The Knowhere Guide

Pubs in Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh*

The place to go for a lazy afternoon, pub quiz or last call

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  • The Frankenstein Pub in the Old Town part of Edinburgh is well worth a look. Hilarious event every hour or so when a large contraption is winched down from the ceiling, containing Frankenstein's monster, and dramatic movie music plays. If you are really insane after a few drinks, you can get a free shock in the electric chair.
  • Most pubs in Edinburgh are parasitical in that they dont have many regualrs and rely on passing trade of ignorant tourists. This has led to a lack of proper pubs in Edinburgh and too many Wetherspoon type pubs that are souless and attract middle aged sourpuss's that clutch one pint for half the night. Not. Nice.
  • The Gratton Hounds is usually full of Chavs talking hyper-gyp but at the weekends it home to rockers!
  • The Gratton's Hound when its not full of chav's ranting in speed-pyke and doing coke in the loos
  • Meadow Bar, Brass Monkey, Left Bank, Argyle (the Hide).
  • The jeckly and hide's a cool wee place.
  • How tiresome are all those pishy wee theme pubs. Some folk would do anything to get a few tourists in. Deacon Brodie? Gie me Deacon Blue any day even though Dougie Vipond's a tosser.
  • The Globe is good--but don't use the ladies toilet--a lot of dirty things go on in there with fat guys with dodgy haircuts!!
  • checkout the best pub in Portobello 'THE FIRST & LAST' on Seafield Rd E. I thought all Porty Pubs were kak until I stumbled in here one saturday night
  • the city caff
  • You should try out Sportsters on Market Street - it's pretty new, with some smart gadgets (playstatons, internet, big screens). Is pretty chilled during the day with pleasant staff.
  • Sportsters in Market Street was really good on Friday night. Fantastic music and atmosphere. They have free internet and playstations.
  • Robert Bruce runs two excellent pub quizzes on the West side of Edinburgh, one in the Shandon Snooker Hall, Slateford Road, Edinburgh every Thursday night at 8.30 and the other every fortnight at the Tynecastle Arms, Gorgie Road, Edinburgh at 8.15. It's Best pub quiz this side of the moon (and believe me, I've tried a few) Picture round, 40 general knowledge, 40 brain-nipping music questions, a 20 clip film round, Family Fortunes then a 5 question cash-pot. To read an interview with Robert, and for further details, visit: Also, just to let you know, the web page address for the Tynecastle Arms Tynie Talk has now changed to:
  • the crags - always full of students from the halls of residence across the road, always loud. but they do chuck you out for eating chinese food, be warned. there are some good pubs on rose street, and a lot - try the rose street crawl: start at one end, and have a drink in every pub you pass. its impossible.
  • Edinburgh used to have some great pubs but they've all been replaced by these 'style' bars where a pint can cost the best part of 3 quid!!! Give us back our pubs!!!
  • Try Wistle Binkies on South Bridge it has live music on everynight most of which are good. Open til 3am don't go to the pizza place next door though!
  • opium on the cowgate and next door is subway the holyrood tavern just along from opium. opium is the best coz sunday and monday all drinks 1 till 11pm then evry other night all drinks 1.75 till 11pm and they play alternative music
  • Tynecastle Arms, McLeod Street, Gorgie. Lovely place, immortalised in Tynie Talk at
  • Auld hundred on Rose Street, its quiet , not too expensive and is real cosy, oh yeah and i love Belushi's.
  • beluga
  • When I was on the YTS many years ago, I was based at Abbeyhill and a load of us used to troop across to the Regent bar at the crossroads of Easter Road/Regent Road and we used to get served without so much as a batted eyelid.
  • Lots of teenagers drink in pubs in edinburgh.
  • I just have to back up the comment about the city cafe. It is totally the best place to go for a drink before you hit the clubs. The atmosphere is so cool and trendy and you can just sit and chill out with your mates. Try it, you'll love it.
  • re: penny black> an australian tourist trying to avoid other tourists (of course) in peak season, so the i try the penny black which looks most un-rose st like...i'd recommend it...nice and dodgy.
  • Best place in town?...THE GLOBE on Merchant street wins hands down. Has Guinness on tap...friendly staff..(sexy ladies for the boys,and hot tottie for us girls.)and craic..second home to most... and you need never leave for supplies If you get hungry...PIZZA AND PINT FOR A FIVER!!. If you need a fag...ciggerete machine on premises ..... and to top it off if you are feeling a wee bit randy sham, you can get a vibrator out of the machine on the way to the bog! better caic sham bring your monkey chequebook...
  • edwards is good pre club and brannigan at fountain park
  • Go to the side streets, Young, Hill, Thistle,Walker& Rose Street,seek out the better pubs(don't ask the students)ask the locals, they know best.
  • The Guildford Arms (behind Burger King at the east end of Princes Street) has an excellent choice of beers. Also popular with Train Spotting afficionados....
  • Beware, Edward's at the west end of Princes Street isn't a particularly safe place to go.
  • used to go to the jaffacake when i was 15/16, now gaia on king stables road and much better now that i am of legal age! only seen a couple of kids in there. Espionage is good, 3 sisters is good on a weeknight except when football is on - gets PACKED. once took me an hour to get out of there.
  • Lord Bodos ,Dublin Street, off York Place . A regular haunt off mine good attractive bar staff quick service fine food, bar snacks . Entertainment live singers ,cable tv , and the open mic. Get up and show your talent.
  • Surprised no-one has mentioned the Holyrood Tavern! Excellent beer, friendly barstaff, "traditional" look which is definitely it's charm...and it sells Addleston's. Nuff said!
  • I can't beleive no one had mentioned the Three Sisters! Meat market ahoy!!! Good laugh though.
  • Quick update on The Pear Tree; the buffet lunches have just been re-launched...pile your plate for 2.50/3.50. There's also a web site:
  • God i feel old, I can remember Negociants when it was good. The Basement's still cool, but the best place to drink and fall over in in Edinburgh is Bar Java in Leith. I was born and brought up in Leith and hated the whole experience (who says you don't get Neds in Edinburgh?!), but am still quite happy to visit if a drinking trip down the shore is promised. WARNING: my wee brother is in Bar Java just about every night. He will be VERY drunk. He's yours for a fiver, mate.
  • Grassmarket - Biddy's, Legends (alternative, student), Jekyll & Hyde (must see character pub on Hanover Street)
  • The Shakesphere is a nice gaff but I cannie remember the name of the road its on.
  • Mr Q's is a top spot!
  • I can't believe no one has mentioned the Penny Black. This dodgy little pub behind the Burger King on Princes Street opens up every morning (except Sundays)at 5am. For those die hards up for a 24hr sesh. Well known to those of us in the bar trade, and alcoholic taxi drivers. Also a very hidden favorite of mine is the Stable Bar on the outskirts near Liberton. If you want to find it do the homework yourself I'll just say any effort put forth will be well rewarded.
  • The best (or worst) pub was the Kasbah! Aah, the nights I had there! Also the "Hammie" in good old Portobello.
  • Hate to be a miserabilst, but the quality of pubs in Edinburgh have shot downhill over the past year. Now it is impossible to go for a quiet drink on a weekend night and all the pubs seem to be owned by some chain or other. There are no Locals in Edinburgh, but there are a lot of converted pubs that try to hard to be trendy and sacrifice comfort and quality service for looking clean.
  • The pubs - open until 3am or 5am, depending where you go. Broughton Street houses the Phoenix, not much to look at but open very late and drinks cost 50% what they do in London.
  • The Pear Tree, amazing beer garden great for those sunny days. Good atmosphere inside as well.
  • The Basement, small almost obscure at the top of Broughton Street. Does wicked Mexican food and the staff have an interesting collection of shirts too.
  • Edinburgh has its fair share of "meat markets" but for a cool pub try "Braidwoods". It is way up the top end of the Grassmarket and used to be a firestation so its interior is nice. It has a pub quiz which seems to be quite easy as well. Other good pubs are normally way too busy, noisy or expensive.
  • The Port O'Leith Bar in Leith (Edinburgh's port). It's not for everyone but it really is a good atmospheric pub and worth a visit by anybody who's in the Leith area. The pub is always in 'The Best of Scotland' guide and receives frequent write-ups in both local and national newspapers. Leith is generally a great area for restaurants and bars, mainly along 'The Shore'.
  • The Swan, The Red, Queen Vic, Wheatsheaf, Kingshead ,Stockwells, Oak Tree, Ling, Widicum Fair, Towers, Limo's, Harveys, Yard, Bootlicker, Old Eight Bells, Horse and Jockey... etc... etc.
  • The Aqua Bar is a nice place to go. It's been open a while but not many people know of it. You'll find it at the top of Grassmarket, across the road and up from Biddy's. The drinks are reasonably priced for Edinburgh and there are live DJs playing good tunes all night long. The music is not too loud so it's a great meeting place and I'd say it's say pre club but not as preclub and up yourself as Iguana. Don't go in on a rugby weekend 'cos it's too packed and the atmosphere is just NOT the same. The lit up blue fish tank above the bar looks just as good as the green and red walls.
  • I have to say that the Bow Bar in Victoria Street is the best pub I have ever been in!! The whisky range is just amazing, the people great and the beer excellent. A real pub, still exists.
  • Cloisters near the Meadows & Tollcross has great real ale and the friendliest, funniest bar staff ever. Great mixture of people who come here, depending on the time of day you visit and warm fire if you get soaked on the way there.

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Last updated: 2014-08-15

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