#20: 52 Canoes Tiki Den, Melville Place, Edinburgh

#20: 52 Canoes Tiki Lounge, Melville Place, Edinburgh (exterior)

Beware of this place. Once you’ve had their nachos, there’s no looking back. Before this tour kicked off, we came by chance after thinking that the Au Bar had closed up shop, and ended up returning again and again.

Tucked away in a basement (where Scruffy Murphy’s used to be), you might miss it, but look out for the surf boards outside. With a definite Hawaiian theme, it’s more of a cocktail bar really, but they’ve got some real beer, great food, table service and friendly staff. It also helps that it’s quiet on a Tuesday, our regular boozer night.

Drink

Important stuff first, they do have beer. There’s one guest cask and on this visit it was Stewart’s Edinburgh Gold. Usually a fairly safe bet like Bitter and Twisted or Caledonian Flying Scotsman. They’ve also got a few of the usual suspects like Deuchars, Guinness etc and bottles of course.

There’s quite a long cocktail list, their speciality being a Zombie which arrives in a unique green Easter Island-esque receptacle. The Zombie, incidentally, is the drink that Billy Connolly says makes you drunk from the bottom up.

Our round on this particular visit was £17.50 for 2.5 pints and two gin and tonics. Near enough £2 cheaper than next door in the Westroom and more beer. Much better. £3.88 per drink, and the gins are likely to push that average up, so easily under £3.80 a pint.

Food

Poached Egg and Haggis burger, 52 Canoes Tiki Den, Edinburgh

Russ, our resident nacho expert, reckons that this place does the best nachos in Edinburgh, and he’s tried a lot of nachos. I concur. Their burgers are also very good, the special with poached egg and haggis being particularly awesome.

Music

Lots of funky stuff, James Brown, Bill Withers etc. That sounds fine, but there’s perhaps something up with their music system. We got the same James Brown song like 5 times in a row before they sorted it. This wasn’t the first time either, we’ve noticed before on different occasions.

Amenities

Another pub that deserves a mention for its attempts to make toilet visits more fun. In the gents at least they have put up pages from old Beano and Dandy comics instead of wallpaper. Nice touch, but they really ought to change them every so often.

Castle View

In daylight you can clearly see the top of the castle and the flag sticking up above the offices above Ryan’s Bar. Photographic evidence coming soon…

52 Canoes Tiki Den, Melville Place, Edinburgh (interior)

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