The 7 Best Pubs Near Edinburgh Castle And The Royal Mile

Last updated Apr 14, 2024


Not only is Edinburgh Castle the most popular tourist attraction in Scotland, it’s also one of the most iconic landmarks in the UK. Dating back centuries and built into a dormant volcanic cliff face, it’s a stunning monument to behold, and a fascinating one to visit. A day spent exploring the castle will see you develop quite the thirst. Thankfully the Royal Mile, a delightful, cobbled stretch running from the castle through the heart of the city, has no shortage of pubs within which to wet your whistle. Here, in no particular order, are our top seven.


1) Whiskey and Classic Pub Food in Edinburgh's Old Town - Royal Mile Tavern

Located in the centre of Edinburgh's Old Town it doesn’t get any more traditional than this joint. They have a massive selection of draught and bottled beers, ales and whiskies, which wash the tasty pub grub down perfectly. And on the pub grub, you’ve got to try their Haggis Bonbons!

True Story: Edinburgh's Old Town is placed on top of an extinct volcano. Visitors can see many of the city’s most important landmarks in this area such as St Giles Cathedral, Real Mary King's Close and Edinburgh Castle.

The Royal Mile Tavern hosts free live music seven days a week!

Address: 127 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1SG

Check out: The Royal Mile Tavern.

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2) Ales, Cocktails and Seasonal Pies at Deacon Brodie’s Tavern

Built in 1806 on Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile, Deacon Brodies Tavern are proud pie connoisseurs! Enjoy delicious pies, and an extensive selection of cask ale, fine wine, whisky and gin!

True story: Deacon Brodie was the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde. By day, Brodie was a pillar of the community, by night he drank and gambled, using burglary to pay off debts, before being hung for his crimes in 1788. This is a popular spot, and you may have to wait for a table. But it’s worth it.

Deacon Brodie's Tavern has seasonal food menus and award-winning specialty pies.

Address: 435 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2NT

Check out: Deacon Brodie’s Tavern.

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3) Delicious Seasonal House Cocktails at The Devil’s Advocate

This pub is in an historic Victorian pump house, but has a truly modern twist, serving inventive cocktails and innovative food in a stylish environment. Their whiskey-based cocktails are nectar of the gods, with the rich and creamy ‘Nae Bother Atholl’ our go-to cocktail there every time.

True Story: You can step back into history; The Devil's Advocate is situated in a Victorian pump house in Advocate's Close. Advocate's Close dates from the 15th century, and Sir James Stewart who was Lord Advocate of Scotland lived on the foot of the close.

The Devil's Advocate is a dog friendly pub and welcomes dogs on the terrace and in the bar.

Address: 9 Advocate's Cl, Edinburgh EH1 1ND

Check out: The Devil’s Advocate.


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4) Whiski Bar & Restaurant: Scottish Music, Whisky and Award-Winning Haggis

There’s lots to love about this little gem, which is particularly well known for its brilliant atmosphere and live music. Enjoy a selection of over 300 Scotch malt whiskies and a tasty selection of cocktails, wines and local craft beers. The restaurant serves delicious fresh locally sourced Scottish food and don't forget to try their famous award-winning haggis.

True Story: Whisky is the national drink of Scotland with over 100 distilleries in the country.

Whiski Bar & Restaurant has over 300 mainly Scotch malt whiskies! Be sure to book a Whisky tasting in the tasting room. 

Address: 119 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1SG

Check out: Whiski Bar & Restaurant.

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5) History, Poetry and Traditional Pub Food at The Beehive Inn

One of Edinburgh’s oldest public houses it now serves all the quintessential pub classics such as fish & chips, burgers and puddings! They also offer a non-gluten containing menu. 

The Beehive Inn is steeped in history. Its license is believed to have existed since its first incarnation as a coaching inn in the 15th century; it was frequented by the famous poet Robert Burns during his time in Edinburgh; and the site of the old gallows is just a few steps away. The jewel in the crown of this lively spot is its garden terrace, which spans three levels and accommodates over 200 people.

True Story: Inside a pub there is a large door that appears to be out of place. This is the door of the condemned cell from Calton Jail, which once held the notorious William Burke, and Eugene Chantrelle the George Street poisoner.

Sports lovers, The Beehive Inn has a sports area to enjoy the game!

Address: 18-20 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2JU

Check out: The Beehive Inn.

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6) Beers, Cocktails and Burgers at Holyrood 9A

If its beer and burgers you’re after, then this is the place. Indeed, both are so good, that Holyrood 9A has developed a bit of a cult following and is favoured by locals too. The selection of beer rotates regularly, so there’s always something new and interesting to try, and the gourmet burgers are notoriously large and tasty.

True Story:  At the foot of the Royal Mile, Holyrood 9A is a 6-minute walk from Holyrood Park and only 12-minute walk from the Palace of Holyroodhouse where the 16th-century historic apartments of Mary, Queen of Scots are open to the public.

Holyrood 9A offers a selection of veggie and vegan burgers as well!

Address: 9a Holyrood Rd, Edinburgh EH8 8AE

Check out: Holyrood 9A.


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7) Weekends, Pub Grub, and Music at The World’s End

The World's End serves delicious pub grub, and a wide selection of beer, wine and cocktails. Weekend nights are especially lively in here, when The World’s End plays host to live traditional Scottish music that attracts locals and tourists alike.

True Story: Back in the 16th century, when Edinburgh was enclosed by the Flodden wall, the gates to the city were located outside this pub. Residents of the city considered anything beyond these gates as not of their world, hence the rather dramatic name. The Flodden wall is named after the Battle of Flodden. The Scots were defeated in battle, with King James killed on the field. Fearing an English invasion, the new town wall was built to protect Edinburgh. To see part of the Flodden wall just look at the exterior walls of The World's End!

The World's End offer a gluten free menu. 

Address: 2-8 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1TB

Check out: The World’s End.

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