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Mar 23, 2021Clare Bridson

The stages are up, the acts have arrived, the promoters have swamped the streets. We’re back to that time of year when Edinburgh’s population doubles and all hell breaks loose.

With bars popping up here, there and everywhere, here are our top tips on where to knock back a Tom Collins or sip at a Manhattan.

Sips in the City

If you’re after an authentic Scottish experience then head over to Sips in the City on Niddry Street for Scottish themed foods and local brews. This pop up bar is quite the hot spot for venues 9 and 39 and is great for picking up a quick pre-show cocktail. If you’re after something a little lighter then give their refreshingly well cultivated craft beer menu a browse too! Sips in the City is at theSpace @ Niddry St 

Made in Adelaide

For a taste of the land down under head to Made in Adelaide in the beautiful Summerhall courtyard. This bar is pretty much the embassy of Australian comedy and will be serving up the best of South Australian wine throughout the Fringe. The Adelaide Fringe is second only to Edinburgh so these guys certainly know what they’re doing. The stunningly elegant Summerhall venue is the perfect place to enjoy some sophisticated drinks. Check them out to see what you can watch while enjoying your drink.

Secret Gin Garden @ 56 North 

Perhaps not so secret now but this little nook just round the corner from some of the main venues offers a calming respite from the swarms of George and Bristo Squares.  You can kick back with a gin, a whisky or an exotic cocktail while taking a break from the festival mayhem. You can’t go wrong with the gourmet food on offer here either with a menu covering everything from Steak to a Cheesecake. The Secret Gin Garden is a festival favourite.

The Cowshed

This cheeky pop up situated opposite Udderbelly on Cowgate has been a festival stronghold for a number of years now. The unique bar has fully embodied the cow theme started by its neighbour and gone a few steps further. The hay bales and outhouse style toilets make quite the statement on the aptly named Cowgate, while the live music that flows out of its doors make it an enjoyable spot to go and enjoy a couple of cold ones.

Assembly George Square Gardens 

A festival staple, Assembly’s George Square Gardens is the perfect place to relax with some street food and booze between shows. The gardens come back bigger and better each year with so much food and drink to tempt us. The conveniently situated venue is a great hub for meeting friends, refreshing your parched mouth and soaking up the festival feeling.

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