Best bars in and around Leith

Best bars in and around Leith

David Pollock suggests the finest locations for a festival beverage, or two

Leith’s four popular, Swedish-owned bars are a pub-crawl in themselves. Starting off at the very top of Leith Walk there’s Joseph Pearce’s (23 Elm Row, 0131 556 4140), which serves full meals through the day. Halfway down the Walk and separated by only a block are Victoria (265 Leith Walk, 0131 555 1638) and Boda (229 Leith Walk, 0131 553 5900), both of which offer inventive drinks and nibbles menus in stylish surroundings, while down by the Shore Sofi’s (65 Henderson Street, 0131 555 7019) is a popular neighbourhood haunt with themed event nights every week. (See for information on all four bars).

These are highlights, but not all the area has to offer. The Roseleaf (23/24 Sandport Place, 0131 476 5268, is a wonderful pub overflowing with character, which serves very good food and cocktails in china tea sets, while the large Bond No.9 (84 Commercial Street, 0131 555 5578, fills as much space as it can with possibly the best spirit bar you’ll find in Edinburgh. The Pond’s (2-4 Bath Road, 0131 467 3825) warm welcome and large beer garden makes it a destination for drinkers from all over town, and The Village (16 South Fort Street, 0131 478 7810, is a pleasant local bar with regular folk gigs in its back room.

Honourable mentions also go to the stylish iso-bar (7 Bernard Street, 0131 467 8904), Guilty Lily (284 Bonnington Road, 0131 554 5824, for the food and service, and the recently opened, cycling themed Tourmalet (25 Buchanan Street), while the team from the city’s excellent Blue Blazer has only just taken over the lease at the Windsor Buffet (45 Elm Row, 0131 556 4558).

A Joseph Pearce’s
23 Elm Row, Edinburgh, EH7 4AA
Casual bar at the top of the Walk with Scandi food and an intimate vibe.
B The Windsor
45 Elm Row, Edinburgh, EH7 4AH
Unassuming, laid-back boozer that will likely be here long after you’re gone.
C The Tourmalet
25 Buchanan Street, Edinburgh, EH6 8SQ
Laid-back local boozer with a cycling theme
D Victoria
265 Leith Walk, Edinburgh, EH6 8PD
Cheerful neighbourhood pub with weekly language cafés, a popular singles speed dating event and an excellent section of vegan wines.
E The Roseleaf
23–24 Sandport Place, Edinburgh, EH6 6EW
Welcoming pub with a chintzy clutter of board games, beer, healthy juices, comfort food and cocktails.
F Sofi's
65 Henderson Street, Edinburgh, EH6 6ED
A laid-back local with plenty of festivities on offer.
G The Pond
2–4 Bath Road, Edinburgh, EH6 7JT
Update: The Pond has announced it will be holding a closing-down party on 29 September 2012. One of Leith’s more fashionable drinking dens, the Pond goes out of its way to widen its appeal to almost everyone who visits. And that includes the outdoor…