Leith, just two miles from the city centre, proudly maintains its own very separate identity: it’s dynamic, multi-cultural and creative, and according to Time Out magazine in 2021, the fourth coolest neighbourhood in the world - and now you can even get here by tram.
Leith has a proud maritime heritage of trade and discovery, spirits and spices. Until the 18th century this was Scotland’s main trading port and the flow of ideas and cultures continues today. In the spaces the industry left behind artisanal distilleries and creative industries thrive as Leith continually reinvents itself. Today the waterfront is a permanent berth The Royal Yacht Britannia, and Fingal, a retired lighthouse tender transformed into an elegant floating hotel.
Food and drink is a real draw to the area: Leith has the highest density of Michelin starred and listed restaurants outside London, with plenty of brilliant places to eat on a tighter budget too. Whether or not there’s sunshine, Leithers love to get outside, either enjoying the vast green of Leith Links, or perhaps sitting by The Shore in one of the many pubs and restaurants.
Health & Beauty
If you need a little pampering or a new do, there are plenty of great salons in Leith.
The Shore Clinic
59 Henderson Street, Leith, Edinburgh
Do you spend too much time sitting like a croissant at your desk? Me too. Luckily Kate and Magda are on hand to ease those aches and pains. At this little massage clinic you’ll be very well looked after and leave feeling like a new woman. I recommend the hot stone massage, it works like a charm.
Bernard Street , Edinburgh , EH6 6PR • 0131 555 0708
This light and spacious salon is a local favourite. Excellent hair cutting and colouring from a friendly, talented team and at a fair price, what more can you ask for?
Leith's creative independent spirit makes it a brilliant place to buy directly from Scottish artists and makers. Try Flux for presents, Bard for high end design, and look out for open studio days at The Drill Hall and Coburg House Studios.
1 Customs Wharf, Leith, EH6 6AL
Part shop, part gallery, the couple behind Bard travel all across Scotland, seeking out the finest artisan craft and design. Husbands Hugo Macdonald and James Stevens have designed Bard to look like the home of a collector, “Our mission is to help people feel excited about living with and using contemporary craft and design in everyday life. So it made sense to us to present what we are showing in a domestic environment, mixing high with low, clashing materials, colours and textures, just as you’d find in the home of someone with confidence to express themselves boldly through the things that they live with,” Stevens says.
55 Bernard Street, Leith
In a panic for a present? Better get to Flux. There’s a lovely range of homewares, jewellery and handmade goods, many by Scottish designers, and a great kids corner full of ethically made children’s toys and clothes.
Eating Out - a tiny selection!
Food and drink is a real draw to Leith, from Michelin starred restaurants to takeaway pizza joints, we're spoiled for choice. The only issue is trying to choose where to go. Here's a few favourites to start you off.
101 Leith Walk, Edinburgh
Kvasa is a 100% sourdough bakery and the best place to get a loaf in Leith. Try the traditional Danish Rugbrod made with seeds, craft beer and live cultures, the deep purple walnut bread, or my favourite, a whole (or half) Miche loaf - an enormous French style loaf that will keep you nourished all week. You’ll definitely need some sourdough croissants too.
The Little Chartroom
14 Bonnington Road, Leith
This one’s a real treat. Roberta Hall-McCarron’s first restaurant moved a few years ago into these larger premises and the result is a relaxed and elegant restaurant space. The food is incredible, and it’s well worth adding paired wines to your menu. Hall-McCarron’s menus are hyper-seasonal so expect the very best Scottish game, fish and vegetables prepared with skill and style.
72 Commercial Street, Leith, EH6 6LX • 0131 555 5066
A popular venue for events and parties, get in touch with Season Quayside if you’re planning a big event and want thoughtful, seasonal food in a stylish venue.
egg members can enjoy 10% off food at Season Quayside!
Razzo Pizza Napoletana
59 Great Junction Street, Leith, Edinburgh
Everyone has their favourite pizza joint: this is mine. Whether you sit in or order in, Razzo delivers the goods every time. Expect thin Neapolitan style pizzas with scorched pillowy crusts and the very best toppings. Mine’s a Melanzane with fried aubergine, fior di latte, pecorino, garlic and basil.
Victor Hugo Delicatessen
38 The Shore, Leith
A relaxed deli spot in prime position on the Shore. No stranger to Edinburgh, Victor Hugo has been serving great sandwiches and coffee since 1955. We love the original Meadows cafe, and happily this Leith branch is just as nice - and because it’s bigger it’s easier to get a table. Pastrami on rye with emmental is the classic, or try eggs benedict in a brioche roll for a real morning boost.
When the sun goes down, Leith is the place to be. Whether you fancy cocktails at Three Marys, delicious wine at Mistral or a crisp pint in a pub by The Shore, Leith is a great night out.
63-65 Henderson Street, Leith, Edinburgh
This is a cracking cocktail bar, with regular live jazz and great staff who create a laid-back friendly atmosphere. The bar is beautiful with dark floral walls, stained glass, and comfy velvet seats. A great spot for a night out with the girls.
10-12 Bonnington Road, Edinburgh
Mistral is everything we want in a wine bar: interesting wines by the glass, with a little (unpretentious) expert guidance, a relaxed environment, and great snacks. Take a seat in the window or at the big central table and sample wines from small European producers, with some small plates to share - the nduja and ricotta crostini are delicious.
Things to do
Why not make a day of it? The Lind and Lime distillery tour is a great option if you have visitors in town to entertain, and Studio 48 will keep little ones happily creating while you enjoy exploring the area.
Lind & Lime Gin Distillery
24 Coburg Street, EH6 6HB
The Lind and Lime distillery tour is a great way to spend an afternoon or evening, the team have created the perfect blend of learning and tasting. You’ll start with a crisp G&T as you discover how this distinctive lime-heavy gin is made. You can taste the botanicals and even have a go at bottling a miniature (labelling is harder than it looks!).
Take a seat at the stylish bar area and learn how to make a classic cocktail. The distillery also has a shop selling some of Scotland’s top spirits as well as merchandise, and there are further samples to try here too. The same parent company, Leith Export Co. will soon open the distinctive tall black whisky distillery beside Brittania, so you’ll be able to visit that soon too.
egg members can benefit from 10% off tours and Lind and Lime products.
Unit 7 62-66 Newhaven Road, Pillans Place, EH6 5QB
Your young people will love getting messy at Studio 48, and learn a lot at the same time. Art classes are taught by top local artists with a passion for encouraging children’s creativity. Adult workshops are a lot of fun too.
egg members can save 10% on Arty Parties this summer!