#23: The Mercat Bar, West Maitland Street, Edinburgh

The Mercat Bar, West Maitland Street, Edinburgh (exterior)

This place has changed over the years despite the same management. When it started out it had a more down-to-earth approach, but has slowly crept towards a classier target audience and higher prices. It’s possible that this could be blamed on the trams farce, with management aiming for higher margins to stay alive, despite the lower footfall. I think I forgive them (not the trams). It’s well presented, has good food, attentive staff and a good atmosphere.

Beer

In the good old days, there were several guest beers on in here (I think). It’s where I had my first pint of Stewart Brewing when they were still new on the scene. Now their only “real ale” is Caledonian Deuchars, which is acceptable in a pinch, but it’s not exactly exciting. I’m really just moaning about the lack of any guest beers, it’s all they need to win me back.

The full list (excluding bottles, I didn’t check them): Caledonian Deuchars, Krusovice, Belhaven Best, West 4 and Munich Red, Guinness, Tennent’s Lager, Kozel.

Our round of 3 Deuchars and a coke was £13.15, with the beer being £3.55 per pint, coke £2.50. Really fairly reasonable.

Food

Nachos at The Mercat Bar

The food is generally pretty good, but the nachos are excellent, so we rarely have anything else. For years these held the “Best Nachos In Edinburgh” crown, as designated by our resident nacho expert Russ. However, they have since been relegated to third place after Henricks in Bruntsfield (2nd) and 52 Canoes (1st). The main issue I believe is the price, £10 being a bit steep. I think if they knocked a quid or two off, they could potentially reclaim the top spot.

My brother reckons they’ve got the best cooked breakfast in Edinburgh, the “Clansman” breakfast. He’s a big lad, but said he had trouble finishing it. At 15 quid though, I’d expect no less than perfection.

Castle View

Not on your Nellie.

The Mercat Bar, West Maitland Street, Edinburgh (interior)

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