Dog owners often find that their own freedom, in terms of places to visit, to dine or to exercise, can be quite restricted but fear not you and your furry companions can still enjoy some of the best bars, restaurants, pubs and cafes in this great city. As most establishments do not overtly advertise their ‘dog-friendliness’ we have come up with a list of our top-picks to help you and your four-legged friend on your way.
Image by Graham Savage
Located around half-way down Leven Street extending on from the pleasant Edinburgh suburb of Bruntsfield you will find The Blackbird bar and kitchen. Renovating what was once a typical old boy’s tavern by the name of The Auld Toll, The Blackbird takes the youthful shape of an edgy gastro bar with an inviting interior to all passersby (and their furry friends). Its trendy interior earned it the Scottish Style Award in 2013 and it has since maintained its image as a chic drinking spot with its comprehensive and colourful craft beer selection served by it equally stylish staff. This is a laid-back and canine-friendly spot ideal for a break from the Edinburgh weather.
No. 8 Lister Square
Image by The Wee Food Blogger
This expansive two-floored space takes the shape of the modish, stripped-back and polished bar so popular in the cities these days. The question is whether or not it sets itself apart from the others? Upstairs is where the food is served and as pub grub goes its pretty good. After the meal you’d be inclined to descend the stairs to the main bar area where the odd pooch is always seen kicking back on the wooden floors while his owner enjoys a game of pool with friends, a moderately priced craft beer or lager while listening to the tasteful live music that is regularly on show. This is a nice space, with a nice atmosphere and nice people; a good addition to Edinburgh’s bar scene.
Image by Hoopey and Murphy
Vietnam was the nickname given to The Fountain prior to its recent refurbishment due to its reputation as a pub host to the most violent characters. Now, The Fountain’s reputation reigns as one of the best and certainly friendliest gastropubs Edinburgh has to offer. Michael McGuigan’s has masterfully reformed this pub with an interior that can be seen to perhaps balance the history of the pub with a modern finish. With slate grey walls in its dining area opening onto half-slate half-cream bar room it can be described as 21st century equivalent of a speakeasy but one that has unobtrusive refinement and taste. Small and cosy with a delicious menu dog-walkers find themselves regularly stopping by to break from their nightly march.
Honeycomb & Co.
Image by Honeycomb & Co
One of the newest additions to Bruntsfield’s already bustling cafe scene, Honeycomb & Co. has arrived with a bang and unlike its predecessors doesn’t seem to be going anywhere in a hurry. As a tribute to the insects we humans depend on for survival, this cafe manifests a honey-themed colour pattern that is quite charming.
Boasting a menu that offers a revitalising choice of fresh dishes packed with energy this cafe gifts Bruntsfield with yet another haven for food lovers. Honeycomb & Co. buzzes like the bees it celebrates and yet the only animal you will find in here is the one that barks.
The Devil’s Advocative is as provocative a pub as its name suggests with an inviting interior that evokes a sense of diablerie within its visitors. The bar is largely candle-lit with lustreless down-lighting that softly illuminates the entire space as though formed by a mass of shadows. This is a romantic spot with numerous two-seated tables appropriately spaced and hidden cubby-holes for the city sweethearts. The main bar area does however offer spacious area to relax with a pint or cocktail with your pawed best pal.
Image by Bon Vivant
If you are looking for a bar that manifests exactly how a traditional bar should look then look no further than Bon Vivant on Edinburgh’s Thistle Street. This pub manifests the aesthetics of a grubby old watering hole kept afloat by regulars needing their daily fix but is on a closer look a homely bar/kitchen that salutes the traditional idea of good food and good beer in a laid-back unpretentious environment. What is so good about Bon Vivant is its versatility; its able to accommodate any occasion whether it be a catch up with your pals, a special occasion or just a kick-back to read in peace with your best pal sleeping at your feet.