Edinburgh Festival Guide: Leith & Broughton Street
Independent restaurants, great pubs and a break from the crowds and queues
This article is from 2016.
In days gone by Leith was a separate burgh but the two settlements just couldn't keep apart. Now Leith Walk meets the city centre outside the Playhouse theatre at a busy junction watched over by the statues of Sherlock Holmes and two curious looking giraffes.
Running North from this junction is Broughton Street, a handy strip of cafes, bars and eateries. This area is home to venues including The Street Bar, Outhouse, who have live jazz and blues acts in the evenings during the Fringe, and 48 Below, where Laughing Horse present a programme of stand-up comics.
The further down Leith Walk you head the fewer Fringe venues you'll find, with a smattering of events at Woodland Creatures, Leith Depot and The Biscuit Factory, where you can enjoy a pop-up Scottish dining experience or a jazz rave.
Fewer Fringe venues ain't such a bad thing if you're looking for a break from crowds, queues and plastic pint glasses. Leith is where a large portion of Edinburgh students and young professional types live and so doesn't rely on the tourist trade as much as other areas of town. There's a wide selection of independent restaurants and great pubs, where you won't have to sweep swathes of show leaflets off your table.
Redeveloped waterfront area The Shore runs parallel to the Water of Leith. This is where several of the city's top chefs have chosen to establish their restaurants and on a summer's day you can enjoy waterside dining or drinking European style, just don't make any jokes about 'Sunshine on Leith', they've already heard it.