BRASS MONKEY 14 Drummond St, 556 1961. Mon–Fri 11am–1am; Sun 12.30pm–1am. Basic pint: £3


The good music policy, reasonable drinks prices and (recently re-jigged) comfy backroom cinema have made this a much-loved local. You’ll still have to fight your way to the bar on post-theatre nights though. High point: Screenings of cult movies at 3pm daily

BRAUHAUS 105 Lauriston Place. Mon–Sun 3pm–1am. Basic pint: £2.80

As tiny as this place is, it’s surprising to find there are around 300 beers available, from all corners of the world, and knowledgeable bar staff to guide you through them. Expect a mix of art-schoolers, after–work drinkers and beer aficionados. High point: Massive range of beers. ALSO RECOMMENDED: The Canny Man’s (237 Morningside Road) for enduring Morningside charms.

THE ROSELEAF 23–24 Sandport Place, 476 5268. Mon–Sun 10am–1am. Basic pint: £2.95

What does the Roseleaf not do well? A favourite pretty much since it opened three years ago, it’s built a strong following from across the city based on a combination of excellent homemade comfort food (the macaroni cheese is a standout) available in snack and meal sizes, their signature pot-tails cocktails served in china teapots and some warm and friendly service. With an individual décor style somewhere between chintzy and shabby chic, it also excels with all manner of personal touches including a range of old-fashioned board games behind the bar and a set tea party menu of sandwiches, vol-au-vents and cakes at £10 a head. High point: Absolutely everything


Edinburgh bars open in the last 12 months More than ever, the cutting edge of Edinburgh’s friendly neighbourhood bar culture is happening in Leith. Along with The Parlour Bar (142 Duke Street), there’s the brand new Shebeen (3–5 Dock Place, Leith), a South African-themed venue which thrives on imported beers and live rugby. Sadly no biltong as yet, though. It might be something to do with the financial climate, but new opening risks in town only seem to be taken by those larger operators who can afford it at the moment. Hyde Out (2 Fountainbridge Square) is a fairly functional style bar in Fountainbridge’s Edinburgh Quay complex, while Tanqueray No. TEN (1 Princes Street) is a Martini cocktail bar which replaces the old Palm Court at the Balmoral Hotel. Undoubtedly plush, but not one for popping your head into on the way home from work. The elegant new wine and antipasti bar Divino Enoteca (5 Merchant Street, pictured), though, oozes approachable class, while the takeovers of The Windsor Buffet (45 Elm Row) (by the people from the Blue Blazer) and The White Horse Bar (266 Canongate) (by the Earl of Marchmont team) make them two to watch. (David Pollock)

22 THE LIST 2–16 Dec 2010

VICTORIA 265 Leith Walk, 555 1638.–static/victoria.html Mon–Fri 2pm–1am; Sat noon–1am; Sun 1pm–1am. Basic pint: £3.15

It’s hard to choose between Leith’s chain of Swedish- style bars (see also Boda, Sofi’s and Joseph Pearce), but Victoria edges it thanks to a good range of drinks and snacks, child-friendliness, a fortnightly language café and more. High point: Idun’s pear and elderflower ciders

THE VILLAGE 16 South Fort Street, 478 7810. Mon–Sat noon–1am; Sun 12.30pm–1am. Basic pint: £2.90

A little out of the way even for most Leithers, but a friendly local with a decent drinks range and regular live music, including Leith Folk Club ( meets every Tuesday. High point: A low-key live hub in Leith

THE PARLOUR 142 Duke Street, 555 3848.

Mon–Thu noon–midnight; Fri & Sat noon–1am; Sun 12.30pm–midnight. Basic pint: £2.95

A welcome new name in the area, the well turned-out Parlour has opened strongly with Monday and Thursday open mic nights, a Wednesday pub quiz, a range of snacks and a homely attitude. High point: Real coal fire

VINTNERS ROOMS 87 Giles Street, 554 6767. Mon–Sat 11am–midnight. Basic pint: £3.00 (bottle)

Already known for its high quality food and outstanding wine list, this handsome bar-cum- restaurant in a converted Leith warehouse has recently started selling off a private collection of 1315 malt whiskies by the glass, ranging from £5 to a 1902 Highland Park at £250 a nip. High point: Whisky paradise ALSO RECOMMENDED: Nobles (44a Constitution Street) for music and old school banter. The King’s Wark (36 The Shore) for great food.