10 cosy pubs and bars in Edinburgh

Take refuge from the icy temperatures and dark evenings in one of Edinburgh's cosiest pubs this winter.

Published 12th Dec 2016
Updated 20 th Sep 2023

With roaring fires, warming cocktails and flickering candlelight, these pubs and bars are the perfect places to enjoy a tipple in the capital.

The Queen's Arms

(49 Frederick Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1EP, 0131 225 1045)

With Chesterfield armchairs and walls lined with vintage novels, award-winning gastropub The Queen's Arms is every bit as classy as it is cosy. Enjoy rare malt whiskies, seasonal cocktails or cask ales in this cosy pub.

The bustling bar at the front is ideal for those who love to socialise, or there are private booths and plenty of nooks and crannies round the back for those who prefer a quieter, more intimate drink.

The Sheep Heid Inn

(43-45 The Causeway, Edinburgh, EH15 3QA, 0131 661 7974)

On the edge of Holyrood Park is The Sheep Heid Inn, a quintessential country pub just a short walk away from the city centre.

Warm up by the open fire with a classic pub lunch and pint of real ale, and soak up the atmosphere in Edinburgh's oldest pub, which dates back to 1360.


(26 William Street, Edinburgh, EH3 7NH, 0131 225 2973)

Teuchtars (Photo: TSPL)

Teuchtars Picture: TSPL

Teuchters is a rustic pub tucked away in the city's West End, perfect for enjoying a wee dram in comfortable, relaxed surroundings.

The drinks menu focuses largely on whisky - with over 90 single malts and 20 international whiskies to choose from - as well as Scottish cask ales and beers.

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The Devil's Advocate

(9 Advocate's Close, Edinburgh, EH1 1ND, 0131 225 4465)

If cocktails are your drink of choice, atmospheric bar The Devil's Advocate (which is housed inside a renovated Victorian pump house down an Old Town close) is the place to go.

The Devil's Advocate

The Devil's Advocate (Picture: TSPL)

To make things extra cosy, grab a seat tucked underneath the mezzanine level and order one of their experimental cocktails like the Wish Fulfilment - a blend of whisky, plum sake and ginger bitters, served hot.

The Brass Monkey

(14 Drummond Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9TU, 0131 556 1961)

What could be cosier than snuggling up on a giant bed with a pint and a good film?

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The Brass Monkey's cinema room features a seating area which covers almost the entire room, perfect for reclining on and enjoying one of their daily screenings of cult movies.

The Abbotsford

(3-5 Rose Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2PR, 0131 225 5276)

The Abbotsford has everything you could want from a traditional Edinburgh pub - restored Edwardian decor, original mahogany island bar and an extensive menu of malt whiskies and real ales.

With tables in every corner and a crackling fire to keep you cosy, The Abbotsford is the perfect place to escape the cold and enjoy a quiet drink.

Whighams Wine Cellars

(13 Hope Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4EL, 0131 225 8674)

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Tucked away in a basement just off Charlotte Square, Whighams Wine Cellar offers up a relaxed vibe and warm ambience, along with a specialist wine selection.

Enjoy a wide choice of carefully selected wines, champagnes and cocktails in the snug surroundings - and look out for their regular live jazz nights to really experience the bar's unique atmosphere.


(105 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, EH3 9JG, 0131 629 5434)

The Brauhaus feels almost like someone's living room rather than a pub. It's small and intimate with a relaxed and non-pretentious atmosphere.

Focusing on an extensive menu of German and Belgian beers - as well as craft beers from Scottish and international breweries - the Brauhaus is the ideal spot for beer lovers to visit this winter.


(16A Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JE, 0131 226 6343)

Having been voted into the top 50 seven times, exclusive cocktail bar Bramble is one of the best bars in the world, yet it remains a bit of a secret hidden gem because of its unassuming basement location.

Inside, it's a speakeasy style bar which perfectly mixes together a chilled out ambiance and sophisticated cocktails. Try their signature Bramble - the cocktail which the bar took its name from.


(26 Brougham Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9JH, 0131 221 9997)


Cloisters Picture: TSPL

Housed inside an old church building, and with rustic decor and a warm open fire, Cloisters is a simple, stripped-back pub which focuses on providing great beers and a homely atmosphere.

With local cask ales and kegs from independent breweries, there's a wide selection of real ales and craft beers on tap, plus a warming menu of handmade burgers and gourmet pub grub.

Gillian is a writer and blogger from Edinburgh, with a penchant for drinking cocktails, exploring the city's independent shops and trying out as many new restaurants as possible.
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