The Edinburgh Castle Hotel (CLOSED)
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More about beers than bagpipes, Adelaide's Edinburgh Castle is the oldest pub in South Australia, and it's serving up bargain pints, dinner deals and live bands
The real castle in Edinburgh doesn’t look much like this place. Well, they both have a bit of basalt in their walls, but this old Adelaide boozer is less about pomp and bagpipes, more about pizzas and electric guitars. And it is old. The licence here dates back to 1837, making it Adelaide’s oldest pub.
Inside is deceptively roomy, given the pub’s compact street frontage. The front bar is all thick layers of paint on the architraves and well-trodden floorboards with patched plate metal repairs. There’s a pool table near the door, and the walls are hung with vintage basses and classic movie posters (Flying High, Escape From New York, Kentucky Fried Movie).
From the front bar, an archway leads into a cavernous band room, with a full-height stage (far superior to the average drum riser) and a bar shaped into a giant plywood wave. Out the back, past the Family Guy pinball machine, is one of Adelaide’s biggest and best beer gardens – a rambling space dotted with red plastic chairs beneath the broad spreading boughs of deciduous trees. There’s yet another bar here, and a street art mural adorns a bamboo covered wall.
Given the myriad bars, it’s no surprise that take their beer seriously here. A dedicated craft beer menu includes SA-brewed Prancing Pony, Swell, Goodieson and Lobethal Bierhaus bottles, and there’s a weekly ‘guest tap’. A bedazzlement of drinks deals on posters and blackboards around the walls tout bargains such as $12 Coopers Sparkling Ale longnecks and $5 pints (Mon-Fri, 3-6pm). Then there’s Scrabble on Wednesday nights, curry on Thursdays, pizzas on Fridays, and a stalwart $10 menu of burgers, salt and pepper squid and chicken schnitzels.
Families roll in for lunch on the weekends (the highchair in the corner is a giveaway) but mostly, the above enticements are a honey-pot lure for students on the run from the books. The band room is a further magnet, with a line-up of local indie rockers and metal acts.
It mightn’t be a real castle, but ‘the Ed’ is just as precious: an unpretentious old downtown pub where you can drink, eat and catch a band or two without having to dress to the nines or hand over more than you can afford.
233 Currie Street
|Opening hours:||Sun-Thu 11am-midnight; Fri, Sat 11am-late|