From historic bars pouring the finest whiskies to gastropubs serving up gourmet burgers, Edinburgh has a drinking den to satisfy every craving. There are some world-class establishments here but also plenty of duds. Follow our guide (and steer clear of the Grassmarket) for the best night out the Scottish capital has to offer.
Best for beer: The Caley Sample Room
A more extensive drinks menu we challenge you to find! The Caley Sample Room, named after the Caledonian brewery just up the road, has dozens of craft beers by the bottle including the English Camden Pale, American Anchor Steam and Little Creatures from Australia, plus keg beers such as Guinness, Staropramen and Hoegaarden. And then there are the taps. There are nine in total: one cider, four for guest beers and four dedicated Scottish brewery taps – Caledonian’s Deuchars, William Brothers, Tempest and Black Isle. Ask the incredibly knowledgeable staff for advice if you don’t know where to start.
Best for pub games: The Sheep Heid Inn
Said by some to be the oldest pub in Scotland – and generally considered the oldest in Edinburgh – the Sheep Heid is a proper local’s pub in a village now subsumed into the city. Here you can drink real ales straight from the cask or revel in the wine list – more a book of well thought out recommendations and suggested wine flights, which coaxes you into trying something new with its tasting notes. But the real reason to make the journey out here is the skittles alley, again alleged to be Scotland’s oldest and built around 1870. You can hire the whole thing for just £2 per person per hour so why not settle in for a night of racking them up and knocking them down?