Sara Barron

The Pear Tree

38 W Nicolson Street, EH8 9DD

I am more of a coffee shop girl because I have a small son Gene, who’s three. He  But when he wasn’t with me I was drinking at all hours.

One of my preferred haunts was the Pear Tree. I would finish up my show at 4.40 in the afternoon and had the extreme joy of being done working by 5 o’clock in the evening. I would hop over to the Pear Tree and it was always busy enough but not too busy. Comfortable chairs and decent vegetarian food which is always a very nice thing in a pub.

I tried to go as often as I could. I would go have a glass of wine, have a halloumi wrap, and decompress.

Sara Barron: Enemies Closer is on at the Pleasance Courtyard Upstairs at 8.30pm until August 25.

Arabella Weir

The Café Royal

19 W Register Street, EH2 2AA

Do I have a favourite pub in Edinburgh? I do, but it’s going to make me sound like a f****** tourist, which I don’t think of myself as being in Scotland. It’s the Cafe Royal. The first time I was there a boyfriend who had been at Edinburgh University, but wasn’t Scottish, took me when I was doing a season, my first and last, at the Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh. I was in the musical Mr Crippen about the murderer Dr Crippen. Hard to believe there would be a musical about that. I was the mistress. This would be the early eighties, maybe the mid-eighties.

I hated pubs. I’m not a pub person. But I really thought that it was a beautiful pub. This was before pubs got all gentrified and middle class. I would go into worker’s pubs where men would go: ‘Look at her tits,’ as soon as you walked in.

Pubs were like building sites. They were the domain of men. They could speak about you anyway they liked.

I think the Café Royal was the first time I’d been in a pub that welcomed everybody and didn’t seem like a minor rugby team’s domain. It was really airy and light. The staff were friendly, and it was beautiful.

But it wasn’t gastropubified like they all are now. It was just a properly nice pub with a nice welcoming atmosphere for all.

Arabella Weir: Does My Mum Loom Big in This? is at the Assembly George Square – Studio Two, at various times, from August 12 to August 25.

Shappi Khorsandi

Bannerman’s Bar

212 Cowgate, EH1 1NQ

Bannerman’s on The Cowgate is a favourite of mine to grab a late-night drink with friends at the Fringe. It’s not fancy, the bar staff are no-nonsense and tables are sticky. Everything a proper pub should be. It’s covered in band posters and plays rock music. It’s right in the thick of the festival, but it’s not really a place where too many more serious festival folk go. You won’t bump into any reviewers or PR people in there. The PRs will be somewhere swanky and the reviewers will be in performers’ bars imagining comedians are chatting to them for any reason other than to keep them sweet. Bannerman’s, though, is for drinkers and talkers and those who want to steal time away bantering with friends who matter.

Shappi Khorsandi: Skittish Warrior…Confessions Of A Club Comic is on at The Stand Comedy Club from tomorrow until August 10, at 1.40pm, and on tour in the autumn.

Rachel Fairburn


This is one of my favourite places to have a few pints at the fringe. It’s got a great rock vibe and it’s no-nonsense. It also, like a lot of Edinburgh, stinks and I mean that in an affectionate way. It’s Auld Reekie. Once, though, I was having a post-show pint in Bannerman’s and the building had to be evacuated due to a punter who had clearly overindulged on Fringe food and booze and had forgotten his arse manners. Everyone vacated the building in an un-orderly fashion and several casualties of the stench were dry retching on the busy pavement outside. The culprit just stayed and drank his pint. He should have his own statue. Takes a special person to out-reek Auld Reekie.

Rachel Fairburn: The People’s Princess, Underbelly, Bristo Square, at 9.35pm, until August 25

Kate Lucas

Brass Monkey, 14 Drummond St, Edinburgh EH8 9TU

My favourite pub in Edinburgh is the Brass Monkey. For starters, the seating is essentially a giant bed, which is all you crave the whole Fringe. But there's the added bonus of alcohol. It holds one of my favourite Edinburgh memories. I was there with some friends and a guy on his own decided to sit in the seat we'd been saving for our friends at the bar. My friend politely asked him if he'd mind sitting in one of the other empty bits so our friend could sit with us. The guy got really nasty really fast and the bar staff called the police who turned up to remove the guy. The whole bar was silent but for one lone voice that started singing "Na na na na…." Then the whole pub joined in unison "Na na na na hey hey hey GOODBYE." It was a really excellent moment. 

Kate Lucas: Is Selling Herself, Just the Tonic at the Tron, at 6.20pm until August 25

Tiff Stevenson

Dirty Dick’s

159 Rose Street, EH2 4LS

There’s a place down Rose Street called Dirty Dick's which I’ve been to a few times which has a very good selection of whiskies and is dog-friendly. I met a sausage dog once there. I was very excited by that. I have a cat so that’s why I publicly flirt with other people’s dogs.

It’s a cool little place with bric-a-brac hanging low ceilings barrels for tables, all that kind of stuff. It’s got a bit of rustic charm. I’ve been quite drunk in there. And they do food in there as well.

It doesn’t feel too touristy-trap. I had a drunken evening there with the guys from Gilded Balloon. But I only embarrassed myself.

I didn’t find it until fairly recently. Is it where I go to escape the madness of Edinburgh in August? Yeah, but you can’t really escape the madness anywhere in Edinburgh.

Tiff Stevenson: Mother is on at Monkey Barrel Comedy, at 9.15pm, until August 25

Sofie Hagen

The Auld Hoose

3-25 St Leonard’s Street, EH8 9QN

I don’t know if I can pronounce it. It’s called The Auld Hoose. Is that how you say it? I think I like it for nostalgic reasons. I had three first kisses there with people. Three different years. Three different people. One a year is my limit.

It feels like it’s a way from the festival. It’s not, but it feels that way. It feels a bit secluded and I think that makes it feel like a safe haven. It’s not one of the bars where all your friends are. It’s where you go if you don’t want to be necessarily seen.

The first time I went there was with a comedian. It was the last seven days of the festival. I think my mind had already gone a bit. It was the first time we spoke, and I thought: “Oh, I guess I love this guy.” And I panicked and said: “Wait, you live in Canada. How do we do this? Where are we going to raise our kids?” And we’d literally only just met. This is what happens towards the end of the festival when you’re drunk. You fall in love with a random Canadian guy.

Sofie Hagen: The Bumswing is at the Pleasance Dome – Queen Dome, at 7pm, until August 25

Juliette Burton

Joseph Pearce

23 Elm Row, EH7 4AA

When I lived in Edinburgh, my local was Joseph Pearce’s bar on Elm Row or “JPs”. I love that place. I’ve so many happy memories there – birthday parties, leaving parties, stapling parties where I’d staple reviews to my flyers and bribe friends to help me with drinks. Every Fringe I head there on my day off for brunch. Plus, pints of Bloody Mary.

I have also, flatteringly, been recognised there. One woman came up to me and said “Juliette, I saw you perform yesterday! I loved your show! Do you know who you remind me of?”

I thought: “How Lovely! Who do I remind her of? Rachel Parris? Ellie Taylor?”

Her response? “Reginald D Hunter.”

Me!? Female, white, British me. I thought “Either this woman is totally woke: she doesn’t see colour or gender or nationality … Or she runs the world’s worst lookalike agency.”

I asked why him? And she replied, “You make deep subjects funny.” (She must’ve missed the bit where I talk about curing hangovers with pints of Bloody Mary!”

Juliette Burton: Defined is on at the Gilded Ballon Teviot – Sportsmans, at 5.30pm, until August 25 (except August 12)

Georgie Morrell


26 George IV Bridge, EH1 1EN

It was my first Edinburgh, I was much cooler and carefree then and ended up at Frankenstein’s, but little did I know, it was karaoke night. If there’s one thing Georgie Morrell doesn’t like, it’s f****** karaoke. This is a secret I have kept with me for some time, never wanted to be a spoilsport and ruin a party. No one knew! I was having a blinder, though, and dancing away, letting everyone else massacre Bohemian Rhapsody and Fred Astaire, until my pal Sarah casually asked what song would you do if you ever going to do karaoke. I proudly said that I do a banging impression of Shakira. It was a trap! Some 20 minutes later the DJ calls out my name and asks me to come to the stage to do Shakira. Sarah had betrayed me. I hid in the toilet for the rest of the evening and will never trust Sarah again.

Georgie Morrell: Eyecon is on at the Gilded Balloon Teviot – Wee Room, at 2pm, until August 26 (except August 12)

Cally Beaton

Whistle Binkies

4-6 South Bridge, EH1 1LL

My favourite boozer is Whistle Binkies on South Bridge, where I did my first Edinburgh Fringe gig in 2015. It was a gig called the Full Irish; an annual showcase of Irish talent hosted by Chris O’Neill. Fun fact: I’m 100% not Irish. I pointed this out to Chris just before I took to the stage and was told to “think of something”.

I went with: “I’ve got ginger hair;

my birthday’s St Patrick’s Day and I’ve bonked my share of Irish men – I’ve

worked hard on getting some Irish in me”. I’ve since become a regular on the Irish circuit (not like that) in Edinburgh, all thanks to an erroneous booking based on hair colour and confusion. Perception is everything.

Cally Beaton: Invisible is on at Assembly, George Square – Studio 4, at 5.10pm, until August 26 (except August 13)

Jess Robinson

Cold Town House

4 Grassmarket, EH1 2JU

Cold Town House is my favourite pub in Edinburgh. It’s pretty new but I fell in love with it as soon as I walked in. What a fun drinking hole… or should I say ‘drinking palace’… though to be totally accurate it’s a drinking church. Cold Town House brews its own beer which tastes incredible. I feel less guilty for drinking, knowing that I’m supporting a local brand! There’s also a prosecco bar AND a fresh pizza oven – I mean, what’s not to like?! The jewel in the crown has to be the beautiful roof terrace which has the most stunning views of the castle.

It’s a buzzing, quirky place with a brilliant atmosphere in a stunning setting. I can’t think of anywhere else like it, and I can’t wait to impress my band when I take them there after our first show to celebrate our opening night. The beers are on me.

The Jess Robinson Experience is on at Assembly Rooms – Bijou at 7pm, until August 24 (except August 12)

Josie Long

The Waverley Bar

1 St Mary’s Street, EH1 1TA

Am I allowed to use one that has gone? The Waverley had this amazing weirdness to it. There was a space at the top that no one really went to. It felt really theatrical. And, also, it was really cheap, and it felt like it had been forgotten by time, by modernity. And then it got closed and it was like the modern world catching up with it and stealing a good thing from all of us. That was definitely my favourite. [NB, the Waverley has now reopened.]

But do you know what? This year I hope I end up on top of Arthur’s Seat. I hope it’s a proper big night. Or on Calton Hill. I don’t want to end up in a pub. I want to end up staring down the barrel of the dawn absolutely. I want it to go off.

Josie Long: Tender is on at The Stand Comedy Club – Stand 1, at 8.20pm, until August 25 (except August 12 and August 19).