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From afternoons watching sport to late nights out with friends, you’re not short of choice when it comes to Edinburgh pubs! Whether you’re looking for a more traditional pub environment, a modern bar, a gastropub with a food focus or a craft ale paradise, the city’s home to a huge variety of drinking and dining establishments, all with their own unique feel. Looking for the best Edinburgh pubs to enjoy a drink and a bite to eat? Take a look through our favourites...
This popular Nicholson’s pub is known for its history...we’ve not yet seen the ghost of the young girl in medieval garb, but keep your eye out - she’s been spotted both in the bar area and in the cellar before. Located in the city centre, not far from the castle, it’s a cosy, atmospheric and traditional place, with a fantastic range of real ales, whiskies and gins as well as some cracking Scottish food and traditional pub grub - we recommend the haggis or the macaroni and cheese...
The Last Drop, 74-78 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2JR
With 310 single malts, 50 international bottled beers, 8 cask-conditioned ales and 6 keg beers on offer, The Bow Bar in Edinburgh’s Old Town is one of our favourite whisky and beer joints in the city. It’s small but perfectly formed, with a real traditional Scottish pub feel and plenty of whisky, beer and cigarette-themed memorabilia on the walls to give you plenty to look at. Here, the focus is definitely on top notch drinks rather than food, but those visiting between 12 and 3 will find some hearty pies on offer (try the haggis, cheese and chilli) to satiate their appetites.
The Bow Bar, 80 West Bow, Edinburgh, EH1 2HH
Previously part of a parsonage, Cloisters Bar is now (and has been, for over 20 years) devoted to real ale, good pub grub and craft beer. Take yourself off to Brougham Street and you’ll find no fewer than 19 beers on tap, changing regularly, and with tasters on offer too. We love how the place still has the feel of a religious building to it, but also a traditional pub vibe with a warm, comfortable feel. The food’s well worth a try too. “This is not your usual pub grub!”, they say, and we agree: try their prime Scottish chuck steak burgers, which include a dash of porter, for a truly tasty take on a classic.
Cloisters Bar, 26 Brougham Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9JH
Not far from the Castle, The Hanging Bat is a self-styled “beer café” with a huge selection of beers that changes regularly...as well as its own in-house brewery - The Alpha Project - where they recreate classic brews, experiment with new ideas, and even let punters brew their own. Whether it’s IPAs, saisons or porters that are your thing, you’ll find them all here in a beautiful wood-clad setting. Check out the beer taps at the bar, and you’ll see where the name comes from…! We love the food menu too, comfort foods like ribs, hotdogs, nachos and curries - and some of the tastiest mac ‘n’ cheese you’ll find in the city.
The Hanging Bat, 133 Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH3 9AB
Fancy a top notch pie and a pint? You need to get yourself down to Thomson’s Bar, not far from the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. With its black and white checked floor and beautiful oak interior, it looks ancient - so it’s hard to believe the place only opened in 2000. Cask ales and whiskies are their forté...as well as their pies: head here for some of the best steak pies in the city! Be warned, though, if you’re planning on visiting on a Friday lunchtime, get there early as it gets VERY busy...
Thomson’s Bar, 182-184 Morrison Street, Edinburgh, EH3 3EB
At Andrew Usher & Co, modern wood cladding and shiny stainless steel brewing kit (it’s a micro brewery too) jostle for space with more traditional decor, like the halved barrels attached to the walls and the exposed brickwork. There’s an amazing atmosphere - added to by frequent live music nights - and with a great selection of beers, gins and whiskies, you’ll always find something new to try. Beers hail from Scotland, England and all over the globe, and we definitely recommend staying for a bite to eat too: the Scottish tapas menu is great value if you’re looking for something a little different, and the fish and chips are spot on.
Andrew Usher & Co, 32b West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DD
A proper pub - and the last one left standing in Newhaven. It’s a locals’ pub, but there’s a warm welcome on offer for “outsiders”, so don’t let this put you off! There are no frills here: no table service, no food menu (apart from crisps and nuts) and no fancy drinks choices: just a friendly, down-to-earth pub with a great selection of ales and a great history. Check out the old photos on the walls to see how the area has changed over time - and look up at the ceiling while you’re in there for decor with a difference...
The Harbour Inn, 4-6 Fishmarket Square, Newhaven, Edinburgh, EH6 4LW
No.8 Lister Square’s definitely got an American bar feel to it: it’s a light and open space with plenty of exposed brickwork and lightbulbs, a pool table, comfy sofas and a lovely atmosphere. There’s plenty of drinks to suit all tastes, including a short but sweet global wine list, a great choice of bottled and draught beers and ciders, and a focus on truly great cocktails - we love the watermelon and jalapeno margarita! The food’s great too, with burgers, sandwiches, sharing dishes and pizza-style flatbreads on offer...or try their steaks, where you choose your cut and cook it yourself on hot stones at your table. It’s a fun way to spend an evening out with friends!
No.8 Lister Square, Simpson Loan, Edinburgh, EH3 9GL
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|How booking last-minute saves you money|
|1||Even the best restaurants have empty tables. TablePouncer negotiates last-minute deals on their unfilled tables, with discounts of up to 70%.|
|2||You book the tables easily and securely on our website. You pay a small booking fee up front to secure your table and we send an SMS booking confirmation to your mobile.|
|3||The restaurant will automatically apply the TablePouncer discount to your bill when it's time to pay. No vouchers needed!|