A lovely knitter friend whom I met years ago, recently contacted me to ask if I could recommend places to visit in Edinburgh as she was going to be here on holiday this summer. I remembered that I had written a blog post ahead of the Edinburgh Yarn Festival in March 2019. But much has changed since then, so here is an updated and expanded version of mine and my family's favourite places in Edinburgh!
YARNS & FABRIC
- Be Inspired Fibres Mei runs an amazing wee shop selling a range of Scottish and international yarns
- Fabric Focus very friendly, helpful fabric shop
- Ginger Twist Studio Jess sells a range of beautiful yarns for all budgets, including her own stunning hand-dyed and local farm yarns
- Kathys Knits Cathy sells a range of British yarns
- Books - Golden Hare Books dog-friendly independent book shop in Stockbridge
- Coffee - Mr Eion best coffee beans in town
- Food market - local food producers markets in Leith on Saturdays and Stockbridge on Sundays
- Health - Hanover Healthfoods family owned health shop in city centre that can also offer great advice on a huge range of health issues
- Jewellery - Annie Smith my fav jewellery shop in Edinburgh
- Off License - Cornelius Beer & Wine great selection at a range of prices
- Something different – Logan & Malloch lovely shop selling a range of Scottish and other goods in Leith
- Tea - Pekoe Tea amazing varieties of tea
- Textiles - the Scottish Textiles Showcase a treasure trove of authentic Scottish gifts and homeware in the city centre
- Asian – Wee Buddha delicious range of Asian cuisine
- Bistro - The Educated Flea great menu, at the foot of Broughton Street
- British - The Walnut tiny restaurant serving amazing British cuisine
- Brunch - The Pantry great breakfast though you can't book a table
- Cafe - Loudons open for breakfast, lunch & afternoon tea. Gluten free options
- Cake - Cuckoos Bakery lovely cakes in Stockbridge & Bruntsfield
- Chinese - The Stack delicious dim sum
- East African - Knights Kitchen wonderful Kenyan-inspired food in a family run bistro on Leith Walk
- Edinburgh Institution - Bells Diner throwback to the 70s. Best nut burgers in town!
- Gallery Cafe - Scottish National Portrait Gallery wonderful self-service cafe
- Fish & Chips - L’Alba D’Oro best in town. Takeaway or sit-in
- French - L'Escargot Bleu delicious French food which sources its meat from Uradale Yarns in Shetland
- Indian (city centre) - Mother India Cafe superb tapas-style Indian food
- Indian (not in city centre) - Cutting Chai fantastic Indian food in Leith with specific vegan & vegetarian menus too
- Iranian - Dishoom very tasty Iranian-style food. One of my sons' fav places
- Italian - Contini George Street good food in a stunning setting
- Japanese - Harajuku Kitchen - recommended highly by the lovely Katie Green
- Locally Sourced - Forage & Chatter fabulous foraged food
- Mexican - The Basement authentic Mexican food, great margaritas
- Middle Eastern - Pomegrante good Middle Eastern food. BYOB
- Modern European - Aurora in Leith offers delicious tasting menus
- Neighbourhood Bistro - First Coast value-for-money Scottish bistro
- Pastries - Pastry Section great takeaway pastries and coffee/tea, perfect for a picnic in Inverleith Park!
- Pizza - Pizza Posto good value pizzas in a central location
- Pub Grub - The Roseleaf in Leith offers great food and amazing decor near the Water of Leith
- Romantic Twosome (or more) - The Stockbridge Restaurant lovely food and setting
- Sandwiches - Cairngorm Coffee Co good sandwiches & coffee in city centre
- Scandi - Timberyard stunning Scandinavian style food
- Scottish - Wedgewood great Scottish cooking on Royal Mile
- Spanish - La Sal good Spanish cuisine on Leith Walk
- Soup - Social Bite social enterprise company, aiming to end homelessness
- Sunday Roast - Queens Arms nowhere does it bigger or better for a roast according to my older son!
- Tapas - Tapa ok, so I'm cheating with a second Spanish place, but I love it here!
- Thai - Nok's Kitchen great food & amazing presentation
- Vegan - Holy Cow lovely wee place behind the bus station
- Vegetarian - David Bann wonderful vegetarian & vegan menus
- Walkable from my house - love the food at DINE Murrayfield which is just about walkable from my wee house in the west of Edinburgh!
- Bramble - an Edinburgh institution on Queen Street
- Cocktail Mafia - tucked away on Charlotte's Lane, Edinburgh's newest and most exciting cocktail spot!
- House of Gods - decadent cocktail bar sat on the Cowgate, ask for the bartender's special!
- Panda & Sons - disguised as a Prohibition era barber shop on Queen Street, Edinburgh's best acclaimed cocktail spot
- Golf Tavern - Edinburgh's original home of golf, sat on Bruntsfield Links
- Kay’s Bar - possibly Edinburgh's coolest bar, hidden away on Jamaica Street
- Oxford Bar - right in the city centre on Thistle Street, favourite haunt of both John Rebus and Ian Rankin!
- The Bailie - plenty of cask ales and hearty pub grub, a must for traditional pub goers
- Gertrude & Smith - great wines & cheese on Hamilton Place opposite the Water of Leith
- Good Brothers - fab wines & food in Stockbridge
- Le Di-Vin - good wine & plates of food in Edinburgh's west end
VISIT FOR FREE
- Arthur's Seat geology - info on Arthur's Seat
- Carlton Hill geology - info on Carlton Hill
- City Art Centre - lovely central art gallery
- Coburg House - gallery, studios & shop in Leith
- Cramond Beach - take the 41 Lothian bus from the centre of town for a beach walk, with tide times & weather info available from Tide Times
- Dovecot Studios - tapestry & weaving near National Museum, with a shop & cafe
- Edinburgh Printmakers - exhibitions & cafe beside the Union Canal
- National Library of Scotland - has very interesting Scottish-themed exhibitions
- National Museum of Scotland - amazing collections and indoor space
- Newhaven Harbour - Newhaven Harbour info
- Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh - beautiful accessible gardens, exhibitions, cafes & shop
- Saughton Park - accessible gardens (incl. a maze and a medicinal herb garden), band stand & a lovely cafe/bistro beside the Water of Leith in SW Edinburgh
- Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art - modern art & cafes
- Scottish National Portrait Gallery - portraits & cafe in city centre
WALKS & WALKING TOURS
- Black History of Edinburgh walking tours - highly recommended Edinburgh Caribbean Association tours of Edinburgh
- Do It Yourself - use this great map from the Ordnance Survey to explore Edinburgh at your own pace!
- Union Canal - Union Canal walk info
- Water of Leith Walkway - River walk from the Port of Leith to Balerno in the foothills of the Pentlands
NOT JUST FOR LOCALS
- Dominion Cinema - beautiful, art deco, family-run cinema in south side of Edinburgh
- Edinburgh Leisure - Council-run swimming pools & gyms across the city
- Leith Theatre - amazing venue to visit to see a live show or band
- Live Music - Both Biddy Mulligans and George IV Bar have live music sets from Edinburgh's local folk talent. Larger music venues include: Queen's Hall; Usher Hall; Playhouse; and Festival Theatre.
- Out of the Blue - great community venue off Leith Walk with exhibitions, social evenings, weekend vintage fairs & a lovely cafe
- Play Areas - a list of all the Council-run play parks in Edinburgh