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Tolbooth Tavern

#379 of 1,796 Restaurants in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
$$ - $$$
Old Town
Bar, British, Pub, Scottish
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167 Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8BN, Scotland
+44 131 629 4500
11:00 - 23:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun 12:00 - 23:00
Mon - Thu 11:00 - 23:00
Fri - Sat 11:00 - 00:00
More Info
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331 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 252: English reviews
Level Contributor
51 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We decided to pop in here after a running event after we had read the brass plaque outside the bar. Small quaint bar that had runners and locals in, good selection of whiskey and Scottish ales. The bar staff were very friendly and helpful after I asked if it was possible to charge my mobile. We didn't have any food... More 

Thank Joe C
Level Contributor
19 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This is a perfect spot for both lunch and dinner. The historic building and atmosphere is wonderful, and the menu - mostly traditional Scottish fare, as well as burgers - is filled with reasonably priced options. The "Haggis Tower" was immense, nicely presented, and extremely tasty. The service was very prompt and the staff extremely friendly. This place is the... More 

Thank Jeff Y
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
356 reviews
178 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

This used to be a good locals pub with reasonable prices. Not anymore I am afraid. It has started charging town prices. IE £4.00 a pint. Shame as used to be good pub. This is not just my opinion as I spoke to a few regulars on new years eve who agreed

1 Thank EdinburghChaz
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
92 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Off the beaten path...but on the Royal Mile headed down to Holyrood Palace. Great atmospheric 16th century pub. It was the old Tolbooth where you had to pay to enter the city...a former prison, home and now a delicious pub. I had steak and ale. Great meal. Super friendly and welcoming staff. I'll go again!

1 Thank Rio725
North East England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Called in to this lovely quaint pub on the way back to our hotel. We saw the advert for a hot toddy and were served delicious Drambuie hot toddy's. We had two each and really enjoyed them.

1 Thank lalderson29
Level Contributor
62 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We visited Edinburgh for a "long weekend" and the Tolbooth happened to be close to our rented apartment. This review is only about the atmosphere, which we found warm and welcoming, and the drinks service which was what one would expect in a good "local" - we didn't have food. For us, the Tolbooth felt like a real pub with... More 

1 Thank Banj01
Paris, France
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Very nice and original pub. Staff very friendly. Delicious food , netter to order just one option portions are very big! We enjoyed the ambiance and place despite it takes a little bit too much time to order.

1 Thank ChloeSchmdt
Lockport, New York
Level Contributor
91 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 December 2016

Nice historical building, was used to collect a toll many years ago. The building was very old architecture. The food was good and it was a nice place for dinner and conversation. The steak and ale pie was very good and so was the sticky toffee pudding. Would recommend this place for dinner.

Thank lovetovisitnewplaces
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
64 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 November 2016 via mobile

This place is very close to where we are staying so we went in for lunch after flying up from London. Food was fab, hot and nicely presented, very generous portions. Host took the time to ask us about our stay and to recommend some activities we might liketo considering our itinerary.

Thank Jo G
Graeme E, Owner at Tolbooth Tavern, responded to this review

HI, Thank you for your kind review haste ye back More 

Retford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 November 2016

We found this pub having been in it several years ago it was warm and hospitable and the beer was good. We met a couple from Australia and spent a couple of hours in their company, they were researching their ancestry and were very interested in the area. We had a meal with them and it was one of the... More 

Thank Avril A
Graeme E, Owner at Tolbooth Tavern, responded to this review

HI, Thank you for your kind review haste ye back More 

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
Bar, British, Pub, Scottish
Lunch, Dinner, Drinks
Restaurant features
Waitstaff, Television, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Seating, Reservations
Good for
Local cuisine, Child-friendly, Cheap Eats, Bar Scene
Open Hours
12:00 - 23:00
11:00 - 23:00
11:00 - 23:00
11:00 - 23:00
11:00 - 23:00
11:00 - 00:00
11:00 - 00:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 167 Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8BN, Scotland
  • Location: Europe  >  United Kingdom (UK)  >  Scotland  >  Edinburgh>  > Old Town
  • Neighbourhood: Old Town
  • Phone Number: +44 131 629 4500
Est 1820 Edinburgh's second oldest pub rests in the building built in 1590 that was once used as a Police cell, prison and courthouse, it has seen the imprisonment of the covenanters, daring escapes, and warlocks exorcised

Now a great pub, doing amazing Scottish food, from Haggis, (we breed our own) to traditional Fish and Chips.
All can be washed down with some of the Caledonian Brewery's famous ales, or a fine wee dram of malt whisky.

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Tolbooth Tavern and other visitors
2 questions
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1 month ago

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Questions? Get answers from Tolbooth Tavern staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?

Staying in Old Town

Neighbourhood Profile
Old Town
Few Edinburghers live in the Old Town, but its labyrinth of dank alleys and steep streets suggests this was not always the case. Today, it’s mostly visitors, tartan-flavoured souvenir shops, and pipers that you’ll find on its cobbled streets. This is the place to get a feel for Auld Reekie (Old Smelly), as the town was once nicknamed, and stroll the Royal Mile, the thoroughfare that links the castle with the royal palace – two of Edinburgh’s great set-piece attractions. But there’s lots more exploring to do here down dozens of little alleys, or wynds, while at night the city’s busiest clubs erupt along the Cowgate which is closed to traffic for this purpose.
Explore this neighbourhood