Edinburgh pubs: Beloved nightlife institution around since the 80s ranked as one of UK's Top 3 American diners

Edinburgh venue named as National Geographic picks top UK options for a taste of Americana
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A beloved Edinburgh institution that’s been around since the early Eighties has received some national recognition.

The City Café, on Blair Street, was ranked in third spot on National Geographic’s list of the UK's ‘Top 5 American Diners’.

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Taking the top spot on the list was Billy Bob’s Parlour in Skipton, with London's Camden Diner in second place. Fourth position was claimed by Bobby Jo’s Diner on Southend-on-Sea, with the Electric Diner in London completing the list.

The City Café, on Blair Street in Edinburgh, was ranked in third spot on National Geographic’s list of the UK's ‘Top 5 American Diners’. Photos: The City CaféThe City Café, on Blair Street in Edinburgh, was ranked in third spot on National Geographic’s list of the UK's ‘Top 5 American Diners’. Photos: The City Café
The City Café, on Blair Street in Edinburgh, was ranked in third spot on National Geographic’s list of the UK's ‘Top 5 American Diners’. Photos: The City Café

Having picked their top UK options for a taste of Americana, National Geographic said this about The City Café: “By day, this buzzy spot just off the Royal Mile fashions itself as an old-school US diner, complete with vintage posters, neon signs, jukeboxes and a life-size statue of Elvis.

“It’s especially popular for its hearty all-day breakfast offerings, including vanilla pancakes and eggs florentine. Come nightfall, it’s a lively bar with DJ sets on Fridays and Saturdays.”

The City Café is no stranger to plaudits and was named as one of the 12 best bars in Edinburgh by Time Out a few months back. In its description of the venue, the respected travel guide wrote: “Traditionally one of Edinburgh’s definitive pre-club destinations, City Café has been forced to move with the times, adopting a kitschy American diner persona for the daytime. Neon jukeboxes, a red baize pool table, chrome bar stools and high-backed booths provide the setting for a menu bursting with creamy milkshakes and big-ass burgers (the biggest of which is available as a ‘Man vs Food’-style challenge).

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“Come dusk though and it’s just as big a party joint as it ever was: cocktail and beer pitchers are the order of the day, and on the weekends guest and resident DJs will spin funk, hip hop and house tracks to get you in the mood for the dancefloor. We all change as we get older – we have to learn how to make room for families – but City Café has shown us how a great bar does so in style.”