The Cafe Royal
Time Out says
A pub of two halves, featuring a bar and posher dining area – mostly dedicated to quality fish dishes. Drinks include Scottish ales and a long whisky list.
An ornate drinking palace dating to 1863, the Café Royal Circle Bar is among the city’s most beautiful places to stop for a beer. Despite its longevity the venue has been very well maintained so its stained glass, decorated ceiling and cornicing all look good as new – as do the artworks made of ceramic tiles depicting celebrated inventors and scientists like Caxton, Faraday, Stephenson and Watt.
The building itself is a rather lovely example of Parisian-style architecture but as it’s tucked away in the lanes behind the east end of Princes Street that can be hard to appreciate. There are usually a few cask ales available, a reasonable whisky selection and one of the most elevated bar menus in Edinburgh. You can go upmarket here with a dozen oysters or a seafood platter – alternatively stick to more typical pub grub like haggis, neeps and tatties, or fish and chips.
Generations of locals and city visitors have come to know and love this establishment – it really is an Edinburgh institution. The bar only forms one part of the premises however; the rest is given over to the equally ornate Café Royal restaurant, with its old-school seafood menu, where dishes like lobster thermidor have been available since forever.