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The burger business has boomed in recent years - as well as the high end burger chains, we’re seeing the arrival of more and more independent places to enjoy a great burger in Edinburgh. Whether you’re looking for a classic cheeseburger done well or a beast of a burger with multiple patties and toppings; a traditional beef option or the perfect vegetarian patty, it can be hard to know where to go for guaranteed enjoyment. Never fear - with this list of our favourite picks, you’ll be able to work through and decide on your own favourite burger, Edinburgh-style...
This smart and stylish pub in the West End definitely deserves the “gastropub” label. It’s a warm and cosy place that makes you feel like you’re dining in a friend’s living room - and we love the bonus of the roaring fire during colder weather! The Cambridge Bar is known for its great selection of beers (it’s a free house with plenty of choice in cask, keg and bottle), and its wine list is just as impressive. It’s also a place that’s renowned for its gourmet handmade burgers which use great local ingredients. Choose from beef, buffalo, chicken or a bean burger and either select your own toppings or choose from one of their combos. Our favourite? The Five Alarm, topped with Monterey Jack cheese, jalapenos, chipotle mayo and a seriously spicy salsa...
The Cambridge Bar, 20 Young Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4JB
This place does exactly what it says on the tin: at Burgers & Beers on The Royal Mile you’ll find the perfect blend of gourmet burgers and craft beers, all in a rustic, quirky environment which includes outdoor seating for when it’s warm. Alongside a huge choice of craft beers, cocktails, wines, spirits, milkshakes and other drinks, you’ll find an impressive array of burgers, all made in-house and with buns coming from a local bakery. Try the Brinner - a breakfast-style burger with a beef patty, bacon, fried egg, hash brown and tomato - and we can’t get enough of their sweet potato fries, which are definitely among the best in the city!
Burgers & Beers Grillhouse, 192A High Street, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH1 1RW
Shopping in the New Town? Showing visitors the sights around Princes Street? The Boozy Cow on Frederick Street’s perfectly located for both. The Edinburgh branch is one of four in Scotland, and we love their ethos: as well as creating some of the city’s best burgers, we love the fact that 100% of their profits go to local charities. Inside, it’s all edgy, graffiti-style decor and neon signage with a strong bovine theme running throughout, and the menu stands out just as much. Need a recommendation? We suggest the Holy Cow with its double patty, sweet and spicy caramelised chilli onions, Cheddar, bacon and hot chipotle mesquite sauce. Try the naughty but oh-so-nice boozy milkshakes while you’re there - they’re seriously decadent!
The Boozy Cow, 17 Frederick Street, New Town, Edinburgh, EH2 2EY
Don’t let the name fool you...The Whistle Stop is both a barber shop AND a diner! Right in the heart of the city, it’s a true taste of the East Coast of the US. Smartly decorated with the walls jam-packed full of photos to look at, the diner-style menu seems at odds with the decor, but it definitely works. It’s messy, finger-licking food at its finest: chicken wings, tater tots, hot dogs, nachos and pizzas jostle for space with some seriously good burgers. Cooked pink and juicy (although you can ask for them more well-done), we love how the topping combos offer something different to Edinburgh’s other burger joints. An example? The “Rowdy Roddy Piper”: a hearty beef, haggis, bacon crisps, spring onion and whisky sauce combo that flies the flag for our heritage.
The Whistle Stop Barber Shop, 66-67 South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1LS
It’s not just the name that’s a real winner here - Bread Meats Bread were the proud winners of “Scotland’s Best Burger” in 2016! And worthy winners too: there’s no pretension here, just good, honest food made from good, honest ingredients - and at good, honest prices. Expect simple, diner-style decor with an open-plan kitchen so you can watch your burger being made before your eyes in this family-run joint...but good luck trying to make a decision first! There’s veggie, vegan, gluten-free and halal choices on offer as well as your regular meaty fare. Looking for something a bit different? We’re huge fans of the butter bacon burger, with chopped bacon, burger sauce, crisp fried onions, scamorza cheese and a rich and decadent bone marrow butter. Delicious.
Bread Meats Bread, 92 Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH3 9BE
“Great beers, great burgers” is The Holyrood 9A’s strapline - and we totally agree. You’ll find this charming pub where Holyrood Road joins Cowgate: it’s pretty traditional in its design with its dark wood tables and wood panelled walls...but step up to the bar and you’ll find a vast array of beer taps on the back wall, affixed to a shiny stainless steel panel. There are 20 beer and ale varieties on the pumps along with wines, spirits and cocktails...and a food menu that burger lovers should definitely not miss. Choose from over 15 different burger options...there’s beef, chicken and vegetarian options on offer, as well as their “Alternatives” list which includes our favourite, “The Black Deer”. With a venison patty, black pudding, melty brie, cranberry sauce and rocket all packed into a beautiful brioche bun, what’s not to love?
The Holyrood 9A, 9A Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AE
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