Top ChoiceMicrobrewery 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....

Top ChoicePub 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...

Top ChoiceClub 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...

Top ChoicePub 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...

Top ChoiceBar in Leith

Roseleaf

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...

Pub in Leith

Nauticus

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...

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...

Cocktail Bar in New Town

Lucky Liquor Co

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...

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...

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.

Pub in Holyrood & Arthur’s Seat

Kilderkin

A successful attempt at reinventing the local neighbourhood pub, with polished mahogany, stained glass and snug booths, the Kilderkin stages regular community-building events such as quizzes, open-mic evenings,...

Bar in West End & Dean Village

Voyage of Buck

You'll need to take a seat to peruse the 25-page drinks menu at this 'concept pub', themed around the exploits of a fictitious Victorian adventurer called Buck Clarence. Both the decor and the cocktails are...

Cocktail Bar in New Town

Tigerlily

Swirling textured wallpapers, glittering chain-mail curtains, crystal chandeliers, and plush pink and gold sofas have won a cluster of design awards for this boutique-hotel bar, where sharp suits and stiletto...

Pub in South Edinburgh

Athletic Arms

Nicknamed for the cemetery across the street – gravediggers used to nip in and slake their thirst here – the Diggers dates from 1897. It’s still staunchly traditional – the decor has barely changed in 100 years –...

Pub in Leith

Old Chain Pier

The delightful Old Chain Pier enjoys a brilliant location overlooking the sea – the building was once the 19th-century booking office for steamers crossing the Firth of Forth (the pier from which it takes its...

Club in Old Town

Wee Red Bar

The art college's Wee Red Bar has been around so long there’s a danger the authorities will slap a blue plaque on it and declare it a national monument. Wee, red and frequented (hardly surprisingly) by lots of...

Bar in New Town

Basement

The Basement is a laid-back bar with a rustic Latin American vibe – check out the weird, welded furniture made from tank tracks, camshafts and motorcycle chains – where the staff are decked out in Hawaiian shirts...

Coffee in South Edinburgh

Cult Espresso

One of the newer additions to Edinburgh’s burgeoning coffee scene, Cult Espresso is an intimate, industrial-chic cafe serving single-origin coffees to the city’s student and hipster population. Guest coffees...

Pub in Old Town

White Hart Inn

A brass plaque outside this pub proclaims: ‘In the White Hart Inn Robert Burns stayed during his last visit to Edinburgh, 1791'. Claiming to be the city’s oldest pub in continuous use (since 1516), it also hosted...

Pub in New Town

Cumberland Bar

Immortalised as the stereotypical New Town pub in Alexander McCall Smith's serialised novel 44 Scotland Street, the Cumberland has an authentic, traditional wood-brass-and-mirrors look (despite being relatively...