Whenever I’m looking for a gift or wanting to browse around a second-hand bookstore, West Nicolson Street is the place I head for. Often overlooked by tourists, it’s a popular gateway into the university campus for many students in the city. It also owes its popularity to locals from all across Edinburgh thanks to the Pear Tree, one of the most famous pubs in the city due to its huge, stone-walled beer garden outside, with a stage and giant screen for sport matches and events.
Aside from pubs, West Nicolson Street has a surprising amount of lunch spots which are well hidden-away from the crowds of Old Town. Mosque Kitchen is one of the most unique yet tasty places to try authentic Middle-Eastern food, situated in the gardens of the mosque just a few steps away from this street. One of the city’s best tattoo and piercing parlours – Tribal Tattoos – can also be found here, nestled amongst cafes and quirky jewellery shops.
All this aside, what really makes this street so appealing are the pastel-coloured shopfronts and the classic Scottish cobblestones that line the street. I mostly come here, though, for Scoopz – an ice cream and milkshake parlour with arguably the best shakes in town.