Rose Street


Rose Street is the ‘Amber Mile’ of Auld Reekie.

This legendary strip is one, long stream of traditional, rowdy and iconic boozers – it’s packed full day, and night. And, it is even the birthplace of the Rose Street bar crawl - one of Scotland’s most famous drinking games. You have to down a pint and a shot in all 12 pubs…

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1. Dirty Dick's

159 Rose St, Edinburgh , EH2 4LS

The interior of Bier Keller, Newcastle, with wooden benches and seats

“Dirty old men need love too” – Dirty Dicks, 2016.

Dirty Dicks could only ever be the first stop. Dick is a man of legend in Edinburgh. He lived in the 1850s, walking the streets and cleaning up horse manure – hence the name. He was loved around the streets, he even inherited a large sum of money, but died before he realised his legacy – and this pub, bought by descendants, is dedicated to the man himself. There are antiques lining each and every wall (in fact, you can’t even see the walls). There are pots, pans, ornaments and even gold clubs hanging from the ceiling, along with signs saying ‘dirty old men need love too’ (we couldn’t agree more…). This place is lit by candle light – it’s traditional and cosy - and serves beer, craft ales, wine and delicious food. It even has an actual fire. ‘Nuff said.

Drunk Stage 1

2. Rose & Crown

170 Rose Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4BA

The interior of Bier Keller, Newcastle, with wooden benches and seats

Experience Edinburgh’s crown jewels.

The Rose and Crown is teaming with people – day and night. This unique L-shaped bar is everything you would expect when you imagine a Scottish pub. It’s a warm and friendly haunt, where tourists and locals rub shoulders. The cosy interior is all dark wood and rich furniture – it couldn’t be any more Scottish if it tried. There’s also live music five nights a week, and you can enjoy it all with a pint of the pub’s regular beer – Isle of Skye Gold Beer – or one of the many real ales and ever changing beers. There’s even a quaint little terrace where you can soak up the atmosphere of Rose Street – one of Edinburgh’s busiest drinking thoroughfares.

Drunk Stage 2

3. The Shoogly Peg

The interior of Bier Keller, Newcastle, with wooden benches and seats

This is, basically, a cosy front room on one of the rowdiest streets in Edinburgh.

The Shoogly Peg is the younger sister of the Rose and Crown – and is gaining a huge reputation on the mean streets of the capital. This place may be small, but it has a big character, and it’s seriously quirky – a nice change from the retail madness. A large model gorilla has, occasionally, been known to sit in the window of the pub, along with a unique elephant’s head shelf lining a wall. There are no real ales on draught, but this place does specialise in a vast selection of bottles beers, and proper pub grub.

Drunk Stage 3

4. The Black Cat

168 Rose Street, Edinburgh , EH2 4BA

The interior of Bier Keller, Newcastle, with wooden benches and seats

Get yourself a wee dram o’ whisky at The Black Cat.

This place is an independent pub, and it serves the finest hand-picked selection of Scottish whiskies. This is where you’ll get a real taste of Edinburgh. The Cat is authentic, small and cosy, but it’s not twee – although there are huge deer horns on the wall. But, you will find a variety of local beers, Scottish food and, of course, the whisky. The Black Cat is one of the busiest spots on Rose Street, and it’s seriously packed on the weekend. They even have a Scottish live band playing – so get your kilts on and get eating that haggis, laddie.

Drunk Stage 4

5. The Kenilworth

The interior of Bier Keller, Newcastle, with wooden benches and seats

Discover the seriously traditional Kenilworth and get to grips with ol’ Scottish life.

This unique and eclectic pub is revered the capital over for its unusual range of real ales – it’s a proper man’s pub. The vast selection features Scottish craft beer - including the likes of Stewart Brewing, First World Problems and Brewdog, Dead Pony Club - as well as English favourites and beer from around the world. It also lays claim to ‘the original gin palace’ in Edinburgh, with over 140 years of botanical heritage (any place with such dedication to booze is a friend of ours). This place, converted in 1904, is seriously buzzing, with a real welcoming feel. There’s a large square island centred on a mahogany drinks cabinet, and it draws in massive crowds. This is our kind of venue.

Drunk Stage 5

6. Element

110-114 Rose Street, Edinburgh , EH2 3JF

The interior of Bier Keller, Newcastle, with wooden benches and seats

Element is a different world on the historical Rose Street.

It is the complete opposite of the majority of pubs on Rose Street. And, since its revamp, it’s won Best Bar and Restaurant in Edinburgh at the Forth Awards – this place is fancy. It’s a gorgeous, boutique-style bar on the traditional Rose Street. The new design features a Scottish-inspired mural from artist Lynsey Jean Henderson, tartan chair coverings and has a huge space for larger groups. It’s at odds with the traditional boozers on the street, but it’s just as busy – and it doesn’t sacrifice on its authentic Scottish offerings. Whisky is a big deal on the menu, with all sorts available – including Islay, Highland and Island blends – and you can also sample a huge range of gin.

Drunk Stage 6

7. Auld Hundred

100 Rose Street, Edinburgh , EH2 2NN

The interior of Bier Keller, Newcastle, with wooden benches and seats

This is the OG on Rose Street.

Auld Hundred has been around for donkeys, since the 1800s, and is the earliest of the many pubs on this famous drinking street. Set in a former Mission Hall, hence the name, and it’s so traditional that you better be prepared to don a kilt to get through the door (that’s not strictly true, but let’s go with it…). This place is a classic, with a traditional wooden bar dominating the rooms and serving up all of the usual Scottish tipples – Auld Hundred is dedicated to drinking the proper way. Cask ales and whisky are the big sellers, and you can get a true taste of Auld Reekie. But, the real draw is the wrought iron staircase leading up to the hidden dining room, where you can get all of the Scottish comfort dishes. We’ll see you there…

Drunk Stage 7

8. Milnes Bar

The interior of Bier Keller, Newcastle, with wooden benches and seats

This place dates all the way back to 1910.

Milne’s also links back to the literary history of the city. One of its rooms is even named the ‘Little Kremlin’, as many members of the Scottish Renaissance would meet there and talk politics. This large venue has a main bar with authentic stone floors and a real Scottish atmosphere, which can be entered down a flight of stairs from Hanover Street – it’s seriously secretive. Pictures of various poets even dot the walls, but this old-school boozer is renowned in the capital for its huge selections of cask ales and craft beers from around the world. On top of that, there are also 40 Single Malt Scottish whiskies available, alongside an extensive range of spirits.

Drunk Stage 8

9. Abbotsford

3-5 Rose Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2PR

The interior of Bier Keller, Newcastle, with wooden benches and seats

This was actually designed by famed pub architect, Peter Henderson

The Abbotsford is Edinburgh’s best preserved elaborately designed and ornamented bar to have survived from the ‘Golden Age’ of Scottish pub design. The dark brown, Spanish-style mahogany island bar is the real star of the show – it’s even a tourist attraction. Intricately carved railings divide the island up into small serving ports that you have to almost stoop to order through. It’s completely at odds with the ‘typical’ Rose Street pub, and it has even played host to famous Scots – including Billy Connolly and Robbie Coltrane. There’s also a good restaurant upstairs that serves traditional Scottish delicacies as Cullen Skink (don’t ask…). Are you ready for an unforgettable last night of freedom, wee laddie?

You can experience even more of lively Rose Street, and the surrounding nightlife areas on our Edinburgh stag weekend page.

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