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Best Cafés, Pubs & Restaurants in Edinburgh: Skyscanner recommends

Get the locals' lowdown on where to eat & drink in Edinburgh: Skyscanner staff reveal their favourite cafés, pubs & restaurants.

As it’s Edinburgh Festival time, and Skyscanner HQ is right smack bang in thick of the action in the Scottish capital, we asked our staff to share their recommendations for their favourite cafés, pubs and restaurants. So eat, drink, be merry and enjoy Edinburgh, like a local. Got a good tip? Let us know below.

Edinburgh Cafés

Nice cup of tea? Slice of cake? Quadruple espresso? Edinburgh’s cafés provide the perfect opportunity for indulging in those little pleasures (necessities?) that get us through the day. Leave the world outside, bag that comfy chair in the corner, and get your nose in a damn good book. Next thing you know it’ll be time for lunch, or a drink.

Zulu Lounge

Unbelievable hot chocloate and all good things South African.

Artisan Roast

Great coffee that is roasted on premises.

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Blue Bear Café

Best brunch in town, brunch cocktails for those who fancy ‘hair of the dog’, open evenings in August and there’s talk of turning their basement into a dedicated ping pong room.

Black Medicine Coffee co.

Simply great coffee and cool furnishings.

Peter’s Yard

Amidst the massive corner coffee shops, this particular place has made a mark on Edinburgh. Now in two locations, their proprietor can safely boast having some of the best coffee, pastries, and breads in Edinburgh. Oh yeah, Bill Murray has been sighted there.

Cafe Artista

Great coffee, the best sun-dried tomatoes, and I once witnessed the proprietor chase away a debt collector with a meat cleaver! –

Maison di Moggy

Sit back relax and play with some feline friends in Edinburgh’s first cat cafe.

Ronde

It’s also a bike shop, it shows bike races on TV and the coffee is very reasonably priced.

Lovecrumbs

Best cakes in town, fab decorations, awesome teas… What’s not to love about Lovecrumbs?

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Tupiniquim

Okay, it’s not a café but the crepes are amazing – worth a mention!

…and let’s not forget the amazing vegetable juices!

Fortitude Coffee

Great wee coffee joint handily situated next door to The Stand Comedy Club, the perfect Fringe spot.

Saint Giles Cafe Bar

Just off the high street, so handy if you are going to a show. They do amazing waffles with bacon, brie and maple syrup! Pretty cheap too!

Leith Walk Cafe

Once upon a time, there was a simpler world before bearded baristas served skinny lattés to go to pug-toting faux-bohos. Take a trip into true Leith with a bacon roll, a Nescafé and at least 20 Lambert & Butler.

Edinburgh Pubs

Much as they love their work, on very rare occasions, you’ll encounter Skycannerites in an out-of-office situation. That will probably be the pub – purely for the purposes of brainstorming no doubt brilliant ideas, aided perhaps by a soda water and a packet of pork scratchings. Edinburgh has more pubs per square mile than anywhere in the world, so you should find somewhere for a snifter, but here are a few of our tips.

The Hanging Bat

Dozens of local beers, all on tap, plus gourmet hot dogs and pulled pork sandwiches. – Hilary Roberts, Product Manager

The ‘Bat’ takes on traditional pubs and creates a safe environment for beer snobs (enthusiasts), free from the big brewers and lagerheads.

Brewdog

A specific selection of beers, punk ‘in your face’ atmosphere, small and cosy, very lively, have jenga and other board games.

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The Canny Man’s

Quirky, and I like it that they hate backpackers!

Bramble

Cocktails served in tea cups made by award-winning mixologists.

Kilderkin

A cosy pub that specialises in rum. They also do pizzas which have names based on musical puns, such as the ‘Meat is Murder’ or the ‘Kurt Co-bacon’.

The Last Word Saloon

Cocktails prohibition style; intimate, with a cozy fire in the corner.

Cloisters

Good food, good beer and a friendly atmosphere.

Brass Monkey

Kick off your shoes and jump on the bed!

Ventoux

Big range of German beers and cycling paraphenalia.

The Voodoo Rooms

Live music for blues lovers.

The Golf Tavern

Free golf and outdoor benches.

The Sheep Heid Inn

You can play skittles (no, not the sweeties but old fashioned bowling).

Hemma

Part of the ‘Swedish Mafia’s’ collection of bars, this two-floored bar serves a good selection of beers both local and foriegn, tasty food (think: semi-Scandi platters) and even lays down plots of grass outside when the sun is shining.

Cambridge Bar

The best burgers in Edinburgh.

Angels Share

Great cocktails in the West End from the same owner of Le Monde. Never over-crowded.

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Dirty Dick’s

Random hanging things from ceiling always sparks conversation! –

Le Di Vin

Best selection of wine in a bar in Edinburgh. Single large, bright room and difficult enough to find so often quiet.

Ghillie Dhu

Traditional Scottish pub, where every Friday you can dance ceilidh for free, which is good fun.

The Queen’s Arms

Cosy pub, heart of the town. Brilliant food, fantastic service, and a range of tasty cocktails that they are constantly updating.

The Espy

Edinburgh’s pub on the beach, with amazing food, cocktails and the fieriest homemade ginger beer ever, served in a jam jar. Plus, for anyone travelling with their dog, you can buy homemade dog treats for them to enjoy.

Heads and Tales Bar

Underneath the Huxley Edinburgh hides a speakeasy style gin joint with Edinburgh Gin Pot Stills on display and the chance to distill your own gin.

The Caley Sample Room

A little outside town but it is worth the short walk for the huge beer and wine selection. Lots of locally made drinks to be had due to the bar’s link to Edinburgh’s last remaining independent brewery.

Monteiths

Without a doubt the best cocktail bar in town. Even though it’s in the heart of the high street, it’s hidden from the crowds so you can enjoy the Edinburgh Old Town atmosphere without the festival madness. Lovely interiors with a fairy light tunnel leading you to an outside area (with heaters so it is weather friendly) and an underground bar. It’s all very funky. If you are a fan of an Old Fashioned then this is the place for you.

The Foot of the Walk

Although it doesn’t open as early as the Volunteer Arms next door, it’s safer, and you get your blackcurrant in your cider for free. ‘Av it massive on a Monday morning with 78 year-old geezers getting tazzed on Tennent’s.

Edinburgh Restaurants

All that hard work, plus daily trips to the gym to keep super fit and top of their game, means that Skyscanner staff build up quite an appetitie. Some of them even have girlfriends, husbands, friends and the like, with whom they may want to socialise over a seven-course dinner. Lucky then that Edinburgh has myriad eating opportunities, from the cheap and cheerful to the Michelin-starred. Bon appetit!

El Quijote

Authentic Spanish tapas in the city centre. Incredibly reasonable prices plus fab wine means you have to book ahead.

Sushiya

Small, intimate, busy; excellent Japanese food.

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Aizle

They will only tell you the ingredients they are going to use, and then prepare a 4 course feast.

Ting Thai Caravan

Authentic Thai food in the center of Edinburgh.

Miro’s Cantina Mexicana

The Margarita’s are the best in the city, especially in summer where you can sip them on the terrace.

Ship on the Shore

Delicious seafood right by the Water of Leith.

The Pompadour by Galvin

Excellent dining, and set to be Edinburgh’s next Michelin Star restaurant.

Field

Cozy Scottish themed restaurant, with a great wine list.

Angels with Bagpipes

Excellent beef tartare for those who dare.

Devils Advocate

Hidden down a close off the Royal Mile, one of Edinburgh’s hidden gems.

Shebeen

A must go for any carnivores out there.

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