‘Hidden’ bars: The best secret bars in Scotland named – ‘superb’ and ‘cool’

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Some of the most popular bars around the country have become attractions. On social media, they deserve their own hashtags and have hordes of fans overcrowding their establishments.

Britons wanting to either find the next big thing or simply want a quiet drink may be at a loss for where to go.

Heriot-Watt University crunched the data to find out which bars were the best hidden gems. 

They compiled a list of 20 bars around Scotland that tick all the boxes when it comes to secret bars.

Some of the bars on the list are completely under the radar with no reviews and very limited social media presence.

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Coming top was Bryant and Mack Private Detectives in Edinburgh.

The speakeasy with a detective agency theme may be easy to miss.

The only sign of where Bryant and Mack is located is its name on one of the frosted windows.

While this isn’t easy to find, this bar is not exactly secret.

Cocktail experts the world over have had this Edinburgh bar on their radar for years – it’s opened in 2016.

There are reviews on Yelp, the American’s preferred review site.

Chuck C from New York said: “Awesome speakeasy in New Town.

“It really is on the hidden side, it took me a few minutes longer than I thought it would to find the door (look at the posted pictures, it helps). Once inside (you’ll have to knock to get in), you’ll find a cool little lounge with great cocktails, chill music, and amiable bartenders.

“I highly recommend this place if you’re looking for a good cocktail place, the ambiance is on point and the drinks are superb.”

Second was Capones Speakeasy in Dundee.

The speakeasy is in the basement of The Caird, and visitors will need a password to get in.

This bar is all about the roaring 20s, taking “a step back in time to the bygone American Prohibition Era, where cocktails flow, glamour can be found at every turn and jazz is the music of choice”.

It’s hard to find reviews of Capones, but Meghan Doyal-Gray, one of the two Google reviewers, said: “The staff was amazing and very friendly. Great atmosphere!”

The other “review” was an announcement the bar was under new management.

Third was Tabac in Glasgow.

While Tabac has quite a few reviews compared to the rest of the list, it’s still very much under the radar.

Google reviewer Calum Chipchase said: “Best bar in Glasgow. And there a few that could claim that.”

Best secret bars in Scotland

1. Bryant and Mack Private Detectives – Edinburgh

2. Capones Speakeasy – Dundee

3. Tabac – Glasgow

4. The Last Word Saloon – Edinburgh

5. The Berkeley Suite – Glasgow

6. 21 Crimes – Aberdeen

7. Draffens – Dundee

8. The Poetry Club – Glasgow

9. Speakeasy – Glasgow

10. The Permit Room – Edinburgh

11. Heads & Tales Bar – Edinburgh

12. The Flying Duck – Glasgow

13. Under the Stairs – Edinburgh

14. Bramble – Edinburgh

15. The Bon Vivant – Edinburgh

16. Secret Arcade – Edinburgh

17. The Butterfly and The Pig – Glasgow

18. Hoot the Redeemer – Edinburgh

19. Chinaskis – Glasgow

20. Panda & Sons – Edinburgh


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