Edinburgh drinking and nightlife

Top Choice Microbrewery in South Edinburgh

Royal Dick

The decor at the Royal Dick alludes to its past as the home of Edinburgh University's veterinary school: there are shelves of laboratory glassware and walls covered with animal bones, even an old operating table. Bu…
Top Choice Pub in South Edinburgh

Bennet’s Bar

Situated beside the King’s Theatre, Bennet’s (established in 1839) has managed to hang on to almost all of its beautiful Victorian fittings, from the stained-glass windows and the ornate mirrors to the wooden gantry…
Top Choice Club in Old Town

Cabaret Voltaire

An atmospheric warren of stone-lined vaults houses this self-consciously 'alternative' club, which eschews huge dance floors and egotistical DJ worship in favour of a 'creative crucible' hosting an eclectic mix of D…
Top Choice Pub in Old Town

Bow Bar

One of the city's best traditional-style pubs (it's not as old as it looks), serving a range of excellent real ales, Scottish craft gins and a vast selection of malt whiskies, the Bow Bar often has standing-room onl…
Top Choice Bar in Leith


Cute, quaint, and decked out in flowered wallpaper, old furniture and rose-patterned china (cocktails are served in teapots), the Roseleaf could hardly be further from the average Leith bar. The real ales and bottle…
Pub in Leith


Drawing on Leith’s trading heritage with retro maritime design and themed cocktails, Nauticus is a traditional community boozer gone hipster. The Victorian fixtures and fittings may remain, but the artisan Scottish …
Cocktail Bar in Stockbridge

Last Word Saloon

This cosy, dimly lit basement bar is unpretentious and just a little bit grungy. The cocktails are outstanding, with an extensive list including the complex Lear’s Lyric (Hendrick’s gin, ABA Pisco, manzanilla sherry…
Cocktail Bar in New Town

Lucky Liquor Co

This tiny, black-and-white bar is all about the number 13: 13 bottles of base spirit are used to create a daily menu of 13 cocktails. The result is a playful list with some unusual flavours, such as tonka-bean lique…
Pub in New Town

Café Royal Circle Bar

Perhaps the classic Edinburgh pub, the Café Royal’s main claims to fame are its magnificent oval bar and its Doulton tile portraits of famous Victorian inventors. Sit at the bar or claim one of the cosy leather boot…
Club in Old Town

Bongo Club

Owned by a local arts charity, the weird and wonderful Bongo Club has a long history of hosting everything from wild club nights and local bands to performance art and kids comedy shows.