This Tuesday evening some friends and I headed to The Cambridge Bar, on Edinburgh’s Young St, for some of their super delicious burgers. We reserved the table in advance, as the bar can get busy. The Cambridge Bar is run by Jon Clemence, who is also the man behind Wannaburger and The Caley Sample Rooms. Recently Wannaburger has opened new premises in the West End, not far away from The Cambridge Bar. This is a larger, higher capacity version of Wannaburger on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. Those of you who have eaten at Wannaburger will be readily familiar with the burgers served at The Cambridge Bar; the burger menu is almost the same.
The Cambridge Bar is a traditional styled pub, albeit with a slightly modern take on the interior. It functions well as a pub for just drinks and attracts a fair crowd for sports events, that are shown on a few TV’s the bar has. The burger menu at The Cambridge is extensive with many inventively named creations on offer. If you can’t find a set burger that takes your fancy the option to add extras (bacon, egg, cheese, etc.) to The Classic burger (¬£5.50) for ¬£1 each is provided.
Whereas many pubs which serve food in Edinburgh provide waiter service to take your order, the status quo at The Cambridge Bar is to order at the bar and pay for the meal at the time of ordering. However you can put a debit or credit card behind the bar to start a tab, to which food and drink can be added. We did this on Tuesday and a waitress happily came over to our table to take our drink and food order. Although later in the evening when we asked the waitress for another round of drinks we were told to order at the bar. I think the rule is (probably!) a member of the bar staff will come to your table and take your order if you have a tab going, but only for food. Anyhow, it seemed a little confusing. Aside from that the bar staff were really friendly and there was even a collection of newspapers at the bar, so I could have a browse at the sports pages while my drinks order was being prepared.
The burgers were delivered within 15 minutes and all were delicious. I ordered the Aussie burger (beetroot, a fried egg, fresh pineapple, mature cheddar, salad, mayo and relish) which, for ¬£7.50, is an absolute monster. It is too big to close the bun, so it’s served open. The 100% Scotch beef burger was a good 7oz and was complete high quality beef, which had been cooked to perfection (I asked for it medium). Not a single one of our 3 beef burgers were anything other than exceptional. The fried egg was cooked to perfection as well and was an enticing pure white and golden yellow colour. However, the pineapple was a little disappointing: it had been grilled a little too long, so had dried up. Two of my friends ordered the Teriyaki burger (British bacon, pineapple, homemade teriyaki sauce, salad, mayo and relish) with chicken instead of Scotch beef, also at ¬£7.50. Again this was excellent and both enthused about how tasty the teriyaki sauce was. We also ordered a few side fries at ¬£1.95 to share around. The fries are tasty, although not that large a quantity is served. Saying that, most people would struggle to eat a full Cambridge Bar burger and fries.
Lots of draught lagers are available at The Cambridge Bar including Kronenberg, Caledonian 80 and Guinness. Pints of beer are between the ¬£2.50 and ¬£2.90 mark. The Cambridge Bar’s food is slightly cheaper than Wannaburger e.g. the Aussie burger has a ¬£1 difference.
The Cambridge Bar is a great place to go with friends or family and it’s great to be served such high quality burgers in an informal pub setting. Many of The Cambridge Bar’s visitors head there solely for the burgers, but when there they find a cosy bar that makes a good drinking/chat venue. It’s this great food in a pub setting that makes it more attractive to me than heading to the defined burger outlet that is Wannaburger. I hope with the expansion to three burger serving establishments in Edinburgh and The Caley Sample Rooms as well, the quality doesn’t suffer. There is no indication of this at present, which is an encouraging sign.
I’m not sure if The Cambridge Bar/Wannaburgers burgers are the best I have tasted. But, try as I might, I can’t think of any burger to counter this assertion. Only one way to find out yourself…
The Cambridge Bar is located at 20 Young Street,Edinburgh, EH2 4JB