27 February 2024

Edinburgh’s coolest and quirkiest bars

Cocktail Geeks Mario Mural

Looking for a bar with a touch of mystery, flair or something that’s just a bit different?

From laidback speakeasies with exciting cocktails to game-themed bars with retro arcade games, Edinburgh buzzes with places offering a one-of-a-kind experience!

Panda & Sons

Famous for

Using unusual sub-zero freezing techniques to make its unique cocktails.

Panda and sons exterior

Step into what looks like a vintage barbershop, and you’ll discover that Panda & Sons is actually a cool speakeasy-style bar with an exciting list of innovative cocktails.

Their low-alcohol and alcohol-free menu is equally impressive.

Hoot the Redeemer

Famous for

Décor that evokes a 1950’s New Orleans funfair.

Tucked away in a basement and with a vintage funfair theme, Hoot the Redeemer is one of Edinburgh’s most quirkiest bars.

Complete with a tarot reading machine, boozy ice cream and slushies, their extensive cocktail menu is a sight to behold. More of a beer or cider fan? All their stock is locally sourced, so you can be assured your pint has not travelled more than 100 miles from brewery to bar.


Famous for

Cinema style private booths with “push for cocktail” buttons.

Evoking the style of 1920s prohibition Paris, Encore is located below the bustling Parisian style West End Brasserie restaurant at Edinburgh’s West End. This late night speakeasy has a relaxed and lively atmosphere with live music and sophisticated performance nights.

The cocktail menu features 10 classic cocktails and 10 signature cocktails (which change every 3 months), which can be enjoyed alongside a menu of small plates that are perfect for sharing.

Pilgrim Bar

Famous for

Quirky and sustainable décor.

If you like the idea of a bar that has a sustainable ethos, be sure to head to Pilgrim Bar in the lively Cowgate area. Its interior is almost entirely made out of recycled or upcycled material – from the bar made from hundreds of discarded suitcases to its original 1930s cinema seating.

They also run a packed programme of entertainment – pop along to take part in karaoke tiki themed disco, quiz nights and more.

The Cocktail Geeks

Famous for

Epic movie and TV themed cocktails.

Variety is the key at The Cocktail Geeks. This small cocktail bar, located on East Market Street takes on a new theme and menu every 4 months, inspired by popular TV shows, films and gaming. Themes have included Game of Thrones, Jurassic Park, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Super Mario.

So you can keep the fantasy going, they also sell a selection of featured merchandise, such as coasters and tea towels.

Department of Magic

Famous for

spellbinding adventures.

Department of Magic potions

If you see yourself as a bit of a wannabe wizard, Department of Magic could be right up your street.

Within their Magic Potions Tavern they offer a variety of interactive classes where you can create your own magical-inspired cocktail. Take your bubbling brew, add in your magical mixer and watch your cocktail come to life.

If that’s not enough spellbinding escapades for you, they also have two magical themed escape rooms!


Famous for

Arcade games and classic consoles.

NQ64 Bar

Fancy a game of Guitar Hero or PacMan? Then don’t miss the retro-themed bar, NQ64.

Located on Lothian Road, this neon-filled bar has 27 arcade machines, 2 pinball machines and 5 retro consoles that offer a nostalgic blast from the past.

They also have game-themed cocktails and mocktails – how about a Paperboi, King Island Iced Tea or Cowabunga – as well as a great selection of pizzas from local company, Pizza Geeks.


Famous for

Being Scotland’s only Beer Palace.

 immerse yourself in the best live entertainment at Brewhemia

Not only is Brewhemia Edinburgh’s largest restaurant and bar, but this 5-roomed bar on Market Street has a packed year-round programme of events.

Enjoy an extensive selection of craft beers, cocktails and gins and whiskies, and all-day menu which focus on the best of locally sourced produce – all while being entertained by brass bands, drag queens, live bands, immersive cabaret and more.

Roxy Lanes

Famous for

Being more than just a bowling alley.

Roxy lanes bowling lane

Whether it’s a family outing, date night or a mates night, Roxy Lanes has something for everyone. This basement level bar (which has a lift and accessible toilet) welcomes under 18’s until 5pm when accompanied by an adult.

Get competitive while enjoying ten pin bowling, American pool, shuffleboard, beer pong, batting cage, duck pin bowling and more. They also serve up a tasty menu of American-style pizzas, hotdogs and wings.

Flight Club

Famous for

Computerised dartboards to help out with the maths.

Combining the nostalgia and warmth of a pub with the energy and excitement of a fairground, Flight Club at the St James Quarter offers a revamped take on darts.

With spectacular feature bars, social darts playing areas, photogenic cocktails, sharing bites, brunch and incredible interior design features, it takes the traditional game of darts to a whole new level.

Frankenstein & Bier Keller

Famous for

A monster range of cocktails and mocktails.

If you like a good old horror film, don’t miss a trip to the spooky Frankenstein & Bier Keller, commonly known as Frankenstein’s.

This monster-themed bar is housed in a 19th century church and has serious ghoulish vibes. Why not soak up the atmosphere at one of their regular events, such as monster karaoke or quiz nights.

Spooky bars

Tolbooth Tavern clock

Did you know that Edinburgh is home to several haunted bars? Have a take a peek at these spooky places if you dare…..


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