Tucked away on a gentle slope near the east end of Princes Street is a lovely road, packed full with an eclectic mix of unique shops and restaurants. Edinburgh’s Broughton Street, somewhat off the beaten track, has long been associated with a bohemian, arty vibe and still has a relaxed, friendly and community feel.
It’s sandwiched between well-heeled New Town and the vibrant Broughton, while the top of the street also marks the start of multicultural Leith Walk. It’s also a stone’s throw from the Edinburgh Playhouse theatre, the Omni Cinema complex and the John Lewis department store. If travelling by tram, the York Place stop is a 1-minute walk away and the bus Station is only 5 minutes away.
We lived in the area for a number of years and have seen the street go from strength to strength, with an influx of new and exciting restaurants, boutiques and bars, now calling it home. Likewise, adjacent neighbourhoods such as Broughton, Bellevue and Bonnington, have seen old industrial buildings redeveloped into high end housing. If you visit today then you will experience a vibrant and lively street which is fun to visit at night as well as interesting to explore in the day time.
How to get to Broughton Street
If you are walking, it’s only 5 minutes from the east end of Princes Street and 15 minutes from the Royal Mile.
If you’re travelling by tram, the last stop on the airport tram is York Place which is just at the top of Broughton Street.
If you are travelling into the city by bus, then Edinburgh’s main bus station is 5 minutes’ walk away.
If travelling around the city on Lothian buses, choose number 10, 12, 13, 22 and 26 that stop nearby. The closest train station is Waverley that can be reached on foot within 10 minutes when using the Calton Rd exit.
Restaurants on Broughton Street
Broughton Street has an amazing selection of restaurants covering many budgets and palates. You’ll be thoroughly spoiled for choice on such a short stretch of road.
££££ Smoke Stack – 53-55 Broughton Street, EH1 3RJ
Two words: “sticky ribs” – they are unbelievable good! Obviously not the only thing on the menu of this brilliant, homely bistro where meat and especially steak is a speciality. Choose from 4 delicious cuts of meat and 5 sauces including whisky cream. If you have never tried haggis before then order haggis, neeps and tatties and immerse yourself in true Scottish comfort food. Salad is available too. A great place for breakfast. The restaurant has been here for 22 years so you are in experienced hands, rapid and friendly service.
££££ The Olive Branch – 91 Broughton Street, EH1 3RX
This little bistro is one of our favourite’s for quality and value for money. There is a simple no fussy menu with a generous portion size in this chic little corner restaurant. Dishes often have a Scottish theme and the service is friendly and rapid. It’s popular for brunch, lunch and dinner.
££££ Educated Flea – 32b Broughton Street, EH1 3SB
Food preparation is taken very seriously in this restaurant, where smoking, pickling and preserving is all done under the one roof. The cosy and friendly surroundings are a joy to eat in, there are special lunch and pre theatre deals and wine is available by the glass as well as the bottle. Ingredients are locally sourced from quality produces such as Overlangshaw farm and IJ Mellis cheese monger.
££££ Edens Kitchen – 32C Broughton Street, EH1 3SB
This homely and friendly restaurant delivers quality Mediterranean style food in a relaxed environment. Expect some tasty pizzas, pastas, burgers and traditional Turkish dishes that use organic ingredients. There is also great 3 course kids’ menu that costs £8.95.
££££ ROLLO -14 Broughton Street, EH1 3RH
There is a big focus on wine, at this wine bar come restaurant. Bottles from around the world are handpicked by the resident expert and luckily, the food is also very good. The exciting menu is divided into bites, bowls and plates. It ranges from Asian beef spring rolls to good old Scottish venison and banana bread and butter pudding for dessert. Excellent and efficient service with a friendly relaxed vibe.
££££ L’Escargot Bleu – 56 Broughton Street, EH1 3SA
Featured in the Michelin guide, this classic French bistro uses the best of local ingredients for a Scottish twist. Step inside and you could be entering the interior of a chic Paris restaurant and yes, snails (from the Isle of Barra) are on the menu. Special lunch and early dinner deals from £12.90 for 2 courses. It’s perhaps no surprise that the menu is multi award winning and is even listed as one of the top 5 restaurants in Scotland. There are daily specials – expect Orkney scallops, Shetland mussels and McDuff beef tartare. Amazing wine list.
££££ Fhior – 36 Broughton Street, EH1 3SB
This incredible restaurant was the brainchild of Scott and Laura, who have a true love for both food and wine. With this dining experience on Broughton Street, they hope to share their passion and hospitality in a playful atmosphere. The food is pure with loads of local and seasonal ingredients used in the menu which reveals such delights as sea trout, duck, mackerel and pigeon. Dinner is either 4 (£40) or 7 (£65) courses, that comes with a different glass of wine that is perfectly matched to your palate. The casual lunch is good value with an a la carte menu for both food and menu. The interior is simple, modern and beautiful.
Cafés on Broughton Street
Broughton Delicatessen – 7 Barony Street, EH3 6PD
This café is open in the day time only and focuses on putting fresh, local and organic ingredients into everything. Incredible tasty and healthy food that can be eaten in or taken away. Inside, there is a real community feel with lots of loyal customers. If you are feeling hungry, order the breakfast stack (bacon, black pudding, eggs & potato scone) or for something lighter, try avocado & poached eggs.
New Town Deli – 42 Broughton Street, EH1 3SA
This child friendly café is located about half way down the street and has a great selection of ready-made sandwiches, cake and biscuits. Open early and great for breakfast, try a bacon or roll or a French style pastry. Grab a seat in the window, order a delicious coffee and watch the world go by. A great budget option for lunch in the city.
Fed Sandwich Bar – 2A Forth Street, EH1 3LD
Great service in this friendly sandwich bar located on a side street off Broughton street. Choose your sandwich fillings, bread type, add a soup and a coffee for a speedy budget lunch. The homemade food tastes great and there is loads of choice. Try a delicious freshly made smoothie if you are looking for an injection of healthy living. Recommended for kids.
Bars on Broughton Street
Pickles – 60 Broughton Street, EH1 3SA
This is a truly excellent bar which is famous for its hearty sharing platters of fine Scottish cheeses and meats that of course are accompanied by pickles and chutneys. There is an amazing wine list to explore while you relax in this welcoming retreat from the city. Bottled beers and ciders are available too.
The Barony – 81-85 Broughton Street, EH1 3RJ
Welcome to the Barony, one of Broughton Street’s most established (1896!) gastro pubs. Ingredients are locally sourced in Scotland – I can recommend the fish & chips and the veggie haggis burger. To complete the full Scottish experience, look to the comprehensive whisky list, which features 60 drams from Lowland to Islay. Watch out for the weekly live music and pub quiz.
The Basement – 10a-12a Broughton Street, EH1 3RH
Near the top of the hill, is a cellar bar with a ‘dusk till dawn’ kind of vibe (minus the killer vampires) – it’s Mexico all the way baby! There is a distinct South American theme to the menu and drinks list. Munch on salsa, guacamole and nachos and finish up with something from the tequila list. The interior is awesome with arty decorations made from recycled car parts.
The Cask and Barrel – 115 Broughton Street, EH1 3RZ
This is a classic old-style Scottish pub situated at the bottom of the street, near the roundabout. Inside, there is traditional seating and a large vintage bar selling local ales and spirts. This is a popular place to watch sports on a large screen with a good atmosphere.
The Outhouse – 12A Broughton Street Lane, EH1 3LY
Cool bar with an enclosed courtyard beer garden. Drink craft beers and cocktails with entertainment from a live DJ. This place is also popular for watching sports and live music. LGBTQ friendly.
The Street – 2b Picardy Place, EH1 3JT
Situated on the corner, right at the top of Broughton Street, the colourful bar upstairs serves a good selection of beers and wines, while there is a live DJ in the club space downstairs. A calm place for a coffee in the day and lively at night. Open until 3am and LGBTQ friendly.
Mather’s of Broughton Street – 25 Broughton Street, EH1 3JU
Newly refurbished, this bar with friendly staff and good food, offers a very interesting selection of craft beers such as Wild Beer Company and Seven Croft Gin cocktails. Delicious Pizzas and burgers with live music on Thursdays.
The OX – 49-51 London Street, EH3 6LX
At the bottom of the street, next to the roundabout, the cosy bar called the OX serves a meat themed menu including a Sunday roast. I can recommend the haggis balls, black pudding scotch egg and the Shetland mussels. This gastro pub is run by 3 friends who are passionate about quality and experience.
The Broughton – 46-48a Broughton Street, EH1 3SA
This is the new boy on the block for Broughton Street, but the bar made quite an impression on us after a recent visit. The service is very friendly and fast, there is a great cocktail list and you can buy quality wine by the glass or bottle. The interior is sleek and contemporary with subdued lighting, it’s a great place to hang out. Movies are streamed on a giant TV above bar. When it comes to food, there is an impressive evening, bar and Sunday lunch menu. Ingredients are locally sourced and dishes have a distinctive Scottish feel.
Cumberland Bar – 1-3 Cumberland Street, EH3 6RT
This is a very special bar about 4 minutes’ walk from Broughton Street into upmarket New Town. It’s located in a residential area surrounded by beautiful Georgian apartments. It feels like you are stepping back in time when you walk through the door of this very friendly local establishment. The menu is restaurant quality and uses locally soured ingredients, brilliant for Sunday lunch. When Prince William studied in St Andrews, it wasn’t uncommon to see him here, nowadays it’s mostly lawyers and bankers that drop in for a drink after work.
Entertainment around Broughton Street
Live Music at The Barony – 81-85 Broughton Street, EH1 3RJ
With further details listed under the bar section of this post, The Barony offers live music on a Thursday night. The bands are brilliant and of a professional standard while the atmosphere is buzzing as the bar is always packed.
Stand Comedy Club – 5 York Place, EH1 3EB
Just a couple of minutes from the top of Broughton Street is the Stand Comedy club. As the name suggests you are in for a laugh. You can book tickets ahead or just pay at the door. Over the years, some top names in comedy have gigged here. It’s a smallish venue so you won’t be far from the stage. There is a lively bar that also serves simple pub grub. It a fabulous night out.
Mansfield Traquair – 15 Mansfield Place, EH3 6BB
You might recognise this ornate old kirk (church) from the original trainspotting movie when Ewan Macgregor ran past it. It’s now a major venue, so nowadays you might be lucky enough to be invited to a wedding here or attend an event. In the past, we experienced an amazing whisky festival, which I have trouble remembering, for some reason?
The Playhouse Theatre – 18-22 Green Place, EH1 3AA
Dating from the 1920s, this is the largest seated theatre in the UK and an important centre for performing arts in Scotland. The building frequently plays host to major names in comedy, musical theatre and live music. Shows such as the Lion King, Riverdance and Footloose fill the seats here, when on their UK tour. It’s just two minutes walk from the top of Broughton Street.
The Omni Centre – Greenside Road, EH1 3AA
If you are looking to escape the weather, then a trip to the cinema is always a good idea. And the good news is that the amazing Omni Centre leisure complex is very close by. In the centre, you will find the massive Vue multiscreen cinema which sells £4.99 tickets for all movies all day. Access to the cinema is upstairs by lift or stairs and there is a kiosk where you can purchase drinks and snacks. The centre has a large array of popular restaurants and bars downstairs including Wetherspoons and Nando’s.
Takeaways near Broughton Street
If your idea of a holiday is not standing in front of the stove, then you may fancy a convenient and stress free takeaway meal.
Shangri La -22 Rodney Street, EH7 4EA
This cosy and casual Chinese restaurant offers sit in or takeaway. It’s located down the hill from Broughton street on the way to the Tesco superstore. It offers familiar Chinese dishes such as the classic Chow Mein and Cheung Bau. Prices are very reasonable and the food is tasty. If you are feeling lazy, order online and wait for your food to arrive at your door. On Friday and Saturday, the restaurant closes at 11:15pm.
The Chippy by Spencer – 79 Broughton Street, EH1 3RJ
New kid on the block, The Chippy has replaced Rapido as a new fish and chip shop on Broughton Street. In the words of the owners “it’s where traditional chippy classics meet exciting new suppers”. You can take advantage of the home delivery service by ordering online or by telephone.
Café Piccante – 19 Broughton Street, EH1 3JU
Yes, it is a fish and chip shop, but its also so much more. This place is buzzing at the weekend, often with a DJ set in the corner. You can even find that Scottish delight here – deep fried mars bar (£3.95)! Most things on the menu are deep fried including pizza and haggis. Once again, you can order online and get your food delivered to your door. Fast service and closes at 1am.
Celadon 2 U – 52 Rodney Street, EH7 4DX
Good value, vegetarian friendly, Thai restaurant just a short walk down the hill from Broughton Street. Sit in or takeaway. The staff in the restaurant are knowledgeable and helpful, the food is fresh and delicious, plus its reasonably priced. If you are eating in, it’s a cosy calm place to be with neutral décor.
Grocery Shopping on Broughton Street
What a treat to be able to buy local and to support small independent businesses! You’re spoiled for choice on Broughton Street.
Real Foods – 37 Broughton Street, EH1 3JU
Located half way up Broughton Street is the long-established organic health food shop called Real foods. There is a great selection of fresh organic fruit and veg, drinks, seeds, nuts bull produce as well as natural health and beauty products.
Something Fishy – 16a Broughton Street, EH1 3RH
Towards the top of street is one of Edinburgh’s top fishmongers – Something Fishy. This compact, independent outlet sells quality fish and shellfish, but the highlight is their famous in-house smoked salmon. The delicious salmon and haddock are traditionally smoked on the premises. Highly recommended.
Artisan Roast – 57 Broughton Street, EH1 3JR
As you walk along Broughton Street, you can’t help but notice the lovely smell of freshly roasted coffee emanating from Artisan Roast. This cute café sells freshly roasted single origin beans for your ultimate enjoyment. You can indulge in a cup inside or takeaway a bag of freshly ground coffee to enjoy at home. Want to learn more about coffee? Then why not sign up for Coffee Masterclass and be trained by a top barista.
Soderberg Bakery -45 Broughton Street, EH1 3JU
This Swedish style bakery has become popular selling Nordic specialities such as kladdkaka, mazarins, cardamom buns and pistachio horseshoes. But you can also buy amazing sourdough and rye bread. There is café where you can sample a coffee made with beans roasted in Sweden. All ingredients are carefully sourced for flavour and quality.
Crombies Butchers -97 Broughton Street, EH1 3RZ
This award-winning gourmet butcher is famous in Edinburgh for its quality and choice. Meat is locally sourced. Step inside and you can choose from 40 plus varieties of sausages, juicy steaks, black pudding and of course traditional haggis. You can also purchase steak pies, bridies and scotch pies to takeaway.
Rosevear Tea – 71 Broughton Street, EH1 3RJ
Welcome to a tea lover’s heaven! Inside there is a fantastic selection of over 140 teas that you can take away and brew in the comfort of your own home. There is also a huge selection of tea related products and gifts including cast iron, ceramic and glass teapots. The staff are really friendly and helpful too.
Although not on Broughton Street the following independent shops are just a few paces down the hill towards Canonmills.
The Bearded Baker -46 Rodney Street, EH7 4DX
If you are looking for the finest of sourdough, bagels and doughnuts, then look no further than the bearded Baker. Rowan and Julia have been making delicious bagels and cinnamon rolls since 2015. The small café has WIFI, is child and dog friendly.
The Marshmallow Lady -14 Rodney Street, EH7 4EA
If you love marshmallows, you will be in heaven. This fabulous shop sells the most amazing confectionery made by Nicole who is truly passionate about marshmallows. The hot chocolates are to die for and the marshmallow offerings are nothing short of edible art. Flavours include salted caramel, millionaire’s shortbread and key lime pie.
The Beerhive – 24 Rodney Street, EH7 4EA
This is one of the top independent beer shops in Edinburgh. The Beerhive can be described as a honeypot for the craft beer lover, holding a vast stock of beers (700 varieties) and wines for all tastes and budgets. Peter has carefully sourced beers locally as well as globally. It’s also possible to buy beer straight from the keg and have your own bottles refilled, kegs change every couple of weeks. This is the only service of its kind in Scotland!
Tesco Superstore -7 Broughton Road, EH7 4EW
Have you had enough of artisan producers who are passionate about what they sell? Well, then head to Tesco for some mainstream shopping action. Or maybe you just need a few essentials. Down the road in Canonmills, you buy anything from a pint of milk to AAA battery at the Tesco supermarket. There is also a handy pharmacy inside, a Costa Café and Timpson’s who can repair your shoes or cut a new key.
Wine shops on Broughton Street
If you are searching for that perfect bottle of red, then drop into either of the two independent wine merchants on Broughton Street. Staff will only be too pleased to share their knowledge.
Villeneuve Wines – 49A Broughton Street, EH1 3RJ
Great cosy wine boutique – located in a basement – that sells a huge range of wines and Champagne. This shop also specialises in quality gins and rare whiskies. Choose from a selection of 99 bottles of whisky, from £20 to £2,250! This shop also stocks gin from the Edinburgh Gin company such as the delicious rhubarb and ginger liqueur.
Vino – 30 Broughton Street, EH1 3SB
Small wine shop with very friendly staff who will help you find that bottle you are looking for. There is also a fantastic range of craft beers including offerings from the Orkney Brewery. The shop sells Champagne, wine, beer and spirits. Winner of small chain of the year 2017.
Quirky Shops on Broughton Street
It’s so great to be able to support small independent shops! Broughton Street has its fair share of quirky, artisanal offerings.
Joey Ds – 54 Broughton Street, EH1 3SA
Love this shop. The artist owner produces unique handmade furniture and clothes made from recycled items. Over the years, we have supported the shop by buying a few creations, including a super cool handbag that features part of a horse’s bridle and part of a Harris tweed coat. It’s possible to wander around the workshop downstairs and view items for sale – the stylish sofa designs are great fun.
Curiouser & Curiouser – 93 Broughton Street, EH1 3RZ
A classy boutique gift shop that sells an interesting mix of frames, cards, prints, homeware and retro style handbags. From the outside, the first thing that hits you are the stunning selection of beautiful prints of Scottish landmarks and countryside. Laura and Ian have done a great job in the inside too with a fab little range of gifts.
Moleta Munro – 43 London Street, EH3 6LX
High-end furniture shop with some really funky designs by Fritz Hansen, Foscarini, Flos and Vipp. The shop specialises in furniture, lighting and textiles. There is an online showroom where you can browse the designers and purchase your favourite furniture.
Lifestory – 53 London Street, EH3 6LX
Scandinavian design in the heart of Edinburgh. This shop stocks a massive selection of Nordic brand lifestyle products including, jewellery, kitchenware, stationery and accessories. You can pick up anything from a birthday card to a floor lamp. If all this is too tiring, then sit down for a cup of coffee.
Hotels near Broughton Street
We have a sneaky suspicion that after reading this post, you’re going to want to experience staying in this fantastic area yourself and are perhaps now looking for somewhere to rest your head for a few nights. Here are a few suggestions that cover all budgets and are all within walking distance of Broughton Street.
£££££ Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel – 9 Haddington Place, EH7 4AL
The ultimate budget option, where else can you stay in town for £30 per night? Ok, the downside for some might be having to share with 5 others. However, it does give you the opportunity to meet other travelers from around the world. Don’t worry if that’s not your thing, as you can rent a private room for a bit more cash. There is a guest kitchen and a cool café/ restaurant on site too and it’s kid friendly.
£££££ Regent House Hotel – 3-5 Forth Street, EH1 3JX
A warm and casual 17 room hotel located just off Broughton Street. The Regent House hotel is set in a Georgian townhouse on a calm street but not far from the action. The generous buffet breakfast is great and the rooms are cosy with a homely décor. If you are travelling as a family, there are 8 family rooms available.
£££££ Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh – 1-3 Baxter Place, EH1 3AF
Situated right next to the Playhouse theatre, this hotel has a big outdoor space, next to the street with tables and chairs. The interior design mixes the heritage of the building’s Georgian architecture and the most contemporary of style in pure luxury. There is an excellent gym the Lantern restaurant has a really good reputation.
£££££ Hotel Indigo Edinburgh – 51-59 York Place, EH1 3JD
Four-star luxury hotel located at the top of Broughton Street on York Place, opposite the Playhouse theatre. Set in an old Georgian townhouse, it boasts modern & stylish room décor, a gym, parking and free WIFI. There is an excellent restaurant and bar that serves cocktails and whiskies.
£££££ The Glasshouse, Autograph Collection – 2 Greenside Place, EH1 3AA
Wow, this high-end hotel is something special – it starts with the amazing gothic church façade and continues with the spectacular glass walled restaurant. The hotel really lives up to the term luxury boutique, as despite its 77 bedrooms, there is a real personal touch everywhere. It’s luxury all the way when it comes to the interior – the rooms are modern yet opulent. As you would expect, the resident chef makes sure that restaurant standards are very high. We recommend you try the delicate and delicious afternoon tea. Explore the rooftop terrace with stunning views of Calton Hill.
Nearby Places of Interest
Just a short walk from Broughton Street and just behind the Omni Centre is Calton Hill. There is an access path to the left of the Playhouse off Royal Terrace – make the climb and you will be rewarded with a splendid few of Princes Street, Edinburgh Castle and Arthur’s Seat. The view at sunset is truly spectacular. It feels quite wild up there considering you are in the centre of a city, with plenty of open space and wild flowers in the summer. Due to the hill’s commanding position, a number of impressive monuments have been constructed over the years, which add to the interest of the place.
Water of Leith
Wander down the hill (5 minutes’ walk) from Broughton Street and you will find yourself in Canonmills, it’s here where you can access the Water of Leith walkway. Access is down some steps to the left of the old stone bridge. As the name suggests, the path will eventually (30 minutes’ walk East) take you to Leith and its trendy Shore area. If you travel in the other direction (West) then you will pass through gorgeous Stockbridge and Dean Village on the way to Edinburgh’s Modern Art Gallery.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Just the other side of the Water of Leith are the Royal Botanic Gardens. Once inside, it will feel that you are a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of Scotland’s capital city. Promenade around this stunning urban green space and explore the different themed areas. Discover the bamboo gardens of China, banana trees in a tropical hothouse, alpine flowers and giant lily pads on an ornamental lake. I also recommend visiting one of the 3 restaurant/cafes in the park, they are all excellent.
If you travel up the hill on Broughton Street and turn right onto York Place, you will soon come across the impressive red sandstone architecture of the Portrait Gallery. It’s perhaps no surprise that this place is full of portraits of famous scots, but the subjects range from Mary Queen of Scots to James McAvoy! Even if you are not into art, you will still love visiting the architectural wonder of a building (free entry), plus the café is amazing.
Shopping at Multrees Walk
Perhaps retail therapy is your thing? Well it’s a short 10 minutes walk to the gorgeous St Andrews Square, with its exclusive shopping precinct Multrees Walk and Harvey Nichols. The luxury stars of Multrees Walk include Louis Vuitton, Nespresso, Hugo Boss, Michael Kors and Tesla. Harvey Nichols also stocks its own selection of designer gear, although the highlight for me is the rooftop restaurant and champagne bar. To continue the luxury theme, why not book a table at the up-market restaurant The Ivy on the other side of the square? St Andrews Square itself is a relaxed and free place to enjoy on a summer’s day, with beautifully kept gardens and a coffee shop with outdoor seating.
King George V Park
Perhaps you are searching for some green space on a sunny day. If you have the kids in tow and they need to release some energy, well you are in luck. A few minutes’ walk from the bottom of Broughton Street is a great little area called King George V Park. There is plenty of grass, flower beds, trees and two good play parks for kids of all ages. Access is by Royal Terrace or Eyre Place.
Another must do, is a stroll through neighbouring New Town, which is actually far from new, as it was planned and constructed during the Georgian era. The architecture is amazing with gorgeous crescents, wide streets and beautiful private parks. The buildings themselves have huge windows, high ceilings and grand entrances. The area is considered to have the most exclusive postcode in Edinburgh, with the rich and famous owning apartments here.