7 of the best rooftop bars in Edinburgh
There’s nothing quite like sipping a frosty beer or cocktail while surveying a city from a high – especially when that city is as good-looking as Edinburgh. Thankfully, you don’t have to go far to find a brilliant rooftop bar in Edinburgh. The city is full of them. But which to choose? From a prohibition-inspired speakeasy to a lively champagne bar, we’ve rounded up seven of the best rooftop bars in Edinburgh.
Where are the best rooftop bars in Edinburgh?
1. Cold Town Hall
Now owned by Cold Town Beer, this three-storey brewery is housed in the former Robertson Memorial Church. The days of serving sermons are long gone though. These days it’s all about the craft beer brewed on-site, award-winning pizzas and one of the best views of Edinburgh Castle in the city. Happily, there’s plenty of seating under the pergola-covered rooftop so you’re guaranteed to find a spot, even in the best weather. If the sun has gone awol, there are three more floors to explore too – it is Edinburgh after all.
2. Cask Smugglers
Situated on top of Waverly Mall, Cask Smugglers is a prohibition-inspired bar furnished with antiques, soft lighting and a retro soundtrack. The drinks menu is a love letter to all things Scottish, showcasing some of the city’s finest spirits and liquors like Smugglers Gin and Holy Grass Vodka. The food menu, designed to be shared, is just as exciting. Crowd-pleasing dishes include crispy pork belly with coconut slaw and salmon skewers with cucumber and ginger pickle. Top it off with a cheese board, featuring Isle of Mull Cheddar, Morangie Brie and Black Crowdie. Heaven.
3. Nor’ Loft
Named after the medieval Nor’ Loch that once sprawled across Princes Street Gardens, this lovely, lively champagne bar is the perfect spot to celebrate a special occasion. Set seven floors above the Market Street Hotel, the bar specialises in champagnes. The four-page menu includes house, non-vintage, rose, sec, demi-sec and vintage varieties of bubbles sold by the glass or bottle. If you’re feeling flush, you can pick up a magnum.
4. The Lookout
The Lookout comes from the same team behind The Gardener’s Cottage, Edinburgh’s quirkiest little eatery. Like its sister restaurant, menus here use the best seasonal ingredients from local producers, meaning you can pair your Meadow Sweet Old Fashioned with Dunbar crab and herb tarts or venison loin with pumpkin, plums and lavender. The outdoor terrace is small but offers sparkling views right out to the coast.
This much-loved Thai restaurant pairs fantastic South East Asian cuisine with brilliant views of Edinburgh castle. The al fresco terrace offers gobsmacking views of the city, with floor-to-ceiling windows and a removable cover for when the weather is warm. The menu includes all the staples, including dumplings, noodles and stir fry dishes. There’s an excellent array of drinks to choose from too, some with a Thai twist.
For a bird’s eye view of the capital, grab a seat at this sleek bar on the roof of DoubleTree by Hilton in Bread Street. If the weather takes a turn, you can still enjoy front-row views of Edinburgh Castle and the Fife Coast through the floor-to-ceiling glass wall. It’s an exclusive restaurant and bar, only open from Friday to Sunday, so you’ll need to book tables in advance. Keep an eye on the calendar, the bar hosts everything from silent discos to al fresco barbecues.
7. Forth Floor
Open seven days a week, Forth Floor is an elegant bar offering sweeping views over the Firth of Forth. There’s an impressive list of wines and champagnes, including a variety of vintages, on offer, as well as beers and cocktails. Set at the top of Harvey Nichols in St Andrews Square, the thirty-metre space soars to the same height as some of the city’s tallest buildings. That means good views are guaranteed.