The best ‘proper’ pubs in Edinburgh (Part II)

We’re all for sequels – as long as they’re done properly. That’s why we’ve taken the time to make a follow-up list to last week’s guide to the best ‘proper’ pubs in Edinburgh. Strenuous research was undertaken; drinks were supped, atmosphere was absorbed, bar stools were roundly sat upon.

So, incorporating your suggestions, here are ten more great Edinburgh pubs to try…

The Athletic Arms


A public outcry ensued when The Athletic Arms, known locally as ‘The Diggers’, was missed out from the initial list. Initially named the Gravediggers Arms due to its location between two graveyards, this Dalry public house has a genuine old school feel, with an authentic décor and a welcoming atmosphere. If you’re looking for an Edinburgh institution steeped in history, then look no further.

1-3 Angle Park Terrace, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH11 2JX

Clark’s Bar

Clarks Bar Edinburgh

This New Town bar has an unassuming exterior, but it’s actually an authentic gem tucked away down the hill on Dundas Street. Clark’s has a friendly vibe, regular live music and a fine range of ales. The two ‘snug rooms’, located off the main bar, are cosy spots to while away a few hours in good company.

142 Dundas St, Edinburgh EH3 5DQ

The Port O’ Leith


Instantly rec0gnisable for the patchwork flag collection adorning the ceiling, the Port O’ Leith is a lively local, located on the way to the Shore and with all the charm and inclusive atmosphere you would expect from a Leith pub. The bar also has a famous local admirer, with Irvine Welsh namedropping the establishment in Trainspotting.

58 Constitution St, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH6 6RS

The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule

A friendly Polwarth establishment with a great ale selection that is regularly refreshed. The Golden Rule has a no-frills approach to décor but the lack of pretence makes it a welcome and comfortable environment. Tuesday night is also quiz night, with possibly the best pub quiz in Edinburgh.

30 Yeaman Pl, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH11 1BT

Blue Blazer


Although from the outside the Blue Blazer may strike you as the watering hole of Edinburgh’s more long-in-the-tooth populace, it actually attracts a very eclectic clientele. The two-room interior feels like it’s hardly changed in a century (because it hasn’t), unlike the more quasi-authentic bars further down towards the Grassmarket. Friday nights are always spirited and worth popping in if you want to a pub with a jovial atmosphere.

2 Spittal St, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH3 9DX

The Greenmantle Pub


Many places in Edinburgh offer burgers, but few take their commitment to mouthwatering burgers as seriously as the Mantle. Offering ‘locally sourced ingredients’ from the Puddledub farm in Fife, the menu makes for excellent reading for the burger enthusiasts among us. A top choice for a quiet drink in the Newington area.

44 Westcross Causeway, Edinburgh, EH8 9JP 

The Royal Oak

royal oak

The Oak has built its reputation, alongside Sandy Bell’s, as a definitive folk pub in Edinburgh. Live music rings around the pub’s different rooms most nights of the week, and a substantial number of big names have attended for its communal atmosphere and rough and ready surroundings.

1 Infirmary St, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH1 1LT

Cloisters Bar

[byronv2 / Flickr / CC]

Part of the Brougham Street strip that is becoming an increasingly hip area of Tollcross, Cloisters attracts a friendly clientele and is a large space that often packs out over the weekends. If you’re fan of spirits, then the extensive malt whisky list makes for very interesting reading.

26 Brougham St, Edinburgh EH3 9JH

The Stockbridge Tap

[John Blower / Flickr / CC]

A fairly new edition in a ‘proper’ pub list more used to vintage classics. The dog-friendly Stockbridge Tap captures a relaxed, neighbourhood vibe in an area of the city more used to gentrified restaurants and trendy bars. The pub has succeeded in attracting a local crowd due to its great selection of ales and a food menu offering tasty pub grub. A perfect Sunday afternoon haunt.

2-6 Raeburn Pl, Edinburgh EH4 1HN

Guildford Arms

Guildford Arms
[Ragnar Jensen / Flickr / CC]

A shoo-in for this list for its décor alone, the Guildford Arms’ traditional fixtures are pretty breathtaking even in a city known for its classic architecture. It also happens to be a great spot for a pub lunch, with the upstairs ‘gallery restaurant’ being a particularly quirky feature.

Are there more great Edinburgh pubs we’ve missed from Parts I and II? Tweet us your tips via @wow247edinburgh

1 W Register St, Edinburgh EH2 2AA

All pictures TSPL unless otherwise stated

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