Bon Vivant: n. pl. bons vi·vants (bô v-vä) A person with refined taste, especially one who enjoys superb food and drink. Well this Edinburgh staple on Thistle Street hits all those marks – channelling a French bistro-feel as it recreates an “on the continent” attitude towards dining and drink. Don’t let the romantic candle lighting and vintage posters fool you though, the vibe here is decidedly youthful – with DJs hitting the decks on weekends.
Bar staff are confident and inventive, so lay your trust in their hands for any classic (or twist thereon). The cocktail menu is ever-changing, keeping you on your toes, but if you’re looking for something of the grape variety – they’ve got 44 wines by the glass and might treat you to a blind tasting. We can’t help ourselves when there’s a Negroni Solera around … let them explain the system to you and then be sure to try one.
And the food, oh the food – with a wide selection of bites from £1, starters and middles, The Bon Vivant makes it easy to soak up those tasty tipples. If you’re just keen for a nibble, then try the chorizo in cider or, if it’s on offer, a few slices of jamón iberico (they have a whole leg behind the bar from time to time). Now let’s join them and do as the Europeans do.
Best Bars tip: Clearly the guys here have got a winning formula, having opened another branch of their namesake venue in Stockbridge as well as a sister bar called The Devil’s Advocate on Advocates Close (and don’t forget their cafe on Waterloo Place – Pep & Fodder). So there’s plenty of opportunity to get into the good life around town.
— Sasha Filimonov, @SashaSips