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Edinburgh nightlife offers something to suit all tastes, from intimate, cosy bars to huge clubs that welcome thousands of revellers every weekend. Whether you’re planning on a night out to enjoy a few drinks, to dance the night away, to get your toe tapping to some serious jazz or to see some big name musical acts performing live, you may be surprised at just how much the city has to offer. No matter what your style, our round-up of Edinburgh nightlife favourites is sure to have something that suits...
From the outside, it’s designed to look like a barber’s shop. But don’t be fooled: step through the door and you’ll find yourself in a speakeasy-style basement bar with panda-themed art and plenty of interesting stuff to look at: gramophones, antique lamps, old books and more. The cocktails here are out of this world: you’ll find both the classics and some more innovative concoctions, served in all sorts of interesting ways. Cocktails in Chinese takeaway boxes, underneath domes...we won’t say too much more so we don’t spoil the surprise!
Panda & Sons, 79 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4NF
Jazz fans need to get themselves down to The Jazz Bar on Chambers Street: a seriously atmospheric basement bar that combines acoustic music, live jazz and cocktails for a classy night out. It’s not just jazz either - there’s funk, soul, electric, blues, roots and acoustic music on offer too - be sure to check their listings to find out what’s on when. We love the lively atmosphere and the varied cocktail selection - and try their homemade ginger beer, which definitely packs a punch!
The Jazz Bar, 1A Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1HR
With its exposed brickwork, dark wood and barrel tables, Whistle Binkies, just a minute’s walk from the Royal Mile, has a truly atmospheric feel. Here you’ll find live music every night of the week, and it’s a varied mix too: rock ‘n’ roll, funk, cover bands, jazz, blues...there’s something for everyone, which shows from Whistle Binkies’ diverse clientele. It’s open until 3am every single night, and there’s a varied drinks selection too: local ales sit alongside Cristal champagne and a seriously impressive whisky list.
Whistle Binkies, 4-6 South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1LL
Keeping cocktail fans happy since 2004, walk through the doors of Dragonfly and you’ll be transported back into the 1920s, complete with chandeliers and a stunning wood panelled bar. The mezzanine level’s great for people-watching, and the weekend DJs make for an amazing atmosphere. Our highlight at Dragonfly, though, has to be the cocktails - there’s always something on the menu that we’ve never tried. The Raspberry Ripple is just like a creamy, boozy milkshake, while the Guinness Daiquiri, complete with rum, orange liqueur, lime juice and the black stuff, is an intriguing blend.
Dragonfly, 52 West Port, Edinburgh, EH1 2LD
This former 19th century church in the Old Town is home to an 800 capacity, two-floor live music and club venue that’s open seven nights a week. There’s great views from both the floor level and the upstairs balcony, the sound quality is great, and there’s plenty of space for dancing too. It’s a place that’s hosted bands from all sorts of genres, from Bad Manners and Black Eyed Peas to Royksopp and Roots Manuva, and bar prices are on par with elsewhere in the Old Town.
The Liquid Room, 9C Victoria Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2HE
With a bar upstairs and a club in the basement, Cabaret Voltaire has an atmospheric, tardis-like feel. The bar has an amazing speakeasy feel and serves fantastic cocktails - we love the Awfy Banoffee with its blend of whisky, creme de banane, maple syrup and chocolate bitters. Downstairs, the focus is on electronic music with both club nights and gigs throughout the week - get yourself down to a house night, as it’s what the Cab Vol are known best for.
Cabaret Voltaire, 36-38 Blair Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1QR
For those who like their clubs smaller...Sneaky Pete’s has a more intimate feel than some of Edinburgh’s larger clubs, with just a 100-person capacity. We love how welcoming it is to the deaf and disabled, and just how great the acoustics are. As well as club nights, Sneaky Pete’s is well-known as the place to see up and coming bands - the likes of Nirvana and Snow Patrol played here before they hit the big time. We always find that it attracts a mixed crowd and has a great friendly atmosphere - and the beer selection’s not bad either.
Sneaky Pete’s, 73 Cowgate, Edinburgh, EH1 1JW
The Dome’s a bit of an Edinburgh institution, and a great choice for everything from afternoon tea to a succulent steak. If you’re looking to impress a date, family or a client with drinks, though, we definitely rate The Front Bar. It’s an opulently decorated place with plenty of wood panelling, crystal chandeliers and 24 carat gold, and it’s got something for everyone. As well as classic cocktails and draught beers, it’s got a cracking gin and whisky menu and a range of champagnes...perfect if you’re looking for somewhere to celebrate an occasion.
The Dome, 14 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2PF
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|1||Even the best restaurants have empty tables. TablePouncer negotiates last-minute deals on their unfilled tables, with discounts of up to 70%.|
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