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Late Night, Drinks
Reviews (400)
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Traveler rating
200
81
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22
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All reviews pies real ale knowledgeable bar staff great pub great selection of beers edinburgh pub on tap royal mile ales whiskeys pint cask malt
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Reviewed 4 days ago

The venue was very nice and they have literally hundreds of different whiskey available, but most important was how amazing the staff was. We came knowing very little about whiskey and the bar tender took the time to patiently explain them all to us. She...selected 3/4 options for us and gave us the origin as well as let us smell them so that we could get an idea of what we might like. Once she helped narrow it down, she gave us more information about Scottish whiskey and was very kind and friendly for the entire experience. If you want to try Scottish Whiskies while in Edinburgh, this is the place!More

Date of visit: November 2022
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This is a tiny slightly off the beaten track bar with the best beer selection in Edinburgh. No food, no cocktails, but if beer and/or whisky is your thing then this is the place to be. Very knowledgeable staff, excellent prices, great selection from across...the UK and the world. I'm a little wary of leaving a review because I don't want it to become too popular, or I'll never get a seat!More

Date of visit: November 2022
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Reviewed October 15, 2022

They have a great selection of beers and their pies are delicious. We have never been disappointed. It's a nice place just off the Royal Mile, on a charming street of shops and pubs. Most tourists never get off the Royal Mile--that's a mistake.

Date of visit: October 2022
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Reviewed September 18, 2022 via mobile

We popped in here on Saturday early afternoon and enjoyed the atmosphere and a delicious whisky. A nice bar right in the centre of the old town.

Date of visit: September 2022
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Reviewed September 3, 2022

We visited this pub on three occasions in our time in Edinburgh and really enjoyed the experience. Bar staff were great and great selection of beers. Great atmosphere - proper old-school pub.

Date of visit: September 2022
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Reviewed August 26, 2022 via mobile

Always rated Bow Bar high but even better now as they had a choice of two excellent gluten free ales on tap. Its great for someone with gluten intolerance to have a choice of decent beers available.

Date of visit: August 2022
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Reviewed August 25, 2022

Having purchased an extremely poor (flat and lifeless) pint of cask ale - it was returned after a couple of sips to be advised the policy of the bar was that this could not be replaced FOC when it was clearly sub standard

Date of visit: August 2022
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Reviewed August 11, 2022

We saw a review for this place in August 2022. Stopped in to have some food and a beer. Not so fast. First, they had no food, just some heated over chicken pies. UGH! There is no A/C so the place was sweltering. The place...looked like a great, authentic. pub in the photos but it is a dump - avoid it and do not believe the pix.More

Date of visit: August 2022
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Mike S, General Manager at The Bow Bar, responded to this reviewResponded August 25, 2022

Hi Jay, First of all, we are a small drinking pub that doesn't have a kitchen, so we only offer a selection of pies at lunch time, we don't advertise anything more, so you can't fault us on something we don't cater to. As there...More

Reviewed July 28, 2022

Popped in here, to have a we drink with my Lovely Daughter & Wife who from all adversity, 'the loss off her child and her mother,' within 3 months had finished her University degree with honours. Fussy bear the barman who has an unkept beard...and wears glasses that don’t fit him was rude by welcoming us with the word 'YES' 'but served us a drink.' On returning to the bar he decided not to serve us. I can only assume it was because of my daughters facial deformity from childhood. We where all badly shaken, and i would not argue with this Pathetic Inadequate Individual, we walked away to another Establishment who made us feel very welcome, I have to say i found what should have been a joy-us day to be insulting to say the least, because of the repugnant Barman....I would Appeal to the Owners to change there staff and give them training, This Comment comes from a man and his wife who have been in the trade for 48 years having several Establishments we really do know how to treat our Valued clienteleMore

Date of visit: July 2022
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Mike S, General Manager at The Bow Bar, responded to this reviewResponded July 30, 2022

I'm sorry but no one of that description works for us. It is also outrageous to suggest we would refuse service to someone with a facial deformity

Reviewed July 28, 2022 via mobile

Great wee bar. Quiet and peaceful. No music or gaming machines which is a blessing. Huge choice of beers and ales. Be warned however. Some of them are really strong.

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed June 23, 2022

Just read that this bar has won award, surely it could not have been for the professional manner of the bar staff. I am 65 years old and a number of years ago I went there on a Saturday afternoon and the bar staff refused...to serve me. I had just been shopping and had arranged to meet a mate there. Their excuses not to serve me was a march had taken place in the city in support of some Irish thing and they were only serving regulars. I pointed out that there back-packers in and drinking, one member of the bar staff said ok, but they don't look Irish and you do. By the way I was carrying a M and S shopping bag with food I had just bought and I was sober. Never attempted to go back.More

Date of visit: June 2022
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Reviewed April 9, 2022 via mobile

Ordered a pint or a local brew and a vodka &coke. Beer great , no problem but given half pint of coke with , hopefully , a shot of vodka. Coke tasted a bit off and flat , so after drinking about half of it...asked if they could put maybe a double in as one shot of spirit with half pint of mixer doesn’t taste too good. Barman said that they don’t sell doubles ! Ok, put a single shot in it ? No we can’t do that was the reply after asking his manager so politely asked him to pour it away. This has to be the worst pub in Edinburgh that I have ever been into, obviously will never be going in there again, customer service VERY lackingMore

Date of visit: April 2022
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Mike S, General Manager at The Bow Bar, responded to this reviewResponded July 30, 2022

We sell our spirits in 35ml measures, unlike many bars that use 25ml. Because of this we have a strict rule of not serving doubles as it is almost a triple in other bars. We often get customers thinking they have figured out a loop...More

Reviewed December 17, 2021

What a great pub. Relaxing, a great selection of beer and friendly and knowledgeable bar staff. I was very impressed with the staffs knowledge of whiskeys and we will definitely return there next time we are here in the city.

Date of visit: December 2021
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed December 4, 2021

We had visited the whiskey shop (Highly recommend!) across the road and they said that BowBar had a selection of whiskeys to try, so we popped in. We sat in the corner at the back, we were comfortable (a little cold) and were welcomed warmly....The lady and gent are the bar were polite, professional and had such good knowledge of the whiskeys. We stayed for roughly two hours and watched it snow outside. Highly recommend for a whiskey and good atmosphere.More

Date of visit: December 2021
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed December 2, 2021 via mobile

Not your standard ale which was a nice change. Plenty of whiskeys and some as malt of the moment for £4. Pleasant staff. Tables are awful however. Tiny, low down and cannot be moved.

Date of visit: December 2021
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Questions & Answers
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MaryBGood123
October 20, 2018|
Answer
Response from BowBar_Management | Property representative |
Hi Mary, Yes we do, we provide water and treats as well
1
Vote
539antonyc
August 5, 2015|
Answer
Response from BowBar_Management | Property representative |
Hi, unfortunately within our license we can not have under 18s in the bar. Sorry about that.
0
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THE BOW BAR, Edinburgh - Old Town - Restaurant Reviews, Photos & Phone Number - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about The Bow Bar

The Bow Bar is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 4
  • Service: 4
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4