Go with Ted

Travel, trains, drinking and cooking with Ted

Pub Guide – Edinburgh and Glasgow


Here’s the 2020 list of Ted and Steve’s favourite pubs in Edinburgh and Glasgow. We visit both cities regularly, and usually manage to call in somewhere for a pint or two – we’ve noted when we last visited each pub. GBG means that the pub is in Camra’s Good Beer Guide 2020.

Steve and Ted, February 2020


City Centre – New Town
Abbotsford 3-5 Rose St, EH2 2PR GBG Buses: Princes St Tram: St Andrew Sq Rail: Waverley
Fine old pub, best of the Rose Street boozers, impressive island bar, good selection of beers and whiskies, and helpful staff. Visited in 2019.
Café Royal 19 West Register St, EH2 2AA GBG Buses: Princes St Tram: St Andrew Sq Rail: Waverley
Huge Victorian island bar, famous for its ornate décor and ceramic tile murals. Fine choice of beers and good food. Visited in 2019
Cask and Barrel 115 Broughton St, EH1 3RZ Buses: 8
Large corner pub at east end of the New Town. Last visited 2017.
Guildford Arms 1 West Register St, EH2 2AA GBG Buses: Princes St Tram: St Andrew Sq Rail: Waverley
Next door to the Café Royal, another ornate Victorian pub with a particularly impressive ceiling and an excellent selection of real ales. Visited in 2019
Kay’s Bar 39 Jamaica St West, EH3 6HF Buses: 24, 29, 42
Small and friendly upmarket pub with good selection of beers and whiskies. In a mews lane in the posh bit of the New Town. Last visited in 2017.
HP Mathers 1 Queensferry St, EH2 4PA Buses: West End Tram: West End
At the West End of Princes St, a fine pub. Impressive décor and mirrors. Visited in 2019.
Oxford Bar 8 Young St, EH2 4JB GBG Buses: West End
Now famous from the Inspector Rebus novels, this still retains the feel of a local pub in a New Town back street. Last visited several years ago – hope it is still the same.
Regent 2 Montrose Terr, EH7 5DL GBG Buses: London Rd
To 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.
Inside the Cafe Royal
 Old Town and South Side
Bennets 8 Leven St, EH3 9LG Buses: 11, 16, 23
Tollcross pub with tremendous interior featuring brewery mirrors and whisky barrels. Visited 2019.
Bow Bar 80 West Bow, EH1 2HH GBG Buses: George IV Bridge
Excellent selection of whiskies and beers in this impressive small pub in the Old Town. Visited 2019.
Canny Man’s 237 Morningside Rd, EH10 4QU Buses: 11, 16, 23


Famous Morningside pub…justly so. Series of rooms, full of paraphernalia. Visited 2019
Halfwayhouse 24 Fleshmarket Close,  EH1 1BX    GBG Buses: Princes St

Rail: Waverley

Tiny pub, halfway up the stairs from the Market Street exit from Waverley. Good food – try the stovies. Ideal place to miss a few trains. Visited 2019
Hebrides 17 Market St, EH1 1DE Buses: Princes St

Rail: Waverley

Small and friendly bar, close to Waverley Station. Visited 2019.
Sandy Bells 25 Forrest Rd, EH1 2QH Buses: Forrest Rd/Bristo Pl
Famous mainly for its folk music sessions. During the daytime it’s a quiet and friendly pub near the university and the National Museum of Scotland. Visited 2019.
West – Haymarket, Gorgie
Athletic Arms (Diggers) 1-3 Angle Park Terr, EH11 2JX GBG Buses 1, 34
  Go there. And try the pies as well as the beer. Last visited 2017.
Ryries 1 Haymarket Terrace, EH12 5EY Buses, Tram and Rail: Haymarket
Traditional bar though a bit dominated by TV sport. In the list because it is so close to Haymarket station. Wait for / miss trains. Last visited several years ago but still looks the same.
The Counting House
City Centre and Merchant City
Babbity Bowster 16-18 Blackfriars St, G1 1PE  GBG Buses: George St, Trongate

Rail: High Street

Good beer and food in a relaxing and friendly pub. Note: Closed for refurbishment Feb 2020. Visited 2019.
Blackfriars 36 Bell St, G1 1LG   GBG Buses: Trongate

Rail: Argyle Street

Large 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.
Counting House 2 St Vincent Pl, G1 2DH    GBG Buses: City Centre

Subway: Buchanan St

Rail: Queen St

A 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.
Horse Shoe 17-19 Drury St, G2 5AE Buses: City Centre

Subway: Buchanan St

Rail: Central

Long, long island bar…friendly, lively and not to be missed (but trains from Central can be). Visited 2019.
Pot Still 154 Hope Street, G2 2TH GBG Buses: City Centre
Small pub, Mainly known for its incredible range of malt whiskies, including many rarities. And the beer, from local microbreweries, is good too. Visited 2019.
Sloans Argyll Arcade, G2 8AG Buses: City Centre

Subway: St Enoch

Rail: Central, Argyle St

Enter via the arcade or lane from Argyle St. Fine old pub interior and large courtyard drinking area. Visited 2019.
Steps Bar 62 Glassford St, G1 1UP Buses: Glassford St

Rail: Argyle St

Small pub on edge of Merchant City, largely unchanged since it opened in 1938, though the formica tables have been replaced by wood.  Friendly. Unfortunately no real ale. Last visited 2018.


Charing X
Bon Accord 153 North St, G3 7DA GBG Buses and Rail: Charing X
  The original real ale mecca in Glasgow….still going strong. Visited 2019.
State Bar 148 Holland St, G2 4NG GBG Buses and Rail: Charing X
Welcoming bar, with a good selection of beers, and fine lunchtime food. Visited 2019.
South Side
Clockwork Beer Co. 1153-1155 Cathcart Rd, G42 9HB GBG Buses: 5

Rail: Mount Florida

Large and friendly brewpub near Hampden Park. Visited 2019.
Laurieston Bar 58 Bridge St, G5 9HU GBG Buses: 3,4,38,57

Subway: Bridge St

Unspoilt 1960s bar just across the river from the city centre, mainly serving Fyne Ales. Reputation for good beer is deserved. Visited 2019.


  West End
  Doublet 74 Park Road, G4 9JF   Buses: 4,4A,6,6A

Subway: Kelvinbridge

  Local pub near Kelvinbridge. Small bar, friendly, with good beer. Visited 2019.
  Grove 8 Kelvingrove St, G3 7RX Buses: 2,3,77
Unspoilt, friendly locals boozer in Kelvingrove. No Real Ale. Last visited 2017.
  Inn Deep 445 Great Western Rd, G12 8HH GBG Buses: 6, 6A

Subway: Kelvinbridge

Modern pub in railway arches beneath Kelvinbridge. Good selection of cask and craft beers. Visited 2019.


  Lismore 206 Dumbarton Rd, Partick, G11 6UN Buses: 2,3,77

Subway: Kelvinhall

Friendly, local pub, with some real ale and plenty of whiskies. Last visited 2018.
  Tennents 191 Byres Rd, Hillhead G12 8TN GBG Buses: 4,4A Subway: Hillhead
The 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.
Three Judges 141 Dumbarton Rd, Partick G11 6PR GBG Buses: 2,3,77 Subway: Kelvinhall
Real Ale pub at Partick Cross. Ever changing selection of beers, well kept. Visited 2019.

One that got away (more or less). The Mitre Bar, Brunswick St, Glasgow, photographed in 1994, later closed, demolished and now reconstructed inside Glasgow’s Riverside Museum.

Mitre 1994

© Copyright Steve Gillon 2020.

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