I can only imagine the sheer number of Yelpers gasping at the four stars above. To them I say desist your food snobbery and listen up.
With the likes of the over-rated Fountain and the, for me, yet-to-experience-but-often-lauded Caley Sample Rooms in the near vicinity, you'd be forgiven for never trying McCowans. After all it is just some chain-menu, run of the mill, football showing, gastro average Joe.
But I would challenge that and say McCowans was an HONEST Joe.
In fairness McCowans doesn't try to be something it's not. It doesn't even claim to be something it's not. The food is nothing special, but it's nothing to be sniffed at either. This is the kind of place you can come along to, grab a seat on the deep leather couch in the corner and order a chicken burger, sausage and mash or a curry of the day for only £4.
And you know what you'll get? A half-decent gastro meal worth £4. No more, no less. That doesn't sound like much, but I'll bet after you step out of McCowans you'll feel like £4 commands a little more quality than you thought it did.
When you consider the number of wannabe quality gastro pubs, for example the infinitely underwhelming 1780 on Rose Street, who charge £6 for a starter and £11 a main, that leave you feeling robbed, questioning where the flavour was, where the ingredients were foraged, what jail their chef just got released from. Okay that last one's a bit harsh - the point is there are plenty of over-priced pubs with fancy menus and zero quality out there. And every one of them will have you appreciating exactly what McCowans is.
On top of that they brew their own beers, they have enough telly boxes to play more than one football match at a time, they have oodles of space to lounge, they're right beside a cinema, casino and bowling alley. And they have some of the friendliest, most consistently decent bar staff I've encountered. Honestly I defy you to get served by one of the bearded lads at the bar and NOT be engaged in conversation. Doing their job well.
If you're still in doubt, try the Joey Sunday Challenge:
When you've had a large weekend, you're feeling a bit tender and looking for something to make you feel a little better. Get on Cineworld online, get yourself tickets to a nice wee movie, and get yourself to McCowans an hour early for a pre-movie bite.
On Sundays McCowans not only offer full Sunday Roasts, but even more enticing are the Yorkshire Pudding Rolls. Choose from either Chicken, Gammon or Beef, and they place the meat in a giant Yorkshire, roll that badboy up like a wrap, chop it in half and serve it up with some roasties and a wee jug of gravy. Boom - enjoy your movie! Doctor couldn't prescribe anything better for a sensitive Sunday afternoon.
If that doesn't win you over try the desserts.... just wow!
And if even that fails, don't worry about it. At least you gave it a try.... **cough**snob**cough**!!
This is a Brewhouse and it is cheap. Don't let those 2 facts let you decide it is not worth a visit, as it it is well worth it.
They have real ales and Scottish fare on offer.
The pub is big, bright and airy. I always go here when meeting friends before a film or bowling. There are video gambling machines - that does always puts me off a bit.
I have not eaten here, but the food supplied looks simple and fresh.
I find the staff is very friendly, but could be a little more efficient.
There is no "wow factor" or unique character to this bar, but I don't think a place as this is actually going for that.
Good place to start for a evening out to the cinema, dinner etc..
the food selection around the Cineworld complex in fountainbridge has two general themes: cheap and cheerful chain restaurants or slightly overpriced independent restaurants where the quality of food can vary. so when needing a quick bit before seeing a movie, i'm quite happy to head to one of the chain restaurants and save myself a bit of money and know that i'll get decent food at a good price.
McCowans Brewhouse is a chain but their menu has a number of good options including a 2 main meals for £10 deal if you fancy any of the selected items on this menu. as i had eaten a few hours previously, i was happy just to have a snack and ordered the cheesy nachos for everyone to share. they were £4 for a decent sized portion of nachos with melted cheese, jalapenos, salsa, and sour cream and guacamole on the side. my only compliant was that there just wasn't enough cheese for the amount of tortitlla chips and because of this about half the portion was left over. so this place is definitely A-OK for pre or post movie food and definitely much better value than the independent restaurants that are nearby.
Quick burger before IMAX.
Nothing special but service was fine, drinks cold, and burger tasty. Beats the hell out of McDonalds or Burger King.
Took advantage of the ~five quid special of a drink and a beef burger.. beats paying ~twenty quid for stale popcorn at the cinema :)
Certain pubs are designed to meet a requirement, McCowans is one of them. The requirement I refer to is a meeting point before venturing to the cinema. In this respect it is ideal; decent food, reasonable beer/ales and quick enough service.
What it isn't is a pub I would want to spend an entire evening in. It feels a little soulless, perhaps due to a limitation of location, fountain park in many ways defining the feel...
Don't discount it, it is a good starting location (preferable to Nandos or Pizza Hut) but will likely never be more than that. It is a decent chain pub, serving a purpose and doing it well enough accept it at face value and enjoy your food and a quick drink.
As the saying goes, you get what you pay for, but at McCowans they ensure that you get every penny's worth. The food is hardly award winning, but it's inexpensive, served hot (unless you asked for cold!), and fills the hole when needed; comparatively this is not too dissimilar to JD Wetherspoons. They offer the usual selection of beers, lagers, wines and spirits; however, they also server tea and coffee, and maintain a very limited selection of real ale's, though I don't recommend getting too excited by that prospect.
The staff are friendly and well presented, and the premises kept clean. They have a main bar and seating on the ground level and, as far as I'm aware, they show most major sporting matches on the TV. They also have an upper level with additional seating and smaller bar that they open during busier periods, and outdoor seating for summer...though these are generally taken up by smokers and I don't really recommend sitting there if you aren't one.
My only complaint is that, on occasions, the music can suddenly become very loud. Friday and Saturday evening's are the obvious times when this will happen, but I have sometime's found myself sitting to a quick drink with friends before a movie during a weekday afternoon to suddenly find I can't hear myself think, let alone have a conversation.
Wine is half the price in here than it is in the Fountain over the road. If you have a burger you can add a glass of wine for 30p. It's a cheap pub and it shows but it does the trick. And yes the food is frozen fare but as we were tanked it was actually alright. Size of menu is overwhelming though. How much freezer space can they have through the back?
Sometimes if I am early for a movie, or after the movie is finished I might pop in here for a drink as it is located right next to Cineworld. It has a similar feel to a Wetherspoons pub, although as far as I am aware it isn't one. Big comfy chairs, cheapish drinks and cheap food. I haven't eaten here so can't comment on how the food tastes, but the menu is your typical pub food. Having seen food pass me by for other tables it does actually look quite good and good sized portions. It gets quite busy in here with people going for something to eat after work or before the cinema so I guess it must be quite good.
According to my friend who drinks ales they do a good selection, but I don't even know what an ale is so I can't comment. Overall its a good reliable, spacious bar for a cheap drink and some cheap grub before heading off to the overpriced cinema.
Like Amy, I visited this pub before the cinema, to try and cut down some of the costs that come along with going to see a movie, kind of half expecting the pub to have adopted the same costs.
I was surprised then, when the rounds weren't very expensive at all and we even grabbed a plate of nachos, and still left with plenty of change from £20, leaving a few quid for some over-priced, stale popcorn from the pics. Yay!
Nice wee pub, nothing special but ideal for some pre-movie drinks and nibbles.
Very well located restaurant (next to the Cineworld complex) ideal for dropping in after a good movie.
The menu full of delicious food and beverage at very reasonable price. Healthy portions to get stuffed into, friendly service and nice and warm decor, the whole place spacious and with plenty of places to sit.
Frankly saying I don't know if I can wish for anything else after a day out at the movies. It topped up my day perfectly. Highly recommended for movie-go'ers and fans of grilled cuisine!
One of my favourite places to go for a pre or post cinema supper - it helps that it's practically next to the Fountainbridge cinema!
I have nothing but good things to say about their food. It really is delicious, cooked well, and always served in appropriate portions. My favourites include the steak, the burgers, and the steak and ale pie (are you picking up on a theme?) They have a wide range of drinks as well.
Because they are so awesome they are frequently crowded and the tables are basically pounced upon as soon as they are free.
I would like to note that unlike most pubs, McCowans have nice clean toilets.
Great burgers and service. Definitely a fan and would go back if in the area again. Generous portion size and our burgers (chicken-cheese-bacon and the original stacker--two patties, rashers, and a fried egg) were tasty and fresh.
A good, honest pub serving good, honest food. I visit this place on an almost weekly basis after church, and it does what it says on the tin. Whilst the food might not be Michelin star standard, it is fast and satisfying. The decor is fairly standard, and I'm not sure whether they actually do their own brewing on the premise. Anyway, this place is great for a pre- or post-cinema beverage, or a quick burger. I can highly recomment the £5 burger and a pint deal. Bargain!
Not a bad pub on the whole. Decent food at great prices and lots of offers. It's a large place with music and game machines and good for the start of a night if you're wanting cheap and cheerful before the pictures or a night out. Not enough atmosphere to make it a local and not special enough to make a night of it but good location. For what it is it's worth popping in.
McCowans Brewhouse makes great cask beer from the company that made Highland Toffee. Decent lunch menu & offers home made burger salad & chips & a pint for £5, and validates your £3 parking for 4 hours to let you go shopping or see Edinburgh Castle, Chambers Street Museum, 5mins from Union Canal, if you are happy walking around on a day trip. Decor is nice with interesting windowed view of beer making brewery and tables outside for nice evenings & smokers.
Large bar at Fountainbridge complex , serves good traditional food and usually has specials meal deals , very large selection of drinks and has good atmosphere given it's large size. Ample parking at complex if taking your car.
Very average pub, not the sort of place that you would purposefully set out to go to for a night out but it's the best option for a drink if you're looking to kill some time before the cinema or as a stop off point on the way to somewhere else. It's usually fairly busy, there's some nice comfy sofas on the right hand side as you come in (which are nice to relax for a coffee). If you go in the early evening the music isn't too loud so would be a good place for a quick catch up with a friend.
It is a large pub in the cinema complex in Dundee street. Great place for cheering up after work or a sad movie. The background music is loud, so do not opt for it if you want a quiet environment or you are in your talkie mood. Few great meal deals there - a burger and a pint for a fiver and a meal for two just for a tenner. Interior is fine and staff are friendly.
Just about what you would expect from a chain pub on an out-of-town entertainment complex, the bonus being the real ales are slightly better than the norm. Think Wetherspoons clone and you get the idea. Never expect the food to be anything other than microwaved fare and you won't be disappointed. It fills a gap in the market in an underserved area of town.
I've had lunch here a couple of times and always really enjoyed it. The menu is typical pub grub, the staff are friendly and the food arrives quickly. No complaints from me. I haven't been there at peak times so have never had a problem grabbing a comfy chair for a spot of lunch. Very reasonably priced, with good food and it's conveniently located for a pre or post movie bite to eat. I will definitely be back.
This user has arrived from Qype, a European company acquired by Yelp in 2012. We have integrated the two sites to bring you one great local experience.