Burn the Midnight Oil with Drinks, Eats and Live Music in Stockbridge

Stockbridge is a fairly affluent and trendy area of Edinburgh located to the north of the city center. Less frenetic than the center of town it shares the stunning architecture and quaint cobbled streets of the New Town, but has a more bohemian atmosphere.

Most venues in Stockbridge fall neatly into one of two categories. First you have the traditional bars, many of which have been serving a loyal following of locals for many years with little change. In such establishments you can expect a good range of ales and beers, comfortable and unpretentious interiors, and decent pub grub.

One of Stockbridge’s most popular traditional pubs is the delightful Antiquary in St Stephen Street. This cozy basement bar has been operating for almost four decades and has a relaxed charm which is hard to beat.

Alternatively you have the new gastro-pubs and cocktail bars. Trendy and chic, this new breed is popular with a young and affluent clientele, but welcoming to everyone. Some may not stay the course as competition can be fierce, but the best have already staked their claim to the affections of locals and visitors.

The Last Word Saloon should be your first stop if you love cocktails. If you are looking for some good food and drink, you will not be disappointed by Hamilton’s Bar and Kitchen.

So what are you waiting for? Eat, drink and be merry!


St Bernard's Bar is a friendly and relaxed traditional pub in the affluent suburb of Stockbridge. In an area replete with gastro pubs and wine bars the St Bernard has stayed true to a more traditional form. Serving a generally older clientele it prides itself on friendly service and a welcoming atmosphere. There is a wide screen TV showing various sporting fixtures and the prices are very reasonable. They have a limited range of beers and only serve basic bar snacks (peanuts and crisps etc), but they do have a good range of spirits. The St Bernard has a loyal local following and is a great place for a pint and a chat.

Recommended for Stockbridge's Best Nightlife because: The St Bernard is an unpretentious and very welcoming little pub

Simon's expert tip: For an inexpensive night out, the St Bernard is a great place to start

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The Orchard is a relaxed and welcoming bar located on Howard Place, a short hop from the Botanic Gardens. The interior is bright and airy with a large l-shaped wooden bar and polished wooden floors. You can opt for a cozy alcove seat, or a table with comfy arm chairs, but if you can you should snag one of the elevated seats overlooking the windows. The bar is well stocked with a better than average selection of wines and spirits. They also do very good pub grub and have a decent children's menu. The have a number of games machines, a large flat screen TV for sports fixtures and a small function room catering for parties for up to fifty people.

Recommended for Stockbridge's Best Nightlife because: The Orchard is a laid back and very friendly bar serving very tasty food

Simon's expert tip: The gourmet ciabatta sandwiches are the perfect light snack to accompany and afternoon or evening of drinking

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The Raeburn Bar is a cozy little pub attached to the Raeburn Hotel, Stockbridge. More than just a hotel bar, it hosts live folk, rock, blues and indie music every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The interior is fairly snug, adding to the convivial atmosphere, and very comfortable. The drinks menu is extensive, including a good range of cask ales as well as selected wines and spirits. The food menu is not so large, but dishes are tasty and the prices reasonable. They also have a fun quiz night every Tuesday. The hotel also has a lovely function room for small parties.

Recommended for Stockbridge's Best Nightlife because: The Raeburn is a friendly bar with live music every weekend

Simon's expert tip: Check out their website to see who is playing over the weekend

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The Stockbridge Tap is a friendly traditional bar at the corner of Raeburn Place in Stockbridge. A firm favorite with locals, the Tap has a very good selection of real ales and beers. Unlike many of its neighbors, it has resisted the urge to put on airs and graces and remains charmingly down to earth. The food is hearty and generous but doesn't stray far from classic pub favorites such as fish and chips and burgers. The interior is unfussy and comfortable. With the proliferation of wine bars and upscale gastro pubs, the Tap is a haven of substance over style.

Recommended for Stockbridge's Best Nightlife because: The Stockbridge Tap is a traditional pub which is very popular with locals

Simon's expert tip: Check out their twitter feed for updates on guest ales

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Scran & Scallie is a gastro-pub run by the Michelin starred chefs Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack. Situated in the affluent suburb of Stockbridge it is less formal than The Kitchin, or Castle Terrace but still significantly more refined than your usual pub-restaurant. As you would expect, the food is excellent. Oysters and home-cured salmon lead the way to pub classics served with panache. The burgers are juicy and delicious and the chips chunky and crisp. The interior is studiously laid back. Warm blue tones on the walls contrast with open brickwork and many dishes are served on tranches of wood. The bar area is simple and welcoming and there is even a soft play area for the little ones.

Recommended for Stockbridge's Best Nightlife because: Scran & Scallie is a popular pub with the trendy residents of Stockbridge

Simon's expert tip: The stout ice cream is a surprising delight and their panna cotta is out of this world

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The Bon Vivant in Stockbridge (sister to the popular New Town Bar of the same name) is a relaxed wine bar and restaurant. The interior is uncluttered and stylish with an easy charm and the staff are very friendly. They have an extensive wine list and also offer a good range or real ales and bottled beers as well as a few indulgent and inventive cocktails. Their bar menu is also very good with everything from light bites to substantial meals on offer. Their brunch menu is particularly good value and just the thing if you have had one too many cocktails the night before!

Recommended for Stockbridge's Best Nightlife because: The Bon Vivant in Stockbridge is has a decidedly laconic charm

Simon's expert tip: Their sgroppino (prosecco, absinthe & homemade sorbet) is deliciously decadent

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Hamilton's is a delightful gastro pub set in a charming cobbled street in stylish Stockbridge. The interior has a relaxed and informal air with comfortable leather booths and low slung sofas and an eye catching pop art mural. Hamilton's serves seasonal produce, most of which is locally sourced and all of which is a cut above the rest. By day it is a light and airy family friendly cafe and bar with an excellent breakfast and lunch menu. By night the atmosphere becomes more intimate as patrons tuck into the rather more sophisticated evening menu and enjoy one of Hamilton's trademark cocktails or relax with a craft beer or a glass of wine.

Recommended for Stockbridge's Best Nightlife because: Great food and delicious cocktails: Hamiltons has an easy charm which is quite addictive

Simon's expert tip: Better than average food and a relaxed ambiance have made Hamilton's one of Stockbridge's most popular destinations.

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Maison Hector is a friendly and welcoming Stockbridge pub serving rather good pub food at pretty reasonable prices. The interior is an unassuming mix of leather benches strewn with scatter cushions, high backed bar stools and retro floral wallpaper. They have a good range of draft and bottled real ales, as well as a decent stock of wines and spirits. The menu doesn't stray too far from standard pub favorites such as burger and chips and sausage and mash. However, much of the produce is locally and sustainably sourced and there is also the welcome addition of very tasty flat breads and sharing platters. Most importantly, the food is very well prepared and the portions are generous. Hectors is a great place for a pint and a bit of tasty pub grub.

Recommended for Stockbridge's Best Nightlife because: Hectors is a warm and welcoming traditional bar in the heart of Stockbridge

Simon's expert tip: Their Sunday Roast is the perfect antidote to Saturday's hangover

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The Last Word Saloon (brought to you by the same people responsible for Bramble) is a deliciously idiosyncratic cocktail bar in the shadow of St Stephen's Church in Stockbridge. Tucked away in a basement, this dimly lit drinking den is populated by an eclectic mix of shabby chic arm chairs, booths and sofas. Sophisticated, cool but not pretentious it is one of the city's best cocktail bars. The cocktail list is huge. As well as the greatest hits you will find a number of obscure and inventive tipples to sample and the staff are happy to help you choose if you can't make your mind up.

Recommended for Stockbridge's Best Nightlife because: The Last Word is a great cocktail bar with an electric atmosphere

Simon's expert tip: They do not serve food, but do have some bar snacks and a deliciously moreish cheese board from IJ Mellis

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Named after the book "The Antiquary" by the famous Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott, the Antiquary Bar is a cozy and traditional basement pub situated in St Stephen's Street. It has been open for almost four decades, and has changed very little in that time. The interior is clad in the soft tones of polished wood punctuated by oil paintings and the bar is decked with brass pumps. They have added a few modern touches, such as the flat screen TV which shows most major sporting events, but thankfully its traditional charm has been retained. This lovely bar has a loyal local clientele, but is also very popular with tourists.

Recommended for Stockbridge's Best Nightlife because: The Antiquary is a welcoming traditional bar popular with locals and tourists alike

Simon's expert tip: Food is available from Wednesday to Sunday, and the Sunday Roast in particular is very good.

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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.

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