#41: Kay’s Bar, Jamaica Street, Edinburgh

Kay's Bar, Jamaica Street, Edinburgh (exterior)

Kay’s is a small pub hidden away on a side street in the New Town. It’s certainly unique, with the victorian features lending a lot of charm to the place. Low ceilings, old barrels, victorian lamps, exposed stone walls (so ahead of its time!), fireplace and a nice snug. The rest of the character comes from the friendly atmosphere, mostly locals at this time of night (a Tuesday, circa 9pm). It gets busy on a Friday night with office workers, a keen rugby crowd on match day, but generally all walks of life the rest of the time.

Originally a coach house, and subsequently a wine and spirit merchant (its namesake) for the next 150 years, it has been a pub since the 70s. I’ve a feeling it’s a sister pub to something else in town, but can’t find any info on that, maybe I’m imagining it.

I believe it’s a sister pub of the equally excellent Blue Blazer.


Kay's Bar, Jamaica Street, Edinburgh (interior, bar)

For such a small pub, there are a lot of beers on, with 7 guest casks and 3 kegs, all well looked after. Casks on this visit: (Somebody’s) Summer Pale Ale, Hydes Voyager, Alechemy Cairnpapple, Old Worthy XP IPA, Caledonian 80 and Deuchars, Theakston Best Bitter. On keg for the less adventurous: Kronenbourgh 1664, Fosters and Guinness.

It looks like there’s a good choice of whiskies too.

Our round was £19.10 for 4 pints and a Highland Park, so around £3.80 per drink. I don’t know whether the Whisky pushed that average up or down.


I’m cheating again, just relaying what’s on their website. They serve lunch only, and if the menu on the site is anything to go by, it looks fairly cheap with most things around £5, but I’ve never eaten here.


Their so-called “library” through the back makes for a nice wee snug. The TV through in the front room had football on, and there was no music.

Castle View



Website: kaysbar.co.uk
Twitter: @KaysBarScotland
Facebook: Kay’s Bar (group)

Kay's Bar, Jamaica Street, Edinburgh (interior)


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