From Stockbridge To Fountainbridge, The Best Burgers In Edinburgh

Photo of Emer Ní Chíobháin
1 November 2016

As well as being world-famous for its festivals, history and wealth of attractions, Scotland‘s capital is jam-packed with bustling burger joints. The once humble hamburger has undertaken a massive makeover the world over and Edinburgh’s restaurants have taken the gourmet burger bandwagon in their stride. From the classics to the newfangled, we set off to find Edinburgh’s best takes on the quintessential comfort food.

© Stephencdickson/WikiCommons

The Scran & Scrallie

Gastropub, Restaurant, British, $$$
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The Scran and Scallie
The Scran and Scallie | Courtesy Of The Scran And Scallie

The Scran & Scrallie, the creation of not one, but two, of Edinburgh’s Michelin-starred chefs, is a gastropub that is more high end than your average pub grub experience. This charming bar is warm, welcoming and has excellent service with reasonable prices and a great selection. Here, care and attention is given to the ingredients, preparation and service. The food is local, seasonal and not overly fussy with plenty of draught and bottled beers as well as whiskies galore. There is only one burger and veggie option on this menu but boy are they good! The spelt & lentil burger is a must. It’s a family friendly spot with ‘scallies’ playroom for the little ones.

The Cambridge Bar

Bar, Gastropub, American, British, $$$
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"Aussie" | © BJ Stewart, Courtesy of The Cambridge Bar
This gastropub, tucked away in Edinburgh‘s new town, hidden from the tourists and shoppers, is famed for its gourmet home-made burgers. The monthly specials at The Cambridge Bar allow for interesting twists on the humble staple. There’s a vast choice of topping selections available with classics like the MOS (mushrooms, onions and Swiss cheese) or new favourites like the Pig in a Poke (pulled pork, BBQ sauce, coleslaw). With patties of beef, chicken, bean and even buffalo (coming from Puddledub Farm, in nearby Fife) available, there is a burger for everyone’s palate. It’s a family friendly bar and is even reportedly dog friendly too! It’s not too busy during the day but from its reputation can be busy at night so booking is recommended. With a great selection of beers on tap, including the famous Brewdog range, the organic Fair Isle collection, as well as a reasonable wine selection, you won’t go thirsty here, either.

Holyrood 9a

Bar, Gastropub, Pub, Pub Grub, British, $$$
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Holyrood 9a is a gastropub offering spins on the classic burgers. Think surf n’ turf and BBQ chicken as well as alternatives like venison and haggis patties. There are 15 varieties to choose from, each served in a fresh, all butter brioche bun, and made with love and locally sourced produce. These burgers are jam packed with flavour and tasty toppings as well as gem lettuce, tomato, home-made dill pickle and their famed home-made beer mustard mayo. Holyrood 9A is also an ambassador for great Scottish beers and ales, and has an excellent range of spirits and wines. It’s a lively spot with a friendly buzz and a nice ambiance in its two casual open rooms in addition to the bar. Family friendly during the day and great music on their jam packed weekend nights.

Bell's Diner

Restaurant, Diner, American, $$$
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Don’t be fooled by the outside of Bell’s Diner, home to truly excellent burgers. It may look a bit small and pokey, but this unassuming diner in Stockbridge is a bit of a local institution. The menu is, of course, burger-heavy, with various butters, cheeses, and sizes (4 oz, 6oz and 8oz), all served just past pink with traditional style chips and salad. Bell’s Diner caters to meat-eaters and vegetarians alike, and there’s even a ‘bratburger’ for kids. There’s no frills (or bells) here only good burgers.


Restaurant, British
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No-frills fast food burger and shake joint

Wannaburger is a modern fast food restaurant offering some of Edinburgh’s tastiest burgers, hot dogs, sides, shakes and desserts. If you’re looking for a burger (and you want it right now!) head on over to Queensferry Street and get yourself a wannaburger. These guys offer high quality burgers at fast food prices and times. They regularly mix up the menu with specials so there is never an excuse not to return. There’s a great range of sauces and dips, and free refills on drinks too – what more could you ask for?

Price: Budget

Opening Hours: Mon-Thur 7.30-10pm, Fri 7.30-11pm, Sat 9am-11pm, Sun 9am-10pm

Watch out for: Bacon Cheeseburger at £3.99


Burger isn’t an upmarket joint, yet this place is a long way removed from your average fast food chain. Burger can be found at two locations, at Fountainsbridge and Shandwick Place. With specials changing twice monthly, these guys have put a lot of thought into their burger recipes. Their beef burger uses five different cuts of beef and loads of other ingredients. The chicken has a Japanese twist on it, and the veggie is definitely unique with loads of components and a great taste. Not only do these guys care about your burgers, they care for the environment too; all their packaging is fully compostable and all their processes are as environmentally friendly as they possibly can be. Make sure to order their must-have skin-on fries on the side as well as a boozy milkshakes to wash it all down.
94a Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, UK, +44 131 228 5367

Buffalo Grill

Diner, Steakhouse, $$$
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Buffalo Grill is a staple among students and families alike, with their honest no nonsense chargrilled burgers and steaks. However lesser carnivores need not be put off as this home-style American burger joint also serves all sorts of Cajun cuisine, carni, veggie and pescie alike, alongside impressive dishes such as the chicken redpepajam and the whole rainbow trout. More recently the diner has become licensed but they still do BYOB with a small corkage.

56 North

Primarily known as a gin institution in Edinburgh, 56 North also has an impressive assortment of gourmet burgers. With a secret recipe, you can see why 56 North’s impressive 8oz burgers are award-winning. With an array of topping options, burger fans can expect anything from chilli infused apple sauce to hickory smoked garlic. The Millionaire is a must-have: pulled ham hock, roast beef slice, gherkins, giant onion rings, paprika mayo, roasted pepper, melted cheddar and buffalo mozzarella, all served in a toasted brioche bun with leaves and a mug of skin-on fries. Make sure to wash it all down with one of the 100+ gins on offer.
2 West Crosscauseway, Edinburgh, UK, +44 131 662 8860

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