The Best Pubs in Dunfermline, Scotland

Dunfermline, Scotland, has a drinking establishment to suit every taste, from lively bars to laid-back pubs
Dunfermline, Scotland, has a drinking establishment to suit every taste, from lively bars to laid-back pubs | © Stephen Finn / Alamy Stock Photo
Tamarin Fountain

Pubs in the UK are diverse. You can choose to drink at an old coaching inn, dance the night away to a live DJ, bring the dogs for a quiet afternoon pint, take part in quizzes and karaoke or taste some of the first small-batch brews. Here are the best bars to visit in Dunfermline, Scotland.

1. East Port Bar

Bar, Pub, British

As one of the best bars in Fife, according to Camra’s Good Beer Guide 2020, East Port should be the first stop on your pub crawl. The atmosphere is conducive to chilling out, with cosy sofas, booths and an extensive range of drinks, including regularly changing beers on tap and high-end bubbles – you’re always in for a little surprise. It shows live sports on big screens and hosts a weekly quiz. It’s good value and authentic, with hearty food available, too.

2. The Old Inn

Pub, British

Journey back in time as you step through the doors of this early-17th-century town-centre pub. Originally a coaching inn, it has hosted many a traveller across the centuries. Today, it specialises in craft beers – including those from Scottish BrewDog and local small-batch microbreweries – ales and award-winning burgers. It’s also the birthplace of the Dunfermline Athletic Football Club and is especially animated during a match, with screens in the main bar. So, if you prefer a more relaxed vibe, head to the quieter upstairs lounge.

3. Tappie Toories

Pub, British

Punters having a pint in the traditional Tappie Toories pub, Dunfermline, Scotland. Image shot 05/2005. Exact date unknown.
© Marco Secchi / Alamy Stock Photo

The go-to public house in Dunfermline for live music is Tappie Toories, a lively haunt with patrons of all ages. It serves mainstream spirits, wine, lager and beer and offers sounds from regional bands (everything from country to rock) and a DJ on the decks. You’ll also have a chance to shine at its frequent karaoke nights. Its small size helps create a great casual, indie atmosphere, along with its programme of entertainment on every night of the week. Find it opposite the town clock.

4. The Glen Tavern

Pub, British

Take your dog (and kids) along for a drink at the Glen Tavern; it’s a family-friendly pub in the Pittencrieff neighbourhood offering excellent value. The venue also has an arrangement with a local taxi service, meaning if you eat here on Saturday, you get a ride home for half the regular fare. Drink-wise, you can choose from a range of draught beers, bottled cider, wine, spirits or soft drinks. And if you visit on a Wednesday evening, you’ll be able to hear the Dunfermline Folk Band in the lounge.

5. The Monarch Bar and Function Room

Pub, British

Make a beeline for the Monarch Bar on a sunny day so that you can soak up some rays in its spacious beer garden. In less clement weather, you can play pool, dominoes or darts either for fun or as part of league competition. The venue is big on events and organises race nights, parties, comedy shows and EP launches. It also hosts bands and shows BT sporting fixtures on the four big screens. And if there’s no live music, you can pop some tunes on the jukebox for a retro feel.

6. The Ship Inn

Pub, British

Exterior of Ship Inn Limekilns Fife Scotland May 2016
© Stephen Finn / Alamy Stock Photo

Have a pint in nautical surroundings at this cosy, waterside spot on Dunfermline’s outer perimeter, on the northern shore of the River Forth. In the village of Limekilns – once an industrial port area – the family-run Ship Inn offers home-made dishes, fresh seafood and real ales. Grab a window table for some superb views of the bridges, or take a seat at the traditional bar for some banter with the village’s residents.

7. The Bruce Arms

Pub, Restaurant, British

Wander east from the Ship Inn, and you’ll come across another charming traditional pub, the Bruce Arms. Standing opposite a vintage red phone box, this establishment serves good old-fashioned beer in glass tankards. Gin lovers will welcome the extensive choice of Scottish drinks, and there’s a varied food menu (bookings are advised as it gets busy). The decor is cosy, yet airy, with lots of nods to its coast-meets-countryside location.

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