Despite a rather uninspiring exterior this is a nice looking pub inside, complete with wood panelling and a marvellous decorative ceiling. There is a large island bar with good service and a good range of real ales. Seating around three sides of the pub is popular for lunchtime meals and there is also a restaurant upstairs. The service in the Abbotsford is some of the best I have experienced.
Dirty Dick's was established in 1859. Before you think that the name sounds like something you could catch on a stag-weekend or a naughty holiday to Thailand, here's the story:
Dick was an old lad in the 1850s who cleaned-up the mess (dung) that the horses left behind all along Rose Street. This job earned him the nick name of 'Dirty Dick'. Apparently the owners of the pub (which today has his name) used to offer him drink and a hot meal. Eventually his hard life in dirt and poverty caused Dick a relatively early death… and it is said that some family members were trying to find him because his mother had given him away as a baby, but now he was the last heir to her fortune.
The interiors are a remarkable reminder of the pub's history, with a massive collection of bric-a-brac & memorablia of by-gone events and people dating back to the 1850s. There isn't a single square inch of wall & ceiling that isn't adorned with something.
Service here is extremely friendly (they have a board above the bar promising to be) and the food was also really good. During our 2 visits it was always quite busy, both on a weekday and the weekend, with many groups of friends or also families enjoying the food & drink on offer.
Talk about food! Their menu states that they serve "Traditional pub food with a classy edge" & it has pretty much everything you'd expect to find in Scotland. From small snacks such as toasties and soup, all the way through elaborately prepared main courses and of course scrumptious desserts; in my opinion Dirty Dick's can proudly call itself something slightly above merely a 'pub' - we really enjoyed our times here and I'd definitely visit there again on our next trip to Edinburgh.
John enjoyed the traditional Haggis, Neeps & Tatties (£ 9.85; that's "with mashed turnips & potatoes" in English ;-) in a whisky-cream sauce, and I ordered the same, apart from the fact that my Haggis was vegetarian (£ 7.85; made from grains, pulses and oats) and both were really good.
Dress Code: Smart-Casual; during daylight hours even casual will do. However, as in most traditional pubs in Edinburgh, groups wearing rugby/football team colours aren't necessarily welcome.
NOTE: the only 'down-side' or negative remark that I have would be that the pubs/restaurants along Rose Street seem to be a bit pricier than those in the Grassmarket. So if you're watching your budget, best give the establishments on Rose Street a miss. Rose Street runs parallel to Princes Street.
Sunday-Thursday: 11.00am -12.00midnight.
Friday & Saturday: 11.00am-01.00am.
The kitchen is open until 11:00pm.
(Prices from year 2008)
Rose Street is one of the most famous streets in Edinburgh, mostly because of the number of pubs that are packed into it and perhaps also because it used to be a very well known red light district. Ahem…it isn’t anymore, it’s a lovely street now.
My dear friend Adelle asked me if I wanted to take the “ROSE STREET CHALLENGE” – start at one end and have one drink in every pub – the goal being to reach the end of the street and still be able to move one leg in front of the other.
I passed on this challenge as I don’t have a very high alcohol tolerance and figured that I’d be arrested and thrown in an Edinburgh drunk tank before making it halfway down the street.
However, if it’s a pub crawl you want – this is the street to accomplish it on!
After your pub crawl, when you’re all uninhibited from the booze you can stop in at the huge internet café and email all of your friends – an excellent idea but only if you can still type and only if you don’t end up sending them embarrassing emails that say,
“I'm here in Rosesstreet an whent pub crallwing…it was fun. But I nevr told yu hwo much I luuuvvee yuo! Yer my best friend – you realy ar…I mean it…I never told you…but you’re my bestesst friend in th ewhold world!”
Dress Code: As with most establishments in Scotland do not show up in jeans and "trainers" AKA running shoes in most pubs. Put on your chino's and loafers before going out on the town!
One of Edinburghs most famous streets, Rose Street runs parallel to and one street back from Princes street. It runs the whole length, from Charlotte Square to St Andrews Square and is lined with pubs and eateries, as well as some shops. It's a good place, by day or by night.
Dress Code: Seemed to be "casual" but there may be trainers/jeans restrictions.
Many of the places along here are quite "cosy" and have candle lit tables and quite atmospheric interiors. We were quite surprised at how they differed from a lot of the pubs at "home".
The next place we went in was Dirty Dicks - and it turned out to be an affiliate of The Bad Ass, much the same style, decore, atmosphere... nice again, but not so different.
There is a third affiliated pub "Clever Dicks" on The Royal Mile.
We came to the Bad Ass in 2008... and since 2010 it is now called 1780.
It was on another of those grey, rainy Edinburgh days where - thanks to the multitude of pubs, restaurants and cafes - we didn't actually mind that the weather gave us an excuse to head indoors :-)
The interiors were wonderfully quirky with numerous mirrors and framed portraits on the walls; an Aladdin's cave of bric-a-brac. With dark red walls and dark blue carpet the atmosphere is very cosy. There are two small dining rooms and two leather sofas for those who have to wait for a table.
We didn't feel like a full lunch so on this - our first visit - we opted for some coffees and some sweet treats instead. Based solely on the cakes and desserts, I have very high hopes for the food because the chocolate molten cake I had was fantastic, and John's sticky toffee pudding was equally good.
Service was generally friendly but could have been a little better... perhaps they improve in the evening when it gets busier. The Bad Ass also has a nice outdoor seating area. I think we'll definitely come back here on our next trip.
Dress Code: *
Fridays & Saturdays: 11:30am-01:00am.
Monday to Friday: noon-09:00pm.
Saturday & Sunday 10:00am-10:00pm.
Rose street is parallel to Prince's street and is the ultimate pub crawl location. That's pretty much all that's there, pubs and a few restaurants. You could drink your way from one end to the other if you've got lots of stamina. Rose street is pedestrian only but the cross streets are open to traffic so if you do over indulge, mind how you cross over.
Another great pub is the STanding Orders on George street, a few blocks farther parallel to Rose. It used to be a bank or large public building and it's now a bar of elegant proportions.
I can't remember exactly how to get to it, but it's called Rose Street and has a lot of pubs on it! You wouldn't have to go anywhere else in the city for a few lagers! It is a pedestrain street full of pubs and shops too. A very lively atmosphere!
Dress Code: Depends, but "nice casual" would work for most places.
Situated right across the street from the Internet Café – this little pub is warm and inviting.
I sat at the window and had a pint of Guinness and some chips for lunch with plans of people watching before carrying on up to the Castle.
That would have been fine but the people who sat next to me were so friendly I ended up sitting there chatting with them for hours!
The staff were very kind and the décor was simple but hearty…if you can use hearty as a descriptive word for interior design.
This pub is a perfect lunch/people watching pub!
Dress Code: I was unaware of a dress code in this establishment but as a rule assume no jeans or sneakers will be allowed.
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