First and foremost, let me confirm Bar Salsa has nothing to do with salsa dancing nor the sauce!
It's a teeny tiny bar located between the Cowgate and Grassmarket. The area where you'll find drunken throngs of students, back-packers, stag & hen nights shuttling up and down the cobbled streets. It was very entertaining to watch these crazy scenes roll by from the security of the pavement seating, as I sipped my Peroni in the evening sun. That's the only way I'll take advantage of the uber cheap drinks here, outside away from the cramped dark interior and loud music or sport screens.
Inside the bar is now relatively clean, although there's little seating, upturned barrels serve as tables, lots of timber cladding and there is only one unisex toilet. Although it's dark, clammy and the window soon steam up once the pub crawls begin! The drinks are outstandingly cheap with all spirits £1.25, bottles at £1.95 and all pints £2.25. There is a huge selection of flavoured shots if you really want a metal night!
This place is great for a cheap drink, a quick nip or if you manage to grab a seat outside, a few bottles in the sun.
Why do people come here? Because the drinks are cheap. And, the drinks are cheap...?
It's not the staff are bad, or the venue is particularly worse than any other place around it. I quite happily trip into Opium which is grungier and stickier. It's just Bar Salsa attracts a lot of folk looking for cheap drink. It's tiny inside and as a result you're squashed up against lots of people, but without the charm of a good club. There's not very big windows so it's dark. It kinda feels like a club, but it's not. It's a bar.
I did come here once on a weekday night with a group of friends after a conference (quite a few years ago, but it looks like it hasnt changed). Not many other folk were there and we managed to have cheap drinks aplenty with lots of banter. If you catch it on a quiet night it's totally ok to sit in, have a drink and chat.
But it's not somewhere I'd want to hang out for long, or return to, or even really choose to go to. I know a few folk who really love it, and always go there. I think it's just personal taste. If you're looking for cheap drinks with a rather mixed crowd it'll do the job.
On randomly walking through the Grassmarket En Route to the picturehouse I spied this bar with a 'why on earth do I feel like I have been here before' kind of feeling. That's because I had. It was one of *those* nights where I was being shown the frequent boozers by who else but Joe A and Kerrin R. We went to several bars this night and this place just did not stick out.
But you know what does grab me....... cheap drink. That, and all the Irish men that were floating about inside and outside it.
So basically we nipped in here for, I kid you not, just ONE drink. I don't think I could take any more than that. Potentially the cheapest Corona I have had in Edinburgh, but it is not worth it. I don't like this bar, the atmosphere is soooo student-y, grope-y, seed-y and just not my cup of tea. Needless to say my friend was thoroughly entertained watching me squirm. But I wasn't.
Cheap Beer. Cheap Crowd. No thanks.
While the name Bar Salsa might conjure up images of a snake-hipped Romeo with a waxed chest and white loafers, gyrating alongside a Latino temptress with a rose in her teeth, in reality it's very, very far from that.
More of a vomit-filled drunken free for all than a bar, the punters here aren't necessarily here for a good time so much as to get as utterly annihilated as possible, before collapsing in a pile of their own vomit, discharge and feces.
Grubby surroundings, an atmosphere of excessive inebriation without a hint of aggression, and cheap prices. You can't really ask for much more.
It's a toss up, cheap booze or self respect. Like most good Jocks, I lack the latter and was raised on the former, so credit to Bar Salsa for cornering a lucrative market.
If you can get past the stench which penetrates the 2 doors between you and the overflowing piss pots, then you're probably tough enough to stomach the limited selection of cut price beverages. There's probably some truth in the claim that the urinals connect directly to the pumps, but hey, if it's got an alcohol content you can't argue too much.
Evening entertainment on my visit was provided by the police, who gave us a demonstration in how to drag a heroin riddled deviant from the toilets without getting a drop of vom on their shoes.
Should you want to make your own entertainment, this place is mobbed with drunks at the weekend, so is a great place to take advantage of others. I'm partial to a game of "knob touch" from time to time, and in Bar Salsa you're in good surroundings to achieve a new PB.
The one disadvantage of drinking here is the continual reminders of the state benefits that your tax payments provide, these being spent by either some jakie getting rat-arsed at the bar, or a low life main-lining in the bogs. In fairness, I'd never lay a cable in there, so I can't altogether complain if having a monopoly on the Gary Glitter keeps the junkies off the streets.
Well done Bar Salsa, your debit to society is paid.
I used to work in Bar Salsa a loooooong time ago. It was a blur of drinking on the job, drinking before and after. But things (including laws) have changed and it was nice to see that it's had a lick of paint, the toilets have been done up and they've managed to avoid ruining the big Havana rum branding on the wall... Chic!
The drinks are cheap, and they're not ashamed of it. Being a too small a place to have things kick off or have people stay there that long it's the perfect place to be a pisshead and stock up on Jager-bombs before a night out on the rank Cowgate.
Bar Salsa's name is a little decieving. It isn't very Cuban, there was no Salsa music when I went, and it's as far removed from exoticness as you can imagine, really.
It is teeny, so when I went I really could barely get moving toward the bar, but the crowd that were in seemed to love it, and lapped up the atmosphere. The group seemed to be younger, probably 18-30, and very, very rowdy.
The plus points were good beer and cheap prices, probably one of the cheapest pubs in Edinburgh.
This bar is cheap- and everything about this place yells this fact out- from the signs outside of drink deals to the tired-looking interior and the clientele who are here to drink and be merry.
Nothing really wrong with that if you don't mind your drinking place smelling strongly of beer and unwashed bodies. The name is deceiving- there isn't anything salsa about this place (except perhaps the bright yellow exterior?)It's more like Cuba got drop-kicked out of the building and all that was left was a name and colourful atire. Great for a cheap drink but not a long one. Always filled with the finest hen and stag parties on the weekend.
The Salsa bar is a lively little bar located between the Grassmarket and the Cowgate. I'm not entirely sure why it is called Bar Salsa - it serves tequilla?! It's dark and small but usually crowded at the weekends, perhaps because it is so central. There is hardly any seating and it is very very basic, but the bar staff are chatty and there is a phenomenal shot called evil deadI recommend it as a quick stop on a night out.
This bar was very small and dingy. It was like a sauna with all the windows steamed up. It only had 1 cubile/toilet which was filthy and the tables were basicall upturned barrells. Had good offers on drinks but that did not make up for the surroundings.
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