Hotspot: The Halfway House in Edinburgh

Tucked away in one of Edinburgh’s many alleys you’ll find one of the smallest pubs in Edinburgh. The Halfway House is a traditional pub with a few small tables, cozy booths and a limited menu with just a few local Scottish dishes. The atmosphere is unobtrusive and friendly. The perfect spot to enjoy a local ale. Or two… 


Hotspot in Edinburgh: the Halfway house The Halfway House in Edinburgh booth

The Halfway house is one of our favorite hotspots in Edinburgh.


If you don’t know where to look, you’ll definitely miss this hidden gem in Edinburgh. It’s tucked away halfway (hence the name…) between the stairs of the Fleshmarket Close, an alley between the buzzing old town and Edinburgh’s train station. When you enter the small pub, the broad collection of local Scottish ales, ciders and of course whisky is probably the first thing you’ll notice. You can also enjoy a bite to eat in this traditional pub, the small kitchen is open all day. The menu is limited to a few simple dishes, but don’t let that fool you as the food is great! The Halfway House serves typical Scottish dishes like haggis, traditional pies or a simple soup. Don’t expect the best food you’ve ever tasted, but just enjoy a good meal at a reasonable price.



Eten in the halfway house edinburgh

Trying different beers

When you enter the Halfway House you can see the whole space at one glance. It’s small but cozy, so we were happy to see there was a spot for us. But then the question comes: what do you want to drink? There are lots to choose from and we couldn’t make up our minds. Luckily the bartender gave us an excellent option: a little beer tasting! If you do not know what kind of beer you want, then I’d recommend going for this option. The beer tasting consists of three smaller glasses with three different types of beer. If there’s one you particularly like, then you can, of course, order a normal sized glass afterward. In our case, the bartender started to talk about a type of cider he had on tap. We were curious, so decided to go for it. Man, to this date, the cider I drank there was the very best I ever had. Not too sweet like many ciders, but very tasty!




Hotspot in Edinburgh with local ales and its own whiskey

The pub is small and known for its wide selection of local beers. Whenever you visit, you’ll always find four different types of ‘ales’ on the (manually operated) tap and their offer can change daily. Whisky lovers will find something they like when visiting this pub, as they serve a wide selection of malt whiskys, including their own Halfway House Tullibardine Malt. You can not make a reservation and with the limited number of tables, there is a very real chance that there is no room. But having a Scottish ale at the bar while you wait is no a punishment either!


Are you tired of the mime players and the busy, touristy ‘Old Town’? Check out this small pub where it seems like time stood still and enjoy a local beer or two and a simple, good meal for a few pounds.


You can find Halfway House at Fleshmarket Close. The pub is open daily from 11 am (on Sundays from 12.30 pm).


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