Getting to know Edinburgh: top 10 drinking spots
Sheep Heid Inn
Steeped in history, The Sheep Heid Inn is the oldest pub in Edinburgh. There’s been a watering hole at this address since the 1300s and that tradition is still going strong, although to be fair, the most recent incarnation is “only” about 300 years old. This cozy, traditional pub even has the royal seal of approval, as the Queen herself visited for lunch back in 2016.
The Wee Pub
The pub equivalent of Ant-Man, The Wee Pub is a miniature version of your traditional Edinburgh drinking den and has a max capacity of 20 people. Instead of a full-sized bar there’s a drinks cabinet and the menu is printed on a postcard. Not to worry, though, magnifying glasses are on hand so you can still read it!
Auld Reekie Tiki Bar
Sure, you might be in Scotland but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a trip somewhere a bit more tropical. The Auld Reekie Tiki Bar serves traditional Tiki cocktails in gorgeous ceramic Tiki mugs. The decor will transport you from the hard, cobbled Edinburgh streets to a beachside bar complete with wicker chairs and bamboo accents.
Panda & Sons
It would be easy to overlook this speakeasy style bar because, like all the great speakeasies of yore, the entrance is hidden. Slip into Panda & Sons‘ vintage barber shop façade, down the stairs to the bookcase that serves as the door. Inside is a gin joint like no other in the city as you’re swept back in time with the Prohibition era decor. The cocktail menu features all your favorite gin cocktails too.
The Printing Press Bar and Kitchen
In an ode to Edinburgh’s literary history, the Printing Press Bar and Kitchen occupies the former home of Susan Ferrier, a contemporary of Jane Austen and, according to Sir Walter Scott, every part her equal. The kitchen uses quality, seasonal produce from Scotland and the menu is full of literary inspired cocktails.
Once the headquarters of the Bank of Scotland, The Dome is an Edinburgh institution. Imposing and impressive both inside and out with its Greco-Roman inspired architecture and expansive, titular dome, this venue knows how to awe. It boasts several bars and restaurants to choose from whether you’re meeting friends for after work cocktails or opting for a classy afternoon tea.
When you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, head to The Huxley. This bar and kitchen features eclectic decor but a relaxed atmosphere. The menu takes its inspiration from across America and offers up an excellent selection of Scottish craft beers and a mouth-watering selection of cocktails.
The award-winning Bon Vivant offers its patrons a warm, cozy atmosphere and kick-ass cocktails. It has an air of tradition but manages to remain quirky and cool. The cocktail menu changes regularly but their talented bar staff can whip up any of your favorites, so long as they have the ingredients on hand.
Hector’s resides in the trendy Stockbridge area of Edinburgh, nestled between all the Victorian and Georgian era buildings the area is known for. In keeping with its surroundings, it takes these period features and gives them a modern twist. Settle in on a Sunday for a roast or pop in mid-week to sample one of the many craft beers and ales they have on tap.
Named for solitary male faeries often found in Scottish folklore, this Edinburgh bar certainly lives up to its ethereal namesake. Vaulted ceilings and candlelit chandeliers abound in this converted church. The drinks menu is extensive, featuring classic cocktails such as Bellinis and Espresso Martinis.
As you can see, Edinburgh is full to bursting with places to kick back and relax with a few drinks, so whatever your preference, you’ll be sure to find your perfect bar match.