“Sure, Which one?”
During your time in St Andrews this conversation will be had hundreds, maybe even thousands of times before you leave and it’s a debate that can last your whole four years in the bubble.
For a small town the options for getting subtly drunk throughout the day are plentiful. Here is a handy guide for the inexperienced drinker in St Andrews, with true student testimonials underpinning each review.
The Criterion is without a doubt in my mind the best pub in St Andrews…if you can get a seat. Right at the end of South Street, the Criterion seats about 20 people on a good day. However, what is lost in its small size is more than made up for by its charm, cask beers and the world-famous cri-pie, which is served until late. I have never heard a bad song be played in the Criterion and I’ve never been disappointed with my pint. When there’s an important match it’s on their TV. As long as you find a place to sit you will never be disappointed going to the Criterion.
“Whenever I hear Cri-pie I picture Big Al crying into a pie.”
The people’s champion, jack of all trades master of none. The Rule may not have the best atmosphere or the best beer garden but it’s size, prices, mango cider and decent food means that there’s some – thing for everyone to like. “I love it because I never remember being there.”
Is it a pub? No. Can you get a good cocktail? Sure, if you’re into that. Is it cost-effective? Not really. Why should I go? It’s only money.
“It’s only money.” – Matt Leighton ‘20
Aikmans/Cellar Bar is one of the last great pubs in St Andrews atmosphere-wise. The pints are good, the curly fries are good (and served until very late) and it’s bigger than the Criterion. A great second choice when it comes to atmosphere, but it doesn’t have any windows and that bothers me every time I’m in there.
“It’s the perfect balance of comfy and grimy and they serve food the latest, making it the best place to casually forget walking home from.”
“I’m literally contractually obligated to say it’s my favourite pub.”
Brew Co South Street
If you’re American, have too much money and/or don’t have enough chat to carry a conversation then Brew Co is the pub for you. You can get a pint for £10 if you really wanted to but I have a fundamental distaste for a pub that has cards against humanity because it means that the clientele can’t carry a conversation without help from outside sources.
“Nice gin selection and I won’t get hit on by the older locals.”
“I’ve actually only ever been to Brew Co.”
A little pricey but the best beer garden in St Andrews, paired with its sparser clientele the saint is a great place for a quiet meeting or a date.
“Booze, boys, bunker.”
“You can play with the candles.”
While we all miss the old Whey Pat, the new pat is not too bad. Good nachos and all your usual beers means that while it may not be anyone’s first choice, it’s a nice place to fall back on if your usual spot is too full
“I miss the old pat.” — a student on his third trip to the Whey Pat in as many days.
It’s not the Blue Stane anymore, but it’s not offensive, so chuck it on a pub crawl; but I wouldn’t hang out there.
“I’m not going to stop calling it the Stane.”
If you’re not afraid of the locals or Americans it’s perfectly fine. Nice atmosphere, decently priced pints, nothing wrong with this one.
“I’m still scared of going in there.”
“It’s where my father and I got hit on by girls from Fife Council; I still have their number.”
Guest Review(s): The Jigger inn
“It’s nice enough, but you have to walk a million miles to get there. Unless you’re in ABH you’ll literally pass every other pub on your way.”
“Far enough away that you don’t feel like you’re in St Andrews but close enough for a seshwari naan.”
Really nice place to sit in front of if you’re having a pint during the day. Inoffensive at night.
“They’ve got an 8 per cent beer on tap. What more can you ask for?”
Brew Co North Street
It’s Brew Co but if there’s a big sporting event on there’s a lot of screens so that makes it a little better than Brew Co South.
The Hotel ones (Playfairs, Greyfriars etc.)
Yeah, they’re alright, always a good shout if you need to extend a pub crawl. Distinctly average.
“It was a nice place to wait while I waited for dinner at the Haar.”
“I think I might have gone there at the end of a pub crawl; it was too late for me.”
1 Golf Place
It has beer towers, a nice porch which is really nice for a sunny day and has a functional pool table.
“Quality service without the need to be quality at golf.”
The golf boys seem to love this one and for good reason. Great atmosphere and nice bar staff as well. The dunny is unfortunately underrated by most St Andreans but maybe that’s part of its charm.
“If you know, you know.”
“Best atmosphere by far compared to any other pub.”
“There’s a bartender named Mark and I love him.”
The Union isn’t really a pub, but it’s not really a club either. What it definitely is, however, is the social hub of St Andrews. From the quiet pub Sundays to the blackout mosh pits of a sinners, the Union is unlike anything else in town and there’s a certain magic to it.
I love the Union and I have so many good memories from my time there. It’s absolutely amazing and I wouldn’t change anything about it if I could.
“The specials there are the sweetest in all of Fife, and it’s where we first met.”
“UUUUUUUUUUUUUUNION!” – Prince William (Probably) ’05
Guest Rating: The Vic
“Only go there if you want to overpay for alcohol and watch adult men hit on Madras College girls, AKA don’t go.”
Brew Dog joins its brew brothers as a casualty of the American invasion. While I must give it praise for its Wednesday bottomless wings; the price of its beer and the fact that I don’t have a particular affinity for some of their more unique beer options means that this was never going to be a high scorer.
“It’s not even that bad but I still hate it.”