34a North Castle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3BN
  • Telephone 0131 225 6431
  • Opening times Mon–Thu & Sun 5pm–1am; Fri 2.30pm–1am; Sat 1pm–1am.
  • Seasonal times Festival: open until 3am
  • Bar open Sun–Thu 5pm–1am; Fri 2.30pm–1am; Sat 1pm–1am.
  • Email
  • Website
Photo of Tonic

Contemporary underground cocktail den, with a drinks menu that manages to be both innovative and classic.

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2019 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

When you walk down the Castle Street staircase into Tonic, the first thing you’ll see is the bar's name in lights. Inside, it's all black leather and low lighting, giving this underground cocktail den all the markings of a New Town hot spot. But while the fixtures give the impression of an exclusive bar, the atmosphere is as welcoming as your local watering hole. Staff are well-versed in the particulars of the extensive cocktail menu and are happy to recommend a drink to suit your particular taste buds. Gin lovers should try the Ab Fab (with Bombay Sapphire, elderflower and prosecco), while there are modern twists on old classics to get stuck into. The Garden Party is a refreshing take on the Mint Julep, Toni's Margarita is, well, a really good margarita, and if you're looking for a tropical rum-based drink, you can't go wrong with the WHAM!. Tonic is the right mix of classic and innovative, with a well-thought out menu and surroundings you won't mind losing yourself in when the tequila takes hold.

  • High point: Extensive cocktail menu
  • Low point: Don't arrive hungry - bar bites are few and far between
  • Provides: Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
  • Live entertainment: DJs Fri and Sat
  • Capacity: 50 seated, 80 standing
  • Largest group: 80
  • Open since: 2000 (2009 under current owners)
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 10
  • House wine: £13 per bottle