Edinburgh’s best bars – which ones are they? Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland and our more favourite city in the world, is renowned for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant cultural scene. Amidst the bustling streets, royal mile and cobblestone alleys, you’ll find a plethora of bars that encapsulate the city’s unique spirit. Whether you’re a local or a visitor looking for the best cocktails, wine list, or whiskey, exploring Edinburgh’s bar scene is a must-do experience.
In this comprehensive complete guide guide about Edinburgh’s best bars, we’ll take you on a journey through the best bars in Edinburgh, where you can indulge in fine spirits, local brews, a single malt whiskey and unforgettable moments from the best cocktail bars and traditional cosy pubs and everything in between:
Come with us to discover Edinburgh’s best bars…
1) The Bow Bar
Located in the heart of Edinburgh’s historic Old Town near Edinburgh Castle, The Bow Bar is a great place for whisky enthusiasts. With a staggering selection of over 400 malt whiskies, including rare and limited editions, this cozy and traditional pub promises a taste of Scotland’s liquid gold – the perfect place. Step inside, and you’ll be greeted by the warm glow of the whisky cabinets lining the walls, displaying an impressive array of amber elixirs – whether you are going for a quiet drink or more of a signature cocktails kind of night! The knowledgeable staff are more than happy to guide you through the extensive whisky menu, ensuring a memorable tasting experience. The Bow Bar also offers a selection of cask ales and craft beers for those seeking different libations. Immerse yourself in the authentic atmosphere as you savor the flavors of Scotland’s most beloved spirit.
2) Panda & Sons
Hidden behind a disguised barber shop facade in the heart of the city, Panda & Sons is an underground speakeasy-style bar – a great spot that exudes an air of mystery and excitement. Step through the secret door in the city center and enter a world of inventive cocktails crafted with precision and flair. The bar’s retro ambiance and attention to detail make it an unforgettable experience. From classic concoctions to bespoke creations, the mixologists at Panda & Sons take pride in pushing the boundaries of mixology. Sip on a perfectly balanced Old Fashioned or explore their seasonal specials, expertly crafted using homemade syrups, infusions, and innovative techniques. The whimsical menu and impeccable service make every visit to Panda & Sons an adventure worth having.
3) Bramble – one of Edinburgh’s best bars?
Tucked away on Queen Street, this popular spot, Bramble, is a chic and sophisticated cocktail bar that has garnered international acclaim. Renowned for its innovative mixology and exquisite presentation, Bramble boasts a seasonal menu that showcases both classic and avant-garde creations. The bartenders here are true artists, meticulously crafting each drink with precision and creativity. From herb-infused spirits at bramble bar to house-made bitters, every element is carefully considered to create a symphony of flavors. The stylish and intimate ambiance of Bramble, with its low lighting and plush seating, sets the stage for a memorable evening. Whether you prefer a refreshing gin-based cocktail or a smoky whiskey concoction, Bramble will exceed your expectations with its expertly crafted libations and delicious cocktails.
4) The Devil’s Advocate
Nestled in the atmospheric Old Town of Scotland’s capital, The Devil’s Advocate is a converted Victorian pump house that seamlessly blends the best things in history with contemporary style. This multi-level bar and restaurant offers an extensive selection of Scotch whiskies, craft beers, and a delectable menu of Scottish-inspired cuisine. As you step inside, you’ll be greeted by the impressive whiskey wall, adorned with an array of bottles showcasing the rich diversity of Scotland’s national drink as well as great music. The knowledgeable staff are more than happy to recommend a whisky based on your preferences or guide you through a tasting flight. The Devil’s Advocate also celebrates the craft beer scene, with an ever-changing lineup of local and international brews on tap. Pair your libations with a mouthwatering dish, such as haggis bonbons or Scottish smoked salmon, for a complete sensory experience. With its rustic charm and dedication to showcasing the best of Scotland’s culinary and beverage heritage, The Devil’s Advocate is a must-visit for any discerning bar enthusiast. A great city centre location with beer garden to visit during Edinburgh fringe.
More of Edinburgh’s best bars…
5) The Voodoo Rooms
A glamorous fusion of retro style and lively ambiance which will no doubt result in a great night in this modern bar, The Voodoo Rooms is a hidden gem in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town and really does feel like a quirky bar too with a great atmosphere. This stylish bar, with its vintage décor and live music performances, sets the stage for an unforgettable night out. As you step into The Voodoo Rooms, you’ll be transported back to the glamourous days of the 1920s and ’30s, with its elegant chandeliers, velvet furnishings, and art deco accents. The bar’s cocktail menu is equally impressive, featuring both classic concoctions and inventive twists. Sip on a perfectly mixed Martini at this good spot in the city of Edinburgh or try one of their signature creations, such as the “Voodoo Zombie” or the “Hemingway Daiquiri.” The Voodoo Rooms is also a popular venue for live music, offering an eclectic lineup of bands and performers across various genres. From jazz to rock, there’s always something to suit your musical taste. Whether you’re looking for a sophisticated evening of classic cocktails or a night of energetic live music, The Voodoo Rooms delivers an experience that is both elegant and exhilarating.
6) The Hanging Bat
For beer aficionados, The Hanging Bat is a haven of hoppy delights, with a great selection of drinks and perfect for a friday night visit and a guaranteed good time. Located in the vibrant Tollcross area, this craft beer bar showcases an impressive range of both local and international brews. With an emphasis on quality and flavor, The Hanging Bat is the perfect spot to explore the world of craft beer. The bar’s rotating tap list features a carefully curated selection of styles, from hop-forward IPAs to rich stouts and barrel-aged wonders. The knowledgeable staff are passionate about beer and can guide you through the menu, recommending brews based on your preferences. If you’re feeling adventurous, opt for a flight of beers, allowing you to sample a variety of flavors in one sitting. The Hanging Bat also offers an extensive selection of bottled and canned beers, ensuring there’s something for every beer lover. Pair your brews with their delicious food offerings, including mouthwatering burgers and indulgent loaded fries. Whether you’re a seasoned beer enthusiast or a curious novice, The Hanging Bat promises a memorable beer-drinking experience in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere – and is an ideal spot to experience friendly staff and a decent drinks menu.
Edinburgh’s best bars and best pubs offer a diverse range of establishments, each with its own unique character and offerings on a Saturday night and on other days too. From traditional whisky pubs to hidden speakeasies and trendy cocktail bars, the city caters to every taste and preference and is a great way to really get to know the Edinburgh bar scene. Whether you’re in search of a cozy night with a dram of whisky or an evening of mixology wonders, Edinburgh has it all. So, raise your glass and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the city’s best bars, where history, culture, and cheers come together to create unforgettable experiences. Prost!