129 Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, EH3 9QG
  • Telephone 0131 290 2500
  • Opening times Mon–Fri 10am–midnight; Sat & Sun 10am–1am.
  • Bar open Sun–Mon 10am–11pm; Tue–Thu 11am–midnight; Fri/Sat 10am–1am.
  • Food served Mon–Fri 11am–10pm, Sat/Sun 10am-10pm
  • Email
  • Website www.bodabar.com/akva/
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The biggest of Edinburgh's Swedish pubs, this canal-side spot has homely food with plenty of drinks and family friendliness.

Eating & Drinking Guide

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

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.

The List's rating






Ailidh Forlan visited Akva on 15 July 2018
  • High point: A Swedish meatball fix, with no flat pack in sight
  • Low point: Slow and slightly confused service
  • Average price: £12 (lunch); £15 (dinner)
  • 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

Events at this venue

There are 2 events at this location

Sorted by title / date & time

Granny Green's Big Night Out

Weekly craft drop-in with occasional special events such as a book group and workshops.

Mon 23 Sep

Free / 0131 290 2500

  • 18:00 – 20:00

Mon 30 Sep

Free / 0131 290 2500

  • 18:00 – 20:00

Mon 7 Oct

Free / 0131 290 2500

  • 18:00 – 20:00
…and 12 more dates until 30 Dec

Learning to Code Edinburgh

This is an inclusive, social meetup for people learning to code or who want to mentor people learning to code. We meet every 2 weeks at a cafe in central Edinburgh. This is a great chance to meet others in the coding community, chat, code or get help with problems in a casual setting. If you're involved in programming in…

Tue 24 Sep

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 290 2500

  • 17:30 – 19:00

Tue 8 Oct

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 290 2500

  • 17:30 – 19:00

Tue 22 Oct

Prices to be confirmed / 0131 290 2500

  • 17:30 – 19:00

Reviews & features

Best bars with games in Edinburgh

21 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?