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GigPig's Guide to Vibrant Multi-Venue Quarters: Edinburgh

From an abundance of secret speakeasies, and bohemian shindigs rooted within the city's creative spirit, watering holes are scattered right across the city, however, this is your guide to see the best selection of haunts all within a short distance from one another.

The Arches

One of Edinburgh’s best-kept secrets lies within the stunning C-listed renovated Victorian arches. The Arches is a bustling quarter and is home to an eclectic amount of shops and eateries within a unique setting and boasts a vibrant charm. It oozes beauty and history and has blown a breath of fresh air into New Waverley and the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town.

The Cocktail Geeks is home to an incredibly unique concept which introduces the beauty of cocktails with a geeky pop-culture twist to create an immersive drinking experience. Every 4 months a new theme will take over meaning constant visits are essential. Currently inspired by a galaxy far far away, Star Wars fans can rejoice in the dark side, whilst sipping on a host of kyber crystals.

Room Rumours Coffee excels in mouth-watering fresh bakes and jaw-dropping pastries, their doughnuts are an absolute must! Accompanied by their Instagramable latte art, it is no surprise Room Rumours has been attracting so much attention.

Chop House is a sensational steak house featuring the finest British beef, which is all butchered and dry-aged in-house before being cooked on an open-flame charcoal grill. My mouth is watering writing this! It is then accompanied by their extensive wine list and the carefully curated cocktail list just to put the cherry on the cake.

Edinburgh Street Food

ESF is the most sought-after street food destination with award-winning eateries, regular live music and guest traders to ensure that Edinburgh Street Food is the most desirable vibrant hub in the Scottish Capital. Their bars are stocked to the brim all whilst supporting local breweries and distilleries, featuring the very best of Scottish produce. It is the perfect place to indulge in some banging grub and enjoy some incredibly talented homegrown music talent.

Junk ingeniously takes a fine dining twist on your junk food, with all the bold flavours you crave and none of the stingy portion sizes. The winners of the 2023 UK & European Street Food’s menu are exploding with creativity which will guarantee your tastebuds are dancing.

Bundits was awarded The Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Restaurant Awards 2022 and it is clear to see why with a range of sumptuous Korean food and their stellar cloud-like steamed boas. Their tornado potato is to die for and is highly popular amongst regulars which will blow you away.

Antojitos brings fresh, innovative and authentic Mexican ingredients to produce some excellent solely plant-based Mexican cuisine. Just be aware after your first bite you’ll begin to question whether it is vegan which is a testament to Scotland’s 2022 Street Food winners for producing some quality cuisine.


Nestled within one of the oldest quarters in the city are bustling and bohemian venues which boast historical character and charm. The Grassmarket is picturesque and enticing with a magnificent array of watering holes from those establishments that have retained their historic facade or the bohemian newcomers. There is an eclectic choice to delve into from lunchtime bevs to predrinks before the clubs open, all whilst tailoring to anyone’s drinking habits.

Cold Town House offers unparalleled lookout points over Edinburgh Castle on their rooftop terrace. If that hasn’t piqued your interest then their house-brewed beers, showstopping cocktails and delicious Neapolitan pizzas surely will bring you to one of the finest establishments in the historic town.

Dragonfly Cocktail Bar is an award-winning stylish haunt which brings a wide range of classic cocktails and the greatest mixology on display to create their creations. The oldest cocktail bar in Edinburgh welcomes some of the city's finest DJs to the prohibition-inspired venue to elevate your night.

Kick Ass Bar is an incredibly relaxed gastropub with a well-stocked drinks list and perfectly done pub grub. However, the real star of the show lies in their amazing outdoor space. Boasting a brilliant view of Edinburgh Castle, their beer garden is the perfect suntrap in the late afternoon.