For a compact coastal town, St Andrews has its fair share of banter-filled bars and the kind of quintessential Scottish pubs where hours, even days, can easily slip away from you. Whether in the market for innovative cocktails, fancy drams or a humble pint, discover our guide to the best drinking dens in this wondrous booze bubble.
Bar, Pub Grub, British, $$$
Vic St Andrews, St Andrews | Courtesy Of The Vic
A multifaceted wonder, the Vic is where all the cool kids go. Whether craving a boozy brunch, crazy amount of cocktails or a sample session of Scotland’s best gin, Vic’s has you covered. And then there’s also the ping pong tournaments, video games, board games and epic night time DJ sessions! This hip hangout is decorated to impress, with its exposed industrial stone walls, lashings of wood, arty touches and overall cool feels. Drinks wise, there are no expenses spared with its clever cocktails of all kinds and alcoholic punch bowls.
A home away from home, Drouthy Neebors is the kind of pub worthy of local status. The traditional Scottish pub atmosphere is complimented with endless drinks options ranging from real ales and whisky for days to perfectly poured pints. Cosy vibes reign supreme as do appealing prices, top-notch bar food and a myriad of weekly activities like pub quizzes. Drouthy’s is famed as a legendary local icon.
Bar, Restaurant, Brasserie, British, Contemporary, European, Soup, $$$
Pretty in pink | Courtesy of Life is Beautiful
The Adamson may take the crown as Scottish Restaurant of the Year 2015 and Restaurant of the Year Casual Dining 2016 but its bar is just as bonnie. Chic-er than chic, this cocktail mecca mimics the kind of trendy drinking establishments found in New York. The effortlessly contemporary decor and arty accents create the perfect setting to sip the day and night away over the dynamite cocktail list — think magical dry ice moments, sous vide syrups and infusions and barrel-aged delights. These cocktail connoisseurs, with their moreish mixes and hypnotic tricks, can do no wrong.
The star of the St Andrews beer show, this brew pub is one in a million. Between the sumptuous selection of multi-award winning craft beers straight from their local craft brewery, 18 taps of non-stop elixirs and epic range of bespoke gins, bourbons, cider, unusual wines and coveted malt whiskies, the whole scenario is golden. Rows of pretty cascading fairy lights embellish the already trendy relaxed furnishings, while the gourmet food champions local artisanal businesses. Consider St Andrews Brewing Company a little slice of gastronomic paradise worth seeking out. Try the Thistly Cross cider!
To many in St Andrews, it’s either Whey Pat’s or Drouthy’s. And we say the best way to settle this age-old debate for once and for all is to alternate between the two! This fuss-free traditional pub is graced with unpretentious charm, sublime nachos and the kind of ambience worthy of a cracking night out. Whey Pat’s regularly hosts fab live folk music sessions — pair these with any of their many great beers and the rest is history.
Praised by the masses as a ‘proper pub’, The Criterion pays no attention to unnecessary bells and whistles and instead focuses on what really matters — excellent booze, an admirable atmosphere and top notch pub grub. The traditional Scottish vibes and laid back interior welcomes all odds and sods from locals and mature students to everyone else in between. With over six cask ales and over 160 malt whiskies, not to mention the coffee and must-try pies, The Crit is forever on top form.