The Compass Bar is a bright and popular bar on the corner of Constitution Street and Queen Charlotte Street.
It has mixed luck with its neighbours; on the downside the twin building across Constitution Street sits in neglect growing dirtier with each winter but on the plus side and across Queen Charlotte Street is the local police station. As a result The Compass Bar feels like one of the nicest and safest in the whole of Leith.
The Compass is safely described as a bistro or gastro pub. The food is very good and it is often wise to book if you are planning lunch or dinner at a busy time. The pub shuts at 11pm on most nights; except Friday or Saturday when it manages to stay open an hour longer. Although it lacks a website it does have a fairly popular Facebook page.
The pub is fairly small but makes good use of the space. Some of the tables are right next to the micro kitchen and many tables let you see right inside. It’s the kitchen and the food that comes from it that lures most people into The Compass. The pub may owe a lot to word of mouth recommendations but it has earned them.
The menu is fairly large, with about two dozen options available in addition to specials that come and go. The menu itself changes slowly over time, with one or two dishes being replaced as the seasons change, shifting with suppliers or as the chef tweaks the options to stay current. I’ve felt the disappointment of going out of my way to pop in for lunch only to discover that my favourite dish has been removed. That said; I’ve never yet failed to find an alternative dish to tempt me from the menu.
Compass makes an effort with the selection of drinks too. In addition to a healthy wine menu the bar is often able to tempt visitors with a good range of whisky. Even the beer selection seems to make the effort to stray a little from the run of the mill road and have something a little different to offer you.
It is common for the Compass Bar to have a paintings or art from local talent on display or even for sale. During the Festival, the Compass Bar feels especially lively.