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July 24, 2022

We don't want to blind anyone with science but we're going to use a technical term to describe the number of new restaurants and bars opening in the capital. And that technical term is 'pure hunners'.

With the tricky stuff out of the way, we'll begin with the news that Porty Vault taproom and smokehouse, pictured above, opened in the seaside 'burb of Portobello a few days back.

Located at 243 Portobello High Street, just around the corner from the Vault City Brewery, the new venture serves 'low ‘n’ slow BBQ food, alongside an ever-changing line-up of craft beers, meads, wine, and cider'.

Their state-of-the-art smoker has been imported from the US and Head Chef Darren Lim sure knows his way around it having previously run several of the world’s top-rated steakhouses. Eyes peeled and forks ready for St Louis-style pork spare ribs, achiote free range chicken, Hawaiian pulled pork, Texas beef links and even vegan pulled pork.

They can all be accompanied by cowboy baked beans, North Carolina red slaw and collard greens. Sauces range from Texas BBQ to Alabama white sauce.

As in their city centre outlet - Vault City on West Maitland Street - sour beers are the name of the game at Porty Vault. Try a session sour like the Cloudy Lemonade made with Citra and Nelson Sauvin hops. Or perhaps the Guava Banana Banoffee Toffee Smoothie sour.

Run the numbers at 63rd and 1st

Shaking it up at 63rd and 1st.

Shaking it up at 63rd and 1st. Pic: 63rd and 1st Facebook.

Back in the city centre, the 63rd and 1st restaurant and cocktail bar chain has opened on Edinburgh's Frederick Street in the former Cafe Rouge. The new, all-day outlet joins sister venues in Cobham, Harrogate and Glasgow.

As well as a grazing menu of options such as charred padron peppers, loaded fries and cauliflower buffalo wings, the main menu runs from hamburgers, tacos and lobster rolls to steak from the butcher Donald Russell.

Cocktails are a big thing here and live music as well as DJ sets are promised.

Sticking with the cocktail theme, the Tonight Josephine chain is prepping a site on Rose Street. Their USP is that they are 'a sassy AF gang of late-night cocktail bars, where the drinks are strong and the vibes are immaculate'.


Vietnamese and vegan

If that sounds a little too full-on then you may prefer the new Sen Viet Vietnamese vegan restaurant which opened recently in the former Passorn Thai on Brougham Place by The Meadows. It's the second  restaurant from the team behind the original Sen Viet Chay in London's Hoxton.

If steamed rice rolls stuffed with shiitake mushrooms, black fungus, soy beans and onions sounds like your thing then you know where to go...

Not to be confused with the more established and excellent Sen Vietnamese on West Nicolson Street.