At the West End of Princes Street you’ll find Lothian Road which leads you up into the lively area known as Tollcross, which takes its name from a busy crossroads. It’s full of affordable places to eat, some boisterous nightlife, comfortable pubs, and a smattering of shops.
See & Do
The two best independent cinemas in Edinburgh are located in this part of town. If you want to see something a little more interesting than the latest blockbuster then you can head for the Filmhouse on Lothian Road or continue up to Tollcross and see something at the Cameo. Both cinemas also feature great bars. If you prefer the big chain cinema experience then you’ll also find an Odeon on Lothian Road and there’s a big Cineworld multiplex just along from Tollcross at Fountainbridge. If you prefer the stage then head for a production at the King’s Theatre.
You’ll find lots of restaurants around Tollcross that serve up various cuisines from Indian restaurants, like Mezbaan, to Mexican to Italian. There is also plenty of good pub grub to choose from. There are enough options here that you can usually find somewhere to walk in and get a decent meal without having to book in advance. There is also no shortage of fish and chip, or kebab shops for all you late night snackers. Accessible and affordable is the name of the game here.
There is no shortage of pubs in Tollcross. The bottom end of Lothian Road has a range of nightlife to suit different tastes and it can get noisy. For a night of dancing and relatively cheap drinks you could try the Citrus Club, just off Lothian Road – it’s popular with students. If you prefer a quiet pint then head up the road to Tollcross and turn off towards the Meadows where you’ll find Cloisters for a great atmosphere without blaring music.
You’ll find a few good hotel options on Lothian Road and into Tollcross. It’s a very central location well-served by buses and taxis and within easy walking distance of most of Edinburgh. The Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa is a good option just off Lothian Road. You’ll also find some cheap serviced apartments and if you turn left at the King’s Theatre and go down Gilmore Place there are several nice bed and breakfasts and smaller hotels which are a bit more secluded and quiet.
Tollcross isn’t blessed with a huge choice of retail stores. There are a couple of supermarkets, an electrical store, a couple of boutiques selling clothes, and a record store. Perhaps most interesting you’ll find Edinburgh Contemporary Crafts which showcases the work of various craft designers including jewelry, ceramics, and textiles. They also run workshops and there are summer courses for youngsters in this converted charity store so people can get a hands-on go at creating their own crafts.