The Halfway House

The Halfway House
24 Fleshmarket Close, Edinburgh, EH1 1BX
  • Telephone 0131 225 7101
  • Bar open Sun–Wed 11am–11.30pm; Thu 11am–midnight; Fri–Sat 12.30pm–1am
  • Food served Mon–Sat 11am–11pm; Sun 12.30–11pm
  • Average price £9 (lunch); £9 (evening meal)
  • Website
Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2016 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

This review is taken from the 2010 edition.

Boasting the title 'Edinburgh's smallest and friendliest pub', this is, quite literally, halfway up Fleshmarket Close, between the bustle of Cockburn Street and Waverley Station, and is a buzzy little enclave encapsulating all that is right about a pub. Having changed hands just last year, the new owner has been smart enough not to fix something that ain't broke, resisting stripping away the homey granny's front-room vibe in favour of brushed chrome and mirrored walls. Sure, they've embraced the twenty-first century – a decent juke box and telly with Sky Sports on mute provide AV stimulation for those lacking in conversational skills – but the Halfway House still serves up its cheerily old-fashioned food; sturdy pub grub with a leg in each corner. It might seem quaint, but the Crombie's sausages and mash or the haggis, neeps and tatties will stick to your ribs and give you sustenance enough to tackle some of the hand-pulled guest ales on offer or to make a dent in the obligatory crush of single malts crowding the back shelves.

  • High point: Old school – but not in a tacky, self-conscious way
  • Low point: Might not appeal to everyone
  • Provides: Outdoor tables
  • Music on stereo: Mixed artists on jukebox
  • Capacity: 20
  • Largest group: No booking
  • Open since: 1992
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 4
  • House wine: £12.95 per bottle