A sloping road that has everything from tattoo parlours and florists, to Mexican basements and chocolatiers; Broughton Street, as my friends will tell you, is my favourite place to be in Edinburgh.
Let’s say you’ve arrived from the top end; you’ve just left the absolutely insane traffic situation that is outside of the Omni Centre and the Edinburgh Playhouse, and all of a sudden you’re faced with a busy street with a lot going on, but no definable character. You’re in Edinburgh’s East End, right on the edge of the Pink Triangle. It’s Broughton Street.
You slowly start walking downhill, your pace quickens and your ability to dodge traffic sharpens. There are food places all over; music drifting out of below ground venues and people darting off narrow cobbled streets or disappearing into elegant, yet polluted, Broughton Street buildings. Where do you even begin? Well, I’ll introduce you to some of my favourites, shall I?
Here you sip tequila, you don’t shot it. Chase it up with a fiery little sangrita and you’ll be hitting the spot. The Basement is the place for margaritas, and the urban Mexican vibes will keep you there all night long. They’ll even make the guacamole just how you ask for it.
I love Scandinavian design, and that’s probably why I love this shop so much. Pick up affordable kitchen wares or hipster stationery; or if you’re like me you’ll fall in love with an art print of a personified cumulonimbus cloud looking seriously pissed off. Either way, you’ll be buying something cool.
How do I even describe this wonderful little café? Casual, affordable, eclectic, friendly and welcoming. This is the sort of place you can come and eat solo and not feel like you’re being stared down at by bored couples or that table over there. Oh, and the menu is just packed full of comfort food.
I just love Treacle. The last time I visited I did a great job of listening to my friend while watching Fresh Prince on the tv behind them and simultaneously falling in love with the Daschund giving me the eyes from under a nearby coffee table. I was also eating seriously good food and sipping a cocktail out of a teacup. Need I say more? I didn’t think so.
This is a tiny coffee shop with good style and a roast to boast about. I’m not a big coffee drinker, but it smells seriously good in here, and they have pretty sassy chalkboard designs.
Scottish, crafty and totally on it; Concrete Wardrobe has attracted a lot of attention over the years and it’s easy to see why. If you like being unique, shop here.
The Ox is a pretty chilled out, but classier joint on Broughton Street. Like most food places and pubs on this street, they are dog friendly! The menu isn’t ideal for the fussy eater, but then again that’s what makes it interesting. Not a bad place to take your date…or your dog, you know, whichever.
If you’ve got a gift to buy, this is probably a good place to start. Look out for modern jewellery, cute art prints and unimaginably useful home wares.
Now I’ve got my own favourite hair salon out in Linlithgow, but I do admire the style of Art Haus. Get in the chair, and spill all your relationship woes because these guys will make you feel so much better. Well, according to their window display anyway.
I love flowers! Call me old fashioned, but seriously – flowers. This is the happiest corner on Broughton Street, because it is literally bursting with green and leaves and baskets. Just breathe it in (but not too much okay, it’s not Countryfile).