It seems like a lifetime ago that the Holyrood Tavern stood on the corner of Holyrood 9A and The Pleasance. The pub was home for goths, punks rockers and the Linux user group of Edinburgh but was shuttered due to rising rent and competition. While the pub was closed it felt like an impossible act to follow.
The Holyrood 9A has followed and done very well. Years later and the 9A is going strong. It has a wide range of beers, I was there last week enjoying the Joker I.P.A., shelves full of spirits and a food menu worth sharing on Facebook.
The pub (do we call it a gastro pub?) specialises in burgers. There’s a whole page of options and each one is worth being tempted by. The Holyrood 9A does well with the its cheese selection and a fantastic beer mustard. It seems to offer a chilli burger but, alas, this is a “chilli cheese” option rather than chilli beef on a burger. Different? Yes. Surely. However, a good chilli burger is the pinnacle of all burgers.
The atmosphere and decoration at the 9A is clever. It manages to find a balance between posh pub (mainly thanks to the mirrored shelves), old historic pub (deer heads on the wall) and Edinburgh pub (food on wooden trays). As a result it still enjoys the patronage of some of the Holyrood Tavern’s old customers, including this blogger, the latest crop of Edinburgh University students from the Pleasance (yes, Yahs and others) as well as tourists. I’ve actually seen what looked like a whole tour of about a dozen French backpackers linger at the door before plunging in.
Book. The Holyrood 9A accepts table reservations and if your attempting anything beyond popping in with a friend or two to see if there is a table free for dinner or lunch then booking is a strong recommendation. The food area of the pub gets so popular that the table reservation signs go down early and punters are left to judge whether they’ll be able to vacate the table in time on not.
I don’t make the Holyrood 9A often enough to be called a regular. It’s nothing my neck of the wood and when I’m in the area I know it’ll be busy. That said; I’m always happy to pop in and I’m enjoying my quest to work through the burger range.
I recommend the Holyrood 9A to visitors and locals alike.