As the likes of Costa and Bella Italia continue their mission to make every high street in Britain a bit shit, Broughton Street boldly defies the trend. Here are five reasons why there’s really no need to go anywhere else.
1. Not a chain store in sight
While a good department store is indeed a thing of beauty, Broughton offers quirk and originality. There’s bespoke furniture, fashion, homeware, and the works of Edinburgh artists. Which means buying a gift for yourself (or even others) just got interesting.
A definite must-see is Joey D, a local designer who may be as mad as a bush, but his left-field clothing and furniture design is sheer genius.
2. Coffee snobs are welcome
Unless you’re hungover and in need of emergency sausage roll, continue past Gregg’s and discover a world of great coffee. For a start there’s Artisan Roast, considered by some to be the epicentre of Edinburgh’s coffee revolution. Their work on our favourite bean is pretty much faultless, with a perfect balance of bitter and smooth. Mind you, £3.80 for a triple flat white hurts us, just a little.
But if the eight or so stools at Artisan are occupied, you can also be assured of good coffee at both the New Town Deli and Broughton Delicatessen.
3. Or for something a little stronger …
For such a short stretch of road, it’s refreshing (quite literally) to know there are eight or so pubs and bars on offer. From sports bar to gay bar, gastro to tequila, there’s something for all states of intoxication.
But the real star is Pickles, a neighbourhood bar with the friendliest of atmospheres, generous cheeseboards, and mouth-watering duck pate. They even open early so you can watch the rugby, and they serve Tunnocks teacakes for dessert. Seriously, what more could you ask for?
4. Entertaining can be turned into an art form
While the right serve-ware can instantly disguise the fact you shop at Asda, to really impress your guests it’s all about the nuances. Fortunately, Broughton Street boasts an excellent fishmonger: Something Fishy, as well as a florist, baker, two great wine shops, and Real Foods – a health food store of supermarket proportions.
But let’s talk about Crombies of Edinburgh, purveyors of fine meats and award-winning sausages. Flavours include: Whisky, Hog & Wild Thyme … Pork, Leek, Pancetta & Cheese … and the recipe we can NEVER go past: Pork & Edinburgh Ale, made with local craft beer Innis & Gunn.
Our serving suggestion: Add one breakfast roll, lashings of butter and tomato sauce, then prepare to experience sheer joy.
The only thing missing on Broughton Street is a cheese shop, but surely it’s just a matter of time??
5. There’s no need to EVER eat at home
While we’d love to say we’re great cooks, truth is the best thing we make for dinner is reservations. Thankfully, Broughton Street also boasts one of our favourites: Rollo.
Thanks to an owner who’s the very definition of fabulous, Rollo offers the trifecta of great dining out: sumptuous atmosphere, exceptional service, and of course, sensational food. Often why we’re the last to leave.
Presenting its menu in a pseudo-tapas style, there’s a fresh spin on every dish. From haggis bon-bons with whisky marmalade to a faultless crispy pork belly, prepare to be impressed. And then there’s the cocktail bar …
L’Escargot Bleu – As featured in the Michelin Guide, this gem beautifully combines French cuisine with the best of Scottish produce.
The Educated Flea – The friendliest staff in the New Town, and a experimental menu mean that lunch will never be boring. Especially enjoyed the feta & pistachio dip, as well as Rocky Road Sundae with peanut butter & jam ice-cream.
The Ox – A Gastropub that really does live up to the title.