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Yet another list with oldboots on the Pub Forum

Kays Bar, Edinburgh

39 Jamaica Street

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 9 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Blackthorn _ left this review about Kays Bar

Tucked away down some residential side streets, this is not somewhere you’re likely to stumble across by accident but is well worth taking the effort to track down. It’s rather unusual in appearance being a freestanding structure surrounded by terraced houses, and looks as though it may perhaps have been a garage or something similar in a former life.

Internally it’s one fairly compact room, although there did also look to be a much smaller room at the rear which was described as a library. The predominant colour in the pub was red, with deep red paint on the ceiling, padded red banquet seating around the perimeter and red padded bar stools elsewhere. Rough, black wood panelling was on the wall at the rear and there was also a small fireplace here. The left hand wall was entirely taken up with racks of old barrels in various sizes, although these looked to be decorative rather than functional. Food choice looked to be limited to the odd cling filmed roll that was lurking around.

Beers on tap were Fyne Ales Jarl, Timothy Taylor Landlord, London Pride, Deuchars IPA, Theakston’s Best, The Norseman and Jarsa Session Ale. After that lot, the solitary cider was Strongbow, unfortunately. Overall, despite the poor cider choice, I thought this was a cracking little pub with friendly service and a cosy atmosphere.

On 28th June 2019 - rating: 9
[User has posted 1742 recommendations about 1677 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Ian Mapp left this review about Kays Bar

I'm using various guides to find all the best pubs in Edinburgh and this may well be the one. More work to do, but its up there.

Small main room, bar seating, some tables. Quiet back room where you need to strike lucky. Classic pub interior.

Very high quality Deuchars IPA sampled in a pleasant atmosphere.

Will come again.

Visit blogged at

On 19th January 2018 - rating: 10
[User has posted 628 recommendations about 622 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

hondo . left this review about Kays Bar

Tucked away in the new town but well worth seeking out. Interior still the same as rob camra described below. 8 real ale taps 7 on. Good malt whisky selection.

On 22nd August 2015 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2670 recommendations about 2613 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

David Ross left this review about Kays Bar

Difficult to find and not even immediately recognisable as a pub from the outside, Kay's is away from the city’s main tourist areas, but well worth a visit if you’re in the vicinity. There is a small bar at the front and a snug at the rear, both exquisitely decorated. A few real ales are available in addition to the usual draught beers.

On 25th March 2011 - rating: 9
[User has posted 769 recommendations about 683 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about Kays Bar

Although it has only been a pub since the 1970s, it was John Kay & Sons wine and spirit merchants for 150 years (and a Georgian coach house before that) so there are many interesting features inside the little bar. Also offers bargain food, including simple filled rolls for those just wanting a quick bite. Good atmosphere and efficient barman. Eight real ales on handpump, with a decent selection selection of local ales such as Stewart 80/- at just £2.60. One of those places that really deserves to be found.

On 13th February 2011 - rating: 9
[User has posted 5940 recommendations about 5940 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

ROB Camra left this review about Kays Bar

This one really is a hidden gem. It's a tiny pub in the new town area that is really difficult to find if you don't know the area. Luckily I do as it used to be one of my regular haunts when I lived in Edinburgh and I'm pleased to say it hasn't changed since. It looks like a very old bar but it's only been here since 1976. Huge barrels on the wall to the left as you enter and a long bar to the right. Eight handpumps serving Deuchars IPA and 7 changing guests. It's tiny in the main room, but there's another room at the back with just the two tables. Great prices for the food given that it's in central Edinburgh e.g. Haggis, Neeps & Tatties for £3.95. It's only difficult to find the first time. Give it a go, it's well worth finding.

On 16th April 2010 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2802 recommendations about 2726 pubs]