Scotch, hooch, bourbon, single malts, blends – whatever you call it, and however you drink it, the region is so popular with whisky distilleries that the River Ness might as well be flowing with liquid gold. With plenty of fantastic public houses in the region serving up a wide range of whiskies, real ales, wines and spirits, it wasn’t easy to pick out just six of the best pubs in Inverness.
Pubs in Inverness
A traditional bar running since 1867, Innes Bar is known for its wide range of real ales, whiskies and cocktails. It’s a great place to come for a quiet drink or a bite to eat, with the kitchen open for lunch and dinner daily. There are also regular quiz nights and darts events which make use of the eight dart boards, while there are also two pool tables and several sets of dominoes if you prefer other pub sports.
Appropriately enough located on the banks of the River Ness, The Waterfront is just a short walk north from our Inverness Centre (River Ness) hotel and is one of the region’s leading gastropubs. The food revolves around local produce and even has a pre-theatre special menu, which is perfect for when you’re on a tight timeframe. Meanwhile, the bar is stocked with all manner of whisky delights, real ale, craft gins and an expansive wine list. And if you want to try something truly unique, give their haggis pakora a go.
Our video guide to Inverness pubs
The Castle Tavern
Built in the mid-17th century, the Castle Tavern overlooks Inverness Castle and is one of the best real ale pubs in the city. Their first-floor restaurant serves up a wide range of food, including their famous haggis bon bons and locally caught salmon, while their ground floor bar and beer garden serves up several guest ales each week, as well as a rotating malt of the month.
The oldest pub in Inverness, Gellions have been serving up pints since 1841. The three-room pub holds a weekly ceilidh every Saturday featuring live bagpipes, with traditional live music on most other nights of the week.
Built on the site of an old auction house, the only danger you have of raising your hand at the bar is of walking away with a well-priced real ale or a gourmet burger. Located just off Bank Street and near the train station, The Auctioneers is a popular pub and a great place to catch the sporting action, with 12 TV screens and a late-night Saturday licence until 3am. That all adds up to one great place to finish up the night.
The Phoenix Ale House
A cool and quirky pub, The Phoenix Ale House is the only pub here with a monthly vegan night and a weekly gin and jazz party. With a friendly atmosphere and an impressive range of real ales – plus, some seriously good food, including their noted fish and chips – it’s a great pub and one that’s a short walk from the Old High Church.