#5: Ryan’s Bar, Hope Street, Edinburgh

Ryan's Bar, Hope Street, Edinburgh

Ryan’s is an interesting pub, with unique arched, painted ceilings and a fairly cosy charm when it’s quiet, like tonight. It’s got quite a strange mix of styles, part Irish/Scottish theme pub, a hint of Parisian bistro, a whiff of over-thirties piano bar, and also street cafe. None of this is necessarily bad, it just seems to have a bit of an identity problem.

From previous visits here, it can get pretty rowdy at the weekend with big crowds, stag and hen doos, etc. It’s popular for rugby and perhaps other sports too, but I couldn’t say.


Ryan's Bar interior

Caledonian Deuchars and Flying Scotsman on Cask (I think), Calton Gold, Guinness and some big name lagers. Sorry, I don’t have any notes by this point in the evening. Poor show. All I remember is not being all that excited about the choice of beers on offer. The round came in at £17.80 for 5 pints, placing it firmly in the middle of the road (for tonight) at £3.56 per pint, more or less par with Bert’s.

The Calton Gold is the house lager, brewed under contract by Belhaven, according to Rich from The BeerCast. Ryan’s is part of a chain of several pubs around town, like Tiles, The Blind Poet, The Peartree and others. Most if not all of them have Calton Gold on, along with relatively heavy marketing throughout the pub. I tried it, but I’m not a fan.


The beers might not be that inspiring, but in the past I’ve generally enjoyed the food. They do good haggis, neeps and tatties, and their nachos are pretty decent too, though I’ve only ever been in for lunch. Of course, that may all have changed as I’ve not eaten here for ages, but nothing else seems to have changed.


Whatever, the bogs are clean, no bad smells, done. There are TVs, surprise, surprise. Several outside tables.

Castle View

Another winner, with easy view of the castle, even from inside. The photo evidence is fairly crap, so I’ll spare you this time. If it’s ever in doubt though, I have the proof.


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