OK, if you've been reading my tips especially on my separate Scotland page then by now you've probably guessed it - yes, my husband's family name is McGregor... and that makes it my new family name, too! So naturally we *had to* visit this pub, what choice did we have? ;-)
The Royal McGregor is run by - you guessed it again - the McGregor family (James, his parents Robert & Sandra; sister Susan) and together with the friendly & young staff this really ads a personal & welcoming touch to this establishment in the heart of the Royal Mile. During our visit the pub was pretty quite so the bartender took the time to chat with us about the Edinburgh Festival, some great day-trips to do outside the city, etc.
The pub has existed for many, many years but was previously known as 'Valentines' and 'The Covenanters'. This is a nicely refurbished bar that prides itself on serving Scottish & international cuisine; meals of high quality and low prices (in relation to many other pubs on the Royal Mile.)
Favorite Dish: As you can see from the pictures we had lunch here and John ordered the Steak Pie (£8.65.-) and I really enjoyed their Fish pie with mashed potatoes (£7.95.-).
The food tasted good & freshly prepared, however, I was a little suspicious as to how they had managed to put the food on our table within merely 15min of ordering it...?
The Royal McGregor also serves some general breakfast choices for only £4.95.- including tea or coffee. The couple next to us had ordered some filled baguettes with salad that also looked very good... I shall try those next time. But on this day it was cold & wet outside, and I needed some comfort food so local seafood in a creamy sauce with even creamier mashed potatoes was exactly what I needed to warm me through from the inside out.
Known for their friendly and competent staff (during our visit most of the staff were actually Australian!), the pub has somehow managed to remain *down to earth*” even with their most touristy & central location right in the centre of the Royal Mile.
At the end of our meal we ordered the bill, and I just couldn't help myself - I had to be cheeky and ask our waiter: "So, ehem... do McGregors get a discount or a free pint here?" whilst I nodded my head in John's direction.
The waiter looked at John, then grinned widely and said "Nah, sorry hen... we cannay do tha'. They all keep on askin' us... there's too many of 'em! We'd go bankrupt if we gave 'em free drinks!"
Ah well, it was worth a try...
Friday & Saturday: 09.30am -01.00am.
Food served all day; no live music.
We had a very nice meal here, the food was very good and the staff were friendly and efficient. The menu offers a mix of traditional Scottish fare with modern international snacks. I would be very happy to eat here again. If you can get a seat outside, it's a very good vantage point for watching the world go by.
Favorite Dish: I had the Crofters Chicken, superb!, thoroughly enjoyed it.
The Royal Macgregor, when four of us visited in 2007, provided service that was slow, unfriendly, and impolite, indeed bordering on the aggressive. The interior is rather tacky and the food unremarkable, with an exception detailed below. But the most conspicuous difficulty was the appalling service.
It took a good 10-15 minutes even to make our order for food at the bar, simply because the waitress (manageress?) was having a long chat with someone at the bar, despite a number of waiting customers. The other waiting customers became as irritated as I did, though no one complained. Later, when one of my group of four took back inside a full pint of lager into which dirt had been blown from an overhanging flower basket, he too had to wait for service, and no new pint was provided. When the food came, the cream in one of the meals seemed off, or on the verge of being off, but when this was mentioned, the waiter got the chef and waitress, who appeared together and aggressively argued the case long and hard with us, when all that was required was a civil apology and some replacement food. In the end, the experience not only fell somewhat short of being optimal, but was quite unpleasant, ruining what would otherwise have been a pleasant day in Edinburgh.
The service, unsmiling and tardy even before the final incident, was so appalling that I, a Brit taking some Canadian friends around Edinburgh, was embarassed that one of our most visited cities should have an establishment on one of its most famous streets capable of falling so far short of the most minimal and basic standards.
I very rarely dislike a pub or restaurant, but on this occasion my unequivocal advice is: avoid this pub at all costs.
Favorite Dish: Not applicable.
Small but comfortable, the Royal McGregor is simply the best Haggis I've ever had in my life. I would not claim to be an expert on the subject, but I've had my fair share. It's well located on the Royal Mile and as you're out exploring, very likely to pass it. Wait staff was friendly.
Favorite Dish: Definately the Haggis tower.
It's a classical scottish pub,nothing more nothig less.You'll find a good variety of beers and you can taste local food.The food is well cooked.People that work inside the pub are friendly and funny.Lots of toursits inside 'couse the location of the pub,but also some locals(i found a man dressed with local kilt)
Favorite Dish: Try to eat local food.I think it's ever the best way to act when you are in a foreign country.If you need help ask to the people working there they are very friendly.