2022

                                                                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                      Perfect food, very good service, loved the atmosphere. Perfect night!

                                                                    35. AM

                                                                      AlexM

                                                                      Inverness

                                                                      4 reviews

                                                                      4.0

                                                                      4 reviews

                                                                      Dined on 23 April 2022

                                                                      overall4food5service5ambience5

                                                                      As we were not eating I would have preferred drinks in the main bar not in the restaurant but the service was first class.

                                                                    36. TL

                                                                      TristanL

                                                                      London

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      5.0

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      Dined on 21 April 2022

                                                                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                      Booked same day . Service and food excellent . Ambiance excellent. Would certainly recommend and eat there again

                                                                    37. OT

                                                                      OpenTable Diner

                                                                      Edinburgh

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      3.0

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      Dined on 19 April 2022

                                                                      overall3food3service3ambience3

                                                                      Overall pretty average no sign of smoked haddock in scotch egg fish pie bland and still searching for the crab flavour triple cooked chips soggy . On the plus side sea bass and ox cheek pie very nice no rush to go back

                                                                    38. GM

                                                                      GeorgeMac

                                                                      London

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      2.0

                                                                      1 review

                                                                      Dined on 17 April 2022

                                                                      overall2food2service3ambience4

                                                                      Overall the meal was disappointing. The scallops were meagre, not a whole one in sight. Looked like frozen pieces. Poor starter. In contrast the venison was good and a substantial portion. Regrettably there was no cheese board and none of the puddings appealed. Cafe Royal is living on past repute, as I’ve had far better meals there over many years. No longer my first choice for dinner when visiting Edinburgh.

                                                                    39. SS

                                                                      SueS

                                                                      Glasgow

                                                                      3 reviews

                                                                      2.0

                                                                      3 reviews

                                                                      Dined on 16 April 2022

                                                                      overall2food1service2ambience2

                                                                      The food was poor …we ordered mussels which were okay but the smallest ever. then a steak sandwich which we couldn’t even cut through. Not the usual standard from cafe royal…we then found out it had been taken over by Belhaven pubs which probably explains why standards have dropped.

                                                                    40. M

                                                                      Mitch

                                                                      Edinburgh

                                                                      2 reviews

                                                                      5.0

                                                                      2 reviews

                                                                      Dined on 16 April 2022

                                                                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                      Hadn't been here for a number of years and have certainly missed out. We had the hot seafood platter which was excellent. Wines also good. Excellent service and a great setting. Will return.

                                                                    Safety precautions

                                                                    • Cleaning & sanitising

                                                                      • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
                                                                      • Digital, disposable or sanitised menu provided
                                                                      • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
                                                                      • Sanitiser or wipes provided for customers
                                                                      • Contactless payment available
                                                                    • Physical distancing

                                                                      • Limited number of seated diners
                                                                      • Distancing maintained in common areas
                                                                      • Extra space between tables
                                                                    • Protective equipment

                                                                      • Waiting staff wear masks
                                                                      • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
                                                                    • Screening

                                                                      • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
                                                                      • Staff temperature check required
                                                                      • Contact tracing information collected

                                                                    FAQs

                                                                    Cafe Royal - Edinburgh is rated 4.3 stars by 492 OpenTable diners.

                                                                    Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

                                                                    Make a booking

                                                                    2 people

                                                                    May 2022
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                                                                    21:30


                                                                    Booked 18 times today
                                                                    Google Map for Cafe Royal - Edinburgh

                                                                    19 West Register Street Edinburgh, Midlothian EH2 2AA

                                                                    Additional information

                                                                    • Area

                                                                      Edinburgh

                                                                    • Hours of Operation

                                                                      Mon–Wed, Sun 11:00–23:00 Thu–Sat 11:00–00:00

                                                                    • Cuisines

                                                                      Continental, Seafood, Scottish

                                                                    • Dining style

                                                                      Casual Elegant

                                                                    • Dress Code

                                                                      Smart Casual

                                                                    • Parking Details

                                                                      None

                                                                    • Payment Options

                                                                      AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

                                                                    • Additional

                                                                      Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Wine

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