The Shore has become the place to go for food when my parents are visiting, after all it's convenient for my flat and there's plenty of eating options in the area. Plus, my mum's a native to Edinburgh and worked in the Newhaven and Leith areas for a few years, so she'll take any opportunity to go down memory lane!
Last weekend, after a visit to the museum, we once again came down to the Shore and this time decided on The King's Wark. As we'd just been to see the Mary, Queen of Scots exhibition it felt appropriate to visit somewhere whose history, and name, is strongly associated with the Stuarts.
The King's Wark, in common with several other pub/restaurants in the area, has a menu mainly focussed on seafood, along with haggis etc. It's all reasonably priced, verging on pricey for the type of establishment, but given we were just about the only locals in the place (I say local, my parents live in Glasgow) they can probably get away with charging that bit more. That and the food tastes good too.
I plumped for the seafood salad for a mains, whole shrimps, battered fish, Queenie scallops, squid etc, which came with a bowl of chips. Boy were those chips good! I don't know if they were triple-fried or whatever else, but they were crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside - perfect. The fish was okay, the main issue being that the shrimps hadn't been prepared so came complete with the vein. I suppose that's what you get for ordering whole shrimps, but it makes for messy eating.
My mum had something that came with a deep-fried ball of black pudding, but for the life of me I can't recall what the main component of the dish was. Whatever it was she liked it. Dad had haggis (and a smaller version of my salad) and boyfriend had pulled pork, which he was suitably impressed by. For pudding we couldn't resist getting a portion of the intriguingly named 'Coca Cola Cake' to share. Sticky and more like a steamed pudding than a cake, it was very good. Dark, like a chocolate cake, but not cocoay - the depth of flavour was something more, no doubt the Cola! It was very sweet, as expected, but I found myself eating more than my fair share. Yum yum yum.
The King's Wark is perhaps not better than any of its neighbours, but it's still a very solid option on the Shore and steeped in history, if, like me, that's your thing.
Cozy friendly nice little bar. Big log burning fire is great at this time of year and tables near the low windows to watch the world go by. Would definitely come back and I want to try the good here.
Headed down to Leith to grab a beer and having window shopped a few hostelries plumped for the Kings Wark - mainly because the burger sounded too good to pass up. And it was. Quality meat, (no Aintree tumblers here) in a made to measure bun with proper chips like my dad used to make and smoked applewood cheese topping it off. The other half opted for the risotto, which could have been tastier but a reasonable effort none the less.
Not the greatest selection of beers but a good pint of 70 helped the burger go down a treat.
Cost-wise it all came in for under £20, which is always good news.
I really enjoying popping down to the King's Wark for lunch. It's so handy being right next to where I work at Leith. It's also a great haunt on a Friday night with the agency crowd. The bar area is quite small but makes it nice and friendly!
The fish and chips are excellent but quite big portions. Defintiely go for their fishcakes and the chips are delicious.
Great selection of drinks and friendly staff. Thumbs up from me! :)
I have been to The King's Wark once before, in December, and the party of 3 of us had an enjoyable meal. Food was great, atmosphere great, good service - so I was looking forward to my next visit.
Wednesday evening - is it the new 'little Saturday'? It was surprisingly busy, but luckily my husband had reserved a table. Hmm.. the only table they had happened to be just near the entrance, so every time somebody came in there was a strong gust of wind and the poor candle on our table blew out (twice). My friend sat with her coat on the whole time!
I asked if we could maybe move to a different table, but I was told that there were other people queuing for tables. Fair enough.
King's Wark always have daily specials (fish and seafood). I was trying to decide between wild grilled trout and pheasant - I chose the latter. Oh, I should have maybe gone for the trout.. The dish arrived eventually and it came with gnocchi, beetroot jelly and winter greens. Gnocchi was delicious, I think it was the best part of the meal. Beetroot jelly didn't really do much to the dish, rather than adding a little bit of colour. The pheasant unfortunately was chewy and tough - disappointing. I didn't finish it, as it just wasn't pleasant to eat. Also it didn't have much flavour.
I'm not much of a complainer (except on Yelp) so I thought that once they come to clear up the plates, I will let them know about the pheasant. However, busy as they were - this never happened. Nobody came to ask how the meal was.
We paid and left.
I'm still convinced that King's Wark offers great food. This was perhaps just a unexpectedly busy evening. I am hoping that my next visit will bump up the score to at least 3 stars or more :)
Really good hearty food and at a decent price too!
We came here to celebrate a birthday so we chose somewhere that has hearty food and wouldn't be too expensive as there were 12 of us in all.
When we arrived it reminded me straight away of a proper, family pub back home! This in turn put me right in the mood for some mussels (Pavlovian response!) and wasn't I lucky that they were on the menu! The rest of the menu was fantastic, from poussin to pork chop, fish to hare, an amazing selection. Everything looked so good we took ages to decide. I went with the mussels to start, natch, and followed it up with a pulled pork and apple sausage.
The mussels were delicious, in a white wine and cream sauce. It was quite a bowlful and I was surprised as it was a big starter. not complaining though! The pulled pork and apple sausage was lovely. Served with black pudding, champ and (be still my beating heart) crackling! They were big portions and by the end I was too stuffed for dessert, which is probably the second time in my life that happened so bravo to The King's Wark! I tried some of the hare from the plates around me and it was cooked deliciously, though I'm not sure hare is my thing so I'm glad I didn't order it for the novelty.
I plan to bring my parents here next time they're over. They won't come to The Dogs as it's too 'young' for them, apparently, but they'll definitely come here and the menu is similar.
Seems there is a pattern of people feeling cold in that pub. Either the heating is on low, the entrance "doors" inconveniently placed or just poor ignorance to their customer needs. People sitting near the doors can feel inflicted by cold air that comes blowing in. I can imagine that if there should be gales you could be blown out the back entrance!
It happened to me. I was not able to lay down my coat. It was too cold. Before I went there for the first time in my life this week, people told me that this is a really nice place to experience good food and a nice fire place atmosphere. None was true. Yes, there is a nice fireplace in the back of the room, but it provides little substitute to the icy wind that sweeps the place.
About the service:
It was a weekday and the service was slow. It took them a while to take the order. It took them a while to serve the drinks and the food. And it took them "never" to ask us if we wanted dessert or coffee or the bill. Thinking back, they might have not noticed if we would have left without paying! For some people definitely a good thing ;-)
About the food:
The pheasant was dry and chewy. The bread pieces were not enough for 3 people (I think they mixed up the tables) and were dry. The best part was the Gnocchi. Overall the food was not worth the money. The menu promised an a la cart dinner and the prices reflected the offer. The food might look good on paper, but I believe that the cook had a bad day!
Good luck next time, if........!
Star down. I visited this last Wednesday and yes it wasn't as good as my first visit. Shame as I wanted to relive the experience.
I called beforehand to see if any tables were available, they informed me there was only one - right beside the door. I was not too pleased on that but gave it a good go.
On arrival we were surprised how busy it was. FULL on a mid winter wednesday evening? Good thing I 'reserved' the most infamous table of the place.
When visiting do not sit right at that table..period. My friend had to keep her coat on during the time there. My wife kept wearing her scarf . On opening of the frontdoor a gust of artic wind kept blowing out the candle on our table.
The meal was affected by our uncomfertable position and my saddle of rabbit was served warm but due to the drafty conditions turned cold as soon as i picked up my fork to eat it.
The place is great - when your seating is in a warm spot. Unfortunatly this time we didn't and it does prevent me from going here on a whim again.
Brrrrrrr.... It's freezing. Too cold and icy to go cycling, so what shall we do? go out for lunch, of course!
We'd never really been to the King's Wark, except for a drink (when we just grumbled about there being nowhere to sit unless you're eating - still true, and worth noting) but after a quick look at Yelp we decided to go. And, yum.
Portions are big! We'd really have been better to skip starters, or to share, but that's no fun, is it?
I had an amazing bowl of seafood chowder, followed by baked haddock meunière - while J had black pudding salad and lamb. Talk about gender-stereotyped choices...! But girlie and blokey choices were all just delicious, and cheered up the chilly day.
Staff are lovely and it's a really friendly place. I'll go back!
Came for drinks. Awesome mussels!! Good vibe and friendly service. Beers are local and different. Loved it, would want to come back and try more food. Great location too.
No complaints here, other than the pub was freezing. I had to sit with my day-glo cycling jacket on for three whole hours as my teeth chittered away between a wine glass. The door was left wide open for nippit Edinburgh air to cut through an otherwise cosy and traditional place.
The seat I was on wasn't too comfortable either, but that probably wasn't helped by me sitting rigid with the cold.
If it hadn't of been so bloomin' freezing I probably would have really liked this pub. It should have a great vibe to it...
I kind of want it to be one of these old pubs with a Scottish wolfhound flopped down at the hearth of a cracking, cosy fire with his doggy nose on a sailor's booted foot. But it wasn't, because it was baltic.
I wanted to imagine Robert Louis Stevenson penning Kidnapped in this pub, supping ale at a rickety table in the corner and looking out over the river for inspiration. But I couldn't, because I thought my fingers were going to freeze off.
Food looked great. Must come back here to try grub. Remember to bring duvet to wrap self in.
Came here on 8/8. The ladies who work there are really nice and it's got a very quaint and local feel to it.
I had the broiled haddock with black pudding and mash. I loved the haddock and the black pudding. The mash was good but I didn't eat it as it was a lo car day (bummer).
All in all a nice lunch at the shore.
I'll def be back before I leave Edinburgh since it's right around the corner from where I am staying.
Now this is a cracking little pub. Nestled right on the corner of The Shore in Leith this little hot spot is a great choice especially in the winter months (which is 11 and a half out of 12 here in Edinburgh!) as you can cosy up with a pint next to the roaring fire.
The food here is delicious and great value for money (main meals usually between £8 - 13). I highly recommend the cullen skink which is tasty and full of fish (no stinginess) - a nice traditional Scottish alternative dish for a change to haggis. Also the fish and chips is always a winner though I wouldn't have a starter before hand as going by the size of the fish it is more like whale and chips:)
The only thing I'd say is get here early as it is a popular spot at dinner time with the locals every night of the week. Definitely worth the wait though so why not grab a pint, prop up the bar and work on your appetite to wrestle that fish later:)
4 stars for feeding a visitor some cracking good haggis! This place was certainly popular. Everyone was looking for a warm place protected from the endless rain. They have good service behind the bar. Be sure to place all orders behind the bar also. Speaking of the bar, I didn't like Deuchars IPA. It was a bit too watery tasting for my enjoyment.
Anyway, the haggis came with neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes). I'm only translating for visitors since I had these same questions. Great food, though the tatties were a bit bland. Compared to the spicy gritty haggis, maybe bland was needed as something different. Solid pub.
The King's Wark does an excellent line in well prepared food, served in a traditional pub setting. The place is full of character, housed in one of Leith's oldest surviving buildings. They specialise in seafood, with their specials board usually proving very rewarding.
Overall, we said: "I was delighted by the King's Wark. This wasn't my first visit, but I hadn't been along for a good while, so it was great to see their impeccable standards being maintained. In terms of food in a pub setting (pub grub really doesn't quite cover the excellence of what they serve), I can think of few places in Britain that do it better than the King's Wark. I would be very happy to eat here on a regular basis, as their ever changing menu of seafood delights is a guaranteed winner with me."
I guess we wanted to really give the Kings Wark 3.5 stars, 4 for the food which was fantastic, but 3 for the service as we were pretty much forgotten about once we'd finished our mains. It was cold and wet outside so we were in no rush to move on but after not being offered the dessert menu or tea/coffee for maybe 10-15mins, we decided to shout for the bill and make our own pot of tea back home.
Since moving to Leith I have been in need of a place to meet my Sunday hangover munching requirements.
Kings Wark has solidly taken up the mantel, you know its going to be worthwhile when you walk in at 2pm and they are still only serving breaky!
Me and my fellow hangoveree took refuge at a corner table and nursed our fresh orange while perusing the menu!! My first thought was fry up but after reading the menu I was lead to the french roast withy bacon and syrup.
Now all I can say it that it delivered, I mean its french toast so your are fairly limited with where you can go with it but it ticket all the boxes. For me that means plenty of everything, I hate a syrup scrooge!!!
Looking at the menu it pretty much covers all the bases if I was going to have a moan Ild say i would like to see eggs benedict on there but thats just cause its my favourite!!
In an oober hungover state we were also delighted to see a large free portion of toast and butter brought to us while we waited!!
All in all great! Jd = happy man!
Always a favourite; food at the King's Wark is invariably excellent and fresh. Last Friday proved a partial disaster though: our starters left too little room for us to finish the main courses...! Great mussels, usual tasty haddock and chips, and a lamb pie stuffed to bursting. Next time I'll fast through the day...
Atmosphere is lovely too, when not too crowded with standing drinkers. The emphasis is on eating, although it's a charming place to view the world from the bar. Food prices are fine and portions substantial.
Great little pub on the shore at Leith.
They do great food - 2 different menus, bar menu is simple and tasty - real pub food basics but cooked really well. There is then a smaller restaurant area that has a bit more expensive menu and a bit fancier - all very good.
It is also a great place just to pop in for a drink ad hide from a cold Edinburgh afternoon.
Possibly the greatest pub for food in Scotland. The seafood is beautiful and the Wark has gained a fearsome reputation as the best place to get chowder and mussels from anywhere on the Shore- including the Martin Wishart restaurant nearby!
Serves loads of guest ales and is always heaving with people. I recommend you book to avoid disappointment. Very friendly staff and an exceptional menu choice and reasonable prices.
Included in the Michelin guide for pub food and has won many awards over the years for its gastronomic offerings.
This is a very nice pub, inside it is quite old fashioned and it is a strange shape, its not the biggest of pubs, but it is a very popular place, especially for food.
The food in there is brilliant and you get huge portions, to get a seat for Sunday breakfast is unbelievable, you really need to book, as it is that popular with the food.
Its such a nice place though, with a lovely atmosphere and the bar staff are very nice and friendly.
It is like an old traditional pub.
The King's Wark is deservedly awardwinning. But make sure to book - even for breakfast - as the place gets packed with those in the know!
We came here for lunch with a local friend who recommended it. There is a restaurant section and a pub section, the pub welcoming with its dark oak and cosy nooks, the restaurant stylish with a whitewashed, modern look. We picked the pub section.
The menu may not be huge but it is imaginative. I was impressed not only that they had two vegetarian options but also as to the originality of the one I chose - Gruth Dhu (Scottish cheese), spinach and butternut squash strudel with cherry tomatoes, broccoli and mixed salad.
The strudel was excellent, as were my friends' fish risotto, seafood chowder and smoked herring, all of which were beautifully presented in perfect sized portions.
If I lived in Edinburgh, I would visit this place again and again - as my local friends do - and I can't wait to be back up there again!
I simply cannot fault the kings wark,
superb staff who are just laid back enough. If you choose either the pub or the resturant the food is simply astonishing and very keenly priced
The only thing wrong is that i find it difficult to go elsewhere for a meal, on the off chance it will not measure up.
Keep it up
hate to be a scrooge, but this place aint all that great. been on various occasions, though just twice to eat and will say NO EFFING WAY the best fish and chips. deep sea, top of leith walk has the best, and ive had about 17 better. the first time we went for a sunday brunch we asked for the steak and onion baguette thingy. we asked if they could add cheese on and they said no. we said we would pay and they said no. then proceeded to tell us that the only cheese they had wouldnt taste right melted. WTF. all cheese works on steak in my book.
the second time i went was with about 5 others and i will give them a bit of credit as we were came a bit late for breakfast. they were out of nearly everything!!!! no shit. everything that was asked for they were out of. they did have the bagel and salmon. it was a sad pititful little bagel that i wanted to throw a life jacket around and give mouth to mouth to after before offering a new life with a family whow would love and cherish it.
hope dianna wasnt our server cause whoever we had (this was the second week of september, 2008) was HORRIBLE. we had to practically reenact the sesame street "agua" "agua" 80's skit with the guy crawling through the desert just to get a glass of water. ages to get the bill and by that time we were the only ones there.
SUCKO SUCK SUCK MCGEE. you are surrounded by wayyyy better places to eat and drink. shit, id even eat at the waterline 100 feet away before this place
My family did like the place, but we weren't that impressed as the first time we came. Maybe the reason was the slow service. But after all it was a busy night. Everything was full, so this is not a good argument. The meals were delicious and tasty as usual, nothing to complain about.
Popped in for a late lunch mid-afternoon. I LOOOOOOVED the fish & chips. Service was great, prices more than reasonable. We'll be back and will bring friends.
Nice traditional pub turning out interesting food (didn't eat there so can't tell you how it was). Mixed crowd of young and old. Fair amount of seating.
I've drunk here a reasonable number of times and have generally found the service to be good and the quality of the ales (only a couple of guests) the same. My girlfriend and I ate here on Saturday past though and whilst the bar food may not be up to the standard of the restaurant part it was weak enough to put us off trying the dining room in the future. My roasted veg & beetroot pastie came with good cauliflower cheese but was itself nothing special whilst the steak burger was a good size but apparently tasted like a frozen & processed one rather than the homemade experience expected. We'll be sticking to just the booze in the future.
This pub benefits from a very nice location by the canal in Leith. Looks quite nice from the outside, but let a bit like a restaurant or old fashioned coffee shop inside. Seems like my review is a bit contrary to the general perception of this place but a lot of them seem to be about how good the food is, whereas I am very much a pub drinker rather than gourmand and of four ale pumps, three had their backs turned to me, leaving just the over enthusiastic Deuchars trying to catch my eye. There can be quite a bit of noise from the busy main road going past.
Heard a lot of great things about this little pub, so we decided to check it out. We were told to eat in the main bar area, rather than the restaurant area. Apparently there are different menus, but not fully sure. Went for dinner one evening, but it was full and there was a long line of people waiting for a table, so decided to come back a couple days later. Even on a Monday evening, we had to wait a bit for a table. But, I will have to say, the food more than makes up for the wait! They serve what I would consider "posh" pub food at very unposh prices (starters around 3-4 and mains 8-10). If you are looking for some good food and great prices, this is the place to go.
Went here Saturday night was very busy but happy enough to sit in the bar and have a drink while waiting for the table. Staff where really good and friendly and food was amazing as always strongly recommend the smoked haddock risotto, Rib eye steak was probably more medium than rare so will make sure just ask for rare next time but was still very tasty. Although very busy did not feel rushed and had a good atmosphere, will be going back again defiantly.
Although you can get a great meal in the Kings Wark, I do feel that it is slightly overrated. On the other hand I would definitely recommend this place to anyone visiting the Shore and looking for a bite to eat, as it is miles apart from nearby competitors. One disappointment is that they do not serve Sunday roast, only 'brunch'.
Sunday Brunch in Leith fantastic! Steak and Eggs absolutely wonderful and a perfect hang over remedy!
The Kings Wark is the place to head to if you're looking for a pub with good food, a cosy and friendly atmosphere, and an excellent location in the heart of Leith, with the 22 bus stopping on its doorstep. Its decor is simple but appealing, with wooden tables and dripping candles adding to the pirate tavern feel. The food is pricier than at the other local pubs, and the menu is short and sweet, but if you're looking for more gourmet pub grub then this is the place for you. The staff are friendly and casually dressed and the pub is inviting and warm, making it an ideal place for a winter retreat where you can get good but unpretentious food and service.
My visit to Leith was the 'mission' of my long awaited trip to GB. Many generations of my family hail from Leith (my grand father was a Lindsay and his mother was a Leith), so spending a few days here was truly special. I was told to find this pub, as the property had some connection to my family (the details are a bit fuzzy... I should have paid more attention when my grandparents explained the association). We found it easily - almost by accident. It was just what I had pictured. The building itself is very old - goes back hundreds of years. The pub has two very, very small rooms, one for eating and drinking and another for drinking and darts. Intimate (shoulder-to-shoulder) seating. Brick walls. Low ceiling. Even a small fireplace at one end of the room we were in. We ordered fish, which was quite good. Seemed the safest thing on the menu [well, chalk board behind the bar] for a not so adventurous American. (Folks sitting next to us had haggis... I had to avert my eyes while they ate!) I don't know if this pub is normally frequented by tourists, but we were the only non-locals in the room the night we were there, which certainly added to the charm. The atmosphere was relaxed and encouraged lingering... which we did. We whiled away the entire evening in fact, my hubby hefting pints of ale while I became acquainted with Balvenie - a single malt scotch whisky which is now my favorite. And our tab for the entire evening was under 30 pounds! Amazing. Our visit to Kings Wark is one of my favorite memories of our two weeks in GB. I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Edinburgh/Leith.
Love this place! fish and chips are amazing! also had the steak well worth the money! not too expensive either! and free bread and butter on the table when you sit down ;)
Lovely little pub with great food and good beer, it has just been done up but has lost none of its charm. Its definately one of my favourite pubs for going out for something to eat, the food is excellent and reasonably priced. Due to its popularity it can sometimes be hard to get a seat. Without doubt one of Edinburghs best pubs.
I almost don't want to write this review as I like this place so much and it can be hard to get a table. Sunday lunch up till 3pm! There is no better place in Leith. Traditional Scottish Breakfast to fancy crepes, take your pick. During the week it's a nice place for a drink, but comes to the fore every Sunday.
Veggie friendly, cosy pub with wonderful bread as standard and fine staff. It doesn't look muh from the outside but inside is like a step back in time and wonderful atmosphere especially on a winter's night when all the candles are lit. The only drawbacks are that at peak times you can be waiting in excess of 40 mins for your food and their specials never include veggie options but with an amazing veggie risottothat hits the spot every time, who would want to branch out?!!
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