This basement pub, rumoured to be haunted, is a perfect old-style location to enjoy a drink or a meal.
A typical Edinburgh venue, the exterior of the Queens Arms is easily missed as the majority of the excitement here is taking place below ground level. The lovely purple-and-gold signage harks back to the era of Scottish royalty and is quite inviting as it tries to catch the eyes of passers-by. A maze-like layout inside, centred on the bar, gives the pub the feeling of multiple rooms and areas, even though it is essentially one large room. Low ceilings, old wood furniture, and dim lighting complete the overall package. Five TVs are scattered throughout, mostly for football and, indeed, the place is heaving after work or whenever a good game is on. Otherwise, it is usually easy to find an empty table and enjoy the casual, relaxed attitude of the staff. The place is so comfortable in fact, you might feel as if you are in your own living room.
The menu is standard-issue but many say the highlight is the shepherd’s pie (£7.75), perfectly prepared and fit for a queen. The menu is rounded out by classics, including burgers, fish and chips, and salads. Entrees with a drink can be had for less than £10.
The pub’s focus is naturally on beer: a number of guest real ales are always on draught, IPA is £2.45 a pint. There are also plenty of bottled beers. The wine list is short but packs a punch, both in flavour and on your wallet. Try a New World red or white - there are several - for the best value for money.
The Last Word
The Queens Arms is without a doubt a great haunt, pun intended. Centrally located between Princes Street and George Street, it is a convenient stop any time, day or night. Its quality and atmosphere are what all pubs should be judged against.