For more than 20 years Cloisters has been a haven of quality beer and decent pub grub, perched in the short stretch between Tollcross and the rolling green space of the Meadows. The premises were once the parsonage of the adjacent Episcopalian church, explaining the slightly ecclesiastical feel, while the décor does nothing to distract from the drink: bare stone walls, wooden tables and chairs, pews and some old pub mirrors.
The beer choice is legendary – nine cask taps and 10 keg – with eight of those rotating constantly. You could find anything here from a local IPA courtesy of Stewart Brewing of Loanhead, just outside Edinburgh, to a trenchant Orkney Porter from the Swannay Brewery, way up north – and others from much further afield. Whenever you go, there will be something new to try which is one of Cloisters’ perennial attractions.
The food menu has table snacks like prawn crackers or piri-piri fries, good for sharing, but also a range of burgers from an unadorned classic to a Franco-Scottish effort with goat cheese and toasted walnut. There are other dishes too like moules frites, Cajun salmon and daily specials. Convivial on busy evenings, Cloisters can also be a surprisingly reflective space on a quiet weekday afternoon.