Greyfriars Bobby’s Bar is the sort of pub you always hope to find in a tourist location. One with a sense of history but that is charming, smart and serves great food. The refurbishment of the Candlemaker Row bar has brought this iconic Edinburgh pub up to date and yet it instantly feels comfortable as you settle down in its wood, tweed and muted tartan interior. And it still feels like a pub, not to mention the fact it serves cask ales.
Bobby, the original Skye terrier was saved by a Lord Provost buying him a dog licence, so it was fitting that the official opening party in July saw Edinburgh’s deputy LP, Deidre Brock and a former LP Norman Irons checking up on the new look.
The menu is a good mix of the tourist-pleasing traditional and some eye-catching contemporary dishes. Try the chilli and garlic chorizo and tiger prawn vol-au-vents for a spicy international starter or stay nearer home with Cullen skink. The melt-in-the-mouth braised lamb dressed in redcurrant sauce will be a firm autumn favourite and in the meantime the salads and sandwiches are a lighter option. Not everything on the menu is an innovation and Bobby’s old favourites, like Wild Boar and Chorizo Burgers, are still available. Try to leave space for a dessert as the rich sticky toffee pudding is good, and the wickedly luxurious sundaes (both banoffee or Eton mess) are even better.