North Hop

Exploring Edinburgh…One Cocktail, Beer or Gin at a time!

Monday 15th September 2014

Having managed a good few visits down to Edinburgh over the last year for work and pleasure I have managed to sniff out a fair amount of great eating and drinking establishments and they seem to keep on coming with new places appearing every time I'm down. Edinburgh also never seems to have a shortage of special events, concerts, theatre productions or things happening to keep you entertained.

Edinburgh has always felt like 'home' to me, perhaps it my family connections, maybe it's the constant buzz in the heart of the city or perhaps it's just the sheer beauty of the place with all it's old buildings, castle, cobbled streets and green spaces, whatever it is I LOVE Edinburgh!

So if you too want to explore Edinburgh one cocktail, beer or gin at a time then check out the list below of some of my top recommendations...

Devil's Advocate - If you didn't know this bar existed then you'd probably never find it! Hidden up Advocates Close, just off the bottom of Cockburn Street lies this glass fronted, ex Victorian Pump House packed full of original features, an impressive bar with seasonal cocktails and selected craft beers to name but a few of the drinks on offer and seasonal Scottish produce being served up in the mezzanine dining area. And it was only recently that I discovered this bar is run by the same folks at The Bon Vivant Companion's, an excellent bottle shop on Thistle Street (separate review coming up soon).

Burger Meats Bun - Having already been an avid BMB fan from visiting their Glasgow restaurant it only seemed right that I paid the new Edinburgh restaurant a visit just after opening and I am delighted to say it is just as awesome as the original! BMB Chilli Cheese Fries rock and having the burger/sides as individual orders means you can pick and choose to create your own BMB feast. The drinks menu also gets a big thumbs up for a great selection of craft beer bottles, special cocktails, inventive house drinks and boozy shakes (the ultimate dessert!).

Monteiths - Follow the alleyway of branches and twinkling lights off High Street and you will find yourself in this delightful little boutique cocktail bar and restaurant. The cocktail menu features all the classics as well as a number of interesting in-house creations, all served up and presented beautifully. To go alongside the cocktails they have a great grazing menu with Crayfish Popcorn being our top pick on the last visit. The wine, craft beer and spirits selection looks pretty impressive too.

One Square - If you are looking for an extensive selection of gins, extravagant afternoon tea or a contemporary bar to enjoy after work drinks then One Square at Festival Square is a must! They have a great bar snacks menu or a number of different dining options in the restaurant and if the weather is nice they have a great outdoor terrace too. And I reckon their gin tasting experiences would be pretty good too…def on my wish list!

Bangkok Bar - This quirky little bar that serves up the most delicious Thai street food is situated on one of my favourite streets in Edinburgh, Broughton Street. It is connected to the Port of Siam restaurant (which also serves up awesome Thai food) and has a very chilled out, yet colourful vibe. There is only a handful of small tables and bar stools (which don't last long on a Friday or Saturday night) so I recommend you time your visit carefully and make your way through the awesome cocktail list whilst you soak up the atmosphere!

The Vintage - This lovely little craft beer bar down in Leith was added to the Edinburgh hit list on my last visit down after reading so many recommendations about it on Twitter. We made it the first stop on a day filled with craft beers, cocktails, cupcakes and burgers and what a way it was to start! A V Full Breakfast and Drygate Outaspace Apple Ale went down v nicely for brunch and the great surroundings and friendly staff were an added bonus.

56 North - We kind of stumbled across this bar on the way back from the Scottish Juniper Festival at Summerhall in June and the instant attraction was the large outside seating space and also the look of the rather large cocktail glasses from a distance…and the taste test on the cocktails went pretty well too! The cocktail list in 56 North is pretty extensive as is the craft beer menu and gin selections and if you visit in the summer months make sure you take advantage of their great outdoor space, ideal for people watching!

Bet your feeling hungry and thirsty now eh!? Slainte!

North Hop Chief Cocktail, Beer & Gin Taster