Walking to a pub with live folk music I found this beautiful building, till now unidentified.
By the way, the music was lively, the bar was small but friendly, and I don't remember where, so, go search for yourself and look around. That's the fun.
- Yes, I already know what it is - it's George Heriot's school, and I would love to see it by day.
More a couple of drinks than a night out perhaps, the Halfway House is a small friendly pub on the stairs between Waverley Station and Cockburn St (quick route from station to Royal Mile). Real ales (normally four, and particularly featuring Scottish ales) and Stowells Press cider, plus standard drinks.
Also small , well priced menu with soup, toasties, and Scottish dishes such as haggis, stovies and Cullen Skink. Much of the produce is source from Berwickshire (in the Scottish Borders), such as the wild boar sausages.
Camra Scottish Pub of the Year 2005.
Henry J beans is just off the west end of Princes street and serves food and drinks. Extensive cocktails list the menu is limited to burgers, salad and wraps....but they are good! The focal point of Henry J.Bean's is the bar where show bartenders mix an exciting range of fun and colourful cocktails. The bar is lined with an extravagant display of liquors encouraging guests to choose any drink imaginable.
Food served Monday to Saturday 12.00 noon until 20.00.
Dress Code: Jeans and t-shirt or shirt and trousers, wouldn't try going very casual on busy nights as if you are very casual they may decide that's a good reason to not let you in if it's already packed. Relaxed attire
Of those I have visited over the years, and there are many, this is probably my favourite real ale pub in Edinburgh. It has a nice friendly feel to it, the staff are knowledgeable about the beers and a Good Beer Guide was available behind the bar. Definitely a pub that does it's own thing, I was there when the Scotland v Holland Euro 2004 qualifier was on and they refused to show it because their regulars wanted the racing on. I also got the impression that they were going to refuse to celebrate Christmas, now that is refreshing. The ever changing beers are listed on barrel ends above the bar and candles in front of each beer pump add a nice touch on a winters evening.
a house-electro-techno night in the heart of edinburgh's old city. the club night is on fridays monthly, with international guest djs alongside the residents. house tends to be of the french persuasion (think Daft Punk and dj Sneak), and techo varies from detriot to german (think Derrick May to Surgeon). past guests include the Hacker, Kevin Saunderson, Pure Science, Agoria and Ivan Smagghe, to name but a few.
Dress Code: casual - whatever is comfortable to dance in. don't layer up though, the place gets pretty sweaty!
Centraal is a worthwhile venture. It is located out of the city centre near the Unviersity and thus few tourists can be found there. It is a true student hangout and also attracts young professionals on weekends.
Inside there are massive leather sofas where you can look through the drinks menu and decide which beer to order - they have imported beer from over 30 countries! It will definitely not disappoint!
Until 10pm, food can be ordered (the layout is half restaurant, half bar). The selection is decent and it is very good value for money.
Dress Code: Don't dress too sporty
This is another student favourite. Medina is situated underneath Negociants cafe/bar and is open 7 nights a week from 10pm - 3am.
The underground venue has a main dance floor and 3 caves with at the rear with a mixture of soft cushions and couches to sit/lie on. The main music policy is funk, disco, soul and hip-hop. Other musical styles vary from open mic accoustic nights to latin/salsa dancing classes.
Pretty much everytime I have ever been (lots) it fills up by the end of the night.
Dress Code: Anything except sporty tracksuits.
This place is insane! Located in a basement, this tiny mexican place is the perfect place to get drunk and got crazy. Not only is it full of students and other young people (and tourists), it has a tiny dancefloor and seating area which means everyone is moving around... Not for the faint-hearted. It stays open late pretty much 7 nights a week. Drinks are reasonably priced.
Tapas aree available during the day too.
Dress Code: Anything goes, just don't look scruffy or wear tracksuits etc...
I quite like how we found this bar and don't really care that it didnt live up to what I had expected. Some friends and I were strolling along a street called Sotuh Brige I think and looked down into an interestingly derelcit bit of land. That night me and Rachel explored it and took photos of a very cool iron cage filled wiht neon tubing. We looked up and saw the word BAR in red neon shining through some stained glass windows above.
2 days later we found the bar tucked down an alley. I had envisioned a small bar wiht some comfy sofas and chaird wiht low lighting, candles and jazz music. Well it was pretty much perfect but for the comfy seating. The drinks were a little pricy but it was a really ncie atmosphere. I think they have live music sometimes. Defiently worth a visit if you are willing to ask around or wander around trying to find it.
Dress Code: Whatever, go as yourself. I'm not a fan of dress codes.
Stereo was Gaia. That is Gaia is no longer, everyone's favourite seedy, cheep little dance venue that had some great music and "sex-tag" has gone upmarket.
Stereo ain't that bad, but they've gone all posh on the clothes rule, the prices have jumped up and the VIP bar up the top - a really cool white - reeks of snoberry.
Gaia was so good.
Dress Code: Tough. Fairly for Edinburgh. No footy colours, thats a given. I have seen people turned away because they looked too old - 35? What a joke.
Part of the New Balmoral hotel, I popped in here to sample a wee dram of whiskey and ginger ale and to watch the rugby match between Ireland and Scotland (we won, ha ha!). Hadrian's Brasserie is adjacent to the pub.
Dress Code: Smart.
I just asked the locals where a fun place for two 23 year old girls to go and he recomended three sisters. It was really fun there along with about 4 other bars/pubs on the same street.
Dress Code: I had read that the Bouncers in Edinburgh were mean but I had the complete opposite experince they were all really nice and I had no trouble getting in anywhere. At night I would typically would wear dark jeans, a dressy top with heels or a cute dress. I think that the bouncers just don't want people who looked like they just rolled out of bed and reek of pachuli and wearing flip-flops and if dressing up doesn't sound appealing, chances are the clubs are going to be your thing anyways.
I just asked the locals were funs places to go whereand I was told the Three Sisters and on that same street I went to like 4 other places that were great. I had read that the bouncers at the bars and clubs were mean and that it was hard to get in. But I had the complete opposite experince. All of the Boucers were super friendly and had no trouble getting in anywhere. I think the best tip is to dress nicely.
Dress Code: I'm a girl and I would mainly wear dark jeans and a cute top with heels or cute dress. I think the bouncers just don't want to see people that looked like they rolled out of bed. Don't wear things like flip flops and if you don't want to dress up to go to the clubs , chances are it isn't your scene anyways.
I stumbled upon the Pivo Café. A popular bar near the center of town, this nightspot was disappointing to me. It bills itself as Czech by its wide selection of Czech beer, absinthe, and bathroom signs in Czech, but it failed to carry any Becherovka and there wasn’t one Czech person in there. Not even the bartenders were remotely Czech. How disappointing!
Dress Code: Any
The City Cafe is Edinburghs original "style bar". While I hate the term it seems to have been universally adopted so I'll use it to give you an idea of what to expect.
The bar slighly resembles a fifties style diner complete with booths and pool tables. While during daylight hours it may be starting to look a little rough around the edges, during the evening the place is usually so busy that you won't notice.
Sounds are usually some form of dance music with local DJs spinning in the downstairs bar. The place is usually a very popular stop on the pre-club circuit.
If you are hungry while walking about town during the day then there are worse places you could stop off for a club sandwich or a burger.
Dress Code: I've never been turned away so it makes me think that there isn't one.