Your Favourite Pubs & Bars in Scotland

We look at the diverse range of boozers you picked out as your favourite pubs and bars in Edinburgh and Glasgow

Feature by Peter Simpson | 03 Jan 2018

Pubs – as times change and our foodie expectations and ambitions move on, there's one thing we all still seem to like, and that's heading out for a drink or two. Annoyingly we stop being able to agree on anything shortly afterwards, but luckily your list of favourite pubs and bars is an eclectic mix with a whole range of styles and options to work through.

We'll start with a classic pub – The Allison Arms (720 Pollokshaws Rd, Glasgow) has been an ever-present in the Southside for as long as we can remember, and inside things are much as they always have been, with a few minor tweaks. Chief among those tweaks are the fridges packed with hand-picked bottles from across the UK as well as an outlandish selection of German beers. If you want the ambience of a classic local pub with an impressive and well-honed beer selection, this is the place for you.

If you fancy an even more varied selection of beers, head over to the 20-odd taps at The Hanging Bat (133 Lothian Rd, Edinburgh). Still one of the capital's foremost beer bars, the range on offer is always pretty intriguing – a mixture of Scottish microbrewers, one-off experiments, tap takeovers and generally exciting boozy goodness awaits no matter when you head down. There's knowledgeable staff to talk you through the various different kinds of pale ale, and comfy sofas to sit on once you've made your choice; sounds good to us.

For those of you who enjoy old-timey classics with a substantial modern twist, Nobles (44a Constitution St, Edinburgh) is your kind of place. One of the forerunners in Leith's continuing transformation into a foodie epicentre, Nobles is a Victorian bar that's all stained glass windows, high ceilings and big polished pieces of wood on the walls. Bright and airy, with a top-notch drinks selection and mightily impressive food; it's the archetypal 'all-day' pub that can really do it all. 

If Nobles is the kind of place to spend a whole evening, the bar at Stereo (22-28 Renfield Ln, Glasgow) is an ideal place to bookend a night. Right in the heart of the action in the city centre, Stereo's a welcoming environment with great vegan food and an excellent range of beers. Oh, and downstairs is one of Glasgow's best small music venues, which regularly hosts some of the most exciting gigs in town. There's literally no reason to go any further for a pre-show pint, which is good news for everyone.

Paradise Palms (41 Lothian St, Edinburgh) host the occasional gig; they also play host to regular cabaret nights, DJ sets, arts and crafts events. Also, they have a zine and record shop by the bar. Oh, did we mention that they also run their own record label? Possibly the only bar in the city with its own resident poet, Paradise Palms is a constant hive of activity, hilarity, and stuffed toys dangling from the ceiling. Head down during the day for some excellent vegan soul food, or wedge yourself in at night for cocktails and a party vibe; either way, you'll have a whale of a time. 

And if you like a little bit of all of the above, head to Inn Deep (445 Great Western Rd, Glasgow), Williams Bros.' bar in the West End of Glasgow. A historic location by the riverside that's just been refurbed in a big way, with a dozens-strong selection of beers to choose from, it neatly combines elements from a number of the previously mentioned pubs and bars in one place.