For fans of football the Cameo Bar in Leith is something of the de facto choice, especially if seeking beer and football close to the The Shore. The Cameo Bar is located on Commercial St, just along from Diner 7 and near to Teuchters Landing. The bar is a favourite for local office workers; no better demonstrated than the large contingent of the Scottish Executive who can often be found here enjoying an after work drink or five. A couple of years ago the Cameo Bar underwent a minor facelift, which made the back-room as pleasant as the rest of the bar.
The interior of the Cameo Bar is varied, with a huge bronze statue one of the focal points. The back-room makes a good informal dining room, but also hosts the Cameo’s television projector screen when the football is on (I watched the Manchester United versus Inter Milan game here). Window seats facing Commercial St are available, as are some comfy seats in the middle section of the bar. A myriad of smaller televisions in the Cameo ensure the football is visible throughout the bar, so it was no wonder that by 8pm the Cameo bar was packed to the rafters.
The food menu at the Cameo Bar has changed a few times over the past couple of years. Before the refurb many had fond memories of the Cameo bar’s burgers. This time round and despite good value at two dishes for Â£9.99 we were slightly disappointed by our chicken and beef burgers. Both were uninspiring and the chicken was dry. About 18 months ago I had a lovely sausage and mash at the Cameo, so I was sad to see no mention of this on the menu. If I eat at the Cameo again I’ll try their spitroast chicken for two.
It was a struggle to find the banana in our Â£3.49 banoffee pie and I always find it a little sad when pubs don’t make their own desserts. Perhaps the Cameo Bar could make their food menu a little more compact; this would mean their chefs could concentrate on doing a few dishes really well, rather than spreading themselves too thinly with such a large menu. That said, the Cameo are probably happy enough with their range of average, yet affordable pub-grub.
The best way I could describe the table service at the Cameo is endearing. It was great to get a seat infront of the projector early, which ensured a steady flow of delivered drinks. Service at the bar is a little hit and miss, with some staff failing to strike any hint of enthusiasm for their chosen type of employment.
For watching football or enjoying drinks in a lively setting the Cameo Bar is a great choice. The food is unlikely to place the Cameo in any gastro-pub guide, but I guess that’s a deliberate path the owners have taken. The adjoining Cameo Grill, open on Friday and Saturday nights, offers a range of steaks and fish. Having never been I’m unable to pass comment on the quality of their food though.
The Cameo Bar is located at 23 Commercial Street, Edinburgh, EH6 6JA
Telephone: 0131 554 9999