The Thistle Street Bar is a small, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it pub to be found on a quiet street just behind the retail behemoth that is George Street. Missing it would be a shame as it is a small bar with a big heart, and a secret!
It’s pretty well priced for a city centre bar and has all the standard beers, with a couple of real ale hand pumps thrown in. There’s a fairly wide range of spirits, with a good malt selection to choose from.
Food is available in the form of filled bagels and there are also some pretty tasty chicken wings on the go with quite a fiery dipping sauce to be had.
It’s quite a mixed bag of customers during the day; ranging from men escaping for a few pints while their partners hit the local boutiques, kilt-clad workers from Howie Nicholsby’s 21st Century Kilt shop across the road popping in for a quick half and people just wanting a refreshing change from the identikit chain bars that have taken over a lot of George Street. Things tend to get a bit livelier in the evenings and space can be a premium, so go early if you can.
There are a couple of TVs and they mainly show football, but it is definitely not a ‘footie’ bar. The staff are a really nice bunch and help to give this busy city centre bar the welcoming feel of a local, whether you are a long-term regular or this is your first visit. There’s a cosy open fire for the colder months too.
Oh, yes, the secret… Well, up the stairs on the left and out the back door, you will find a small but perfect suntrap of a beer garden that is a lovely spot to catch a few of those elusive rays of sunshine to be had during Edinburgh’s elusive summertime.
Address: 39 Thistle Street, EH2 1DY
Phone: +44 0131 225 1664
(Pictures from Thistle Street Bar’s website)