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The Bon Vivant

  • Bars and pubs
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
The Bon Vivant, Edinburgh
Photograph: The Bon Vivant

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

Hip New Town cocktail bar with delicious tapas menu and twilight appeal

Tucked away on Thistle Street in the New Town, The Bon Vivant has the external look of an informal eatery, and an internal décor dominated by warm, soft wood and candlelight: ersatz trad where no one really cares about the ersatz element. It feels comforting, the bistro-style menu is a major part of the experience and the venue has none of the aesthetic stridency associated with some twenty-first century cocktail vendors. But it does have kick-ass mixologists handling the spirits, should you wish to pop in for a drink, and they can make anything you want, as long as they have the ingredients to hand.

Overall it’s a winning formula and since opening in 2008 a Bon Vivant mini-empire has grown across the city (see website). The team won the Best International Restaurant Bar accolade at the prestigious Spirited awards in New Orleans in 2014, overcoming competition from London and Moscow. The quality of your cocktail is assured. 

Although Bon Vivant staff can knock out any of the classics, their cocktail menu changes regularly and represents an adventure in taste combinations. One of their award-winners is the utterly remarkable Wing Tip involving single barrel Kentucky bourbon, an Italian bittersweet liqueur (featuring orange, peppermint and gentian flavours), Venezuelan rum, fig liqueur and bitters.

Written by
Keith Davidson


55 Thistle Street
EH21 1DY
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