Friday, 5 April 2013

52 Canoes Tiki Den:

I first became aware of 52 Canoes Tiki Den through photos on a friends Instagram.  As soon as I saw their cocktails in totem poles and skull shaped glasses, I was itching to visit and try them for myself.  So, under the pretence of going out for dinner, I dragged Craig and my big sister, Helen, along to sample as many cocktails as possible with me.

52 Canoes is the closest thing Edinburgh has to a tropical beach holiday, hidden downstairs in a basement building on Melville Place in the West End.  The bar is dark, but not dingy, and the tiki themed decoration is consistent without being tacky.  After reading a few reviews online, I was pleased to discover that the Tiki Den is famous for its food as well as its cocktails, particularly the nachos.

Our menus arrived with a pitcher of pink water infused with lemon and what we decided must be some kind of blossom (hence the unusual colour).  You know the cocktails are going to be good when even the water is pink!

When our first round of drinks arrived, I was very excited to find out that mine was in one of the aforementioned totem pole style glasses.  Overexcited, really.  Probably the most excited I've ever been about a beverage.  Most of the drinks are rum based, but Helen was pleased to find a cocktail featuring her favourite wine!  (See the huge wine glass it came in below!)

I loved this little guy!

When the pulled pork nachos that we ordered arrived, I was very glad we had decided to share one serving between three of us!  Somehow, we did manage to finish them.

As you can see, enormous portions seem to be the norm at the Tiki Den.  My 52 Canoes burger (with bacon and two kinds of cheese) tasted amazing, but I could only manage to eat half of what was on my plate, which is pretty rare for me!

Still, there was a wee bit of room left for another cocktail, and my coconutty 'Bahia' (in the blue glass) was delicious.

I think Craig's choice (which arrived on fire, and stayed burning for at least 10 minutes!) deserves a special mention.

After the meal, we paid our bill (which arrived with a huge selection of sweeties) and, with our waiter's blessing, pinched a lei necklace each from the rafters of the bar.  Overall, I really enjoyed visiting 52 Canoes Tiki Den and can't wait to go back.  Unlike a lot of bars and restaurants in Edinburgh, I felt like I actually got my money's worth for both food and drinks there.  The staff were friendly and helpful, despite obviously being rushed off their feet.  Maybe the fact that the place was so busy on a Thursday night speaks for itself, but if you're a cocktail enthusiast (or just appreciate good nachos and burgers) then you should definitely pay the Tiki Den a visit!

You can like 52 Canoes Tiki Den's Facebook page here for more information about their menu and special events that they have going on!


  1. This place looks AMAZING, I'm totally going next time I'm in Edinburgh! Tiki-themed stuff is great. x

    1. It's great, I think you would really like it there! :)