75 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AU
  • Telephone 0131 629 3327
  • Bar open Sun–Thu 11am–midnight; Fri/Sat 11am–1am.
  • Food served Mon–Sun 11am–10pm.
  • Average price £8 (lunch); £12 (evening meal)
  • Email
  • Website www.bodabar.com

Hemma – which means 'home' in Swedish – is an uptown move for busy Leith bar operators Mike and Anna Christopherson. As with their other venues such as Boda and Joseph Pearce, what they bring to the long-empty Tun building near the Holyrood Parliament is a laid-back blend of Scandanavian themes and contemporary bar nous. They've tried to match the large acreage of glass and concrete in the Tun with soft furnishings, a splash of art and funky wallpaper, and with rye-bread open sandwiches, warm noodles and less familiar continental beer brands they're clearly comfortable offering something different from the pub standards.

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2015/16 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

This review is taken from the current (2015) edition.

With an eclectic mix of pine and painted tables, comfy sofas and the odd pew, Hemma is welcoming to all, including children and dogs. The venue is equally popular for an after-work rendezvous, a bite to eat with friends and pooches after a walk mid-week, or for a weekend lunch. An area upstairs is set aside for kids to play safely while the adults relax. The menu offers something for everyone including burgers, salads and homemade Thai fishcakes, and the staff are knowledgeable about their dishes and their cocktails, which are made with thought and care. Roasted squash and soft goat's cheese salad is tasty with a lingering hint of basil. The homemade soup is full of flavour and generous in size with crusty fresh bread and lashings of butter. The dessert menu gives a full description of ingredients, including a tasty wheat-free chocolate kladakat cake.

  • High point: Fabulous cocktails
  • Low point: Not all of the menu shows gluten-free options
  • Notable dish: Cocktails
  • Private dining: 280 (150 downstairs and 130 in mezzanine)
  • Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
  • Live entertainment: occasional bands
  • Capacity: 130
  • Largest group: 130 for drinks and buffet, 50 for a sit-down meail
  • Open since: May 2012
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 15
  • House wine: £14.10 per bottle

Comments & ratings

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5. Kerrybear14 Mar 2015, 8:41pm5 stars Hemma Report

We went with friends and had a beautiful lunch after a lovely walk around Arthur's seat. We were delighted to find lots of toys for the kids to play with and our doggy was allowed in too! Lovely space to chill out on a sunny afternoon.

4. Disappointing2316 Dec 2014, 6:46pm1 star Hemma Report

Very disappointing experience. Left sitting for 45 min after ordering until I had to find out what happened to our food. Too many staff doing next to zero on days which were quiet instead of checking their tables had their food. On discovery that the waiter had forgot to order for us (currently sitting eating his own large plate of food) we had enough and left. The most amazing thing was, which doesn't really surprise me, when I complained via email, not even a response.

Poor service from staff who seem to think they are in their second living room.

3. Debs T15 Jan 2014, 10:18am4 stars Hemma Report

Lovely setting / lovely atmosphere

2. foodiegal19 Aug 2013, 9:24pm1 star Hemma Report

Frustrating wait of an hour for our food when we went at lunch time last sunday. The staff didn't come to explain or apologise and the service was unfriendly. After a long wait the lamb koftas arrived looking like disintegrated patties and were still pink...

Service awful, food just ok and the wait unreasonable, we won't be back!

1. Friarfield30 Jul 2012, 9:40pm5 stars Hemma Report

Looking forward to the poetry nights. Great atmosphere and excellent food.

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Average rating 3/5 from 5 reviews of Hemma.

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