This bustling bar hosts a variety of pop and dance DJs during the week, and has karaoke on Wednesdays. The bar is small in size, but check out the upstairs balcony, which offers a view of the downstairs seating area. Centrally located, Cafe Habana makes a great place to start off a night of bar-crawling or clubbing.
Cafe Habana, 22 Greenside Lane, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, +44 131 558 1270
Named for Bette Midler’s character in ‘Beaches,’ CC Blooms is a stalwart on the scene, generally attracting an older clientele. Open from 7 pm to 3 am every night, the bar features two stories, each of which has a bar and dance floor blasting house and pop music. Don’t wear anything too nice, as spilt drinks are an inevitability, but be prepared for an unpretentious, wacky night out.
CC Blooms, 23-24 Greenside Lane, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, +44 131 556 9331
This locals-only bar tends to attract regulars time after time, but fear no, Planet is a friendly, welcoming bar where you’re bound to get chatting with new people. Serving up reasonably-priced tipples (including Fanta on tap) with frequent weekday drinks offers, the bar has been recently refurbished and is a good place to grab a drink on a casual night or before heading out to a club.
Planet, 6 Baxter’s Place, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, +44 131 556 5551
This Swedish-inspired bar is cozy, atmospheric, and quirky. With a standout cocktail menu specializing in gin, occasional live music, and even some outdoor tables, this is the perfect spot for a fun and laid-back evening.
Boda Bar, 229 Leith Walk, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, +44 131 553 5900
From an afternoon spent listening to DJ sets, sipping coffee and noshing on ‘Street Snacks,’ and perusing the art hanging from the walls, to an evening spent drinking and enjoying a quiz night, cabaret performance, and more, there is something for everyone at The Street.
The Street, 2 Picardy Place, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, +44 131 556 4272
Chalky’s Late Night Lounge
After changing hands last year, this bar/club is on the up and up. Each night of the week is a different event, from ‘Retro Rewind’ on Mondays to ‘Uptown Funk’ on Wednesday evenings. Book ahead for the VIP Suite, which is perfect for birthdays.
By Madeleine Bazil