There’s no place like Hemma

Hemma is a bright and airy cafe-bar on the site of a former brewery that will welcome your entire family without raised eyebrows – heck, even your dog will get served at this great big glass edifice that’s tucked at the bottom of Holyrood Road. Come evening, the venue is just as popular with the afterwork crowd, with staff from nearby offices including the BBC, the Scottish Parliament and the just-moved-in-across-the-road cybergeeks from Rockstar Games, the brains behind Grand Theft Auto and more. Quirkily designed with pine and painted tables, comfy sofas and the odd unusual chair, Hemma, part of the ever-growing group of Swedish bars which have been creeping up Leith Walk in recent years (Boda Bar, Victoria, Joseph Pearce’s, and Sofi’s at the Shore), is split on two levels, packing two bars, with the mezzanine area bookable for events or private parties for up to 130 guests.

Customers outside the glass exterior of Hemma, Edinburgh
Customers relax outside the glass exterior of Hemma

“There’s definitely

something very

homely about

this venue”

The brunch menu, in particular, is worth making a beeline for. Available until 5pm and reasonably priced, you can chose the likes of Hemma Breakfast (haggis, pork sausage, smoked bacon, poached egg, spinach potatoes, flat mushroom and roasted vine tomato served with toast), Hemma Brunch (scrambled egg with spinach on toast served with a flat mushroom and roasted vine tomatoes), and French Toast (thick slices of Manna House bread dipped in egg and fried in butter, with the choice of bacon and maple syrup or smoked salmon, sour cream and dill). There’s 12 well chosen draughts on tap and an extensive cocktail list, plus they’ve got a very decent selection of wines and spirits. Hemma means home in Swedish, and there’s definitely something very homely about this venue, what with its laid-back atmosphere and friendly and helpful staff.
Hemma, Holyrood Road, 0131-629 3327

words: Barry Lambert