The Safari Lounge
- Telephone 0131 661 4741
- Opening times Mon–Thu & Sun noon–midnight; Fri & Sat noon–1am.
- Seasonal times Hogmanay: late opening
- Bar open Sun–Thu noon–midnight; Fri/Sat noon–1am.
- Food served Mon–Sun noon–9pm.
Beer fans should consider making the trek to darkest Abbeyhill for this distinctive watering hole.
Who knew Abbeyhill was such a good place to go out? Perhaps the number of new student flats in the area should be a clue, but it’s still a surprise that the Safari Lounge on a packed Friday evening feels agreeably like a night out in some of Edinburgh’s best pubs of recent times (the much-missed Black Bo’s springs to mind). A younger crowd mingles with older barflies; the visual theme (an African safari, as the name suggests) doesn’t overpower the age and character of the deep, narrow space; and a lengthy yet accessible list of craft beer, wine, cocktails and punch all suggest a natural, much-loved quality that’s never forced or try-hard. The compact basement is one of Edinburgh’s best underground gig spaces (King Creosote and Withered Hand have played low-key gigs here) and the international food menu is also reason to go out of your way. Fish and chips are served in Thai-style coconut batter, the mussel popcorn starter is laced with Bellfield IPA, vegetarian dishes include a Korean-style pulled jackfruit and a Louisiana-style tofu and mushroom gumbo, while hot dogs and loaded tacos complement great value lunch and Sunday brunch deals.
- Private dining: Up to 50 covers
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Free wi-fi
- Live entertainment: Open mic on Wed, occasional DJs at the weekend
- Capacity: 120 (and 60 in the gig room downstairs)
- Largest group: 80
- Open since: 2013
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 10
- House wine: £16.50 per bottle