We were in two minds whether or not to share our guide to Edinburgh’s best secret bars. There’s something special about discovering a hidden bar all for yourself or hearing rumours of a confidential cocktail bar and finding it on your travels around Edinburgh.
Nevertheless, EdinBraw is a guide to the best of Edinburgh. What sort of guide would we be if we didn’t share some of our favourite secret cocktail bars and speakeasies?
Impress your friends with your knowledge of Edinburgh’s secret cocktail bars, just don’t attempt them all in one night!
Related content: Read our Edinburgh date ideas guide, which includes one of these hidden bars.
Edinburgh is filled with hidden gems and many of them serve some cool cocktails.
We’ve rounded up 11 of our favourite hidden bars in Edinburgh, some are top secret and others will be a little easier to find on your travels.
If you’ve ever passed Lucky Liquor you’ll know exactly where it is. A bright neon light beckons you in and the creative cocktails will keep you there. Expect good tunes (with a bring your own vinyl policy on a Sunday), colourful drinks and impeccable service.
The bar can easily be reached on foot from the city centre and would be the perfect place to start a cocktail crawl (if you decide to leave, honestly, we popped in for one drink and stayed the entire evening).
City Centre (39A Queen Street, EH2 3NH)
Edinburgh’s Thistle Street is filled with hidden gems, it’s a street visitors might not venture down unless they had been sent there.
That’s what we’re here to do.
We’re here to send you to The Bon Vivant, do not pass go, but do collect £200 if you’re in a group – you may as well stay for delicious food from their ever-changing menu.
City Centre (55 Thistle Street, EH2 1DY)
A guide to the best hidden cocktail bars in Edinburgh would not be complete without Bramble.
This was the first secret bar we discovered in Edinburgh, a speakeasy that you could walk by every day and have no idea it existed.
Bring friends or your date here and they’ll have no idea where you’re taking them. Once you open the door and the hip-hop beats wash over your group, you’ll immediately earn brownie points – the first round won’t be on you, that’s for sure!
City Centre (16A Queen Street, EH2 1JE)
Panda & Sons is one of Edinburgh’s worst barbershops, thankfully it’s one of the city’s best hidden cocktail bars.
This secret bar goes the extra mile when it comes to theming. You could easily pop to this unassuming barbershop expecting a haircut, only to come out half-cut.
To give the bar a speakeasy vibe, you descend some stairs and enter through a bookcase. Take people to this bar for the first time is so much fun!
Be sure to try the Birdcage Cocktail, it’s quite theatrical and will be sure to turn heads.
City Centre (79 Queen Street, EH2 4NF)
Hoot The Redeemer is another well hidden secret cocktail bar in Edinburgh’s city centre, expect a bright and vibrant decoration (and cocktails to match).
This quirky cocktail bar is filled with fun looking drinks, alcoholic ice-cream and slush puppies.
Not sure what to drink? Turn to the Pinch n’ Sip machine claw machine and let the Genie pick your poison.
City Centre (7 Hanover Street, EH2 2DL)
Many of Edinburgh’s hidden bars are right under your nose. Bryant & Mack takes a little more work to find, which makes it all the more exciting when you finally find it.
Disguised as a Private Detectives agency from 1930’s America, this truly is a top-secret cocktail bar.
When you enter you’ll be handed confidential envelopes which divulge Bryant and Mack’s carefully curated cocktail menu (all of which are top notch).
You wont be able to resist telling everyone about this hidden bar in Edinburgh, if you can remember where it is (we occasionally pick the wrong side street from Rose Street).
City Centre (87-89 Rose Street North Lane, EH2 3DX)
Edinburgh’s Old Town is so much fun to explore, we still discovering its secrets each time we go on an adventure.
All this exploring is thirsty work, thankfully there’s a hidden bar offering up tasty cocktails in a cosy setting.
We’ve heard reports that the food is decent at Under The Stairs too, but can only currently vouch for the drinks and superb service.
Old Town (3A Merchant Street, EH1 2QD)
Edinburgh is filled with hidden gems and Stockbridge is a jewellery box.
The Last Word Saloon is little further from Edinburgh’s city centre than our secret cocktail bars, but it’s well worth a making the effort (and still totally walkable).
With innovative cocktails in a cosy setting, The Last Word Saloon will be sure to please. If you’re looking for food afterwards, Stockbridge has you covered with The Stockbridge Restaurant and Purslane nearby.
Stockbridge (44 St. Stephen Street, EH3 5AL)
Dishoom has settled in nicely at Edinburgh’s St Andrew Square, serving up delectable dishes and braw breakfasts – who knew that bacon nan sandwich would be worth getting out of bed for?
The Permit Room is located downstairs and could easily be overlooked, especially if you don’t need to wait around for a table. The cocktails on offer at Dishoom’s Permit Room are well worth a visit, either arrive early before you dinner or pop in for the sole reason to try Sonia’s Negroni with Dishoom vermouth (macerated with vanilla, cinnamon and ginger).
City Centre (3a St Andrew Square, EH2 2BD)
If you love gin, you need to check out Heads & Tales, it’s the home of Edinburgh Gin.
Grab a seat in this atmospheric bar and marvel at the two stills, named Flora and Caledonia.
Whilst Heads & Tales has gin flowing through its veins, the talented bar staff will be able to create all manner of concoctions without mother’s ruin (non-gin cocktails can be found on their ‘traitors’ menu).
Want to learn more about gin? This secret bar is the perfect place to go, for £25 you can enjoy a gin masterclass which includes four gin samples and a gin and tonic of your choice.
West End (1A Rutland Place, Edinburgh EH1 2AD)
A bar so hidden in Edinburgh that it needs to use the word ‘secret’ in its name. You’ll find Secret Arcade in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, in a close of Cockburn Street up a winding stair.
Secret Arcade is predominately a vodka bar, expect lots of different flavours and staggering selection.
Old Town (48 Cockburn Street, EH1 1PB)
It wouldn’t be sensible to achieve all 11 bars in one day, we’ve split our listing into two separate cocktail crawls. Let is know if you attempt it.
Edinburgh has so many great places to drink, do you think we’ve missed some more hidden gems? Let us know in the comments.