Relax in Bruntsfield and Morningside with a Pint and a Wee Dram

As you head south out of the center of the city of Edinburgh you pass through the bustle of Tollcross and find yourself in the leafy, relaxed surroundings of Bruntsfield, which gives way to the slightly more staid and traditional Morningside area. These are very popular residential areas with a mix of traditional Scottish tenements and some larger Georgian houses in the surrounding streets. They are also well-served by a mixture of different pubs.

If you want a busy atmosphere and trendy surroundings with prices to match then head for Hendricks in the heart of Bruntsfield. The choice of drinks is good, there’s some delicious food on offer, and the service is never less than professional. If you’re looking for a more traditional Scottish pub experience then The Hermitage at the far end of Morningside is very popular with locals and well off the beaten tourist track. For something a little different, why not try the eccentric but memorable Canny Man's.

The nightlife is a bit more reserved in Bruntsfield and Morningside, so if you just want to sample some great drinks and have a quiet conversation to unwind after a busy day then there are lots of good pubs to meet your needs.




The basement location under the Bruntsfield Hotel keeps this bar and restaurant tucked away and as a consequence it tends not to get too busy. There is a garden terrace through the back which is a real sun trap when the weather is nice. You'll find a good range of food on offer for breakfast, lunch, an evening meal, or a quick snack, and the drinks selection is extensive. The d├ęcor is modern and in keeping with the hotel above. It's a roomy, comfortable, and contemporary bar offering professional service. It should suit your party regardless of age or taste, and the location is ideal if you've just spent a sunny afternoon in the Meadows or the Bruntsfield Links across the road.

Recommended for Bruntsfield/Morningside's Best Pubs because: The Bisque Brasserie is clean, modern, and comfortable, with a professional air.

Simon's expert tip: Head through to the garden terrace if the sun is out and you can eat and drink while you soak up the rays.

Read more about Bisque Brasserie →

If you want to unwind with a drink in a friendly and bubbly atmosphere then Bennets is for you. The staff is welcoming, it's popular with locals, and there's a nice patio area for warm days. The pub itself is very traditional with a range of cask ales, malt whiskies, and a decent wine list. You can get a decent snack or a quick meal in the evenings. You'll need to walk beyond the end of Morningside Road to find Bennets, but it's worth seeking out if you're in the area and you want an unfussy place to while away a few hours.

Recommended for Bruntsfield/Morningside's Best Pubs because: Bennets is a popular pub with locals and it reflects the typical Scottish pub drinks menu and atmosphere.

Simon's expert tip: Try a pint of Black Isle for a real treat and cozy up in front of the roaring fire in winter.

Read more about Bennets of Morningside →

You can't miss The Merlin on Morningside Road. It's a very popular pub with a wide variety of people. You'll find all ages and walks of life represented here, attracted by the comfortable, functional layout, and the very reasonable prices. If a big sporting event, like a football match, is on then it will be shown on the TVs throughout, sometimes more than one match at a time. There is also outside seating, both front and back, if the weather permits. What The Merlin lacks in style, it makes up for in atmosphere, with a bustling crowd of customers and friendly, chatty staff behind the bar.

Recommended for Bruntsfield/Morningside's Best Pubs because: The Merlin is a large pub with a mixed clientele and very reasonable prices.

Simon's expert tip: You'll get a good pint of Belhaven Best and some cheap pub grub at The Merlin.

Read more about The Merlin →


The Hermitage is a welcoming, family friendly pub situated at the foot of Morningside Road. It is a familiar Edinburgh landmark which has recently been revitalized by new management, but retained its traditional charm. The beautiful stone frontage is punctuated by numerous wooden framed windows and skirted by numerous tables and chairs on a sunny day. Inside the atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable with warm wooden tones tempered by soft cushions and ambient lighting. The walls are hung with dark framed mirror and pictures and in the evening candlelight twinkles invitingly. They serve a reasonable range of ales and beers as well as good range of wines and spirits and the food, if not adventurous, is tasty and well presented.

Recommended for Bruntsfield/Morningside's Best Pubs because: The Hermitage is a great place to relax and watch the world go by.

Simon's expert tip: The Hermitage is both child and dog friendly in the afternoons unlike many Edinburgh bars

Read more about The Hermitage Bar →

Founded in 1456, The Golf Tavern sits on the edge of Bruntsfield Links, which used to be a golf course. You'll still find people playing golf on the Bruntsfield Links today and they're every bit as likely to end the round with a pint at the tavern. It was completely redesigned and renovated in 2011 and the opulent interior retains as much of the historical character as possible. You'll find a well-stocked bar and a good selection of tasty food on offer. The bar staff are friendly and knowledgeable, and they'll be happy to advise you on a real ale or whip you up a cocktail.

Recommended for Bruntsfield/Morningside's Best Pubs because: The Golf Tavern has been serving up drinks to thirsty golfers for 500 years so it's worth a look.

Simon's expert tip: You'll find a great selection of malt whisky and real ale to sample here, my pick is Laphroaig.

Read more about The Golf Tavern →

You'll find a quirky mix of bizarre brac-a-brac filling every nook and cranny of this traditional old pub. It looks unremarkable from the outside, but it's definitely worth taking a look behind the door. The range of drinks on offer is second to none, although the prices can be on the high side. Canny Man's has a real reputation for being a local's pub and reports of a frosty reception are widespread, although the bar staff can be welcoming, and much depends on your luck. It's not recommended as a place to eat, but if you want a drink in truly unique surroundings then give it a whirl.

Recommended for Bruntsfield/Morningside's Best Pubs because: Canny Man's has a wonderful choice of drinks, including a great whisky selection, and it is one of a kind.

Simon's expert tip: The staff are impeccably dressed and generally friendly, but there are numerous stories of patrons being refused service if they are too scruffy or too bohemian in aoppearance

Read more about Canny Man's →

If you find yourself up in Morningside then you should certainly make time for a visit to The Waiting Room. This popular bar does a decent range of great value food and offers a fine selection of beer and lager on tap, and there's plenty of malt whisky to try. The well-stocked bar is matched by the friendly and accommodating staff. The decor is pretty traditional, and there are comfortable booths at the back on the right. You can enjoy the rugby in here if you're a fan and there's a weekly pub quiz. This is a good, solid, unpretentious pub and it's a very pleasant place to spend some time with family or friends.

Recommended for Bruntsfield/Morningside's Best Pubs because: The Waiting Room offers the right combination of good drink, food, and service, with a local crowd.

Simon's expert tip: If you want to get off the tourist trail completely and enjoy a truly local atmosphere you'll find it here.

Read more about The Waiting Room →

If you're looking for a quiet pint or a cheeky dram in Bruntsfield then Montpeliers is the place to visit. This well-stocked bar and restaurant is very stylish and offers high standards of service and quality. It's also very comfortable, especially if you can snag one of the gigantic Chesterfield sofas. It's a cozy, laid-back, and welcoming place, just like a good bar should be. Montpeliers has been the most popular pub in Bruntsfield for years now and it's always lively. If the sun is shining you can sit at the tables on the street and watch the world passing by.

Recommended for Bruntsfield/Morningside's Best Pubs because: Montpeliers is stylish and comfortable and it serves up great food and a good range of drinks.

Simon's expert tip: Arrive early if you want to claim a comfy seat, this bar gets very busy!

Read more about Montpeliers Bar & Brasserie →

The Blackbird is a laid back and welcoming pub situated in the trendy suburb of Bruntsfield. Set in a beautiful stone building at the edge of the Meadows, the pub combines the old and the new effortlessly. The interior is bright and airy during the day and dark and cozy at night, and the pub also has a lovely beer garden. They have an extensive craft beer and wine menu as well as a wide range of delicious and different cocktails. The food is also very good. As well as sizeable weekday breakfast, lunch and dinner menus they have a weekend brunch which is a real treat and a decadent pudding menu. As if that was not enough, they regularly host live gigs!

Recommended for Bruntsfield/Morningside's Best Pubs because: The Blackbird is a stylish and friendly pub which is very popular with a wide clientele

Simon's expert tip: Check their Facebook page and Twitter feed for update on live music events

Read more about The Blackbird →

Henrick's Bar

This is a very comfortable and friendly wee bar and bistro that is close to the King's Theatre as you head out of Tollcross up towards Bruntsfield. It serves a great range of drinks and the seasonal menu offers classic pub grub and contemporary meals using fresh local produce. The atmosphere is good, the decor is stylish, and it's a friendly place. There's also a pre-theatre menu, a pre-order option for those times when you don't have more than half an hour to spare, and a weekend brunch menu for those lazy recuperative meals on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

Recommended for Bruntsfield/Morningside's Best Pubs because: Henrick's Bar is always lively and the mixed crowd is generally friendly and fun.

Simon's expert tip: If you smoke you'll like the small seating area out the back which has heaters for the cold weather.

Read more about Henrick's Bar →


Meet Simon Hill

Simon has lived in various corners of Edinburgh over the last 18 years. He fell in love with the city as a small child after visiting the castle and returned to study Scottish History.

After...  More About Simon