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“Friendly and relaxed”
Review of 56 North

56 North
Ranked #263 of 2,592 Restaurants in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $26 - $53
Cuisines: British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Neighborhood: Southside & Holyrood
Description: Edinburgh's original Gin Bar and Restaurant. Specialising in gin with around 200 varieties on offer with extensive drinks menu and cocktails. Food is served all day and is homemade by the award winning team under Robert Brown. Burgers, salads, classic mains along with contemporary items make up a seasonally changing menu. The venue is bright and airy with large windows which open onto one of Edinburgh's largest outdoor terrace dinning areas during summer. Located in the old town, 56 North is also in the heart of the Edinburgh Fringe and has an unrivalled location for Fringe visitors.
Reviewed January 18, 2014

Went for Saturday lunch, as a couple, with a voucher. Both had the tower burger with fries plus a bottle of beer and a cocktail. All very nice and in a cosy, comfortable booth. Greeted and served by Neil, who was very friendly and welcoming. The burgers were tasty, the fries very fresh and the service warm. Probably go back to try other items on the interesting looking menu and extensive range of drinks, especially the gins!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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2  Thank Egon_Rosie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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366 - 370 of 493 reviews

Reviewed January 10, 2014 via mobile

Cocktails were lovely, huge drinks list. Great atmosphere, relaxing music. Shame about the blonde girl that works there (the main one). She cant even crack at smile, had a face like a slapped bottom. She knows who she is. Ruined the evening!!

4  Thank missdaiz8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2014 via mobile

Have visited this place a good few times over the years, and always at least come away satisfied, until now.

Having recommended 56 for the works Christmas night out, I was really disappointed with what we got.

Poor food...the flatbread was a car crash of tangy leaves and over dressing.

Even the cocktails (which are the reason I have always returned to 56) were bad. I had a daiquiri which was the single worst drink I have had in my life - it was room temperature at best, and was undrinkable.

Service was really awful, slow, forgetful, not attentive, I could go on.

Absolute waste of a place.

1  Thank Paula_8181
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2013

Group of us went here for a Christmas Night Out with a difference, gin tasting session and then meal. Thought the Gin tasting was superb value for money (often see vouchers for this, would recommend) 8 gins and 4 different tonics to try, James was very knowledgeable and very patient with a bunch of giggling women, and we all really enjoyed it, meal was also really nice, christmas menu and again, thought pretty good value. Will definitely be back.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank valsreid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2013

I wonder if there’s a restaurant for every degree of latitude. My home town sits at the 54th parallel, while Edinburgh sits at the 56th. My town has a North 54, Edinburgh has a North 56—well, okay, 56 North. On a whim I did a search for a North 53 restaurant…bingo, Edmonton. North 52? London. North 55? Northern Ireland. Holy crap, it’s true! I could run a blog where I travel the world visiting a restaurant named for every latitude.

I’m waiting Hollywood!

That being said, I’m sure there would be at least a few degrees missing—not sure if there’s one at the North Pole. Taking this train of thought, would there be duplicates in the South, and would they be the Norths’ mortal enemies? Would they explode if they touched each other like matter/antimatter? I have to check—HOLY SHIZZA, there totally is a South 55!

Upon passing 56 North, I couldn’t help but enter. It’s a modest bistro where sections of charcoal tiles and tan wood panels spread across the floor. Matching tables and chairs are frugal; the tables feature hooks for people to hang bags from….novel. The bar carries enough alcohol to inebriate all of Goldie Hawn’s children. The menu is the definition of humble—one paper affixed to a clipboard. A clipboard.

No really, a clipboard.

The prices are very reasonable with only a few items over ten quid and only one at seventeen pounds. I opted for two starters rather than one with a main. The first was a pork belly & black pudding filo parcel with homemade apple jam. I then followed it up with the autumn vegetable soup. While the filo parcel was amazing, I thought the soup was honestly…the best word to describe it was fibrous, which is…totally a word I just discovered. Thankfully, it was only a daily soup, which means I hope that in the future it won’t repeat.

A good meal and a good value. I liked the décor, especially the hole built into the dividing wall allowing me an unobstructed view of the TV in the corner—I kid you not, they did this. The service was great with the waiter/bartender/probable owner bragging about the free Wifi offered inside the restaurant. By the way, the password for the network was totally “FreeScotland”.

56 North is a lovely modern addition to a bucolic, borderline antediluvian landscape (yeah, antediluvian). I’ve said that I loved and still do love the look of Edinburgh—the stone construction, the towering spires, the fact that the city is perpetually moist all the time—but I do appreciate it when I cross the threshold to an interior and find it upbeat and modern. There’s a TV, but it’s not a pub. It has a bar but it’s not a club. 56 North is comfortable. It’s like a giant pillow in front of a fire on a cold night. It’s where you take someone to hang out with for two hours. It’s where single guys work off a pint of bourbon and lament the days when they were in love.

Okay, that last one doesn’t sound very fitting, but I could totally see it happening.

56 North gets my recommendation because it was unpretentious, welcoming, with better than average food. With my review of North 54, that makes two latitudes. That leaves 178 more to go….more or less.

DECOR: 7

PLATING: 7

SERVICE: 8

FOOD: 6

VALUE: 8



OVERALL: 7.2 out of 10

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank PrinceGastronome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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