Dog-friendly pubs in Edinburgh and Glasgow

What could possibly make a pub better? A dog, of course! Here are some of the best places to enjoy a pint with your pooch in Edinburgh and Glasgow, as picked out by our Venues editors...

Feature by Ellie Robert and Rosie McKean | 08 Jan 2016

Walking a dog through sideways rain in the Scottish weather can feel like a bit of a thankless task at times, so we've put together a guide to some of Edinburgh and Glasgow's best dog-friendly pubs. If none of our suggestions pass muster for your pooch – or if you and your dog have tried them all already – the Dugs N Pubs online database of dog-friendly establishments is a great place to find an alternative. Regularly updated with new dog-friendly bars, cafes and restaurants, the website is a treasure trove of pooch-plus-pint information. Watch out for their distinctive window stickers when you're out and about, as they'll show you that a bar will welcome you and your dog. Well, the dog at least...

Edinburgh's dog-friendly pubs

In the south of the city, The Royal Dick is not only a great place to sample a made-on-site beer (Barney's) or gin and tonic (Pickering's), it is also dog-friendly. And we should think so too, seeing as it’s on the grounds of the old Dick Vet School. Just along the road, Southside Social is a social enterprise pub, inviting punters and their pups to drink for a good cause. The aim of the pub is to help young people into sustainable work by offering them the opportunity to take part in running the pub. With dogs welcome and a weekly pub quiz, it’s hard to turn down a quick pint here. Elsewhere nearby, The Southern Bar on South Clerk Street is another Southside venue which is only too happy to have dog punters as well as humans. Also located in the Meadows area, the Argyle Bar is a perfectly-located pit-stop for the dog walkers of Marchmont. It’s a relaxed bar with a good selection of Scottish beers and real ales, and your dog is more than welcome to relax with you.

Further east, The Regent on Abbeymount is a gay-friendly and dog-friendly pub which serves real ale and good pub grub. It’s a delight to spot the myriad pups under the tables of the bar, and a great place to go for an all-round friendly pint. Similarly, if you're looking for good scran with your pint, then Holyrood 9A is a top spot for burgers, beers and uh… dogs! Whilst you’re enjoying one of many beers from free-standing taps across the bar, and a delicious burger, your dog can enjoy a biscuity treat under the table. Everybody wins. Close by, BrewDog on the Cowgate is very dog friendly. How could it not be, really? Readers of The Skinny voted BrewDog as one of their favourite Scottish breweries in our 2014 & 2015 Food and Drink Surveys, and being able to take the dog is a fine excuse to get down there and enjoy some fine Scottish craft beer.

Holyrood 9A, Edinburgh

In Stockbridge, The Stockbridge Tap is a top place to stop for a pint and some pub grub with the dog. You can enjoy a good selection of real ales and malt whiskeys, and being dog-friendly, water bowls are readily available. What's more, the bar is located in the perfect part of town for scenic dog walks, with the Water of Leith being very close by. Down by the shore, Sofi’s Bar is a cool wee hangout which hosts a few monthly events, including a dedicated ‘Dug Day’ where you and your pup can come and socialise with other doggies and their owners, with biscuits and juice for the canines and gin and tonic for you. Finally, further afield, situated right beside the seaside in Portobello is The Espy. It's a lovely bar which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, with burgers and nachos being a particular highlight. Dogs can enjoy the lounge area of the bar where they can relax after a long day of walkies and sea air. It’s a hard life, after all. [ER]

Glasgow's dog-friendly pubs

You’re in your local with friends. You’ve hit that black hole at the end of the evening after one pint too many for all involved when the conversation takes a nose dive, usually after someone mentions a buzzword like ‘politics’ or ‘religion’ and the table erupts into a rabble of half-baked opinions soaked in this week’s guest ale. What if you could turn to another drinking buddy altogether, the ethereally calm one who is always on your side, forgives instantly, listens intently and has a real lust for the simple pleasures in life – your dog? In Glasgow we love a dug. We also love a drink. Drinking with dogs is therefore a natural progression, and there are a number of establishments in the city which open their doors to our four-legged friends.

The Belle is based on Great Western Road. It’s a hotspot for people watching and reading the paper – the epitome of cosy winter afternoons in the West End. You’re guaranteed to see at least one fellow dog owner, though you may have to fight them for the highly-coveted seats beside the fireplace. Inn Deep is another indie West End gem operated by the Williams Brothers brewery. It serves a fierce selection of ales, with alternating guest kegs and casks providing consistent variety as well as a menu of hearty homemade grub. Stravaigin on Gibson Street is a stalwart for a fireside pint in the colder months, with speciality ales and a complimentary wine list. However, though crowds flock for the beer, they stay for the burgers. If burgers aren’t your beef (snarf) then browse the rest of the menu which features Scottish dishes with an eastern twist.

Stravaigin in Glasgow's West End

Over in the East End we have The Winged Ox, the bar/restaurant counterpart to gig venue Saint Luke’s. It’s trendy and ambient, serving ‘food for the soul’ as well as coffee, beer, wine and spirits to quench your thirst. If you’re lucky, your dog could even be featured as ‘Dug of the Week’. The Drygate Brewery Co. is the lovechild of two Scottish brewery giants – Tennents and Williams – and it's a cosy and contemporary watering hole offering beer tasting, live comedy events and music. The large french windows looking into the brewery itself are a pleasant quirk, adding to the refreshingly organic ether.

The Glad Cafe in the Southside is a no-nonsense arts and music venue serving a locally-sourced beer selection as well as wines, spirits and quality soft drinks usually reserved for those times when you’re the designated driver and decide to treat yourself and splash out on some half-decent fizzy juice. Another fireside favourite is the Ben Nevis on Argyle Street. Popular with fans of the dram, it boasts an extensive selection of whiskies and malts. It’s an idyllic winter haunt, with your furry pal curled up at your feet and a live band playing traditional music by the fire. [RM]