5 of the best bars to meet up with friends at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Make time to meet friends and enjoy a drink or two this Edinburgh Festival

Published 4th Aug 2017
Updated 12 th Sep 2023

With the Edinburgh Festival kicking off today, we take a look at the best bars in which to meet friends before or after shows.

Kaleidoscope whisky bar

(28 Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 1JX)

bars

Picture: Kaleidoscope whisky bar, www.smws.com/kaleidoscope

News to make any whisky fan rejoice, the refurbishment of the stunning queen street property of the SMWS has seen the creation of this excellent new whisky bar, which opened earlier this year.

The Society releases a new selection of its rare single cask single malt whiskies every month, which will provide the bar an excitingly transient menu, with new options to explore on a regular basis.

A limited range of specially selected rare proprietary whiskies will also be available at the bar making this an ideal spot to wind down after a show.

Le Di-Vin

(9 Randolph Pl, Edinburgh EH3 7TE)

https://www.instagram.com/p/BWr5evxnXbG/?taken-by=le_di_vin

Le Di-Vin, situated beside La P’tite Folie restaurant in the heart of the city, has featured in The Sunday Times top 25 wine bars in the UK and is home to a range selection of wine sourced from countries including France, Italy, Spain, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Chile, Argentina and Patagonia USA, which are all sold by the bottle or glass, making it perfect for a relaxing glass or two before a show.

The cosy bar also offers a selection of food including platters of cheese, charcuterie, smoked fish, terrines, and salads - perfect for a quick bite if you're in a hurry to catch the next show.

Gin 71

(South Charlotte Street, EH2 4AS)

https://www.instagram.com/p/BW5t4NFlERa/?taken-at=864224383714026

Those gin fans lucky enough to have already been to the Glasgow venue will know just how good this bar is. The idea couldn’t be simpler: choose from a range of hundreds of gins – all broken down into their respective categories in their menus – choose your mixer, and then simply pick a garnish.

The endless combinations make this a place you’ll want to come back to again and again. Don’t worry if your not decisive, the experienced staff are on hand to help you pick a gin that will suit you.  So just sit back, relax and enjoy a G&T before a busy night at the Fringe.

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Innis & Gunn Beer Kitchen

(81-83 Lothian Rd, EH3 9AW )

bars

Picture: Innis & Gunn Beer Kitchen

Now firm favourites on the craft beer scene, Innis & Gunn opened up on Lothian Road in 2015.

Serving a range of the brand's beers, it's an ideal place to catch up with friends and discuss what shows you'd like to see.

Anyone wanting a bite to eat will be glad to know that traditional pub grub with a hoppy twist is served all day.

Think IPA battered fish, a rarebit sauce infused with the original brew and Spicy Innis & Gunn Session IPA infused prawn and avocado ceviche.

Auld Reekie Tiki Bar

(43 Frederick Street, EH2 1EP)

https://www.instagram.com/p/BWXsVxuA-Sx/?taken-by=auldreekietikibar

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Blending together the unlikely combination of traditional Edinburgh drinking den and Polynesian paradise, the Auld Reekie Tiki Bar is a themed pub offering a bit of tropical escapism.

There’s quirky bamboo decor, classic rum tiki cocktails and plenty of room to dance the night away. Arrange to meet after any late night show as it's open till 3am.

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