Living in the old town I am surrounded by pubs and cafes catering to tourists looking for traditional Scottish fare. That’s what makes Circus a welcome change to the norm.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what Circus is. It’s promoted as a café and bistro but there is also a beer garden, art shows and sometimes live music.
The same goes for the food. It is owned by the same people that run Empires, a Turkish restaurant slightly further down the street, and there is a definite Turkish/Mediterranean flavour to the menu but they also serve full Scottish breakfasts and burgers. I’ve never been in for dinner but the lunch and breakfast menus are both extensive and tasty. There are also vegan and gluten-free options on the menu.
In the long run though I find it easy to get past working out what kind of place Circus is and enjoy the relaxed, bohemian vibe. The restaurant is bright and airy with tables made from reclaimed wood and bright Turkish lamps hanging from the roof. The walled terrace at the back of the café comes as a bit of a revelation in the middle of the old town but is a great spot to enjoy a drink in the lovely Scottish summer weather (if we ever get some).
Circus is a great place to take a break from exploring the old town any time of the day, just remember your cash – they don’t accept any cards.