When you find a good bar, you hold onto it! Between meticulously crafted artisanal cocktails and barrels of local craft beer, Scotland’s capital lends itself to punters and party people. From the atmospheric to the iconic, here are the best bars in Edinburgh suited to fun times all around.
A subterranean cocktail mecca with an old school, speakeasy vibe, Bramble Bar always takes the crown in Edinburgh’s drinking scene. Fresh ingredients fused with innovative concoctions, in tandem with a showcase of legendary classics, Bramble boasts drinks set to satisfy one and all. Consider the effortless upscale atmosphere and on-point music collateral beauty.
A fixture since 1996, The Dome can do no wrong. Decadent ornate furnishings — think grand Corinthian columns, layers of marble and leafy palms galore — and first-class service reign supreme, with the drinks list as marvellous as the food and atmosphere. Between the endless bubbles, sumptuous cocktails and refreshing pints, The Dome is a purveyor of all things deluxe.
The inimitable ambience exuding from The Bon Vivant is as alluring as the finely-tuned cocktails and exceptional wine list. Imagine effortlessly chic furnishings, bottomless carafes of boutique wines and an overall discerning eye for all things faultless. Then picture sipping elixirs of dreamlike tastes. This Thistle Street jewel takes the crown as the only Scottish bar restaurant to ever be nominated for the Spirited Awards, a renowned globally recognized honour.
The Last Word Saloon oozes old-world charm | Courtesy of The Last Word Saloon
Brought to you from the brains behind the legendary Bramble Bar, Last Word Saloon makes for a sublime drinking experience, and then some. Bursting with endless character and old world charm, entering this bar is like walking into a debonair cowboy’s subconscious! Embellishing the revolutionary drinks menu is an abundance of single malt whiskies, sought-after spirits, lengthy list of liqueurs, divine wines and tempting ciders. Once the bartenders are done, expect to pinch yourself over the magic that emerges.
Bar, Pub, Restaurant, Contemporary, Pub Grub, British, $$$
The Blackbird Beer Garden | Courtesy Of Charlotte & Joseph PR
Taking centre stage in Edinburgh’s burgeoning bar scene, The Blackbird is home to an unrivalled sense of je ne sais quoi. Lending itself to sun fun times all round, the recently revamped secret beer garden — thank you Mr Doodle — is bursting with vivacious graffiti art, leafy accents and trendy seating options. From June to September, the outdoor Shed is set to transform into a G&T hotspot, specifically Bombay Sapphire and Fever Tree, with delightful mixes like the mango and cardamom fizz and peach and lemongrass buck stealing the show. Infused with cerulean blue hues and indulgent sips, The Blackbird is beautiful inside and out.
Adored by hipsters, swishters, cocktail connoisseurs and everyone else in between, the Lucky Liquor Co. has that indescribable edge over Edinburgh’s bar scene. Intoxicatingly hip decor is complimented by an easy atmosphere, with the focus revolving around the ever-changing golden nugget of a cocktail menu. Yet another successful establishment to arise from the Bramble Bar empire.
One of the best things about Edinburgh is that you never know what awaits down each close. Representing the Old Town like no other, Devil’s Advocate is synonymous with delightfully sinful drinking sprees, thanks to the well-informed tribe of award-winning bar tenders and intelligent cocktails. And yes, there’s enough Scottish and worldly whiskies for days! The boozy bar and overall trendy feel make it a hip hangout for post-work catchups and impromptu drinking sessions alike.
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Contemporary, Pub Grub, Cocktails, $$$
Drink up. | Credit: Cocktailmarler
There’s a fine line between trying too hard and achieving excellence: Panda & Sons has that air of unparalleled coolness achieved ever-so effortlessly. And it’s glorious! Adding to the appeal is the old-school Barber’s Shop exterior, only outdone by the surreptitiously placed bookcase entrance and comfy barber chairs. From dream beer options to cunning cocktails and bowls of popcorn, the whole scenario is always a win win.
Frequented by those with the admirable mission of reviving the beatnik generation, Edinburgh’s Jazz Bar bears an uncanny resemblance to coveted speakeasies from back in the day. The subterranean basement feel lends itself to intimate moments, with live music as moving as Edinburgh herself resonating across the space. The drinks menu is all you could ever wish for and boasts some beauties, making the cash only entry fee totally worthwhile. Consider it, if you will, the spiritual home of subculture.
Time and time again, Tigerlily is one of those knock-out bars that never fails to reel you in with its perfect mix of plush, contemporary vibes and fashionable beverages. Whether a cheeky apple and cucumber mojito, downright soothing dram or an endless supply of fizz, this boutique drink dreamland caters to one and all. Strategically placed in the thick of all the upscale George Street fun, Tigerlily works wonders as a pre-party place.