The King's Wark
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Old-school waterfront haunt that proves popular on weekends.Seasonal Scottish ingredients are the selling point, and fish dishes feature heavily
Although The Shore area of Edinburgh has succumbed to some epic gentrification in recent years, attracting in-style bars, cool cafés and Michelin-starred restaurants galore, The King’s Wark has not lost its allure among loyal locals and clued-up tourists.
Set in a 15th- century building overlooking the Water of Leith (the river that runs through the city), The King’s Wark has carved out a solid reputation for solid cooking using ingredients sourced from Scotland’s local larder. Bread comes from a patisserie in Leith; fish largely from the excellent Welch fishmonger along the road in Newhaven. The menu includes the odd staple (fish and chips, steak burger), but the Wark does a great job of keeping things seasonal, and the chef regularly changes the à la carte menu. Being on the waterfront, it’s little surprise that it offers a fair muckle of fish (depending on the week, monkfish, scallops, oysters and crayfish), but, season allowing, pigeon, duck and rabbit saddle all get a look-in too.
Like the dishes, the decor is classically old-school – dark woods, stone walls, wicker candles – making the place feel lived-in but never tired. And while most come here to eat, it is possible to grab a table during quieter times of the day, and simply enjoy a pint and some people watching. On a weekend, it’s packed out with a merry mix of patrons, including families, couples, students and young professionals indulging in the Wark’s bevy of brunch choices (such as the gargantuan Bigger Breakfast fry-up, or the spinach crêpe with brie).
The mighty Sunday lunch also draws a crowd – the blade of beef, with all the traditional trimmings, rightly proving a popular choice.