Please sign in to post.

Best bars, pubs and places to eat in Edinburgh

Hi there,

I'm new here but travel quite a bit round the UK where I live and Europe, as well as sometimes further afield. One place I'm finally ticking off my list this summer is Edinburgh as I'm going there for the Fringe.

Obviously I can find plenty of generic suggestions online, but it would be great to hear any personal recommendations of what you guys would call "must visit" bars, pubs and restuarants in the city. This may be for the food or atmosphere.

I'm thinking mainly mid-market price range but don't mind somewhere pricey as long as it delivers!

Look forward to hearing any suggestions :)


Posted by
21854 posts

We enjoyed the Oink off the Royal Mile. It is funky. A quick serve pork sandwich place - but very good. Our favorite place in Edinburgh was The Old Bell Inn, a Scottish style pub. Fancier restaurant upstairs but we never got that far since the pub downstairs was excellent for us.

PS - forgot to add - we ate at the Bell three days over a five day stay. By the third visit they acted like we were local. Wish we could have stayed longer.

Posted by
4782 posts


I replied to this post where you’ll get many ideas as to favorite places to eat while visiting Edinburgh.


Posted by
2540 posts

during the fringe Edinburgh is rammed ,really busy so eat where you can, most restaurants will not take bookings and queues can form at all the places in the central area

Posted by
3 posts

Hi everyone,

Oink looks like a great shout thanks! Love a Pork and crackling sandwich and sounds perfect for a quick eat as we'll be out and about. The Old Bell also looks nice.

Unclegus I guess I'm not surprised at all about that! Hopefully it will be a price worth paying for the experience! At least if I have to queue at most places anyway then best make sure it's for somewhere worthwhile!

Also looks like there's some more good recommendations on this thread so cheers Priscilla

Posted by
2949 posts

I can highly recommend the Tower Restaurant, located in (above) the National Museum of Scotland building. I'm not sure how far ahead they take bookings. They might be already fully booked during the Fringe, but give it a try. In addition to great food & wine and lovely service, it has a beautiful view of the castle and skyline through large picture windows, and if you're lucky you can step out onto the terrace to take a photo without the glass reflection.

Posted by
976 posts

Hi, Andy,

Sandy Bell's pub, 25 Forrest Road, is a great place for live folk music and meeting locals. It may be mobbed during the festival, as many of the folk musicians who will be appearing at other venues will most likely be jamming there. It's certainly worth a try.

Mike (auchterless)

Posted by
2540 posts

The atmosphere in the city is magic at that time of the year and I usually spend a bit of time at a few events but after 60 years of attending Fringe events I have just about been Fringed out but will be at some shows this year but for the bulk of the time the Festival is on I will be in the Czech republic with some friends.
this is one of my favourite city centre pubs and does in my opinion the best fish and chip of any pub in the centre.
this is where I base myself during the fringe, well it is the go to meet up spot for my friends at any time of the year, great beer and they even make their own gin and it is the only place I know that have gin on tap. Used to be the old Royal Dick Vet School but now an entertainment/social hub.out door bars as well as indoor bar that is really eclectic ,food is ok but not brilliant ,their version of a Rubens sandwich left me a bit disappointed .Worth a visit just to soak up the atmosphere.

Posted by
2540 posts

BTW Oink is very good,they have a place in Victoria Street and Rose Street, but once the pig has gone that's it,during the fringe they will usually have a couple on the go, try it with a haggis topping.

Posted by
5752 posts

Sandy Bell's, if you can get in, is very, very awesome.

Posted by
4166 posts

We enjoyed the King’s Wark, 36 Shore. It’s not downtown, rather in the area near the Royal Yacht Britannia. We walked there from our B&B. The food was basic pub grub, but there was live music and most patrons were locals. We also ate at Deacon Brodies on the Royal Mile. More tourists there, but my dinner was good. One place we really enjoyed was more of a carry-out pasty shop, The Piemaker at 38 South Bridge. It had about 25 varieties of pasties.

Posted by
360 posts

We really liked Scran & Scallie (a friend that now lives in Edinburgh recommended), which is refined pub food. My favorite was the steak pie, which had a bone sticking out of it -- you pull it out and the marrow oozes all over the inside. Best steak pie during our three-week trip to the UK. We stayed near their theater area and wound up loving two Italian places (if you want a break from pub food) and they're pretty authentic -- Frizzante and Bar Italia.

Posted by
122 posts

We loved the White Hart Inn, in the Grassmarket section of the city, when we were there in May. The wild boar pate was awesome, as was the haggis dish. Quite a nice pub atmosphere. And another great place - Bella Italia, off the Royal Mile. The pasta dishes were exceptional and the serving staff very friendly.

Posted by
173 posts

Petit Paris in the Grass Market is simply amazing. It's best to get a reservation as its a very small restaurant.

We are traveling with a youth group for the Fringe. We have some vegans in the group - where is the best place to eat? We are planning on doing some cooking at the hostel while we're there - any recommended markets within short walk of the Edinburgh Metro Hostel?

Posted by
9914 posts

Sheila.groneman, I've PM'd you regarding vegan eating spots.

Posted by
123 posts

This close to Fringe you might want to see which place has availability for reservations and go with whatever you can book.

Posted by
5669 posts

First, I want to second the comments on Petit Paris in the Grass Market. We had a lovely lunch in the sun there last month. If you want a special dinner, check out the Gardner's Cottage. We had dinner there last month and it was wonderful. It is community tables and a tasting menu. We enjoyed it.


We are traveling with a youth group for the Fringe. We have some
vegans in the group - where is the best place to eat?

Kalpna is a very good vegetarian curry house with lots of vegan options. Or you try the Mosque Kitchen - I wouldn’t say it’s “best” but it’s cheap & cheerful with vegan options and a bit of a Fringe favourite.