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On that rare day that the sun shines in Scotland, if you want to round up the troops and head to an outdoor bar with cold booze on tap you will need to have a game plan to avoid the crowds! Beer gardens in Edinburgh aren’t actually hard to come by but they are popular so let’s take a look at what each has to offer.
Some of these Edinburgh beer gardens entertain groups, others are set up for couples or small gatherings only. If you can, book ahead and reserve a seat.
I have linked to the pub’s social media channels where you will find instructions on how to book your session at some of these bars.
Note: Some bars are taking deposits to cover no-show fees.
Visiting Edinburgh in winter? Don’t be put off by our cold temperatures, many of the following beer gardens have outside heaters to keep customers comfortable.
You may also like our guide to rooftop bars in Edinburgh.
Beer Gardens in Edinburgh By Area
Old Town, Grassmarket Pubs
1. Cold Town House
Cold Town House (4 Grassmarket) is situated in the famous Grassmarket area of Edinburgh and has a range of traditionally brewed offerings along with their signature dish, the stone-fired Neapolitan pizza.
There is a full roof which is rolled back when the rain stops, revealing ‘that’ Edinburgh Castle shot.
There’s a decent selection of drinks including Cold Town Beer, which is freshly brewed on the premises and served by the glass or in the six-pint tower.
Customers can watch Cold Town Beer being brewed through the brewery’s large windows.
The delicious drink in the right hand image is a frose.
Tables include wooden seats with fit pits, ski lift seats and umbrellas. There is also cute ski lifts which act as private booths.
The whole of the rooftop has heaters dotted around so it’s nice a cosy when the sun isn’t out.
Table service is quick and the staff are super friendly while keeping everyone safe.
Toilets are clean and there are signs reminding people to wash their hands.
This outdoor jewel in the Old Town is a hugely popular spot so remember to book ahead.
The rooftop bar provides great views of Edinburgh Castle and always has a stunning floral display on the front of its historic building.
2. The Last Drop
The Last Drop (74-78 Grassmarket), is a traditional pub on Grassmarket Square, which has a handful of tables and chairs at the front of the pub.
A collection of Grassmarket pubs also have a number of tables set up over tents in the middle of the pedestrianised area.
We managed to get a table for three walking by Alba Bistro.
If you’ve had a little too much to drink, The Last Drop is a recommended stop for some pub grub.
The music is usually pretty banging too.
This was where Gemma, Everything Edinburgh, and her husband had their first date. An Ev Ed favourite.
The Last Drop gets its name from its location.
This is where those deemed criminal were executed by public hanging so the title refers to the last execution which took place just out front.
There have been ghostly sightings in the pub cellar according to Pacific Buildings!
3. The White Hart Inn
Another popular Grassmarket pub with alfresco dining out front is The White Hart Inn (32 Grassmarket).
Did you know that The White Hart Inn is haunted? Maybe best pulling up a pew outside if you can.
These Grassmarket pubs are usually packed, so if you see a spare outdoor seat, grab it.
4. Subway Social’s Secret Garden
The home of the Venom, Subway’s Social’s Secret Garden (69 Cowgate) has opened its outdoors for young revellers who are looking to pull up a bench with their pals and drink the day away.
Bookings can be made via Facebook and there is walk in opportunities at this Cowgate venue if you can’t get booked in.
5. Paradise Lost at House of Gods (Cowgate)
The ridiculously sexy, House of Gods has opened a tasteful summer garden called Paradise Lost (233 Cowgate).
To reserve a table, message via Instagram or WhatsApp 07494538159.
Why not double up drinks with a hotel stay?
We’ve stayed in a suite! Read our full and impartial review.
6. The Three Sisters
This Cowgate institution in the heart of the Old Town has a number of benches set up with table and app service for drinks order.
Booking at The Tree Sisters (139 Cowgate) is essential during high season.
7. The Devil’s Advocate
The Devil’s Advocate (9 Advocate’s Cl) is hugely popular with tourists for its cocktail menu.
Tucked away in one of the Old Town’s famous closes, The Devil’s Advocate isn’t quite a suntrap but a nice date spot nonetheless.
This was our American friends favourite bar in Edinburgh.
Before we leave the Old Town, one notable mention to the popular Mexican restaurant Mariachis (Victoria St) for its makeshift beer garden located under a roof with colourful flags.
There’s also a handful of tables on the star of the Old Town, Victoria Street and it captures a braw wee pocket of sunshine.
Order a daiquiri and pretend you are abroad!
9. Nor’ Loft
At the foot of the Old Town is a cocktail terrace that reaches highs with incredible views over Princes Street Gardens.
Nor’ Loft is located at the top of Market Street Hotel and its outdoor terrace is a lovely date spot or drinks with pals option.
Three plates under £20 menu is a nice match for the cocktail menu which includes a nod to the Scott Monument which is sits in the backdrop.
10. The Garden at Teviot
The Garden at Teviot (13 Bristo Pl) offers a large covered seating area and extra special heated beach huts available to keep away any Scottish chill.
Their menu features lots of beer garden favourites, ice cold beers, martini cocktail trees, and the food is locally sourced (they also have great vegan options).
The garden is open to all, 7 days a week with DJs on Friday and Saturday nights, and they’re screening lots of the summer sport.
Booking is recommended, especially if you are after a coveted beach hut.
The Garden opens seasonally each summer so is not to be missed during those months.
Check out their Instagram for more info.
11. The Pear Tree
A premier beer garden destination in Edinburgh for many years, this student favourite is located just down the road from Summerhall.
The large garden with benches includes a stage for live bands which play in the cobbled courtyard.
The beautiful garden is set outside an 18th-century building, situated adjacent to the main campus of the Edinburgh University.
The craft beer here is excellent and the barbecue offerings keep the cool crowd fully entertained during the few sun-filled days.
An Everything Edinburgh favourite.
Fun fact! This was one of the first pubs in Edinburgh that Gemma drank in.
We won’t mention what age she was…
Read next | Things to do at night in Edinburgh
12. Salt Horse Beer Shop and Bar
Salt Horse (57-61, Blackfriars St) is a big hit with the craft beer community.
This bar boasts of over ten taps featuring craft beer from Scotland and further afield.
There’s also over 300 different kinds of brew in bottles.
Salt Horse’s rustic back garden, lit by fairy light and decorated with plants, is open until 10 pm.
Food is also served.
Beer fans! Check out our guide to craft beer in Edinburgh
New Town Pubs
13. Rose Street Gardens
Flower crowns, house goals garden furniture and heaters, there’s really no reason to drink inside again with Rose Street Gardens on the pub scene.
Fizz, beers, cocktails and slushies. One of the cool bars in Edinburgh to be seen at.
Sandwiched between Princes Street and George Street makes it a perfect location if you need a break from shopping.
This is the first pub that Everything Edinburgh checked out. We are very impressed with the new procedures.
We felt welcome and enjoyed lunch and a few drinks.
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14. Le Monde
George Street fans will be delighted to see Le Monde (16 George St) added to the list of Edinburgh beer gardens.
Now serving drinks at their terrace, don’t let the rain put you off – cosy blankets, waterproof ponchos and all your favourite Le Monde drinks await!
It is a little open to the elements so wear one more layer than you planned to and double up on socks.
Staff couldn’t have been friendlier, wiping tables and making sure everyone was OK.
Reserve a table via the website.
15. Festival Village
Now an all year round drinking location, the Festival Village is located on top of the Waverley Market just as you exit Waverley Train Station, across the road from Princes Street Gardens.
Expect drinks, food traders and live music on bustling Princes Street.
For latest updates, check out the Facebook page.
16. The Outhouse
The Outhouse (12A Broughton St) on Broughton Street offers a range of cocktails, drinks and a variety of beers at affordable price tags.
A small courtyard with benches can be found at the back.
17. The Cumberland Bar
Located in the New Town locality of Edinburgh, The Cumberland Bar (1-3 Cumberland St) boasts of an excellent and secluded beer garden, while the main bar has the finest collections of ales, spirits and wines.
The vast range of local and foreign beers is complemented by a delicious all-day dining menu and the traditional roasts on Sundays.
This pub features hanging baskets outside and wooden panelled interiors inside.
The quality of the beer is high class with eight cask ale taps from the famous William Brothers and the Caledonian Brewery of Edinburgh.
18. The Raeburn Hotel
The Raeburn (112 Raeburn Pl) is an upmarket beer garden attached to the front of the boutique hotel with the same name.
There are tables with benches on either side of the front door, half of which are under a cover to cater for the delightful Scottish summer weather.
The Raeburn is loved by Stockbridge locals and visitors.
19. The Hanging Bat
Not quite Fountainbridge, The Hanging Bat (133 Lothian Rd), or The Bat which it is affectionately called in the beer community, is less than 15 mins walk from Princes Street and worth the walk.
It also features in our craft beer guide!
Popular for its keg and cask beers on draft and food served daily, The Bat now has a beer garden with tables lit by candlelight. Romantic!
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20. Moxy Hotel Rooftop 51
Enjoy castle views from the rooftop of the Moxy Fountainbridge.
Rooftop 51 (2 Freer Gait ) serves drink and small plates to soak up the alcohol.
Booths have large umbrellas for extremely sunny days, or rainy ones which is more like it.
21. The Blackbird
This attractive drinking den, The Blackbird (37-39 Levin St), has a brightly coloured outdoors and is popular with locals and commuters.
The wine menu is lengthy, great for after-work sunny days drinks.
Due to its prime location between the Tollcross and Bruntsfield, the Blackbird draws a cool crowd.
It is close to the Kings Theatre which is ideal for those looking to catch some rays and a beer before a show.
West End Pubs
22. Indigo Yard
Always packed with workers after office hours, Indigo Yard (7 Charlotte Ln) has been a popular outdoor beer garden for an age.
Situated in a built-up area, the beer garden doesn’t get a lot of sun, but is warm enough to enjoy good food and drink in Edinburgh’s West End district.
The style is rustic and the beer selection is extensive, as is the wine and cocktails menu.
The impressive array of craft beer showcasing some of the best local produce has been the hallmark of Indigo Yard since 1996.
There is no shortage of Leith pubs worth visiting. We highly recommend doing a pub crawl around this port neighbourhood of Edinburgh.
23. Teuchters Landing
Apart from a fine selection of drinks and delicacies, Teachters Landing (1c Dock Pl), a floating waterfront bar, also features a unique beer garden that can be accessed by a pontoon bridge during periods of decent weather.
In the past, the building which houses this well-liked pub served as a restroom for people travelling on the Leith to Aberdeen steamboat ferry.
Don’t let that put you off! The bar menu is great and the crowd is mixed.
24. The Pitt
The Pitt Street Food Market (125 Pitt St) is where you will find young Leith locals and their dogs, spilling out over the indoor benches or fighting for a table to lean an elbow on outside.
Live music inside and food trucks outside – a winner in our eyes.
We particularly enjoy the dedicated wine bar.
Thank you to The Pitt!
25. Bellfield Brewery
A bit of a trek for those who normally only visit the City Centre but worth it for gluten free beer and dog spotting!
Bellfield Brewery and Taproom ( 46 Stanley Pl) has booths for groups and tables for couples.
Food tucks serve take out food at weekends. What a win!
Edinburgh Beer Garden Map
We’ve added all of the best Edinburgh beer gardens to a map so you can work out which pub suits your day best.
Just click here to access it. If you are using a mobile/cellphone you may have to open using Incognito mode.
Looking for more than just beer gardens? This map created by the Edinburgh Bartender’s Club details every space with al fresco dining in Edinburgh.
While the best beer gardens may be in Germany, you don’t have to head oversees to have a taste of alfresco drinking with these cheery beer gardens in Edinburgh.
Slàinte and remember to check the weather before you text your pals!
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Special thanks to The Garden at Teviot for advertising in our beer gardens guide.