The Grassmarket has a fair few vintage shops, but Herman Brown’s is the cream of the crop. There’s no dodgy fancy-dress attire here, only cherry picked gems, meaning there’s less chance of leaving with some ridiculous item that looks like it used to belong to Coco the clown.
151 West Port, Edinburgh, 0131 228 2589, open daily, 12.30pm–6pm.
A passionate little independent music shop, lined with rows of records and manned by music geeks who will quite happily chatter away to you, and charm (or bore) you with their favourite recommendations. Selling obscure old vinyl and limited editions, this shop is anything but mainstream.
63 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh, 0131 225 3939, Mon–Wed and Fri & Sat 9am–6pm, Thu 9am–7pm, Sun noon–6pm.
Never mind the products, the shop itself is a sweet delight. Painted candy pink, with dark wood shelving and a sparkling chandelier at its centre, Coco sells nothing but organic chocolate in try-before-you-die flavours such as tobacco and cardamom.
174 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, 0131 228 526, www.cocochocolate.co.uk, Mon-Sat 10am–6pm, Sun noon–4pm.
At Deadhead, comics are treated like works of art – lined up and displayed on their own little stands. It’s more than likely to release your inner nerd, plus they have a range of graphic novels, posters and little trinkets all gently whispering in your ear, ‘It’s OK to be a geek.’
27 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh, 0131 226 2774, daily 10am–6pm.