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 Canny Mans, Morningside, Edinburgh


Canny Mans
237 Morningside Rd
EH10 4QU

Tel: 0131 447 1484
See Map

Wine Selection * Restaurant * Bar Food
Town/City Pubs * Beer Garden

About the Pub
  It's hard to know how to describe the interior of this pub! From the outside it looks just as any other pub but, once inside, the amount of 'things' adorning the ceiling and walls is amazing. There is no theme here though there are quite a few clocks around. Hanging from the ceiling there are ships, chinese umbrellas, tools, oars and all kinds of bits and bobs that look like they have been collected over many years. Maybe it is because of the clutter that the place looks so comfortable and homely. There are many rooms along the passage way leading to the main bar with a large room to one side for eating. The bar itself has hundreds of different whiskies lined up behind it and sat on one side is a large iced champagne bucket with drink already chilled costing £4.95 a glass. Vintage wines are available as are a good selection of Brandies, Rums etc. Good quality cigars are displayed on the bar. It is a nice touch when drinks are handed over the bar on a wooden tray along with a small dish of nibbles! The menu is based on Scandinavian Smorrebrod and reads well and there is a huge choice. Outside is a good sized beer garden. This is one place to revisit a few times to fully take it all in and another visit is scheduled!
John - Oct 2001
Whats on Guide
See what our visitors say
Click here to add a comment.

Andy Beveridge
I went in here years ago and after asking for a drink the idiot woman (I guess the old woman owner) said 'I have seen you before' and just kept saying it in a strange way - at first I was genuinely trying to help her place me until I realised she was just being difficult and finding the rudest way possible not to serve me. I told her if she did not want to serve me then just say it and left. If this place is just for regulars I guess it must be ward 10 of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital along the road.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Rating: No rosettes

Bob B
Nice Place
I finally plucked up the courage to enter this notoriously elitist pub during the Easter holidays and half expecting to be turned away at the bar I have to say the staff were very pleasant, welcoming and helpful. Perhaps my 40+ year old face helped! Great selection of whisky and a nice place to sit down for a chat.

Could be improved with some classical music as it is an unusual pub we could do without quotidian vibes:)
Monday, August 12, 2013
Rating: No rosettes

Staff with an attitude
Everything would be great if it wasnt for an unfriendly staff! Such a shame. I would siggest to the owner to train or check on his/her staff regularly. It could have been such a nice experience if some female staff didnt give us an attitude on several occasions during ONE evening(16/04/2013). Also £14 for three drinks sounds a bit overpriced.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Rating: rosettes

Best pub in Scotland!
Being a Londoner I don't get to this pub often enough! When visiting family in Edinburgh this is always my first (& last) stop. the staff are helpful & friendly, the eclectic mix of 'stuff' is very amusing & the food is wholesome & hearty. I recommend this place to anybody lucky enough to be visiting Edinburgh.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Rating: rosettes

Derek Dunn
Great Pub
I met My Wife in this Pub
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Rating: rosettes

Nice pub, please change music
This is the first time i have been in this pub, even though I live locally (having heard bad reviews about it being a 'regulars only' pub).
The decor, i adore. It is a very quaint and warm pub and the young man who served us was absolutely lovely.
I only have one complaint and that the ill-fitting music which confuses the atmosphere. Maybe more subtle piano or acoustic music is more fitting than power ballads would be suitable.
However, lovely experience, do not avoid due to the bad reviews until you try for yourself :)
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Rating: rosettes

carole wilson
fantastic food & drink
This has to be one of the best in and around Edinburgh, they take pride in the wonderful fresh food they serve, the bar is amazing, very charming this place is set back in time in decor giving it so much atmosphere, I have never had a bad meal in the canny man, iam very fussy about were I eat
Friday, July 20, 2012
Rating: rosettes

The Canny's is a fantastic pub to drink, eat and socialise in. The Staff and management are friendly and always helpful and with everything from the crisp white table clothes to the frozen champagne glasses its hard to say things aren't done to the highest standard in there. For the very short minded comments bellow - If you want to drink in a monotone pub with no atmosphere thats your choice, Im sure the other pubs close by are right up your street. The Canny's will survive without your custom for sure!
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Rating: rosettes

Max & stephanie
I am at best a picky sob, and like my food & drink to be right. This pub ticks all the right box,s.service is classic and many other establishments should take a leaf from their book.great place, we patronise every time we are in Edinburgh
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Rating: rosettes

D.+M. Schumann
Wir waren zu besuch der Familie in South Queensferry,wir unter nahmen einen ausflug nach Morningside wo wir einen stop im Pub Canny Mans einlegten. Wir waren sehr beeindruckt von der gemütlichkeit und des Flairs des alten Pubs. Wir werden auf jedenfall wenn wir wieder in Edingburgh sind rein schauen.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Rating: rosettes

Mrs Smith
Fabulous, fascinating, loved it
So glad we took a taxi out of town, this is one of the most memorable pubs we've ever been to. Loved the decor and the old fashioned service, and found the staff extremely welcoming and informative about the pub's past - definitely not rude. This was the first time we've ever been so we're certainly not regulars - we live in Yorkshire! and were visiting Edinburgh for the weekend. Would love to return next time we're there, and hope this unique place never changes.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Rating: rosettes

Mrs . m. Macleod
I recently went to the canny mans for drinks with friends . I found the customer service was excellent particularly from one young gentleman. He had an extensive knowledge of the wines available and the information was worded in an excellent manner. We were offered complimentary nibbles and the wonderful table service resulted in no empty glasses. Furthermore there was a very impressive complimentary buffet! We shall certainly be returning for a relaxed, friendly evening !
Monday, January 9, 2012
Rating: rosettes

John Thomson
Didn't believe the ' stories', but i witnessed first hand when I visited. Opened the door, immediately got the ( your no worthy) scowl. Two feet from the bar, got the sorry we only serve regulars patter. I questioned this politely and reasoned that I only wanted a quick pint, I got a tirade of extremely rude abuse which I feel was an attempt to make me back off and feel inadequate. Wrong!!!! I let the staff member finish the whinge and then let go with both barrels ( no swearing) that 1) I didn't know who they thought they were, but rest assured they or noone else in there was any better than me. 2) They could keep their pub and their pretend upper class tosh. Oh well, I left to carry on to my next assignment, oh thats right, I didn't mention I was a Mystery Shopper asked to compile a report on the place.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Rating: No rosettes

The public house is for regulars only...
I used to really like the Canny Man's. It's an interesting and unique place, the beer was decent and the food OK. It was pretty civilised.

Mr Kerr even seemed to take a shine to me and my wife on our first visit many years ago.

But after living locally and visiting more regularly, I just saw too much rudeness, officiousness and downright snobbery.

I saw four men thrown out after Mr Kerr misunderstood them trying to help a woman with a pushchair in the beer garden one afternoon, and refusing to back down once he realised he'd got it wrong. I've seen perfectly respectable people who were behaving impeccably asked to leave for no reason that anyone could fathom. I've seen the owners strive to look as far down their nose as they can at too many perfectly good customers. And far, far too often, I saw ordinary, well-dressed, well-mannered people told at the door, Sorry, the public house is for regulars only.

Two words: Fawlty and Towers. Although generally pretty well run, the owners and staff display the same attitude to their customers as Basil does to his guests. If you don't fit their narrow 1950s petit-bourgeois idea of respectability, they may throw you out. Or they may just suffer you to stay - as long as they get to show their utter disdain for you and the grubby little world you represent.

People - presumably those who are in the in group - seem to regard this as quirky, charming, or delightfully old-fashioned. It's not. It isn't about excluding a rowdy or rough element either. It's just nasty, undiluted class aggression.

Which is ironic, since the owners and many of the staff have no class whatsoever.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Rating: No rosettes

Jesus, we just phoned up to find out what time they closed and they were extremely rude. What a horrible, horrible place.
Friday, October 7, 2011
Rating: No rosettes

Peter Dickenson
An amazing quirky interesting pub with brilliant hand pulled beers,a fantastic choice of whisky,professional well turned out staff and a cosy atmosphere. The only place in Edinburgh to take a bottle of champagne,what a fabulous selection, served in a traditional bucket with crisp white napkins,strawberries and generally a broad knowing smile.Fantastic fun toilet as well with unique wall coverings which will keep you there forever.My favourite and must visit pub every time I visit from the Midlands !!!
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Rating: rosettes

canny man aug
most unwelcoming pub in Edinburgh
It is years since I've been here. I used to visit regularly after a game of snooker just down from this pub, but having heard/read the instances of folks being turned away or refused a drink for no good reason decided to include a visit on a bit of a pub crawl to check out these rumours.
Within seconds of ordering 3 drinks , my friends and I were asked to leave as there was a private party in progress, unter mince!!
We obviously just didn't fit in with the motley crew that were already tucked into their seats. It felt like we had stepped back in time ! Reminded me of going to the bingo in some miners club where if you sat in a seat that was old senga's you would get the 'glare' for the whole evening. Avoid this place like the plague
Monday, August 22, 2011
Rating: No rosettes

whitby vlad
Jekyll & Hyde
I have had some great evenings in this pub and by the same token made to feel as welcome as a serial murderer within the period of the same week.

The staff genearally live up to the reputation of the famous literary creation of RLS; one minute your best freind the next you are made to feel like Tom Hanks in Philadelphia
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Rating: No rosettes

Mike Cannings
I was recently in this pub over the weekend, and have to say it was one of the most unpleasant places in edinburgh. Check your beer before your drink it, i had one pint here and got horribly ill from it. They serve beer here that has gone off! Not to mention the unenthusiastic caveman like service i recieved. I hope that you never get the chance to go to this pub as it is one of the worst ones in the city of Edinburgh.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Rating: No rosettes

steve rainbow
just a super Pub with nie regulars and good staff
when last in Edinburgh drank in bar alone, soon in conversation with charming people who appeared to be regulars, been in there over the years normally Rugby weekends
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Rating: rosettes

Anne McB
A lovely experience
I find the predominance of 5-star and 1/0-star ratings interesting, although perhaps they represent those willing to spend the time making comments. As a single female from abroad, I had a lovely experience. I enjoyed the eclectic atmosphere and the ability to choose among many different venues, finding a quiet corner and a tasty meal (if rather expensive for an open-faced sandwich and salad) that exactly suited my mood. The manager and waitstaff/bartenders were helpful and friendly without constantly checking on my state of mind. I would visit again on another trip to Edinburgh and recommend it heartily to friends and family.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Rating: rosettes

Thursday, July 29, 2010
Rating: No rosettes

Ernie Foldcourt
What A Dump
This Has got to be the Biggest Dump of a so called Bar.
Staff are Very Rude, Yes Very Rude.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Rating: rosettes

Steve Rainbow
just a great Pub and more
Been a Six Nations visitor for donkeys years,a lovely pub,good food and charming regulars,a great pint served and done with a wee bit of Style,a welcoming pleasant place to lose a few hours.A fitting pub for a delightful part of Edinburgh.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Rating: rosettes

D. M.
The best Bloody Mary in Britain. Well worth a visit, just for one of them
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Rating: rosettes

pat ingles
its the best bar in edinburgh with lovley people who own it food is fab and so is the staf i love this place and all my friends do to ,fridays are always party n ights in the cannys.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Rating: No rosettes

Different if not strange
There were all sorts of curios and pictures hanging off the walls and ceilings. The food was very nice but the main course was a choice of about 100 Scandinavian-style open sandwiches; so if you want meat and three veg then you’d be deeply disappointed. You could have a side-salad of a baked potato! The desserts were different presentations of ice-creams. So all the cooking is done hours before you arrive -it's just a matter of constructing it on a plate. I chose surf and turf which was a few thin slices of fillet, a king prawn and a bit of a langoustine on a slice of dark bread. Smart casual dress, no cameras, no credit cards but helpfully they have installed a cash machine and charge you £2 for the privilege of getting money out to pay them – even though there is a cashpoint directly across the road. You can only go in one door and out of another. You write down your order on a chit – put the reference number rather than a waiter taking it. Generally, you get the feeling that you are there on their terms you are meant to be grateful. There are plenty of other places I'd rather spend my time and money.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Rating: rosettes

A very unique pub - it grows on you
I know this place from the 1970s. It has been in the Watson-Kerr family for nearly 80 years.
It is quaint, full of it's unique character, is part of Edinburgh's history and although it may not attract the youth looking for rock and pop, it has a regular clientele that are mature, safe and private.
It grows on you and it's unique way of your writing your own order for food and drink in the restaurant is itself something to savour.
The menu in the winter could do with a few more hot dishes but otherwise is excellent.
The list of malt whiskies is also unique and extensive.
It is family run, antiquarian in character and keeps to strict rules.
If you do not like order and good behaviour while in pubs maybe you should stay away but otherwise feel absolutely safe to enter the place and come back again and again
Monday, April 26, 2010
Rating: rosettes

Andrew, Roseland, NJ
On an extended Volcanic Ash trip my son and I left London to visit family in Edinburgh. After seeing some fantastic pubs in London and Canterbury I have to say that Canny Mans rates at the top. Our cousin, who is a regular at the place recommended some of his favorite foods, all of them were well presented and delicious. The service was great! Outstanding, classy and classic all apply to this gem. Anyone would be lucky to have this pub in their town!
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Rating: rosettes

Tim Nicholson
Very polite, but not friendly
We visited for a bar meal, which we had in the main whisky bar. It was on the pricey side. However, the surroundings - especially the whisky display - are awesome. Service is extremely polite and professional (even a white tablecloth and white cloth serviettes). But staff are a little 'distant' and could be more welcoming. I asked about buying a bottle of The Golden Drop (the pub's own blend). Despite there being dozens of bottles behind the bar and others having bought previously, they wouldn't sell me one - strange, given that it is a business and I had cash in hand.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Rating: rosettes

Nick Humphreys (NJH)
First went here 7 years ago when on a 'pre-baby' weekend away we were looking for a maternity shop - which was shut - thank goodness -Whilst in morningside however I commented 'that looks like a decent pub! we stumbled upon it and now always go here - In fact I'm going up this coming Weds/Thursday (17/18th June 2009)
Monday, June 15, 2009
Rating: rosettes

Gerald Tait
The most unfriendly unwelcoming venue I have ever come across in Edinburgh.
Staff as always seem to reflect the management's disdain for the customers.
The extensive list of things diners/drinkers must not do which greets you on the entrance to the place, should be a warning as to the attitude.
It became incidental that the food was not particularly good either.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Rating: rosettes

Easily the best pub in Edinburgh, and possibly the known universe. Don't walk in there with your camera slung round your neck when there is a sign outside which clearly states 'no cameras' or you're asking for it! Fantastic selection of whiskies and ales, and, considering most pubs these days make do with a couple of bottles of new world piss behind the bar, a great selection of wines and champagne. A veritable Aladdin's cave. And, contrary to some of the reviews I've read on here, the staff are perfectly polite and hospitable in my experience, unless you're a 50 something, sandals and socks wearing, tight arse bitter drinker, in which case you don't deserve it anyway.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Rating: rosettes

Robert V
Very unfriendly.
As a photographer, I dropped by for a beer. I had my camera around my neck, backpack on my shoulder. I barely reached the bad before the bar-tender shouted No cameras in this pub. Totally out of order.
They have a rather obvious dislike to anything modern as they have a sign up saying No smoking, No credit cards, No mobile phones, No cameras and No backpackers. With the obvious dislike for my type I took myself and my money elsewhere.

I shall certainly never return to them again.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Rating: No rosettes

Was directed to go here
Met a local bus driver who suggested my wife and I stop there for lunch. Upon nearing the Canny Man I noticed an exterior sign listing the rules. No cell phones! Perfect I thought! Was befuddled by the write and order system at the bar but so what? Asked for a table in the dining room and when seated noticed the patrons were apparently well heeled and well behaved. Family groups on special day outings, couples out for a meal and a drink, etc. I absolutley loved my selection from the menu. The waitress did warm up to us and was actually very pleasant. I had read many reviews on many sites about how bad this place is in their treatment of customers. That was not our experience at all. It is eclectic to say the least. I could not find fault with it and when next back in Edinburgh would go back for lunch there in a heartbeat. Still scratching my head over the U.S. themed country music that was playing but it was better than the ear splitting volume techno pop blaring at some places.
Friday, January 26, 2007
Rating: rosettes

In a class of its own
This pub is Edinburgh in miniature - a visual delight inhabited by tight-arses. Just accept it and enjoy its unique charm. The range and quality of beers is pretty good, well-kept and presented, and the selection of whiskys is ample. Not the sort of pub you'd choose as your local, but definitely in the must-visit category. World class? Maybe. Unforgettable? Totally.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Rating: rosettes

the dichotomy of (canny) man
strange but true, in my experience everything on this page is accurate. this place is indeed unique. it does have a wonderful menu with excellent quality food and drink and inside is truly magnificent. it also has the most miserable and unhelpful bunch of staff ever pulled together under one roof, whose job seems to be to ensure your every second there is a curse from hell.

but does this conflict of product v service mean it's worth a visit? it is and you must. someone below says the way one gets treated here is part of the charm: possibly on your first visit it is. after that you can make your own mind up if you are overwhelmed by the glory of the place or disgusted by the people.

(just out of interest i'm a glory boy myself)
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Rating: No rosettes

The weekend does not begin here! Run like an old mans bar with out of date staff who have out of date views. An atmospehere second to everywhere else unless you are over 50. Give it a miss if you are looking for a good time
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Rating: No rosettes

Ken Broughton
Be afraid!
The woman in charge can only be described as vile. She openly takes real pleasure in being unpleasant in every way imaginable. She's bossy, unsmiling, officious, rude, and unhelpful, and that's to the customers. God help her staff! But I'm sure that's why they in turn are about the most inhospitable bunch of 'service' staff I've ever encountered, who make no bones about letting you know how stupid you are for not intuitively knowing their uniquely human-hostile ordering system, which saves them at most a few seconds work (and bugger the relationship-building opportunity that good restaurants actually cherish) whilst imposing far more wasted and unnecesssary effort on visitors, interrupting any attempt at conversation etc. A plague on their house!
Friday, April 14, 2006
Rating: No rosettes

Lex Loi
Don't bother with this pub. Overpriced and elitist and notorious for turning away people for spurious reasons. A few years ago they kicked out a terminally ill cancer patient for being in a wheelchair... speaks volumes.
Thursday, April 6, 2006
Rating: No rosettes

Greg Martin
Canny Mans
First went there in 1984, then again in 1985 on the advice of a local who put me up in Edinburgh. I stayed for 16 months and I must say that this pub is probably not the best in Edinburgh, but difinitely worth a visit if you love your whisky or beer. An absolute plethora of good drink, fine service and buxom wench`s willing to warm tou bed. Went back in 2004 and nothing has changed. Top spot for all Aussies and people who appeciate a fuckin good drink and a grat atmosphere...........not to be missed!!!!!!!
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Rating: rosettes

Toby Chapman
Simply the finest pub I have ever been to.
Enter the alcohol stained lung that is the Canny Mans, let yourself go with the Canny flow, spend money freely, above all drink freely, soak up the atmosphere and emerge back into the cold Morningside night many hours later than you planned transformed and destined to return to this pub of pubs as often as your life will allow.
Wednesday, March 8, 2006
Rating: rosettes

Edinburgh's greatest pub...
i was introduced to this Gem as a student back in 1996 and find an excuse to go every time i visit Edinburgh. There is nothing better than settling in on a Saturday afternoon for a long lunch at such a fine establishment.
You have to play by there rules, which is definitely part of the charm.
One of the most individual and striking, propoer pubs in existence.
Wednesday, February 1, 2006
Rating: rosettes

Good for a look
Unique, dazzling, quirky. Worth a visit alone, even if its just to observe the features and experience the atmosphere. Excellent selection of drinks and the little nibbles handed out is a nice touch.
Wednesday, September 7, 2005
Rating: rosettes

joe, edinburgh
good wine, good food, excellent establishment.
the atmosphere at the canny mans is totaly unique as is the combination of great food, great wine, great service and general conviviality. It is a pleasure, in the summertime, to sit in the courtyard, be it for a swift drink or a long leisurley lunch.The smogersbrod menu has a huge array of choices which has something to suit everybody.
Friday, March 11, 2005
Rating: No rosettes

Steven, Warrington
After being originally disappointed to be told they do not serve food on a Friday evening, that is the only criticism I can make.
The interior is unique and worthy of a visit in itself but the atmosphere that evening was excellent reminding me of my days as a care free youth. Not only was the choice of music played full of classics but they linked so well you couldn’t help wanting to sing along or tap your feet. It was refreshing to see such a young staff honestly enjoying themselves to hits that you would associate with their parents. Our group felt as though we were sitting in our local we were made to feel so welcome. The obvious leader amongst them was the gent in the suit who has the “admirer“ . He was the at the helm of the action and entertainment for the evening I have never met a man of that age with such a talent for keeping the punters happy, as for his looks I cannot comment as I have a wife and two children however, the wife had no hesitations in commenting that he was “Definitely affairable” and resembled a young Ryan Giggs. Although many regulars informed me that not every night was like the one I had I still cannot recommend the “canny mans enough.” I will definitely be visiting again when I am next in Edinburgh.
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Rating: rosettes

alex young
no 1 pub
easily the no 1 pub/resturant in edinburgh, atmosphere and service excellent.
Monday, January 31, 2005
Rating: rosettes

hit or miss
Although i agree with the comment made about face not fiting this is what makes the canny mans a safe bar to frequent. However, since the introduction of the young manager whose eclectic taste in music which is second only to his rugged good looks (a career in showbusiness is destined for this man) and ability to turn the quietest night into a free-for-all of singing and dancing the canny mans has lost its no nonsence tag. Many friday and saturday nights with the aforementioned young chap at the helm has left the patrons wanting for more. Although their is still an air of standoffishness about the bar the young man knows how to get the night started. Believe me ladies if hes on you will not want to leave and you will certainly want to go back.
Monday, January 17, 2005
Rating: No rosettes

Rich Starkey
this was once the best pub around
In days of yore (the 8o's) this was the best pub around for atmosphere and music, sadly not any more. The pub is now run like a private members bar, so if your face does'nt fit don't expect to get served.
Wednesday, December 1, 2004
Rating: No rosettes

Contact us

Canny Mans
237 Morningside Rd
EH10 4QU

Tel: 0131 447 1484
See Map


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