Written by Isabel Clift
Thirsty with just a tenner in your pocket? These Edinburgh bars won’t break your budget, and are charming and unique with it… a golden combination, we think!
Hungry? See our 11 Top Cheap Eats in Edinburgh
1. Vintage decadence: Voodoo Rooms
Fixed up in chandeliers, gold and padded leather like a Gatsby-esque speakeasy, Voodoo Rooms’ bar serves expertly-mixed cocktails starting from £6 for monthly specials. See the full list here.
19a West Register St, EH2 2AA
2. Teacup cocktails: The Roseleaf
A much-loved, down-to-earth gastropub close to The Shore seaside promenade at Leith. Tasty, seasonal breakfasts, lunches and dinners are accompanied by Scrabble and ‘Pot-tails’ – cocktails served in teapots. For an indoor picnic of cocktails and dessert treats, order a Mad Hatters’ T-party with friends.
23/24 Sandport Place, Leith, EH6 6EW
3. Toe-tapping tunes: Reverie
Go into reveries at Reverie for their frequent live nu-folk, acoustic, jazz and Celtic shindigs. Bar food is tasty and well-priced, and there are thoughtful wine and whiskey menus, always including a good deal on their ‘Malt of the Month’. Real ale’s on tap, plus ‘guest beers’ are provided by local breweries. Click here for wine and malt menus.
1-5 Newington Road, EH9 1QR
4. Whiskey tasting: The Bow Bar
An elder statesmen of the Edinburgh pub scene, The Bow Bar specialises in malt whiskey with over 100 bottles to take your pick from. There’s also an ever-changing selection of cask ales (mostly local and regional), pies at lunchtime and a no-music policy that keeps the mood intimate and peaceful.
80 W Bow, EH1 2HH
5. Lounging around: The Holyrood 9A
This atmospheric bar is kitted out like an extra funky living room, letting you relax on comfy leather chairs and couches while enjoying a cocktail and bar nibbles. The gourmet burgers are excellent and there are 20 beer and ale varieties from Scotland and around the world to enjoy. See the full menu here.
9A Holyrood Road, EH8 8AE
6. A cosy pint: Thistle Street Bar
A hole-in-the-wall with one tiny, traditional bar room, Thistle Street Bar captures that elusive ‘good pub’ formula so many fail at: cosy nooks, unpretentious and friendly staff, a roaring fire in winter and a beer garden for sunny days.
39 Thistle Street, EH2 1DY
7. Dancing on the Bar: Port o’ Leith
A genuine all-guns-blazing party pub on weekends, Port o’ Leith gets you off the tourist trail straight into the heart of Edinbo’s most raucous fun times. Fridays and Saturdays are dancing-on-tables rowdy, with all boxes checked for cheap drinks, pumping tunes and impromptu sing-a-longs.
58 Constitution Street EH6 6RS
If you need somewhere to stay in Edinburgh, we’ve got cheap Edinburgh hotels and hostels starting from €9.46pppn @ Light House Hostel. For our favourites, see the best cheap accommodation in Edinburgh
- 11 things to do in Edinburgh under €10
- Things to do in Edinburgh for kids
- Edinburgh Festival 2012: A Guide to the Free Stuff
Thanks to Voodoo Rooms, The Roseleaf on Facebook, Reverie, lukask, Stephanie T. and Ross_Angus for the images. Please note, all Flickr images were used under the Creative Commons licence at the time of publication.