The Oxford Bar

The Oxford Bar
8 Young Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4JB
  • Telephone 0131 539 7119
  • Opening times Mon–Sat 11am–midnight; Sun 12.30–11pm
  • Bar open Mon–Thu 11am–midnight; Fri/Sat 11am–1am; Sun 12.30–11pm
  • Website
Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2015/16 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

This review is taken from the 2013 edition.

This unprepossessing little back-street boozer will likely never escape its literary association with Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus, its favourite fictional regular, but that doesn’t work to its detriment. In fact there’s probably a certain sport to watching wide-eyed tourists arriving intent on marvelling at the grandeur and finding a small and basic but certainly homely corner bar of the old school, with a front room that’s so snug every conversation will inevitably involve the bar staff. The back room is more open but still decidedly compact, while the solid but unfussy drinks selection includes three regularly changed guest ales and an agreeably cheap malt of the moment. Somewhat retro charm aside though, the appeal of the Oxford is in its character, and the diverse range of regulars who shoot the breeze hunched over that famous bar.

  • High point: A pub with rare personality
  • Low point: Interior not as photogenic as Rebus devotees might hope
  • Provides: Free wi-fi
  • Live entertainment: Folk music on Wed and Fri evenings.
  • Capacity: 50
  • Open since: Circa 1830s
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 3
  • House wine: £13 per bottle

Comments & ratings

1. CrazyD1 Mar 2013, 5:02pm1 star The Oxford Bar Report

My quest for good beer and fine malts has taken me here for 20 years off and on, but I cannot understand why. The place pretends to be an old fashioned bar but actually is dull, dreary, dirty and enlivened only by the rudest and most ignorant barman in Edinburgh. It lives on a past reputation itself fabricated on someone else's success and is best avoided in favour of countless other more welcoming, warmer and frankly cleaner bars, throughout Edinburgh, with equally good beers and malts. Don't waste your time, money, or good manners.

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