The Water of Leith Café Bistro

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The Water of Leith Café Bistro
1 Howard Street, Canonmills, Edinburgh, EH3 5JP
  • Telephone 0131 556 6887
  • Opening times Tue–Th 9.30am–5pm; Fri 9.30am–9pm; Sat 10am–9pm; Sun 10am–4pm; closed Mon.
  • Seasonal times Extended seasonal hours.
  • Food served Tue–Sat 9.30am–5pm; Sun 9.30am–4pm. Closed Mon.
  • Website
Photo of The Water of Leith Café Bistro
The Water of Leith Café Bistro

Head for the specials menu at this upbeat, friendly riverside spot where the food exceeds the expectations of a neighbourhood café.

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2019/20 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

Perched over the babbling river at Canonmills, this upbeat neighbourhood café goes well beyond the standard of a typical soup and sandwich lunch. The extensive specials menu changes daily, offering wholesome lunches made with seasonal, local produce. Light but satisfying pork, duck and apple terrine is complemented with mustardy homemade coleslaw and a sweet red onion chutney. Tried and tested favourites fill the permanent menu, like croques in all forms, which come in generous portions made with fresh bread. For something more substantial a hearty falafel burger laced with crunchy carrot hits the spot. Homemade cakes are served in wedges, and the carrot cake carries a delicious hint of orange. With a specials menu offering something different every day and super-friendly staff it’s no wonder this place attracts loyal regulars – there’s an infectious sense of community and lots of friendly chatter between tables.

The List's rating






Suzy Pope visited The Water of Leith Café Bistro on 5 February 2019
  • High point: Loads of specials to choose from
  • Low point: After a busy weekend Monday's cakes can be limited
  • Notable dish: Croque salmon
  • Average price: £14 (lunch)
  • Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Free wi-fi
  • Music on stereo: Carol King.
  • Capacity: 45
  • Largest group: 45
  • Open since: 2009 / 2014 (in new location)
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 7
  • House wine: £15.50 per bottle