Lothian Road

If being near the action is your kind of thing, then living in Lothian Road or Tollcross might just be the ticket for you.

Just a hop, skip and a jump away from the bustling madness of Princes St, this almost equally lively area is packed to the brim with fantastic things to do, see and love.

Fancy yourself as a bit of a movie buff? We’ve got an Odeon cinema right here!  Know your Shakespeare from your Moliere? The Lyceum Theatre puts on top quality shows all year around! Or maybe music is your passion? Well, we just happen to have a spectacular venue called the Usher Hall! Excited yet?

Well, all of that is just a teaser of what’s on offer! Bars, restaurants, shops…Lothian Road and Tollcross has got it all and lots, lots more.

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s jump right in and take a look at what it is that makes this place one of the most vibrant and exciting areas in all of Edinburgh… Oh, and make sure to read to the end. There might just be a secret tip hiding for you there.


We’ve already mentioned some of the amazing entertainment venues available here (and they are amazing), but they really are just the tip of the iceberg. Is there another part of Edinburgh that has just so much to offer in terms of theatre and cinema? We really don’t think so. To prove it, take a look at these knock out tips.

Kings Theatre  was built in 1905 and has been host to some of the best performers in the business. Today, it still attracts the crème de la crème, being visited by the very best of touring theatre and, yes, a bit of the old pantomime now and again. Fantastic for all the family, this beautiful theatre up on Tollcross is a must for those who love a bit of thespian magic.

Cameo Cinema is one of Scotland’s oldest functioning cinemas and an iconic venue here on the streets of Edinburgh. From arthouse to blockbuster, Cameo provides a variety of movies seven days a week and a wonderful, old-fashioned like experience, if the multiplex ride really isn’t for you. And, they have the most fantastic Café bar you will ever find in any cinema anywhere ever. Just go. You’ll see what we mean.

Traverse Theatre is Scotland’s premier New Writing Theatre. If you’re after fresh and exciting pieces that challenge and entertain in equal measure, then there is simply no place like the Trav. Throw in its stylish bar (an excellent hang out spot) and you’ve got yourself one of the best evenings you’ll have in all of the city. It’s a standing ovation from us.

Filmhouse offers the very best of film in a world class, independent cinema at the heart of Lothian Road. Providing arthouse, re-runs and home to the magnificent Edinburgh Film Festival, this Edinburgh treasure is welcoming to families and film fanatics alike. The food in the café bar is reason enough to come (best nachos in town?), but you should really come just to say you have.  Yes, it’s that legendary.

Coffee & Cake 

As you might imagine, Lothian Road and Tollcross have all the usual suspects when it comes to coffee. Starbucks, Costa, Café Nero…Yep, they’re all here. But, if you fancy trying something a little bit different, we have a handful of gems here that we think will get you falling in love with the humble latte all over again.

Don’t Tell Mama is a wonderful little café just opposite the Kings Theatre on Tollcross. If you like your flavours with a splash of Greek, then you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else in town that hits the spot quite like here. With smashing pastries (not smashing plates, as far as we’re aware) and a hot chocolate that will make you believe in all of the Greek Gods, this is one treat you simply must put on your list. Yamas!

Black Rabbit offers a wide range of vegan treats for those who prefer to go without animal ingredients…and anyone who just likes totally scrumptious nosh. All handmade on site, this environmentally conscious Deli and coffee shop has delicious sandwiches, cakes, pastries and, yes, coffee. All totally vegan and totally delicious. Go on. Give it a go.

Seven serves exactly what you want from a café. But, as well as having a wonderful selection of great food at great prices, this place is all about that classic café atmosphere. If you’re looking for a place to just relax with a cup of coffee and maybe a bite to eat, then this charming little number will suit you just fine. A local favourite.

Pulp ‘n’ Grind delivers that little something special for those looking for something a trifle different. Located in the heart of Tollcross, this independent café specializes in fresh juices, top coffees and all kinds of delicious eatable goodies. With plenty of vegan options as well as non-vegan, Pulp ‘n’ Grind has something for everybody.


We all know that Princes Street is the place to go in Edinburgh when it comes to enjoying a bit of a weekend shopping spree. And, since your living on Lothian Road, you might very well consider the short trip there to participate in all of the retail therapy you need. But we think this would be quite a mistake. For Lothian Road, like so many places in the capital, has far more to offer than you might think.

Ali’s Cave  is one of those places that appears to have everything. Everybody in Edinburgh has, more than likely, heard of it. And more than that have probably actually been there. Serving the Edinburgh area since 1981, this now famous independent gift store has all the little knick knacks that you can never seem to find in any of the mainstream stores. Terrific!

Paper Tiger started trading, much like Ali’s Cave, way back in 1981 and have gone from strength to strength ever since. With a massive and diverse collection of cards, wrapping papers and quirky gift ideas, this vibrant little store will have all the little extras you could possibly want for birthdays and all manner of celebratory occasions.

Futon Company  has a wide range of super products to help turn your new place into the home that you’ve always dreamed of. Beds, sofas, lamps, accessories…And, the staff really know what they’re talking about. So, if you’re up for moving into this top end of town, you might want to play this wee place a visit and see what they have to offer.

Wonderland Models might just be the most fun place in the whole world. Filled with toys, models and all the colours of the rainbow, if you need somewhere to shuffle off that ‘grown up’ vibe and indulge in some innocent delight, then this is the store for you. A fantastic space to pick up gifts for the kids or the kid in you, this treasure is just pure joy. Just go. You won’t regret it.

Bars & Restaurants 

If going out for a bite to eat and a quiet drink is your thing, then you are in for a right proper treat. Some of the best places to dine can be found right here in the Lothian Road/Tollcross area and we can guarantee you that you’ll never be out of options when it comes to hitting the town. Don’t believe us? Let’s take a peek!

Red Squirrel might just be one of the best pubs in Edinburgh. And, luckily for you, it’s right here on your doorstep. Popular with ladies and gents of all ages, the Red Squirrel is the perfect place to relax before or after a show at one of the great theatres just up the road. Great craft beers and some of the finest burgers in town, we think you may have found your new favourite haunt.

Ting Thai Caravan is all about the authentic Thai street food experience. And, boy, do that get that one nailed down.  With their first restaurant in Teviot Place being such a knock out success, they recently opened up this place across town and it is everything you want to it be. Cracking food, a bustling atmosphere and an absolute joy. A taste explosion.

The Hanging Bat opened in 2012 and has become a firm favourite, especially with those who love their craft beer. Could this be the best beer bar in town? Well, if you believe the reviews, we’d have to say it’s certainly up there. But it’s not just about the beer. A fantastic place to chill out with some snacks and absorb the electric environment, The Hanging Bat has a lot of bite.

Lebowskis is not technically on Lothian Road, but its close enough to include and too good not to mention. Named after the Coen Brothers’ 90’s classic cult movie, this place is amazing and a real treat for any film buff! Great food, great drinks, great..well, everything really! Do we think ‘The Dude’ would approve? Yeah, man! And we think you would too!

And our secret tip?

Edinburgh Farmers Market, like Lebowskis, is not technically on Lothian road, but it simply has to be brought to your attention. Open every Saturday from 9am-2pm, this delightful outdoor market offers a variety of fresh veggies, fish, dairy products and a whole host of other wonderful delights. Not up to anything much on Saturday mornings? You are now.

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