Go with Ted

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Pub Guide – Edinburgh and Glasgow


The 2023 guide to our favourite pubs in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

We visit both cities a few times each year and drop by our favourite pubs and occasionally try new ones. As with the other guides any pub which we havent been to in the last five years is dropped from the list. There will be some fine pubs that are missing – for example we haven’t been to Leith for many years.

GBG means the pub is in the Good Beer Guide 2023.

Steve Gillon. January 2023.

City Centre – New Town
Abbotsford 3-5 Rose St, EH2 2PRFine old pub, best of the Rose Street boozers, impressive island bar, good selection of beers and whiskies, and helpful staff. Visited in 2022. GBGBuses: Princes St Tram: St Andrew Sq Rail: Waverley
Café Royal 19 West Register St, EH2 2AAHuge Victorian island bar, famous for its ornate décor and ceramic tile murals. Fine choice of beers and good food. Visited in 2021Buses: Princes St Tram: St Andrew Sq Rail: Waverley
Guildford Arms 1 West Register St, EH2 2AANext door to the Café Royal, another ornate Victorian pub with a particularly impressive ceiling and an excellent selection of real ales. Visited in 2022. GBGBuses: Princes St Tram: St Andrew Sq Rail: Waverley
HP Mathers 1 Queensferry St, EH2 4PAAt the West End of Princes St, a fine pub. Impressive décor and mirrors. Visited in 2022.Buses: West End Tram: West End


Oxford Bar 8 Young St, EH2 4JBRE-ENTRY. Famous from the Inspector Rebus novels, this still retains the feel of a local pub in a New Town back street. Back in the list following a visit in 2022, which confirmed that it hadn’t changed. GBG.  Buses: West End Tram: West End
Regent 2 Montrose Terr, EH7 5DLTo the east of the centre, near Calton Hill, a rarity….an LGBT pub with real ale. Good pub, good beer and the food looks good. Visited 2019.Buses: London Rd


The Cafe Royal

Old Town and South Side
Bennets 8 Leven St, EH3 9LGTollcross pub with tremendous interior featuring brewery mirrors and whisky barrels. Visited 2019. GBGBuses: 11, 16, 23
Bow Bar 80 West Bow, EH1 2HHExcellent selection of whiskies and beers in this impressive small pub in the Old Town. Visited 2019.Buses: George IV Bridge
Canny Man’s 237 Morningside Rd, EH10 4QUFamous Morningside pub…justly so. Series of rooms, full of paraphernalia. Visited 2019Buses: 11, 16, 23
Halfwayhouse 24 Fleshmarket Close,  EH1 1BXTiny pub, halfway up the stairs from the Market Street exit from Waverley. Unfortunately, the excellent food is no more. Ideal place to miss a few trains. Under new management but still an excellent pub. Visited 2022.Buses: Princes St Rail: Waverley
Hebrides 17 Market St, EH1 1DESmall and friendly bar, close to Waverley Station. Visited 2022.Buses: Princes St Rail: Waverley
Sandy Bells 25 Forrest Rd, EH1 2QHFamous mainly for its folk music sessions. During the daytime it’s a quiet and friendly pub near Edinburgh University and the National Museum of Scotland. Visited 2021. GBGBuses: 2, 12, 41
The Roseburn Bar
West – Haymarket, Gorgie
Athletic Arms (Diggers)I’m afraid it has been deleted as its’ over five years since I’ve been there – the longest gap since I started drinking. Will definitely visit in 2023. 
Roseburn Bar 1 Roseburn Terr, EH12 5NGFine traditional pub – high ceilings, lots of wood, booths, and good beer. Finally visited in 2022. GBGBuses: 26, 31
Ryries 1 Haymarket Terrace, EH12 5EYTraditional bar – re-opened after a long closure during Covid. In the list because it is so close to Haymarket station. Wait for / miss trains. Visited 2022.Buses, Tram and Rail: Haymarket
The Counting House
City Centre and Merchant City
Babbity Bowster 16-18 Blackfriars St, G1 1PEGood beer and food in a relaxing and friendly pub. Visited 2019. Has since been refurbished under new owners. GBGBuses: George St, Trongate Rail: High Street
Blackfriars 36 Bell St, G1 1LGLarge open-plan pub on a corner site in the Merchant City. Excellent selection of mainly Scottish real ales. Very bright inside when visited in 2019.Buses: Trongate Rail: Argyle Street
Counting House 2 St Vincent Pl, G1 2DHA Wetherspoons pub, with the pluses and minuses that implies. Extremely central, on the corner of George Square, and an impressive former bank building. Good range of real ales. Last drank in in 2018, visited for breakfast 2019. GBGBuses: City Centre Subway: Buchanan St Rail: Queen St


The whisky selection at the Pot Still

Drum and Monkey 91 St Vincent St, G2 5TFLarge corner pub in former bank building with good range of beers. Visited 2022. GBGBuses: City Centre Subway: Buchanan St Rail: Central
Horse Shoe 17-19 Drury St, G2 5AELong, long island bar…friendly, lively and not to be missed (but trains from Central can be). Visited 2022. GBG.Buses: City Centre Subway: Buchanan St Rail: Central
Pot Still 154 Hope St, G2 2THSmall pub, mainly known for its incredible range of malt whiskies, including many rarities. And the beer, from local microbreweries, is good too. Fine pies too. Visited 2022. GBG.Buses: City Centre
Steps Bar 62 Glassford St, G1 1UPSmall pub on edge of Merchant City, largely unchanged since the 1940s, though the formica tables have been replaced by wood.  Friendly. Unfortunately no real ale. Last visited 2018.Buses: Glassford St Rail: Argyle St


Charing Cross
Bon Accord 153 North St, G3 7DAThe original real ale mecca in Glasgow….still going strong. Visited 2021. GBG. Buses and Rail: Charing X
State Bar 148 Holland St, G2 4NGWelcoming bar, with a good selection of beers. Visited 2021. GBG.Buses and Rail: Charing X
South Side
Clockwork Beer Co. 1153-1155 Cathcart Rd, G42 9HBLarge and friendly brewpub near Hampden Park. Visited 2019. GBG.Buses: 5 Rail: Mount Florida
Laurieston Bar 58 Bridge St, G5 9HUUnspoilt 1960s bar just across the river from the city centre, mainly serving Fyne Ales. Reputation for good beer is deserved. Friendly staff and customers. Visited 2022. GBG.Buses: 3,4,38,57 Subway: Bridge St


The Laurieston Bar

West End
Doublet 74 Park Road, G4 9JFLocal pub near Kelvinbridge. Small bar, friendly, with good beer. Visited 2019. GBG.Buses: 4,4A,6,6A Subway: Kelvinbridge
Inn Deep 445 Great Western Rd, G12 8HHModern pub in railway arches beneath Kelvinbridge. Good selection of cask and craft beers. Visited 2019. GBG. Buses: 6,6A Subway: Kelvinbridge
Lismore 206 Dumbarton Rd, Partick, G11 6UNFriendly, local pub, with a couple of real ales and plenty of whiskies. Last visited 2018.Buses: 2,3,77 Subway: Kelvinhall  



Tennents 191 Byres Rd, Hillhead, G12 8TNThe centre of the West End. Tennent’s flagship Victorian tenement corner pub with fine beer and usually an interesting mix of people. Pity about the TVs visible from every corner. Visited 2019.Buses: 4,4A Subway: Hillhead
Three Judges 141 Dumbarton Rd, Partick, G11 6PRReal ale mecca at Partick Cross. Ever changing selection of beers, well kept. Visited 2019. GBG.Buses: 2,3,77 Subway: Kelvinhall  

10Mitre 1994

Finally: One that got away (more or less). The Mitre Bar, Brunswick St, Glasgow, photographed in 1994, later closed and demolished then reconstructed inside Glasgow’s Riverside Museum as an unlicensed exhibit.

Text and photos (c) Steve Gillon, 2023

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