If you're looking for some nice British pub food in a nice area of Edinburgh then look no further.
Grassmarket is a really cool area of Edinburgh for places to eat and enjoy a drink and to be honest, we chose this place because we liked the name and the sign!!! After checking the menu we decided we liked the sound of the food and went in and got seated. You seat yourself and place your order at the bar.
We had a nice window seat so could people watch on Grassmarket and there was also a nice outdoor area to the front of the pub where people were sitting drinking and smoking.
The food arrived in good time and was nice and tasty. Sometimes with this generic pub food it can just be very average (soggy chips, stale bread, cold veg or whatever) but we really enjoyed our food. I had a chicken and bacon sandwich with chips - the bread was soft and fresh and the chips were crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. My boyfriend had the steak and ale pie with mashed potato and veg. To be fair the veg was not as hot as he would have liked but the gravy was hot enough to warm it up. The pie was really, really good. We finished with a good British treacle pudding and custard.
I would say prices were a little more than what I am used to paying for pub food...probably because it is Edinburgh. For a drink (non-alcoholic), sandwich and treacle pudding it was about 11 or 12 pound.
It's a Grassmarket pub of reasonable size, with a reasonable selection of beers and spirits and a reasonable decor. There are some hidden treats though: be sure to seek out the back garden on a summer's evening, or head upstairs to the quiet and reserved dining area. There's also a healthy festival pedigree - a small room even further upstairs finds itself converted into a snug and cosy performance space for comedy acts of the surreal and experimental end of the spectrum (in my experience).
Well done Beehive: you're there when we need you.
Central and still a Jewel!
FREE Fringe shows on at this place at the moment and some definitely worth being checked out.
I am not normally a pub person, but this time I make an exception. Tanya and Tanja went there to join some "free" Fringe shows last week and entered the place first time. It is quite a large pub and you will always find there is a room or place you have not yet seen. Not sure if the side rooms are open throughout the year, but for now we could roam around and find some people free corners. Not to mention the beer garden. Wow!
Downstairs is the party and bar area. Lots of loud and contemporary music and a dance floor where groups of stag and hen nights find their way to release some pre-wedding stress. We bought two blueberry ciders and paid £5. It is not cheap considering that we only got a half pint each. I assume you are paying for the location.
Our first show was on the first floor (Beehive 1) where it was more quiet. Large windows open on to the Grassmarket and let the noise in from the roaming crowd outside. There are comfy leather seats and a bar. The interior might be old fashioned but it gives the place identity.
On the second floor (Beehive 2) there is another room, more like a hidden away function room.
The first show was called Full Metal Bucket with 3 rising stars performing their own acts. 2 of them were better than one, which did not stand out as much. They included the audience into their performance so best you stay put and in the "backseats" if you don't want to be made fun off. The show was free, but you can give donations. In all fairness, they were worth it! I laughed a lot!
The other show was called Gaelic in the afternoon by Bruce Fummey. Entrance £3.It is an interesting performance. He talks about how he came about learning Gaelic and visited different locations to do so. There are a lot funny references to his life being an half-Lowland, half-African comedian.
Its a nice pub with lots to offer. I will be back!
Yeah, it's ok for what it is... Standard pub chain really.
The Beehive Inn is located on the Grassmarket. It has two bars, one on the ground floor, another upstairs, where there is a 100 seat dining area too. The pub has a mixture of timber panelling old style décor, with trendy contemporary wallpaper. The pubs main selling point is the HUGE bear garden out the back. It has a fantastic view of the castle and there are loads of seating for sun worshipers. There's even push button canopy heaters for those in search of an artificial summer!
I'd not been here since my student days, but I found they do comedy nights on Thursdays (for up and coming comedians), Friday and Saturdays for the established comedians for £7, which can be fun. Comedy standards are a bit hit and miss, but they come from all over the UK and are all ages, last time there was a young 17 year lad on the stage and he was actually very funny! Although I suggest you only pay a visit once and a while. We visited on a Friday night once in March, then again in May and recognised the comedians doing the same sketches. Still funny, but the jokes were wearing thin the second time round!
Weekends here can get pretty packed with students, tourists and hen/stag doos. I've often seen people dancing in the main bar area, which isn't that common for pubs - so it's nice to see everyone enjoying themselves. It adds the pub crawl up of Grassmarket, but other than it has a decent beer garden, I wouldn't give it a second look.
This is a solid pub. I went here as part of the Literary Pub Crawl (Which was simply epic, but that's for another time). The place has been around, in one form or another, for a while. Typical pub decorations and the bouncers both looked identical (bald, same outfits, arms crossed) - it was pretty funny.
Suffers from the problem I have found in every single UK pub - drinks aren't ice cold. What the what?! I guess that's the Australian in me being disappointed.
I've only been here once, which surprises me too as I live about ten minutes away and they do comedy gigs every Friday and Saturday evening (well....we'll get on to that in a minute!)
Part of the Taylor-Walker group The Beehive Inn boasts a similar decor to the others, a weird cross between stylish and old man. It's all mahogany this and printed wallpaper that which ends up being quite nice really. This venue in particular has some weird staircases and a roundy bathroom door that definitely confused my tipsy head.
The pint is ok, no complaints. The food is the same as other T-W places and isn't great but is definitely OK for a pre-pint burger. The staff are friendly and get the job done.
On the comedy...or lack therof...I have a feeling that during the less touristy times in The Burgh the comedy gigs on Fridays and Saturdays, which are £7, become a bit hit and miss to the extent they may not happen at all! This happened to us while we had some folks from back home visiting and we were left somewhat in the lurch. It was 8pm and if we wanted to go somewhere else we would have had to move pretty quickly. I'm sure when it happens it's good but if it's inconsistent it discourages me from trying to go again.
Overall a nice pub in a busy, touristy area. The comedy is a nice touch but other than that it's quite generic.
The Beehive Inn was alright for a pint, which is exactly what friends and I popped in for on a stay in Edinburgh a few weeks back. Maybe, from reading past reviews, it was wise to have already had dinner, but I'll leave that to other reviewers to address. What I noticed was a distinctly chain-pub feel, a quite vigorous atmosphere and a lot more traditional bar feeling than darkened-booths-and-locals-chatting pub feeling.
That being said, my experience wasn't bad. The Beehive Inn provided exactly what we came in from the cold for: a drink to warm up with. They are located on Grassmarket, which will of course make them convenient and worth trying. They also didn't have a bouncer outside, which made me think it wouldn't be quite as crazy on the inside. When you go to a pub, that's kind of what you're aiming to avoid, so there's that.
Meh. I didn't find this pub to be anything special, but that might be because it was cold and rainy when we visited, so we didn't take advantage of any of the outdoor seating.
Drink prices were on a par with other places in the area, but really, there are plenty of other places to drink that are more interesting and/or charming.
There was nothing really WRONG with the Beehive, it was fine to stop in for a midafternoon drink and relax for awhile, but there are certainly better places to visit, so I wouldn't be a repeat customer.
The Beehive Inn is a great stop for a pint and a quick pub meal. I ordered the steak and ale pie, while my hubby had the fish and chips.
Hubby's fish was a giant filet of freshly battered cod, fried to a nice golden brown. The fish was moist and flavorful, the batter crisp. Our meal and two pints came to maybe £27.
The steak and ale pie was absolutely delicious. It was served with a side of steamed veggies and mashed potatoes. The mashed potatoes tasted as if they were powdered, but it was clear that they weren't the star of the meal. The pastry was flaky and a beautiful golden brown, filled with piping hot slices of steak in a wonderful thick gravy. Would definitely recommend ordering that again.
Its a little difficult to find a seat on a Saturday evening, but with food this good at such a reasonable price, I can understand.
It's difficult to give a comprehensive review of this pub as I was (wo)man-handled out of the door for 'being under-age'. For the record I'm 30.. and NOT 31 as my alibi stated! There was a stench of unfriendliness, and I'm told that most of our similarly aged group were grilled at the bar, and I wasn't the only one sent packing.
I decided to sum it up with a little ditty:
She took my drink!
She raised her voice!!
She kicked me out in the street!!!
The Beehive isn't a pub, it's a franchised outpost of a mass produced English Pub corporation. Standardized everything, including pre-prepared meals that are over-cooked and re-heated to within an inch of their life and trotted out with no thought.
The quality of the food here is embarrassing, and they don't give a rats $&@%. Okay, so it's in Grassmarket (Edinburgh's culinary wasteland) but even for this place, this is awful corporate pub food at it's absolute worst - bordering on inedible.
If you care about your mouth, keep it closed when you're in the vicinity of this place.
It smelled like farts and was full of old dudes. Generic beer - I was in Edinburgh for only a month and knew a number of better places. No thanks.
I made up my mind that I would eat fish and chips no more than twice during my eight-day trip to Scotland, and unfortunately I chose the Beehive as one of the spots. It was okay, just not great. Everyone expects bland peas, but the fish and chips themselves were boring too.
However, sitting outside with my meal, beer, and the Daily Independent on a late-May evening when it was still warm and daylight, people-watching the various foot traffic in the Grassmarket--that was one of the most pleasant hours of the vacation.
One other note--the Edinburgh Literary Pub tour departs from the Beehive.
Don't let the grandiosity (word?) of Pear Tree or the trendy cool of Outhouse fool you; Beehive Inn owns the best beer garden in Edinburgh. Fact!
Before this summer crept in, I remember the last time I visited the Beehive beer garden. Back in my student days when the garden itself was about 8ft x 4ft. Couldn't squeeze Winnie the Pooh and all his mates in let alone a handful of wide-eyed students on their first Wednesday night sesh!
So it was with great surprise that I returned this year to take full advantage of one - for all I knew the only - day of summer, selecting the nearest beer garden, and finding the MECCA OF BEER GARDENS!
A multi-tiered beast of sunshine-drenched sociality. It ticked all the boxes: space, abundance of seating, more than a couple hours sunshine, great views, social crowds, food menu. This place has and will be frequented again many times over this summer.
The downside? After all there are only 3 stars up there. For a bar that calls itself an Inn, and is in fact the size of one, the bar is pitifully tiny. So much so that at any one time (especially in summer) expect to see at least 2 rows of customers from end to end, and a 3rd forming. The staff do a good job in trying to keep it down, but with the space they have, inside and out, a second bar would prove a massive benefit.
Also, once the Summer's over, Beehive Inn wil become just another face in the Grassmarket crowd, over-populated with stag dos and hen parties galore. Not my scene.
Foodwise... I don't know. The menu looks good and I've often overheard the staff tell customers the specials have sold out or there is a 2 hour wait for food. Reasons to assume the food is popular and enough to pique my interest.
Next visit will include sunshine, cider and a late lunch.
Yes, I will sit outside. I don't care if it's 40 degrees out (fahrenheit). I am nerdy and I am middle class and I unreasonably believe that food and alcohol tastes better outside.
Yes, I will sit under the heat lamps... wimpy as it may be.
Yes, I will carry on a conversation with the person at the table next to me because, well, everyone is super close because of the heat lamps.
Yes, I will move upstairs at the beer garden, just because there's that much beer garden - it could fit a shit ton of people.
Yes, I will enjoy my vodka cranberry that much more because you've given me an adorable little bottle of cranberry juice.
There's a BEER GARDEN. That's it which gives it 4 stars. It's cool looking and you can bring loads of people. And you CAN SIT OUTSIDE while DRINKING. I don't know how to advertise better than that.
The not so awesome:
No, there is no cheap beer.
Yes, it takes 5 pounds to play the shitty trivia machine.
Yes, the dance floor is awkwardly placed.
Yes, the beer garden is in Scotland, which makes it useless sometimes.
No, they don't wipe down the seats after it rains.
The beehive is an average pub, with average prices, and average food. But the location is what makes it special.
It has one of the best front and back terraces in Edinburgh. This is what makes me want to go!
Also, it's worth noting that this venue is actually two (or maybe three) floors. This is where it hosts many events, including weekly comedy events. That is something that makes it a bit different to it's neighbours.
If you're looking for a great pub to sit and have a drink on a summers day, this one should be on your list!
Came for the Scottish Literary Tour; stayed for the Guinness.
I had the best of intentions. I wanted to go on the Scottish Literary Tour, to learn something, but it rained like Noah's flood. (What--rain in Scotland?) It was terribly crowded in there, but the people were nice, and it was dry. Then we learned about Stephen Gaphausen's show Ze Hoff und Friends, which was starting upstairs. That was refreshingly zany and certainly better than learning about stuffy old literature. Instead I learned about the power of Ze Hoff and drank beer. Then a long, hard slog back to the hotel in the rain.
The Beehive is quieter than most Grassmarket pubs, and bigger, and cozier. The interior is lovely, and looks quite historic. There are big tables for bigger parties and booths tucked away in the back for couples to cuddle up in. I haven't yet checked out the beer garden, but it's on my list for that rare sunny day.
Although it's a chain (sigh) the food is quite good and reasonably priced (Nicolsons, I'm looking at you). We had the lamb & mint pie and fish & chips, and they were both cooked perfectly, the flavors were spot-on and the portions generous, each for under a tenner. There's a good selection of ales, including a seasonal rotation of local offerings, and the bar staff are kind enough to give tastes when you're unsure of what you're after.
I have been to Beehive twice now. First time was to go to the comedy gig thing that they have going on Saturday night (I think it was anyway). I thought this was really really great. Like half the price of the stand, we were in a wee little room upstairs, there was hardly anyone there, but the banter was immense! The drinks on offer were yes, a little pricey, but they have a good selection. Then when you leave late at night you get that brilliant view of the castle. I love the grassmarket.
Second time was also a Saturday night, a little later on a Saturday night, it was busy-ish in the bar area, everywhere else was relatively quiet. The music was average, the crowd was bizzare, time flew by and before I knew it we were getting chucked out at one o'clock! I felt decidedly more out of place on this visit too even after having a pint or two somewhere else.
I will be going back for sure when the sun finally comes out to check out this beer garden....... and maybe the eats. So until then it was just adequate.
We needed a place to grab some pub food and Beehiv got the job done. It wasn't anything spectacular though. Perhaps I got off to a bad start when I asked the bartender to tell me about the beers they had on taps... this turns out to have horribly insulted her as she said "i'm sorry, we don't have any beers. we only carry ales"
The fish and chips I had were okay, the mushy peas were good, not great though. We were there on a Wednesday so the atmosphere wasn't spectacular, but 1/3 to 1/2 the tables had people at them, which was more than most places could say that night.
I had never actually heard anybody outside the tourist board or hollywood using the phrase 'best kept secret' before I mentioned to a friend I was going to the Beehive Inn. She then insisted she came with me, so off we set to this very old pub in the centre of Edinburgh.
From the outside, the Beehive isnt anything special to look at - just another old Edinburgh pub - but once inside I was convinced it really was an excellent pub - light and airy, but full of old charm and with a smaller, hidden pub known as the Honey Pot, this place was great. I was however, missing the greatest secret of them all. A huge beer garden, right in the shadow of the castle full of people enjoying the cold ales in the warm sun. Seriously perfection - and yes, I am letting you in on the secret.
Previous reviews of this place have mentioned how poor the food was - but they all seem to have stuck to the 'tourist' side of the menu - me and my friend had delicious food, about as far away from the 'British Sampler' as you can get. Sheesh.
So now that I have let you in on the secret - dont tell anybody else, right?
It's been said already but this unassuming looking pub does have a very large and fantastic hidden beer garden at the back which is awesome on one of Edinburgh's rare sunnier days.
The décor is unimpressive in the sense that it doesn't really differ from any other pub, which is kind of disappointing as this area has loads of pubs which must all be competing for custom.
Good beer, but the definite selling point is the beer garden.
The Beehive Inn has a pretty cool name and it certainly stands out as one of the plushest and most interesting pubs in the Grassmarket. It's deceptively spacious inside and has plenty of comfortable seating. The decor is stylish with nice wooden flooring, traditional artwork on the walls and a big, impressive bar. The staff are friendly and cope well with the queues when it gets busy.
The main selling point of The Beehive has to be the beer garden which is the perfect place to flock to on warm, sunny days. There are plenty of picnic benches outside to relax on with your friends and enjoy a drink. I attracts a large and lively crowd of locals, students and tourists who all mingle together well. The drinks are pretty moderately priced and they have a great range of ales and spirits for you to try.
This place is definitely worth a look if you're in the area.
The Beehive is one of the less aggressive pubs on Grassmarket and is actually really nice overall. It is frequently rammed, and avoid it over the weekends, as it turns a little bit more laddish and also gets really busy, but generally is quite a nice place to go to.
Like most of the bars on Grassmarket, it has a good selection of beers, including quite a few real ales. The prices of all the drinks are relatively low for Grassmarket, and the staff are pretty friendly. The best part though is the beer garden; with a view looking straight up to the Castle it has a great view and is awesome on a sunny day.
One of the better bars in the Grassmarket and really nice for a few afternoon drinks, but not quite as good during the evenings
Good cheapish beer, clean and friendly interior, all good!
What a surprise was this place!
So I ended up in here with a group of folk one afternoon, having not even previously known of its existence. I mean, I'd probably walked past it without even blinking multiple times before.
It was a beautiful summer's day, and I walked into what seemed a more traditional styled, dimly lit pub. Well, this place is alright, I thought. Until we walked along past the toilets, right out the back and into the bright sunshine. This place has a huge beer garden! And a decent beer garden is a bit of a rarity in the centre of Edinburgh, so to find one out the back of a pub in the Grassmarket was a surprise indeed.
This bar was lively and friendly - although the queue at the bar was gigantic (but I'm putting this down to the fact that the world and his dog had caught onto the fact that this place has a fantastic beer garden, and had all headed there that sunny afternoon). I'll definitely go back - if not in the evenings, for definite on a nice summer's day.
in terms of bars, this isn't one i've been to or one i would likely go back to. but it does have a rather sizeable beer garden, which makes this a pretty good place to go when the sun is shining! otherwise a pretty standard pub/bar for the grassmarket area that is super packed at the weekends and full of people that have probably had a wee bit too much to drink. but for the beer garden alone, this places is A-OK.
The Grassmarket pulls in a lot of toursts, but I find the pubs there to be overrated and over-expensive. Is this place any different? Er, not really.
It's ok. The place is decently-sized, the beers are what you expect etc., but the only reason to go out of your way is for the beer garden out back. This is a great place to enjoy some good weather and generally lounge about. All the tables have shelter and heat lamps too, which has got to be a must for any Scottish beer garden.
I was in the Beehive after a works christmas night out and the place was packed and very lively. There was karaoke and music on and everybody up dancing.
I loved this place, and it had a lot of atmosphere, i'm not sure if this is normal or if it was just cause of Christmas, but found it a great pub.
Great as ever! I recommend the nutty professor milkshake.
Solid pub. Decent pie and mash. Fairly good hand pulled ales, however was missing a better selection of Scottish ales.
If you're looking for a good meal, or even an average one this isn't the place for you. The food tasted like leftovers that had been frozen, thawed, refrozen and then microwaved. They were also quite pricey and there are much better places to eat in the city centre than here.
We had the British sampler, which was a shared dish with fish and chips, smashed peas (although not enough to "share), a while bunch of greasy sausages, and fried shrimp. That was kind of a mini-buffet of the non-American things (burgers, etc.) that they sell. That being said, the food must not have made to much of an impression (it didn't) because all I remember is the beer - which was tasty.
Best beer garden in Edinburgh, it's all at different heights with sturdy park benches so everywhere you sit feels a little bit private. Bar itself is average-average, not bad but surely I don't need to describe what a classic boozer on the Grassmarket looks like (watch any American film with a pub in it) but the beer garden out a rather inconspicuous door at the back is really perfect for drawn out Magners days.
Fairly large pub with a tiered, sprawling beer garden at the back. Service is very slow when busy; prices are not bad.
A very nice little pub with a nice beer garden out the back, one of the better pubs in the grassmarket, not as busy and loud as biddy mulligans but its busy enough to give it some life, the drinks are not too expensive, and the staff are very friendly. Although i walked past it at about midnight last weekend and it was closed so it may close a little earlier than most pubs around the area
Bafflingly rude service here last night.
At closing time, the bar manager took it upon herself to physically pull drinks out of people's hands, spilling wine everywhere. The bar staff kept serving drinks which the manager then proceed to take away from people minutes later, as she cleared the pub.
Add to that the prices, (charged £4.80 for a gin & tonic), I shan't be going back.
Eh, it was ok. I had been really looking forward to it since I love all things bee. It's part of a big chain so not that interesting. The food was acceptable and the beer selection was standard. It was conveniently located near our hotel so we went there a few times. With each visit it lost a little more charm. I could skip it next time around.
The inside is of the Beehive is OK, the same as a lot of other pubs with nothing really special about them, however, what could be just yet another run of the mill pub for attracting the tourists on the grassmarket, is saved by its fantastic, huge beer garden. With plenty of seats and heaters, the only downside is that as this is still classed as a residential area the beer garden has to close at 9pm.
There is nothing special about this pub - just an ordinary interior and bar and the usual kind of drinks and food like burgers, etc. However, I am giving four stars because in its hidden yard this pub holds one of the most charming beer gardens. Not always well kept but always great to be there on a sunny day like the last few summer marvels.
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