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5 of the best pubs in Edinburgh for a cheap pint

Looking for a cheap pint or two in the capital? Our list of great value bars can help.

Published: February 1, 2017

Trying to find a good place for a cheap pint can be a tricky business.

Especially in Edinburgh, as the city has the most pubs and licensed premises than any other area in Scotland.

But don't fret – our top five pubs for an inexpensive drink will help you find a place that is both affordable and enjoyable to visit.

The Greenmantle

(44 West Crosscauseway, EH8 9JP, 0131 662 8741)

Picture: Wow 247

Picture: Wow 247

Locals are loyal to the Greenmantle - student societies and Edinburgh residents frequently drop in, meaning that this pub is rarely quiet. The staff behind the bar are friendly and helpful, and the prices are definitely easy on the wallet.

Their guest ales change often, and their three large TVs make the top sporting events very hard to miss. The décor is very much that of the traditional boozer, complete with beer mats and funny signs.
The food is also reasonably priced, and their spectacular Buffalo Burgers certainly steal the show.

The burgers are sourced from the brilliantly named Puddledub Farm in Fife, so you can be assured of a low carbon footprint.

Brass Monkey

(14 Drummond St, EH8 9TU, 0131 556 1961)

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Picture: Trip Advisor Traveller

Picture: Trip Advisor Traveller

As well as offering a cheap pint, the Brass Monkey has plenty of fun things for you to do. Board games, arcade games and a dartboard will liven up the dullest of groups, and their 3pm cinema screenings are very popular.

The cinema room is full of comfy cushions, and is equipped with full surround sound. Also, you can bring your own film to make move night extra personal.

The drinks are plentiful, and low prices plus a student discount mean that the place is usually busy. All the usual beers, wines, spirits and ciders are on offer, but it's the quirky vibe that makes the Brass Monkey special.

City Café

(19 Blair St, EH1 1QR, 0131 220 0125)

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Picture: TSPL

Picture: TSPL

A family friendly dinner venue during the day, and a party palace late at night, the City Café caters to a wide demographic. The low-priced kids' menu and yummy posh mac 'n' cheese mean it is a good place for a child-friendly meal, and the early opening at 9am make it a brilliant venue for a filling American breakfast.

For the party crowd, the selection of Scottish beers is excellent, and the Motown belters booming from the speakers create a celebratory atmosphere. Also, sharing a pitcher is a good way of keeping your night cheap.

The pool table and the infamous Burger Challenge may bring out your competitive side, or you can just admire the photos of former winners.

The Auld Hoose

(23-25 St. Leonard's St, EH8 9QN, 0131 668 2934)

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Picture: Auld Hoose Facebook

Student discounts and a traditional charm make this pub a good bet for a cheap pint. Established in the 1860s, the Auld Hoose combines Victorian and modern sensibilities very well.

The jukebox attracts a diverse crowd with its punk and goth tracks, and the selection of ales and malts attracts discerning drinkers.

Make sure to check order the towering bowl of nachos, which is more than generous, and famous for is prodigious size. The burgers and hot dogs are also a safe bet.

The Cumberland Bar

(1-3 Cumberland Street, EH3 6RT, 0131 558 3134)

Picture: Trip Advisor Traveller

Picture: Trip Advisor Traveller

Ideal for literary tourists, this bar appears in Alexander McCall Smith's Scotland Street novels. The beer garden is also an asset, making it a delightful place to spend a summer afternoon. In winter, the interior is just as pleasant, with plenty of corners to cosy up in.

Craft beers such as Alechemy, Pilot, Fyne Ales and Campervan Brewery are all staples for the taps, and there are plenty of gins to keep the non-beer drinkers happy.

The food is excellent, with haggis bonbons and venison pie bringing a modern twist to traditional Scottish cuisine. The fish pie with smoked haddock and salmon is a particular highlight.

Maddy lives in Edinburgh and has written for the Sunday Herald and the Ed Fringe Review. She is passionate about authentic, sustainably sourced food, and is always keen to discover exciting new flavours.

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