The biggest of Edinburgh's Swedish pubs, this canal-side spot has homely food with plenty of drinks and family friendliness.
Your handy reminder to actually go and spend some time around Edinburgh’s picturesque yet rather under-visited canals: Akva calls for cyclist-watching, duck-feeding and prime sun-soaking in their generous beer garden. Despite spanning two floors, the largest of Edinburgh’s six Swedish bars still achieves their trademark homely Scandinavian feel, complete with shabby-chic mismatched furniture. The Wednesday open-mic night and Sunday ping pong tournament are now a thing of the past (don’t worry, the tables are still there) yet the eclectic mix of drinkers still pile in for casual evenings knowing there’s a drinks selection to suit all tastes. Sample the traditional food with a Nordic take on Cullen skink or a smögåsbord for two, or play it safe with slightly blander pub staples, including the Akva beef burger. In the likely event that the traditional crayfish and sour cream smørrebrød fails to satisfy one’s hunger, cue a side of hasselback potatoes – the ones drenched in lime butter and speckles of chilli are particularly tasty.
- Private dining: 250 upstairs
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Anything and everything
- Live entertainment: Quiz on Tue
- Capacity: 550 standing, 250 seated, 300 outside
- Largest group: 500
- Open since: 2015
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 14
- House wine: £15 per bottle
Reviews & features
Best bars with games in Edinburgh21 May 2018
Try your hand at Pacman, pinball, darts and other pub games
Ping-pong, Pacman and pool, table football, and even a whole room of retro arcade machines: order a side of fun with your burger and beer at these bars where it's playtime every time. Fancy a shot?