Cloisters Bar

Welcome to one of Edinburgh's best loved real ale pubs.

Cloisters Bar

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#94: Cloisters Bar, Brougham Street, Edinburgh | Edinburgh Pubs

Review analysis
food   drinks  

Always a good selection of well-kept beers, friendly staff, good food, happy customers, high woodenness ratio, a historical building, cosy fireplace, etc, etc.

It can be a quiet and peaceful place, just you, great beer and the respectfully quiet murmurings of your fellow pilgrims.

There are 9 casks and sometimes a guest keg or two, with a few safer options for the non real ale crowd.

I didn’t write down the price of the round, but it’s easy to see from the cask list pictured that it’s very reasonable with most beers £3.50 or under.

I can’t say if the food’s good or not, having not eaten here in years (for no particular reason), but if the quality control is anything close to that of the beers, you’ll not be disappointed.

The Cloisters (26 Brougham Street, Edinburgh) | The List

Review analysis
quietness   drinks  

Quiet haven for lovers of quality beer, with a large range of whisky and an open fire to warm your toes by.

Bars like The Cloisters have ticked along for years and have perhaps never quite been given the recognition they deserve for surfing the wave of the craft beer movement – if not starting it off in the first place.

Here, big beards and fancy beer flights are swapped for a quiet expertise, a warm welcome and a rotating range of 19 cask and keg beers from brewers like Pilot, Cairngorms, Alchemy and Black Isle.

There’s a nicely edited range of bottled beers from Europe and further afield, and a decent, locally sourced burger to boot.

It’s an atmospheric spot for a quiet pint or two, especially when the Edinburgh rain lashes against the window and the open fire flickers invitingly inside.

15 Edinburgh pubs and bars with an incredible atmosphere

Review analysis
drinks   ambience   food   staff  

Traditional and with few frills, The Bow Bar fills up at weekends, but always has a party atmosphere and some fantastic whiskies and beers on offer.

Regularly hosting live traditional Scottish music, there’s always a party happening at folk bar Sandy Bell’s – and they’ve got some great beer, too.

Known locally for their tasty burgers, The Cambridge Bar is a bit of a hidden gem (tucked away behind George Street) and often screens sports games live, making the pub a lively but comfortable spot to spend a few hours.

It has only been open for around two years, but relative newcomer Salt Horse has already cultivated a consistently welcoming atmosphere for craft beer lovers, who can enjoy a few brews in the intimate bar before visiting the attached bottle shop.

The family and dog-friendly Jeremiah’s Taproom on Elm Row has a traditional set up with contemporary decor, and has plenty of space for customers to sit down or gather around the horseshoe bar.

Cloisters Bar, Edinburgh - Restaurant Bookings & Offers -

Cloisters | Edinburgh, Scotland

Review analysis
menu   drinks   staff   value   ambience   food  

Bridgwater, England | December 5, 2017 Excellent bar in a lovely old stone building a few minutes walk from the Hanging Bat.

, Italy | August 5, 2017 Good pub with a good selection of ale even a bit different from others places o town .

Service was good, selection very interesting, a good Scottish selection plus a keg of Kernel, stayed for a few beers and moved back centrally but well worth the visit.

Very friendly... This is my TOP equal choice of Edinburgh bar (along with the Bow Bar) the 5 Guest Taps Change frequently, through a wide and varied selection Since my original rate way back in 2008...this place has gone from strength to strength, they have removed Landlord, and Deuchers and put in a permanent highland tap, and Stewarts Pentland, they have replaced Guinness with Black Isle Porter and have an occasional range of interesting Keg beers.

Children over 5 now allowed with food up till 7pm Leicester, England | November 21, 2015| Updated November 23, 2015 Excellent beer pub, focusing mostly on cask (there were 8 cask and 2 keg offerings on my arrival).

Cloisters Bar

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Cloisters Bar | Bars and pubs in Marchmont, Edinburgh

Review analysis

A beery, ecclesiastical oasis for more than two decades For more than 20 years Cloisters has been a haven of quality beer and decent pub grub, perched in the short stretch between Tollcross and the rolling green space of the Meadows.

The premises were once the parsonage of the adjacent Episcopalian church, explaining the slightly ecclesiastical feel, while the décor does nothing to distract from the drink: bare stone walls, wooden tables and chairs, pews and some old pub mirrors.

The beer choice is legendary – nine cask taps and 10 keg – with eight of those rotating constantly.

There are other dishes too like moules frites, Cajun salmon and daily specials.

Convivial on busy evenings, Cloisters can also be a surprisingly reflective space on a quiet weekday afternoon.

Forest Café | Restaurants in Old Town, Edinburgh

Review analysis

The opening times elsewhere on this site, say the Forest, are subject to the presence of enough volunteers to staff the place, and there’s the beauty and the drawback to the place in one statement.

As an arts hub, a café and a community centre in one, it’s like nowhere else in Edinburgh; formerly located on West Port and Bristo Place, and now employing its distinctive brand of bohemian café culture – including music, arts and literary events – it occupies a bright space right on Tollcross.

Frequented by hippies and hipsters alike, no-one can hope to have a grasp on Edinburgh’s counter-cultural life until they’ve visited this aesthetically calming jumble of a place and soaked up its unique atmosphere.

As a café it’s also definitely worthy of consideration, particularly as it’s one of the few places in the city serving exclusively vegetarian meals, with vegan options also available.

Portions are generally heaped and hearty, although the welcoming and inclusive volunteer-run ethos of the place means you take the rough with the smooth if, for example, one day’s cook isn’t as good as the last or there’s a wait while it’s busy.