Get us in your inbox

The Portobello Palm Tree

The 10 best beer gardens in Edinburgh

Our pick of Edinburgh's best beer gardens for an alfresco drink

Arusa Qureshi
Written by
Niki Boyle
Arusa Qureshi

Warm, sunny days – rare as they are in Scotland – do occasionally pop up, and when they do, it's in our best interests to make the absolute most of them. Some may head for the beach or the stunning Scottish outdoors, but if all you fancy doing is finding a local establishment and meeting some pals for a drink in the open air, we wouldn't blame you.

You'll already be well aware of the best pubs and bars to visit in Edinburgh, but for those places that serve pints that you can actually take outside, we've got you covered. Put on some sun cream and check out one or more of these beer gardens in the city.

Edinburgh's best beer gardens

  • Art
  • Arts centres

Edinburgh’s best multi-arts venue comes into its own as a bustling hub during the Festival month of August, but the courtyard space in the centre of this former vet school is a year-round destination for drinkers and diners at its Royal Dick bar.

  • Restaurants
  • Breweries

Fancy a beer garden with a view of Edinburgh Castle? Look no further than the Grassmarket, where you'll find the laid-back rooftop terrace bar of Cold Town House. They serve their own Cold Town Beer, born and brewed in the city, plus pizzas, loaded fries, burgers and plenty more. 

No one should be left out when it comes to being able to enjoy an ice cold pint on a warm day, and that's exactly the kind of thinking that Bellfield operate under. All of their beers are not only delicious but also gluten-free, certified by Coeliac UK and registered with the Vegan Society. The Taproom and Beer Garden are both located next to their brewery in Abbeyhill with tours, tastings, food pop-ups, quiz nights and more on offer throughout the year.

The Three Sisters
  • Bars and pubs

Overshadowed by the tall Cowgate buildings around it, there's no question this is one of Edinburgh's most bustling beer gardens, particularly at night and with a huge screen showing sports.

On St. Leonard’s Lane, right by Holyrood Park, you'll find a 180-year-old building that has been beautifully renovated into a distillery, which you can tour and experience at your leisure. The folks at Holyrood Distillery make high-quality spirits but their Courtyard Bar is an excellent place to hang out in the sunshine too. You'll be able to try out their finest drinks, plus local beer options and food from nearby Luxford Burger, who will deliver direct from their kitchen to your table.

  • Bars and pubs

Tucked away where only locals and true aficionados can find it, Outhouse is a lot better than its toilet humour name might suggest. The drinks menu in this friendly hangout is eclectic, with plenty of space in the back yard beer garden for a sunny afternoon out with friends.

    You may also like