When it comes to bars, Edinburgh is blessed with a wide variety of places to enjoy a few drinks.  

George Street has no shortage of quality drinking spots, with some of the best cocktails in the city to be found on the new town street.

Here are eight of our favourites:

The Dome

(14 George St, New Town, Edinburgh EH2 2PF, 0131 624 8624)

TheDome

Picture: The Dome on Facebook

Often photographed during the festive season when the outside is draped in thousands of twinkling lights, the James Craig designed building actually contains a bar and three restaurants.

While cocktails are served up in one of those eateries, The Club Room, The Front Bar is where all the action happens.

There, patrons will find a bar bursting with a wide selection of gins, whiskies and craft and draught beers, as well as a good range of proseccos and champagnes. All of which can be enjoyed under the glassy illumination of a 24-carat gold and Swarovski crystal chandelier, high mirrors and wood panelling.

Le Monde

(16 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2PF, 0131 270 3900)

LeMonde

Picture: Le Monde on Facebook

With three bars inside this 18-room hotel, the biggest decision many face when visiting Le Monde is deciding which to visit.

On the ground floor, the Library Bar serves up quality coffee in a cosy setting by day and an array of decadent drinks in a relaxed setting by night.

The Sky Bar, Le Monde’s party piece, is an elegant homage to the New York skyline, with silhouetted versions of the city that never sleeps adorning the walls and a fine range of cocktails expertly crafted by well-trained mixologists behind the bar.

Dirty Martini is the newest addition to Le Monde’s repertoire, an atmospheric and intimate candlelit lounge which is home to the Scottish Jazz Awards and features regular live performances from a number of local acts.

The Standing Order

(62-66 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2LR, 0131 225 4460)

Famously housed in the former Union Bank of Scotland, the Wetherspoons-owned Standing Order has been a staple of the George Street offering for over 20 years.

It makes no secret of its previous life either, the door of the old vault is now a decoration to be admired by the hundreds who cram into the bar every night.

Like most Wetherspoons, the drink and food deals are second to none – a beer and burger can be picked up for less than a tenner – and the company policy of no music means conversation is a must.

While some may sneer at the chain tag, the Standing Order offers unbeatable value especially considering its location among the more opulent new town crowd.

Candy Bar & Kitchen

(113-115 George St, Edinburgh EH2 4JN, 0131 225 9179)

CandyBar

Picture: Candy Bar on Facebook

One of the more quirky options on George Street, Candy’s retro decor and affordable pricing makes it one of the more popular offerings.

The entrance might be easily missed – the front door is down a flight of stairs – but patrons would be advised not to walk past this kitsch bar diner.

The food is cheap, but excellent quality and the menu is much longer than might be expected, but what sets Candy apart is its unique range of cocktails.

here’s over 50 on the menu and some of them just have to be tried to be believed. There’s plenty to appease those who aren’t fans of cocktails too.

Candy has an excellent range of craft beers and a good selection of wines so there’s plenty to suit every taste. 

The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen

(21-25 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2PB, 0131 240 7177)

printingpress

Picture: The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen on Facebook

During the week, this bistro serves up the best of rustic Scottish cuisine, before becoming more bar focused at the weekend.

Named in tribute to the long literary and publishing history of the building, The Printing Press throws off its tag as a chic bistro and replaces it with live DJs, cocktails and good times.

It’s at the pricier end of the George Street scale, but with an excellent range of malt and world whiskies as well as a range of unique cocktail concoctions with a literary theme.

All Bar One

(29 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2PA, 0131 226 9971)

A favourite with the boisterous after-work crowd, All Bar One benefits from competitive prices and a good selection of cocktails and wines.

Much like its Wetherspoons equivalent across the road, All Bar One is chain owned, but that shouldn’t put prospective customers off, everything is reasonably priced and it’s often an energetic and positive atmosphere inside.

The cocktail menu could easily compete with some of the more established cocktail bars in the city, but where All Bar One really shines is with its wine offering.

There’s a fantastic selection to suit all budgets, ranging from the standard house red to aromatic, oak-aged bottles to satisfy any craving.

Copper Blossom

(107 George St, Edinburgh EH2 3ES, 0131 297 2630)

CopperBlossom

Picture: Copper Blossom on Facebook

A relative newcomer on the George Street scene, Copper Blossom has made a big impression since debuting in Autumn 2015.

The elegant interior is bright and airy for a basement bar and makes a big deal out of its botanical theme – there are blooming flowers and greenery everywhere.

Behind the bar, cocktails are created from century old recipes, somewhat pleasingly using original instruments, but there’s plenty of modern innovation going into every drink.

They aren’t shy about using machinery to find the perfect infusion, while requests for more flavour, if not more alcohol, are more than welcome.

Tigerlily

(125 George St, Edinburgh EH2 4JN, 0131 225 5005)

Tigerlily

Picture: Tigerlily on facebook

While some of the decor in the bar of this lavish hotel can at times be an assault on the senses – particularly after a few cocktails – its contemporary style and cool, chic vibe is hard to beat.

Their extensive and ever-growing cocktail menu, running into over a hundred unique creations including the house favourite ‘Lily’s Lullaby,’ is expertly crafted by a team of award-winning mixologists from across the globe.
For those more serious about their cocktail preferences, they even offer the opportunity for a private cocktail service from their top mixers, promising an element of theatre into the small hours.

About The Author

James Delaney

James is a writer and freelance journalist who has lived in Edinburgh all his life and is well versed in the city's bar and nightlife scene.

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