Review: Holyrood 9a - Great Beer & Burgers in the 'Burgh

Holyrood 9a bar.
Trad meets mod at the bar.
Located just a stone’s throw from Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, Holyrood 9a is a “must visit” if you like decent, reasonably priced pub food, and you are also partial real ale. Combining dark wood panelling, period ceilings and wood-burning stoves with an “industrial chic” bar and lighting, this is most definitely a welcoming establishment that is rarely quiet. A Staff that is friendly and knowledgeable also adds to the pub’s positive ambience.

First time visitors will be struck by the choice of craft beers – hailing from across the UK and even further afield – that are, somewhat unusually, served from the back of the imposing stainless steel and glass bar. A full menu of guest keg and cask ales is displayed on the blackboard at the pub’s entrance, and it’s possible to partake of a 1/3 pint taster before purchasing a full pint of any unfamiliar brew. Decent lagers are in abundance too, with Peroni, Pilsner Urquell, Cobra and Kozel amongst those available on draft, and as if this weren’t enough the pub also stocks nearly 30 bottled ciders and beers.  Holyrood 9a also holds a very decent range of wines and spirits for those not so keen on beer.

Burger, fries & 'slaw.
Burger, fries & 'slaw - resistance is futile...
However, a fine selection of drinks is only half of Holyrood 9a’s appeal, as the venue also offers a great menu of decent pub food, ensuring its shoe-box sized kitchen is always busy. Dominating a pretty extensive menu are the pub’s ‘Gourmet’ burgers which come in a substantial range of variations – from traditional beef through to lamb, pork and chorizo, and even including four vegetarian options. The menu indicates that the meat patties are sourced from leading Scottish butcher, Simon Howie and whatever the base of the burger you decide upon this will be augmented by a substantial array of accompanying sauces and toppings. Your burger of choice lands at your table encased by a toasted sourdough bun and served with sides of fries and home-made coleslaw, all rather trendily arranged on a wooden chopping board.


Holyrood 9a pudding menu.
And for pudding?
But if you don’t fancy a burger, the menu also offers a smaller range of other choices – such as salads, grills and sharing boards – to tickle your fancy, as well as some tasty, rib-sticking desserts. And what makes the menu even more appetising is the fact that – with the exception of the grill options – all dishes come in at under £10 each. For any early risers – or those looking to aid their recovery from the excesses of the night before – the menu also has an excellent breakfast section which is served each day until noon.

Holyrood 9a certainly does seem to have got the formula spot on in terms of what makes an alluring and reasonably priced “pub that does good grub”, so-much-so that if you are planning on visiting as a group it’s worthwhile booking ahead as the place can be mobbed, especially at weekends. So if you find yourself in central Edinburgh and in need of a nice craft-brewed pint and a fantastically tasty burger, do be sure to call in at 9a Holyrood Road.

Food - 7.5/10
Atmosphere -7.5/10 
Service -7.5/10 
Value - 7/10
Ambience - Expect a laid-back - yet busy, high-end pub experience. 

Bar photo courtesy of the Holyrood 9a website.

Holyrood 9a on Urbanspoon
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