Edinburgh Recommends: Best pubs

The Guildford Arms is a Capital favourite. Picture: TSPL
The Guildford Arms is a Capital favourite. Picture: TSPL
Have your say

No-one knows a city better than the people who live and work in it. The best coffee shops, the best bars, the best independent stores and the best places for brunch.

Guide books are useful for visitors, but for locals it’s word of mouth that gives you the latest and most reliable information.

As part of Edinburgh Recommends, the News is asking you to tell us your favourite places in the city centre.

In association with This Is Edinburgh, we will publish the best of them in the paper every Friday with the top recommendation winning either dinner for two, tickets to a show or attraction or £40 of shopping vouchers. Not bad for just telling us what you like!

All we need is around 50 words. You can add a picture if you like. We will also be asking for submissions through our website – edinburghnews.com – and our Facebook and Twitter pages. You can also apply by post.

Staff know great wine and beer list

Helen Hutcheon picked a famous pub on West Register Street.

“Guildford Arms – good selection of beers and wines; fast, efficient, friendly service from bar staff who actually know about the beers and wines they sell; good grub upstairs; interesting mix of people; wonderful architecture; good live bands mainly during the festival period.”

Great outdoors

Barry Scade: “During the summer the best beer gardens have to be The Pear tree, right, or out the back of the Beehive, the Black Bull next door is great most weekends. The Star bar if you like a walk, the World’s End is just great for atmosphere on a cold winter night. Hector’s if you’re doon that end of the town or Carters Bar if you’re near Haymarket.”

Plenty of guest ales

Stacey Charlotte Bygate: Red Squirrel, Lothian Road, always has plenty of guest ales on and there’s always one for each person’s taste. Staff are great and the burgers are amazing!

A wee dram

Littel Katy: “The Jolly Judge off the High Street, left, is a cosy wee pub, great atmosphere, good whisky selection, ales and cider on pump!”

Romantic times

Rachel Macrae: “I personally hold Cloisters Bar on Brougham Street, responsible for an 11-year marriage and three children. It has a lovely chilled out atmosphere, fab staff, yummy food, and best of all, plenty of regular and interesting guest ales on tap. No music or TV blaring, so you can actually chat to people and like us, fall in love. It’s our favourite.”

Take a seat

Duncan Hothersall: “The Regent in Abbeyhill. Great beers, comfy seats, comfort food, dog friendly and lovely staff.”

Relaxing atmosphere

Katie Irving: “City Cafe, Blair Street, above. Laid back, great music, nice food, good selection of booze.”


Paul Morrison: “Thistle Street bar … your friendly local bar in the centre of town. Great staff and great regulars. The only bar in town with a tuck shop.”

BoogIe nights

Michele Owens: “The Three Sisters in Cowgate, it has a dance floor, karaoke in the top deck of the bus out front which is decked out with fairy lights, food available and free entry to the nightclub at 1am.”

Mul-tipple choice

Jason Graham: “Castle Arms on Johnston Terrace, great friendly staff, good selection of beers and spirits & tasty food. Been drinking there for years.”

A fair deal

Eileen McGee: “The Advocate in Hunter Square – came across for the first time at the weekend, think it has been called other names previously – lovely friendly staff, great location and reasonable prices … 
I understand the food is good too!”

Pull punters

Lance Leverette: “Great staff at Hector’s, Deanhaugh St, great location, great crowd. I highly recommend it.”

Historical twist

Alexandra Wallace: “What about the White Horse Bar on Canongate? Dates back to 1742. Has an amazing and original back room for parties/events.”

Great grub

Simon Stone: “Black Cat on Rose Street. City centre pub with the feel of a local. And great selection of beers and the kitchen is awesome.”

Special reserve

Greg Anderson: “The Bow Bar in Victoria Street has well-kept real ales, a large selection of malt whisky to choose from and friendly, knowledgeable staff. What more could a drinker ask for?”

Warm welcome

Catherine McLaughlin: “I love The World’s End on the Royal Mile. Good atmosphere, lovely food and the friendliest staff who always make you feel welcome.”

Dog friendly

Margo Loos: “The Last Drop Tavern at the Grassmarket. Great pub, lovely food, excellent service by all staff and dog friendly. My absolute fav in town!”

Feeling right at home

Alex Munro: “Bert’s Bar, William Street, love! Ale, pies and the nicest staff – a shout out for Katherine who I met when I was last up from England, made me feel instantly at home again.”

Cheers to the beers

Graeme Smith: “Bert’s Bar for the choice of beer, Teuchters opposite it also on William Street always has a great atmosphere, The Stockbridge Tap for relaxed lovely beer, and the Stockbridge Bon Vivant for great wine/whisky with some lovely parma ham.”