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“Great food and wine, friendly, good price”
Review of El Bar - CLOSED

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El Bar
Cuisines: Mediterranean, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Seating
Neighborhood: Southside & Holyrood
Description: Flamenco dance
Edinburgh
Level Contributor
110 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Great food and wine, friendly, good price”
Reviewed August 31, 2011

Tucked away almost out of view, there is a Spanish restaurant with a great chef, and good Rioja wine at a reasonable price. It is attached to a flamenco dance studio where there are classes every day and performances at least once a week. The décor is beautiful, with flamenco songs and photos on the walls. The place is very small so book ahead. Very relaxing atmosphere, very Spanish, there's usually a clutch of them outside the door, smoking! Not open every day so check before you go for opening times.

  • Visited August 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank lindsalba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

12 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    9
    1
    1
    0
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Imperfect, authentic and great fun”
Reviewed August 8, 2011

El Bar is a tiny corner of Spain in Edinburgh. It really is a hidden gem, to use a well-worn cliche, and its low profile explains the surprising lack of reviews. It is unpretentious, friendly, cosy and serves great tapas. The furniture is basic, the decor simple and the clientele are often Spanish (which says a lot). I was introduced to it by a friend from Madrid and have returned many times to enjoy the croquetas de bacalao (cod), the albondigas (meatballs) and the Toro wine.
My most recent visit was with friends from Seville who quickly felt at home there and praised the quality of the food. The service was attentive and relaxed, the fare as excellent as ever, and after our meal we wandered through to the dance studio to enjoy a cracking flamenco show (£12). For most of the year there is a show every second Saturday, but as part of the Fringe there is one virtually every night in August; a perfect addition to a delicious meal. After the performance we drifted back through to El Bar to enjoy some more drinks and a late coffee, chatting with some of the performers and feeling relaxed and well-fed: another wonderful night.
This place may be too informal to be 'perfect' in terms of service or decoration, but that is precisely what I love about it. Over the last couple of years I have brought family and friends here, and they are always won over by its food and atmosphere.

  • Visited August 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank afb43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Really excellent food & drink, deserves to do well.”
Reviewed June 17, 2011

Having lived in the south side for many years, i'd known about this tucked-away place but had not ventured in. Better late than never though. This was superb tapas, far removed from the chain restaurants. Meatballs were so soft, as was the tortilla. Croquettes were beautifully crisp and tasty. Portions were very generous, and as far as we could tell, everything was home made. A very high quality and reasonably priced drinks list, including spanish beers, wines, brandies, ciders, and sherries. A great 'find' for us, looking forward to going back, but won't wait so long next time. It would be even better if there were a few more customers in it, which it fully deserves.

  • Visited June 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Peter&Gail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“I am the “OGRE” of this restaurant”
Reviewed November 11, 2010

Our odyssey start when we book a table for 14 people. As the place is very tiny, we expected to be seated in separated tables. That was OK for us when we arranged the details by telephone. Once we got into the place we realized that we can re-arrange tables in order to be more close together and the waiters were agreed to help us moving tables. It is important to mention that with the new setting of tables we do not obstruct the space of other clients. Suddenly, appears a woman screaming that she was the “OWNER” (translation: the OGRE) of the restaurant and that she did not want the tables of “HER” restaurant to be moved like that. Not only this woman was very LOUD and RUDE but also ask us, in a CHALLEGING WAY, who was the person that propose to move the tables? The woman told us that HER waiters can not reach all the tables, but we said we can pass plates because the more important point for us was to have a nice moment. As this was not enough, the woman SPEAK UP saying “you all move to that place” I will re-arrange the tables. At that point we have enough and decided to leave the place, but before leaving we said to the “OWNER”: we leave because you are very RUDE! What is more surprising was the answer: if you leave I do not care.

To put this in short: if this woman is the OWNER we are THE CLIENTS that PAY for the service and with no CLIENTS no restaurant can function or survive. This incident was an atrocity to the way CLIENTS have to be treated. For all these reasons, there is no doubt in mind that I will NOT RECOMEND this place to any human being on this planet.

Helpful?
3 Thank computer90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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