Kays Bar

Cosy, enjoyably chatty backstreet pub with good value lunchtime food and an excellent choice of well kept beers


Speciality beers
Cask ales
  • Sandwiches sold

Bar food times: 12-2.30; not Sun

Typical main dish: mince and tatties

Typical main dish price: £5.50

  • Speciality beers
  • Cask ales (7)

Price of cheapest bitter: £4.00

Name of cheapest bitter: Theakstons

  • Dogs allowed in the bar

The good pub guide review

In days past, this pub was owned by John Kay, a whisky and wine merchant: wine barrels were hoisted up to the first floor and dispensed through pipes attached to nipples that are still visible around the ceiling light rose. A friendly little backstreet pub, it's surprisingly untouristy. Décor is simple, with big casks and vats arranged along the walls, old wine and spirits merchants' notices and gas-type lamps. Also, long, curving, well worn red plush wall banquettes and stools around cast-iron tables on red carpet, and red pillars supporting the red ceiling. A quiet panelled back room (a bit like a library) leads off, with a panelled pitched ceiling and a collection of books ranging from dictionaries to ancient steam-train books for boys; there's a lovely coal fire in winter and board games. Crucially, there's also a marvellous choice of drinks here including around seven real ales on handpump with four regulars ' maybe Caledonian Deuchars IPA, Fyne Ales Jarl, Stewart Copper Cascade and Theakstons Best ' plus more than 50 malt whiskies aged from eight to 50 years old including a changing 'malt of the moment', 20 gins and half a dozen wines by the glass. Sports TV. They hold a beer festival in August.

The good pub guide food review

Good value lunchtime-only food includes stovies, pâté with toast, haggis, neeps and tatties, warm brie or prawn salads, beef or chicken curries, chilli con carne, steak pie, and puddings such as chocolate fudge cake.

2021 Awards

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Contact Details

Kays Bar, 39 Jamaica Street, Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH3 6HF

(0131) 225 1858

Opening Hours

Weekdays: 11am-midnight

Saturday: 11am-1am Fri

Sunday: 12.30-11