Restaurant review: Counter at Native

Fiona Bennett heads to Edinburgh’s Counter at Native as it launches a new natural wine and small plates menu, as well as a series of new cultural events, aptly named the Counter Sessions.

We walked through Edinburgh’s grey drizzle on a Saturday evening and partially regretted agreeing to go out for the night. The thought of cocktails and small bites was replaced with rain and fast moving traffic on Edinburgh’s Queen Street and the exterior of the building gave nothing away in terms of what it was hiding inside; as we stood at the traffic lights it crossed my mind to turn and go home.

‘Relief’ is an understatement as we walked into Counter at Native, in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town, and left the world behind us. The cool and relaxed interior along with the warm and friendly welcoming instantly took us away from our busy day and removed any thoughts of going home.

We started with cocktails, I had a perfect Negroni and my husband enjoyed his Monsoon cocktail, both presented beautifully and so good that a second and a third were a must. 

We left the menu in the capable hands of the attentive and knowledgeable staff who brought four dishes ranging from meats to marinated peppers and much in between. Our favourites were the red cabbage with capers and the cannellini beans. The quantities were perfect and complimented the cocktails ensuring that we were able to enjoy a few more drinks without feeling like we hadn’t eaten enough. It was in fact enough to halt any thoughts of hunger.


The furnishings are beautiful with an elegant 20s feeling and the lounge/bar area was not limited to those staying at the aparthotel. For those staying at the aparthotel there is no need to look further for elegant drinks, nibbles and entertainment. 

We were excited to discover that Counter at Native is a venue soon to host up and coming talent from around the city and kicks off on Friday 26th May with live music from saxophonist Theo Jobst. We will be returning, it is definitely a place to keep an eye on.

With Scottish local produce on the forefront, by day Counter creates warming dishes and fresh pastries for slow mornings, followed with classic sandwiches and soup of the day for city dwellers to grab and go, or to sit in and enjoy at the cosy lounge.

As the evening draws in, Counter transforms into a neighbourhood bar space for locals alike to get together and socialise over good drinks where selected curation of natural wines and signature cocktails are carefully paired with small plates.

To see What’s On, and to book, please visit


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