Edinburgh is to drinking what Paris is to dining – a connoisseur’s paradise. No matter what your own tipple of choice might be, you’ll find the best version of it in Edinburgh. You’ll even likely discover a number of excellent whistle-wetting alternatives along the way.

Where should you go? Everywhere really, but here are three Edinburgh bars that are well-known for delivering the goods:

The Devils Advocate ©Jammacrae
The Devil’s Advocate ©jammacrae

Start as you mean to go on

It may be something of a cliché but there just isn’t a strong enough reason not to sample a whisky or two when starting a night out in Edinburgh. It’s also pretty hard to think of a more suitable place to indulge in a wee dram than The Devil’s Advocate, a super-cool and super-friendly bistro-bar set in a former pump station just off the Royal Mile.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a connoisseur, a novice or a tourist with an itch that needs to be scratched, the knowledgeable staff here will sort you out with a perfect little number from their highly commendable selection of single malts. Once you’re on your way with the traditional stuff, you can branch out and see what bother the house’s excellent spirit-based cocktails will get you in. Great drinks, great vibes and a great setting: it’s almost impossible to leave here feeling anything other than merry.

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Deacon Brodie’s Tavern. Photo by Werner Bayer

An ale or two for one

If you’re looking to indulge the crazier side of Edinburgh nightlife, then Deacon Brodie’s Tavern, is the place to go. This traditional Scottish pub on the Royal Mile is named after the real-life Edinburgher who inspired Robert Louis Stevenson’s characters of Dr Jekyll and Mister Hyde. Dean was a respectable town councillor by day and a low-life gambler, drinker and leader of a notorious thieving gang by night.

Sure, you’ll probably have to share it with a good few tourists (it’s only a short walk from the castle) but that’s a small price to pay for enjoying a really good cask ale or three in one of the best pubs in Edinburgh. The décor is pretty impressive too (look up at the ceiling), as is the chatty, informal ambience in the upstairs dining room.

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The Dome Edinburgh ©Sarabrgqvst

Sophisticated cocktails in the New Town

It’s fair to say that Edinburgh bars don’t come much grander than the splendidly ornate surroundings of The Dome. This former bank on George Street, with its Graeco-Roman façade and Corinthian columns, is one of the most sophisticated cocktail bars in Edinburgh. It’s an ideal spot to saunter around and play at being Sean Connery in his Goldfinger prime.

The menu is every bit as extensive as you’d like, with classic drinks (long and short), champagne cocktails, martinis and even non-alcoholic options vying for your attention. The helpful staff are more than happy to mix things up a little too, so don’t be afraid to ask for something out of the ordinary. One word of caution: this is a very popular meeting place for locals, so table reservations aren’t available on Saturdays.

Discover more of Enchanting Edinburgh:

The Ultimate Weekend Guide to Edinburgh

The Top 6 Attractions in Edinburgh

Science, Storytelling and Comics – Top Edinburgh Events for 2017

Cover Photo by Werner Bayer

Choice Hotels in Edinburgh