The Edinburgh Festival Fringe brings scores of performers, artists, tourists and more to the streets of Edinburgh for the month of August.
It’s our city’s busiest time of year and after a long day of watching fringe shows and dodging flyerers, what’s better than grabbing a cold drink?
These are the 10 best bars to visit to get yourself a pint or a cocktail during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The Devil's Advocate
Nestled away in the historic and atmosphere Old Town of Edinburgh, The Devil’s Advocate is situated in an old Victorian pump house.
With a 400 strong whisky shelf, cocktails that put The Devil’s Advocate on Top 50 Cocktail Bars’ list and multi-award winning bartenders serving up selected craft beers, a curated wine list and inventive seasonal cocktails.
Why not try out their cocktail Under The Tuscan Sun - made with Hendricks gin, blackberries, smoked rosemary, hopped grapefruit bitter and prosecco.
9 Advocates Close, Edinburgh, EH1 1ND
The Pop Up Geeks
Created by a small independent team, the Pop Up Geeks strives to deliver a unique and immersive drinking experience inspired by the best of pop culture.
With a new theme and a new menu every three months, it’s only a matter of time before your favourite film or television show gets the Pop Up Geeks Treatment.
With a Stranger Things inspired bar called The Upside Down running throughout August, and a Game of Thrones night called Wines of the Seven Kingdoms on 11 August, be sure not to miss out.
27 East Market Street, Edinburgh, EH8 8FS
Assembly George Square Gardens
Chances are, you’ll already be heading to George Square Gardens at some point during your festival stint as it plays host to loads of different shows throughout August. Since you’re already there, why not check out what the amazing food and drink stalls have on offer?
Acting as the Assembly’s main hub, George Square is made up of three mini hubs: the Gardens, the Studios and Gordon Aikman Theatre. The Gardens house the amazing Spiegeltent Palais du Variété, the Piccolo Tent and The Treehouse, as well as the selection of food vendors and bars.
George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9JZ
Although the original pub in Leith is 100 per cent worth a visit, this Drummond Street version is a bit more central and offers unbeatable atmosphere during the Fringe. Home to a cushioned cinema room, a selection of board games, dartboard and arcade machine, this pub is also a favourite among performers.
With daily 3pm cinema screenings (and a bring your own film policy), this pub is open into the wee hours and offers a huge selection of drinks - as well as some inventive shots, like the Jammie Donut which is made up of chambord and baileys.
14 Drummond St, Edinburgh EH8 9TU
The Royal Dick
Once the Small Animal Hospital of the Dick Vet School, The Royal Dick has been transformed into a unique bar that boasts its own on-site brewery and gin distillery. With decor reminiscent of the Dick Vet School and art from all over the world, this is a truly unique bar.
With a beautiful beer garden, where else would you want to sit in the August sunshine than at The Royal Dick with a drink in hand?
1 Summerhall, Edinburgh, EH9 1PL
Pitched as Scotland’s original gin bar, 56 North boasts cocktails, craft beers, a kitchen and now a working distillery too. This award winning bar even has a secret gin garden that’s exclusively open only during the Fringe.
The Fringe Festival Garden has become the “must visit” venue for gin lovers exploring the Fringe. It’s open 1 to 26 August from 12 noon to 1am. Non-gin drinkers need not worry - they also have loads of beers on offer, as well as spirits, cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks as well.
56 North, 2 West Crosscauseway, Edinburgh, EH8 9JP
Cold Town House
Born out of a drive to bring back brewing traditions in the Grassmarket, Cold Town House defines itself as “a beer that defies pretentious pre-conceptions, embraces all the definitions of craft, a serious beer for laid-back people”.
On the ground floor you’ll find plenty of life entertainment including sport, music, comedy and cabaret, as well as the freshest Cold Town Beer from the 500L tanks that stand behind the bar. Up top leads you to the best view of Edinburgh Castle and a vintage Nissan van from which you order your drinks.
4 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2JU
The Pear Tree
A firm favourite among students, professionals and tourists alike, the Pear Tree is the place to be when the sun starts shining as it has possibly the roomiest beer garden in Edinburgh. With loads of picnic tables, there’s space for everyone.
If the weather takes a turn for the worse, or if you’ve had your fill of sunshine and need some respite, then head to 32 Below situated underneath The Pear Tree. Not just drinks and food, 32 Below also offers 32 Below Pong - you can choose between peer pong, prosecco pong, VK pong, dark fruits pong or bucky bomb pong.
38 W Nicolson St, Edinburgh EH8 9DD
Indigo Yard has been providing the best food and drink in Edinburgh’s West End since 1996. Toting a rustic style, huge selection of beer, wine and cocktails, Indigo Yard is the perfect setting to grab a post-show cocktail and relax.
It’s small outdoor area adorned with fairy lights also makes for the perfect backdrop for an Instagram picture.
7 Charlotte Ln, Edinburgh EH2 4QZ
The Three Sisters
Found in the bustling Cowgate, you’ll probably pass The Three Sisters a hundred times during your Festival adventures as the Cowgate is home to many Fringe venues. Named in memory of the three MacKinnon sisters who were popular performers in the 1740s, The Three Sisters has a whole host of events, street food, live sports and great drinks.
With a huge outdoor area and spread across multiple floors inside, The Three Sisters has something for everyone.
139 Cowgate, Edinburgh EH1 1JS