With the warm weather gracing Edinburgh of late, we’ve been inspired to pull up a chair in a little slice of sunshine to chat over a pint or sip a cocktail. Spring and Summer afternoons in the city can be quite mild, and we’re well and truly looking forward to basking in the sun’s setting rays for longer. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to while away the weekend or sit back and relax after work, here are our top picks for bars and restaurants with outdoor seating and pubs with beer gardens in Edinburgh.
The Shore, Leith
Teuchters Landing is a truly Scottish establishment situated in a bonnie spot overlooking the water on Dock Place. The atmospheric beer garden and pontoon seating are always quick to fill in the Summer months and bookings aren’t taken, so it’s first in, first served. The pub boasts around 90 single malt whiskies on offer, as well as a range of Scottish beers, and an extensive and delicious food menu. The perfect place to laze around with a group of friends and share a platter and a few drinks.
Situated atop the National Museum of Scotland, The Tower Restaurant is a rooftop restaurant and bar with stunning views of Edinburgh Castle and surrounds. It’s one of Edinburgh’s most upmarket restaurants, and will set you back a pretty penny, but is worth the expense for a special meal. The food is all traditional Scottish cuisine, created with fresh local ingredients. On a still sunny day, sitting outside on the balcony and enjoying a glass of sparkling alongside a high tea is utter bliss.
The Cumberland is one of those traditional, old-school pubs that immediately make you feel like you’re at home. It’s full to the brim with locals and is a refreshing respite from the madness of Princes Street in tourist season! Set in the chic residential area of New Town, arguably its most coveted feature is the leafy sunken beer garden out the back. A great place to have a chat over a pint and Sunday roast.
The Outhouse is a deceivingly large on the inside, compared to its inconspicuous entry on Broughton Street. It has a main bar, private function room and a beer garden that’s suitably equipped for all sorts of weather, and openly welcomes your canine friends. The venue is a big supporter of live music and local artists if you're keen for a little foot shuffling. They also have great drinks deals from Sunday through to Wednesday, starting from £2.50. The Outhouse doesn’t serve up food but does have a great arrangement with nearby Dough Pizzas, which can be delivered to the bar with a 10% discount.
West Nicolson Street
The Pear tree is an old, traditional pub that’s home to one of Edinburgh’s most famous, and perhaps largest, beer gardens. Situated near the University, it’s frequented by students and locals alike, who scramble to secure a spot at one of the many picnic tables that grace its outdoor area. The beer garden hosts everything from live gigs to live football matches during the Summer months, alongside a range of other entertainment. Reasonably priced meals and drinks combined with a great atmosphere makes The Pear Tree a delight for a session on any sunny afternoon!
The Royal Dick pub in dynamic Summerhall is a solid favourite with locals. It’s quirky and bustling, and serves up fresh gin from the on-site distillery. The pub enjoys outdoor picnic bench seating with umbrellas (to avoid sunburn, for those of fairer skin). Summerhall also has a lovely courtyard in the centre, filled with greenery and wine barrels a-plenty to laze around on. This space often plays host to a range of the venue’s latest shows and is lovely for a relaxing afternoon and evening of culture.
Joseph Pearce’s is a cosy, homey Swedish pub that welcomes a diverse range of patrons. They often host fun community events, and even have a regular jogging group! They also do loads of specials, and currently, offer a two-course meal for two people and a bottle of wine for £35 on Mondays to Wednesdays! They also lay claim to their outdoor bar having the longest amount of sunshine in Edinburgh during the Summer. The perfect spot to sit back and soak up that vitamin D!
We know what you’re thinking. What? Huh? Woodland Creatures doesn’t have an outdoor seating area apart from the tables on Leith Walk. Oh, but they do! It isn’t widely advertised, but their secret garden is a lovely little area to sneak off to for a drink (especially handy if you knocked off work early on a Friday and need to lay low - don’t worry, we won’t tell!). The coolest part? You enter it through a wardrobe. There may not be fauns and a White Witch on the other side, but it’s still pretty neat.
After a seamless transition between your afternoon coffee and early evening tipple? Here at Quarters on Queen Street, we have outdoor seating that’s awash with the afternoon sun from 4 PM, where you can enjoy a late afternoon caffeine hit. We close at 6 PM, but the good news is that Lucky Liquor’s pavement seating is literally two steps away. Here you can continue your after-work catch-up over a lovingly concocted cocktail or pint of ale. Come visit us seven days a week - even if there isn’t a ray of sunshine in sight, we can still provide the coffee over a fresh hit of witty banter and a collection of products to browse.
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