Edinburgh has a wonderfully vibrant independent shopping scene. As you explore our hidden closes and streets, you're bound to find some of the most unique and interesting boutiques in the country. Here are just a handful of our favourites...


Armchair Books

Armchair Books cr Facebook

[Image credit - Armchair Books Facebook]

Get lost in this fascinating treasure trove of second hand books. With shelves that rise all the way up to the tall ceiling, and overflowing boxes on the floor full of intriguing literary finds, there are some real gems to be found in Armchair Books - all you have to do is take your time and look. Beware: in a place like this, the hours have a nasty habit of just melting away...

72-74 West Port, Edinburgh EH1 2LE. Open 10am - 6.30pm, 7 days a week. 


Mr Wood's Fossils

Mr Woods Fossils Front 600

Explore Mr Wood's Fossils shop on Cowgatehead in the Greater Grassmarket and discover his incredible range of fossils, minerals and meteorites. The shop has earned an international reputation it's collection of ammonites, trilobites and dinosaur fossils which have been sourced from around the world. For would-be geologists who want to know more any of the items in the shop, their friendly staff are always on hand to offer their knowledge and expertise.  

5 Cowgatehead, Grassmarket, 0131 220 1344

Open Mon-Sat 10am-5.30pm 


Avalanche Gapinski @ Waverley Mall

Avalanche Gapinski Butcher Billy

Avalanche Gapinski was born from a friendship between Avalanche Records owner Kevin Buckle and artist Gerry Gapinski, whose punk, dark, reimagined images of Edinburgh fitted perfectly with Kevin’s new vision for Avalanche.

The shop also has prints and t-shirts from the Brazilian artist ‘Butcher Billy’ famous for his post-punk superheroes and photos with matching quotes from the award winning "Dark Edinburgh". Add in a fantastic range of vintage clothing from Armstrongs and upcycled clothing from Psychomoda, and their Waverley Mall store is a treasure trove of unique and interesting finds, spanning music, fashion, art and so much more.

Waverley Mall, Waverley Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1BQ


Paper Tiger

Paper Tiger 600X250

Paper Tiger is the Edinburgh destination for unique Scottish gifts and souvenirs. The shops have traded since 1981, and the owners strive to offer a fantastic range of exciting and distinctive greetings cards and stationery, beautiful wrapping papers, and an inspiring collection of books, toys, gifts and jewellery. Paper Tiger offers interesting and well-designed products from Edinburgh, Scotland and beyond, including their delicious Paper Tiger Chocolate bars.

53 Lothian Road, 0131 228 2790

6a/8 Stafford St, 0131 226 2390

Open Mon & Wed 9.30am - 6pm, Tues 10.00am - 6pm, Thu 9.30am - 6.30pm, Fri & Sat 9.30am - 6pm, Sun 11am - 5pm


Fudge Kitchen

The Fudge Kitchen

Follow the sweet smells wafting down the Royal Mile and you'll soon enough come across the Fudge Kitchen, selling a delicious variety of fudge in all the flavours you could imagine. The friendly and knowledgeable staff are always happy to let you sneak a taste - be sure to try their cranachan fudge, the shop's speciality.

With big generous slabs of yummy sweet fudge on sale, this is the perfect place to stock up on gifts... if you can resist the temptation to eat it all yourself! 

30 High Street, Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 1TB.

Open 10am - 5.30pm, seven days a week. 



ALC Image Susie Lowe Edit

[Image Credit: Susie Lowe]

Searching for the perfect fitting jeans can be a real challenge. Thankfully that’s where ALC comes in. This Thistle Street boutique, Edinburgh’s first store specialising in women’s denim, aims to make finding the perfect pair of jeans possible. With a huge range of exclusive brands in store and the expert knowledge of owner Adele, you’ll be able to pick from a carefully chosen selection and find those longed for jeans that match your shape. If you’re still stuck though Adele will be on hand to share helpful advice on all things fit, fashion, fabrics and value. So relax, that perfect pair of jeans is closer than you think! 

61 Thistle St, Edinburgh EH2 1DY.

Open Monday–Saturday 10–6pm, Sundays: Usually Closed. 



Homer Display

This charming little homeware shop in Stockbridge is full of beautiful furniture, textiles and gifts. However, what makes this outlet really special is the way it is laid out: set in a Georgian townhouse, Homer has five rooms each circulating around a different theme of the house - the garden, library, bathroom, kitchen and living room are all covered. This is the ideal place to get that perfect gift, or find that little something special to make your mark on your own home! 

8 Howe St, Edinburgh EH3 6TD. 

Open 10 am - 5:30 pm Mon- Sat and 12 pm - 4:30 pm on Sunday. 



Godiva Boutique

Godiva, a colourful independent fashion boutique, is a shop of two halves. The front showroom is filled with one-off or limited edition pieces by local designers and independent brands while the backroom is home to a quality collection of vintage clothing. From back to front, the shop is a real treasure trove with gems to be discovered in every nook and cranny. So if you’re looking to fill your wardrobe with something unique that can’t be found on the high street then Godiva should be your go to.

9 West Port, Edinburgh, EH1 2JA. Tel: 0131 221 9212.

Open: Monday - Saturday 10.30am - 6.30pm, Sunday 11.30am - 5.30pm 


Kestin Hare

Kestin Hare Store

Bringing high-end fashion to the vintage haven of St Stephen Street, Kestin Hare is a former East Lothian lad and Leith School of Art student. His label, released under his own name, is cool and contemporary with a focus on UK production and materials. Since its launch earlier in 2015, the collections have already drawn attention and acclaim from the fashion industry and have earned Kestin a nomination for Scottish Designer of the Year in the 2015 Scottish Fashion Awards. The collections are designed in the St Stephen Street store in Stockbridge which boasts the full Kestin Hare collection alongside a range of carefully chosen accessories – it’s a must visit for gents who like to make sure their wardrobe stands out from the high-street crowd.  

The Cruiser Store, Customs Wharf, Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 6PL.

Open Mon - Sat 9.30am - 6pm, Sun 11am - 4pm




Calzeat, a family owned business founded in 1974, is one of Scotland’s premier manufactures of high quality textiles with an emphasis on design, value and customer service. The Calzeat textile mill sits at the base of Tinto Hill, 30 miles southwest of Edinburgh, and whilst now fully equipped with modern machinery, they still rely on the skills and expertise of our workforce to produce textiles of the highest quality. Head along to the Old Town and see their beautiful collection which is 100% made in Scotland.

98 West Bow, Edinburgh, EH1 2HH 

89 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SG



Caoba Edinburgh 600

Caoba is a quirky treasure trove of unique, handcrafted Mexican homeware, jewellery and more. From recycled glass moulded into Margarita glasses to patterned tiles, you’ll find plenty of vibrant pieces for your home hidden in this busy Stockbridge store. With strong Fair Trade beliefs and values, Caoba supports a variety of Mexican suppliers, often visiting them each year. The shop even sells Mexican tinned food, if you're planning to have a Mexican themed evening at home! Pickled Cactus anyone?

56 Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, EH4 1HJ.

Open from Mon - Sat: 9:30 am - 5:30 pm, Sun: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm. 


Cranachan and Crowdie

Cranachan And Crowdie

Purveyors of fine Scottish food, drink and gifts on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, this delightful store was recently voted as the number 1 shopping experience in Edinburgh on Trip Advisor. Take your time and browse through the gorgeous goodies on display and choose from traditional oatcakes, tablet and shortbread to blackpudding, healthy ready meals and a superb gluten free range. You can even buy a whisky barrel holder to stand your favourite tipple on. Looking for a special gift? Select some treats and Cranachan and Crowdie create a beautiful hamper for you.

Royal Mile, 263 Canongate, Edinburgh, EH8 8BQ. Tel: 0131 556 7194.

Opening Hours: 11am – 6pm


Hannah Zakari

Hannah Zakari is a gift-buyer's delight, and its online version has been making art and craft blogs swoon for seven years. Inventive, idiosyncratic designs combine with high standards in one-off delights such as cross-stitch moustache cufflinks or camper van-shaped planters. Everything is handpicked and sourced by owner Rachael Lamb, and other treats include letterpress art prints, bags, jewellery and stationery, all by a mix of international makers and Scottish designers such as Sarey Poppins and Asking For Trouble.

43 Candlemaker Row, 0131-516 3264

Open: Mon-Sat 11am-5.30pm, Sun noon-4pm

Covet Edinburgh Shop Exterior

An independent retailer specialising in women’s accessories and jewellery Covet opened its doors in 2007. They source brands from all over the world to bring their customers the best in design and quality. As well as stocking well established brands like Coccinelle they showcase both young up and coming designers starting out with their first collections, Euan McWhirter (Scottish Jewellery Designer) and International brands unavailable elsewhere in Scotland, Smaak (Designer bags from Amsterdam) and Lena Klax (French Jewellery Designer). They are also passionate about supporting brands that are designed and produced in the UK such as Jas M B.

Their other passion is customer service and they make sure that every customer that comes through their door feels relaxed and enjoys the experience, often with a glass of fizz in hand. 

20 Thistle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1EN. Tel: 0131 220 0026. 

Open: Monday – Saturday 10.00am to 6.00pm, Thursday 10.00am to 7.00pm, Sunday 12.00pm to 5.00pm.

Those were the Days

Those Were The Days 600

Tucked away down a few steps off St Stephen Street, ‘Those were the Days’ is one of Edinburgh’s best vintage clothing stores. Step into this haven for one of a kind vintage pieces, jewellery and accessories. With their outstanding collection of 1930s to 1980s vintage wear, teamed with the owner’s fabulous personal style, an afternoon in ‘Those were the Days’ is an afternoon well spent! One thing which separates this boutique from the rest is the vintage bridal wear. Their bridal showroom is filled with rare gowns, tiaras, dresses and suits – perfect for any modern day bride wishing to fully embrace a more glamorous era! 

26 St Stephen Street, Edinburgh, EH3 5AL.
Open on Tue - Sat: 11:00 am - 5:30 pm


Fabhatrix Grassmarket

Fabhatrix makes hats for every kind of hat lover. They specialise in quality materials and design that can’t be found on the high street. The hats are handmade in our workshop downstairs, so we will definitely be able to find something that is perfect for you. They offer specialist knowledge of sizing, styles and materials and encourage customers to come in try our various hats on and have fun!

13 Cowgatehead, EH1 1JY, 0 131 225 9222

Open: Monday – Friday 10.30am – 6pm Saturday 10.30am – 5.30pm and Sundays 12-5pm

IJ Mellis Cheeses

The smell alone, even from the street, is unmissable. Once inside the narrow, tall original branch of this deservedly acclaimed small chain, it can be overwhelming, as can the looming giant rounds on shelves up to the ceiling. The vintage-style painted sign above the entrance may, like the Victorian-style brooms and brushes shop just down the street, suggest a quirky throwback, but this is about a very current obsession with fine new cheeses by dedicated local producers. Staff will be eager to have you try cheeses from across Europe and inventive new Scottish brie, blue and smoked varieties, while a small range of accompaniments, like breads, chutneys and meats, makes up a possible picnic.

30a Victoria Street plus branches, 0131-226 6215 

Open Mon-Sat 9.30am-6pm, Sun noon-5pm

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