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7 of the best places to grab a burger in Edinburgh

Wanting to grab a great burger in the capital? Then look no further

Published: May 9, 2016

The Compass

44 Queen Charlotte Street, EH6 7EX, 01315541979

Recently refurbished, this Leith institution has become the destination for pub foodies in the dockside of the city.

Open brickwork and dark furnishing takes you back to a simpler time, all be it with a slight contemporary touch.

With its large open kitchen constantly in action, one of the fun parts about this place, is having a beer and a breakfast from 10am.

Now, down to the important part, the burgers. Grab a 100% Scotch Beef burger with chips and get change from a tenner, or take the vegetarian option with the Veggie haggis or cous cous burger (both equally delicious) or go for something completely different with the Fish Finger Burger topped with a tangy Tartare Sauce.

Great portions, great atmosphere and quite possibly our favourite burger out of the 7.

Ryan's Bar​

2 Hope Street, EH2 4DB, 01312266669


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Nestled in its own corner of the West End, the hand painted roof and highly polished bar make for a welcoming setting to rest those legs and have a bite to eat.

For the burgers, the top of the four card selection (Beef £8.95, Chicken £7.95, Veggie £7.95 are also available) has to be the Legend burger (£12.50), which is truly a joy to behold.

Two perfectly cooked beef patties with a slice of cheese on each, topped with Bacon, crispy fried onion rings and a sesame bun. Eating this is not for the faint hearted.

All of their burgers come with chunky chips which you can switch out for sweet potato fries or shoestrings for an extra 50p.

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Cambridge Bar

​20 Young Street, EH2 4JB, 01312262120


Positioned just off Charlotte Square, this petite bar/restaurant is always pretty lively. With sports on the TV and regulars in the bar area, this place can get very cosy at the weekends.

Specialising in craft beer and gourmet burgers, customisation is watch word here. Choose from beef, chicken, buffalo or bean patties, then opt for one of a selection of toppings; perhaps a classic like the MOS (mushrooms, onions and Swiss cheese) or a new favourite like the Pig in a Poke (pulled pork, BBQ sauce, coleslaw).

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Bun or no bun, one patty or three, you can have your burger just the way you like it, before adding a side of chips, onion rings or coleslaw to complete your meal.

Thankfully, there's an array of­ flavour combinations on a handy blackboard to take the hassle out of picking your own.

How about Aussie bacon, pineapple, beetroot and a fried egg or Italian ­home made pesto and mozzarella? No? Well with another 15 combinations available you'll have plenty of inspiration.

Tables do get snapped up pretty quickly so booking is advised.

Holyrood 9A​

9a Holyrood Road, EH8 8AE, 01315565044


Their motto is “Great Beers, Great Burgers” and boy do they deliver. Opened since the summer of 2009, this deceivingly large bar opens its doors right in the heart of the old town.

Within close proximity of The University Of Edinburgh, The Royal Mile and Holyrood itself, this contemporary bar offers great value for money, a good vibe and great food.

Sourced from Simon Howie the Butchers, their gourmet burger range is made using some excellent (gluten free) beef, and their Halloumi and Veggie haggis burgers don't disappoint for the herbivores among us.

“Blue Murder” was the undeniable stand out. A perfectly cooked beef patty, delicious blue cheese, mushrooms, smoked bacon and a quince aioli, our mouths are watering just remembering the flavours.

Also for the more adventurous among you, why not check out their wild boar and apple burger - big gamey flavour with a delicious hint of sweetness topped with a smoked applewood cheddar.

Five Guys

6 Kinnaird Park, EH15 3RD, 01316576308


Ah Five Guys, if you haven't tried this American import by now, you really should check it out.

Relatively new to the city, it sits in a row of restaurants beside the Odeon cinema. With the aesthetics of an old school American diner, with a co­ordinated team behind the counter and in the open kitchen, working like a well oiled machine, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d been dropped right into a scene from Happy Days, however it's the burgers here - and ­not the Fonz -­ who are the stars of the show.

Starting at just £4.75 and and maxing out at £8.75 for a mouthwatering Bacon Cheeseburger, you have the fun of building your burgers with toppings, but with a choice of 15 you're not stuck for a flavour overload.

Toppings are free (though doubling up your patty is extra). Fries and Drinks - including free refills and over 120 different flavours - aren't included and can push the bill up, but it's definitely worth it.

Burger Meats Bun

1 Forth Street, EH1 3JX, 01315567023

mainThe guys who came up with the idea for this excellent eatery come from a Michelin-starred background, having worked together at The Peat Inn, in Fife.

Sporting a minimalistic and classic atmosphere with succulent burgers made using Scottish Beef from an Aberfoyle Butcher and juicy free-range chicken from Gartmorn Farm in Alloa.

The stand-outs for us were the 'Fiery' - topped with creamy Toma Raschera cheese, chipotle mayo and jalapeños - and the vegetarian option with Portabello mushroom, a spicy bean patty and creme fraiche and includes lettuce, tomato and their own house cucumber pickle.

The kitchen has developed a menu for celiacs and anyone looking for a carb free dinner, you can have a gluten free bun or there is a “ Nae Bun“ option too. It's also a child friendly restaurant with a great selection of kid's burgers on offer.


Edinburgh, ​18 Morrison Street, EH3 8BJ, 01314661779

mainThis movie themed bar is famous in Edinburgh for their massive menu of White Russian cocktails but if you’re feeling adventurous and up for an eating challenge, then look no further.

Lebowskis offer some of the tallest burgers in the city and you can choose from the classics like the Lebowski burger and the Pulled Porker, through to seasonal specials like the Fish burger -­ Haddock in a beer batter with a melted caper butter, tartar sauce and a homemade pea fritter, or the Jamaican Me Crazy - marinated jerk chicken and mango salsa.

The Big Lebowski Burger was our stand-out,­ double minced steak patty oozing with 2 thick wedges of cheddar cheese, crisp lettuce, tomato and burger sauce. You might want to fast for half a day beforehand in preparation for this monster.

Ali Rankin is a freelance Journalist and Food enthusiast based in Edinburgh. He has built up a huge passion for food and drink and has been working for over 10 years in the hospitality industry. Food has been a big part of his life since he was a youngster and is a keen cook in his spare time.

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