Barioja

Price guide: Mid-range

Jeffrey Street, Edinburgh

Price guide: Mid-range

Bar Rioja upstairs

By Alison Craig, your Edinburgh expert

I write for BBC radio, The Scotsman, .... Read more
#24 of 40
expert-rated restaurants in Edinburgh
Expert overall rating:4.4 out of 5
Food and drink:
4.5
4.5
Ambience:
4.7
4.7
Service:
4.6
4.6
Location:
4.3
4.3
Value for money:
4.4
4.4
Recommended for:
Families with teenagers, Singles, Relaxation

Expert review of Barioja

Authentic Spanish tapas in the heart of Scotland.

Spanish tapas bar run by Iggy Campos – a larger then life ebullient Spaniard who knows his tapas. Calamari, pinchos, patatas bravas, croquettes, paella £10 per person, and a glass of rosé cava is £5, plus there's every other Spanish favourite you care to mention. There are a few nods to the Scots' food available, such as haggis croquettes - remarkably tasty.

There are quite a few Spanish restaurants in Edinburgh but this one is the best. Next door is Igg's, which is a more formal restaurant. It's great, but personally I love the whole informal sitting around talking, eating and tasting everyone else's food experience.

Food and drink: 

The tapas is fresh, tasty and authentic. Sausages, chorizo, sardine, and seasonal produce cooked to order. There's a great wine list and cracking coffee. A buzzy, busy restaurant with a high Spaniard count - always a good sign. After all, I can never imagine hunting out a Scottish restaurant in Madrid, so he must be good.

Recommended dishes: 

On Sunday Iggy offers a great paella, which is available by the portion so you don't need to order one huge one for just two of you. I can't resist the chorizo, which comes in a thick soupy gravy with other less familiar but equally tasty sausages. You'll get bread to soak up the sauce and olives the size of ping pong balls.

Ambience: 

You can sit at the bar, at the mezzanine level, on street level, outside in the summer or downstairs, which is a little dark for my liking. It is a busy place so there is always a good buzz. Plus a high volume, as ever with Spaniards they like to talk loudly which is something I think we should all adopt as it gives a great feeling of fun when you get in amongst it. Oh and there are always Spanish people in here eating, which I always think is a good sign.

Service: 

Smiley, mostly Spanish staff whizz around delivering food and wine without missing a beat.

Location: 

Just off the Royal Mile, aka The High Street, and two minutes from Edinburgh's main train station, Waverley. In the Old Town.

Price advice: 

Roughly £5 for each tapas and £5 for a glass of sparkling rosé cava.

Tables to book: 

Anywhere, upstairs or mezzanine - if you can.

Other useful branches: 

Iggs, the more formal Spanish restaurant right next door (www.iggs.co.uk).

More information on Barioja:

Price guide:
Mid-range
Type:
Bar, Restaurant, Tapas bar
Food:
International, Seafood, Spanish, Tapas
Address:
Jeffrey Street, Edinburgh
Telephone:
0131 557 3622
Website:
http://www.barioja.co.uk
Serves:
Brunch, Lunch, Dinner
Opening times:
Seven days 11am-10pm
Accepts Credit Cards:
Yes
Reservations:
Suggested
Free tags / Keywords:
Cheap eats, Spanish owned, genuine tapas

Have you been to Barioja? Would you recommended it?

Community comments (3)

I went here on the recommendation, surely a restaurant in the Top 40 is going to be worth visiting?
Sadly I was mistaken. Service was disintersted. As soon as they realised we didn't want wine they barely bothered with us apart from to hassle us for our order.
Food was quite tasty, but came in a random order and some didn't even appear at all.
As the food was reasonable and clearly fresh and homemade we decided to partake in pudding. Whilst the tart was good and the Chocolate Mousse was appalling. Anything requiring a hammer to eat is not good. Even the homemade, refreshing Mint sorbet couldn't save this.
Very disappointed and would not recommend, stay well clear.

Excellent tapas and a great atmosphere, I'd certainly eat here again

We have been back to Barioja a few times, but have to report that the standard of the food has declined and on the basis of our last visit won't be going back. the tortilla bocadillo contained very more mashed potato than egg while the steak one could have been used to sole a boot.