Edinburgh Outdoor eating for those warm Summer days

Edinburgh outdoor eating doesn’t happen very often. In fact up until a few years ago. When the sun came out you used to make a mad dash to the park or beach. Now we look for a bar or restaurant to  enjoy a drink and food outside. For obvious reasons they are not easy to find. With the Scottish climate the outdoor spaces are not used as often as they would be in say the South France. But with the Covid restriction slowly lifting and drinking alcohol only available at veneus with outdoor seating they will once again be greatly saught after.

With restrictions in place because of COVID-19. Outside seating has become a good way of meeting friends socially. So it is good to know where they are.

Old Town

In Old Town the Grassmarket has one of the largest of outdoor eating areas spread across a variety of eating and drinking establishments. From Mamma’s pizza restaurant originally set up by Gold Leader (or should I say the actor) from the original Star Wars movie.  To The White Heart Inn one of the oldest pubs in Edinburgh, established in 1516. As wellas the Mussel and Steak restaurant to name but three.

The roof top garden of the Cold Town House in the Grassmarket is hard to beat for the views and atmosphere. It has only been open a over a year so is a very popular spot to be seen.

Just off the Royal Mile is Makars Gourmet Mash Bar on the Mound and the Fig tree Bistro in St Mary St have a small walled area out the back.


A sunny day in the Grassmarket.

New Town

The Cumberland Bar in the new Town has a small beer Garden to the rear. They have a great range of beers, gins and whisky. As well as a good selection of sharing plates.

Indigo Yard has a popular outside area just off Queensferry road at West end of Princes St. With my favourite wine bar in Edinburgh Le di Vin just around the corner. They have three or four tables outside their premise in Randolph place. This has been expanded recently using old Cable reels for tables.

As you get away from the city centre more choices appear. From the cafe of the Gallery Modern Art, the café in the Botanics to The Raeburn Hotel in Stockbridge. Or the Beach house café at Portobello.


There are a large selection of al fresco areas in Leith. With the Ship and the Shore bar both offering a small amount of outside seating. As does Malmaison all looking over the river of Leith just before it empties into the River Forth. Teuchters Landing has a floating pontoon at the back of their premises. Further along at Newhaven there is the Loch Fyne seafood Restaurant , Right next to it a is an upmarket chippy called the Fishmarket which has outside bench seating. Where you can enjoy your takeaway fish & chips with a glass of wine or a beer. Further along still from Leith is the Boardwalk club at Granton a nice place to start or finish a walk to Cramond.

If you are just looking to meet up with friends for a drink from 26th April 2021 then a couple of places to consider that won’t be on everyones radar is the Holyrood distillery on St Leonard st in Southside of Edinburgh. Or Bellfield Brewery in Abbeyhill. both have nice outdoor spaces. Plus there is a Google map showing bars with outside seating.

Our guides on our food tours will check where you are staying and give out recommendations for places to eat and drink close to your accommodation.

As always this is not an exhaustive list Edinburgh outdoor eating and drinking establishments so please let me know any that you can recommend for others to enjoy.