For someone who loves a pint as much as I do, I’ve had a chance to scope out quite a few pubs by bike in Edinburgh. It’s surprising how much my mode of transport has changed my social decisions. There is a nice pub on Leith Walk that has terrible bike parking and feels unsafe to leave my bike there. I just don’t go. Constitution Street is another good example – Nobles and Compass are great spots, but I always struggle finding a spot to park. I prefer pubs with good bike parking (or atleast lots of signposts nearby the entrance) and that guarantee a good journey home.
I realise my criteria isn’t necessarily intentional by the pub and I appreciate that I’m missing some, especially in the West End or Morningside area (share your favourites!). It would be a beautiful thing if more pubs (and other businesses for that matter) worked to provide good bike parking and even threw in some other bikeable considerations such as a bike pump, maybe a repair kit, or other goodies for cyclists to borrow behind the bar. I’d be happy to spend my money there.
And I should say, I always cycle responsibly and in no way condoning irresponsible transportation. Be safe, folks.
So, on to some of my favourites!
Roseleaf – This pub down in Leith has a lot going for it. Great beer, great food, a very good vibe – plus fantastic bike parking and it’s right off of the trail. The parking is right across the street, well lit, and depending on where you live – could have a really scenic journey home.
Cramond Inn – This pub has seriously good and reasonable beer (try the Sam Smith organic wheat beer) and on a nice day – nothing beats the journey to get here along the Cramond Promenade. You can cycle along the prom and drink your pint while sitting at picnic tables overlooking Cramond Island. You can either park your bike along the railing (which is tough if there are lots of bikes) or take it to the outdoor table with you. Nothing safer than drinking a pint with your bike.
Hemma – I’ve been spending a lot of time at Hemma down by Dynamic Earth because of a course I’m on. From the owners of Joseph Pearce, Boda Bar, Victoria, and Sophi’s – this spot has good bike parking across the street and is right next to the Holyrood network. It’s also covered in windows so you can check on your bike now and again. I haven’t tried at their Sophi’s down in Leith but I hear you can actually bring your bike in the pub with you. Anyone try it?
Dalriada – So I’m cheating a little here – the Dalriada on the Portobello promenade has great bike parking because I don’t have to actually bring my bike to the pub since it’s my local. But there is a long fence in the front where you can lock your bike or they have a front garden where folks can bring their bikes straight to their table. Or you could get your pint in a plastic cup and take right on the beach. Lots of bikeable options! They have great music throughout the week and you get to travel along the prom to get there – you can’t beat it.
Red Squirrel – The Red Squirrel on Lothian Road is one of my favourite spots to meet friends. There is adequate bike parking across the street in Festival Square and some rails out front which make it easy to bike up. While the terrifying tram tracks are just down the road, it’s an easy pub to get to if you are comfortable in traffic. Also, you can head to the Filmhouse after and leave your bike without a problem.
Doctors – Doctors is a great place to go after work if you are central. You have easy access to the Meadows and there is bike parking right across the street, in addition to the University bike parking which is pretty good.
Royal Dick Pub – Loccated in Summerhall off the Meadows, the Royal Dick Pub used to be the small animal hospital of the Dick Vet School and now is a vibrant space with a great collection of beers – including brewing Barneys (try the Red Rye, it’s not to be missed). Bike parking is on the rails outside Summerhall (which again is tough if there are a lot of bikes around) and you have the Meadows nearby with the entrance to the Innocent Railway Train not far.
Some other favourites include the Hanging Bat on Lothian Road, Cloisters by Soul Cycles, Roamin’ Nose near the trail off of Dundas Street, Pear Tree by Edinburgh University, and the Safari Lounge not far from Meadowbank.
Where do you like to head on your bike?