Rich in history, Edinburgh is the kind of city I love to visit, where everything is easily accessible on foot. That is as long as one is prepared for all the hills and steps, Edinburgh makes for an excellent workout. Dominated by the castle, sitting high on a hill, and Edinburgh’s dramatic architecture, especially in the Old Town. Houses and buildings are stacked on top of each other, with alleyways in-between, I immediately felt like I was on a Harry Potter set (well, the book was penned in this city). There are lots of wonderful independent shops to explore. I started the day early to stroll and explore this enchanting city, starting on Cockburn Street. These are my 16 favorite Edinburgh shops that I discovered on my rambles.

The Milkman coffee shop; from my 16  favorite Edinburgh shops

The Milkman

7 Cockburn Street

Too early to enjoy a first coffee at The Milkman coffee shop, but I was afforded the opportunity to admire the beautiful wooden shutters and original signage of this historic building at the foot of Cockburn Street. A detour on the way back down the hill meant I was able to pop in and enjoy that missed morning coffee.

Miss Katie Cupcake

52 Cockburn Street

Further up the hill is this charming building with its rounded walls and curved windows, home to Miss Katie Cupcake. This shop feature local makers and has a lovely assortment of dried flowers, vintage goods, gifts and stationery.

Victor Scott, 16 favorite edinburgh shops

Victor Scott

88 – 90 W Bow

From Cockburn Street I explored Old Town, which has plenty of shops for wizardry and traditional Scottish attire. Walking down the architecturally impressive multi-tiered Victoria Street towards Grassmarket the red shopfront of this kilt maker caught my eye with its historical movie worthy outfits in the window.

Mary's Milk Bar, 16 favorite edinburgh shops

Mary’s Milk Bar

19 Grassmarket

Homemade gelato and artisan chocolates are the treats that await behind this pretty shopfront. Unfortunately the North Sea breeze was a bit too chilly for me to sample Mary’s gelato, but the customers braver than me packed the interior happily enjoying her wares.

Armchair Books, 16 favorite Edinburgh shops
Armchair Books, 16 favorite Edinburgh shops

Armchair Books

72 – 74 West Port

A series of connecting rooms are piled high, in bookcases and every available surface, with secondhand and antiquarian books. Assistance from the knowledgeable staff will help you guide these tomes, where one could lose themselves for hours.

Lovecrumbs, 16 favorite Edinburgh shops


155 West Port

Time for more coffee, and Lovecrumbs is the perfect cozy coffee shop. There are lots of delicious cakes to chose from and a cute assortment of gifts and stationery.

Narcissus Flowers

87 Broughton Street

Broughton Street in Edinburgh’s New Town is home to several lovely independent shops. The beautiful black shopfront of Narcissus Flowers made the gorgeous flower displays really stand out, and inside the dark interior was an equally dramatic backdrop for the containers of colorful blooms.

Something Fishy, 16 favorite Edinburgh shops

Something Fishy

16A Broughton Street

I love a traditional shopfront, plus the name of this classic fishmonger shop caught my eye and made me stop for a closer look.

Lifestory, 16 favorite Edinburgh shops


53 London Street

Further down the street Lifestory has a very eye-catching shop window. Inside there is a range of Scandinavian led home wares and accessories, a coffee bar and a beautiful space at the back of the shop to sit and stay a while.

Dick's, 16 favorite Edinburgh shops


3 North West Circus Place

I loved Stockbridge and the small row of shops of North West Circus Place in Stockbridge. Dick’s has a lovely range of classic, beautifully-made mens and womenswear, accessories, and homewares from small, independent manufacturers. Goods to use and cherish for years.

Patisserie Florentin, 16 favorite Edinburgh shops

Patisserie Florentin

5 North West Circus Place

Next door to Dick’s is a charming and cozy coffee shop with great coffee. The pretty pastel blue and yellow shopfront adds to the charm.

I J Mellis, 16 favorite edinburgh shops

I J Mellis

6 Bakers Place

I’m always fond of a great cheesemongers, and I J Mellis, the renowned purveyor of fine farmhouse and Scottish artisan cheeses, ticks all the boxes.

The Method, 16 favorite Edinburgh shops

The Method

9 St Stephen Street

St Stephen Street is another lovely street of independent shops. The sun-filled The Method has a beautiful range of pared-back designed homewares, an assortment of apothecary items and a massage treatment space. The overall ambience is very understated and calm.

Lovecrumbs, 16 favorite Edinburgh shops


22 St Stephen Street

Stockbridge has its own Lovecrumbs coffee shop, this one a more petite version, but still with the same delicious cakes.

Bon Tot, 16 favorite Edinburgh shops


46 St Stephen Street

I’m always happy to discover a great kids shop, as I think they are in short supply. Bon Tot has a great feeling of play and fun, from the plywood display units, to the neon sign and the pastel-coloured plumbing pipe rails. I really loved the colour palette of the clothing, a little more subdued and sophisticated than typical.

Golden Hare Books, 16 favorite Edinburgh shops

Golden Hare Books

68 St Stephen Street

After discovering Golden Hare Books some time ago on Instagram it was on the top of my list of shops to visit in Edinburgh. Golden Hare Books didn’t disappoint, though it was challenging to photograph with a big van parked outside. This book shop inside is as unique as its shopfront. Instant visual impact is created as books are displayed with their fronts facing out, rather than lined up on shelves in a traditional fashion with spines out. A fireplace anchors the main room, whilst a cozy back room with comfortable seating is the perfect children’s reading nook.

A special thanks to @windmilldreams for all the wonderful recommendations.