Shopping in and around Leith
There’s no better place to begin than legendary Italian food emporium and Edinburgh institution Valvona & Crolla at Elm Row. Open since 1934, this is as close to food shopping in Rome as you’ll get in Scotland.
Further down Leith Walk, St Columba’s Hospice charity shop is one of the best in the city, with a cavernous interior crammed with (unintentionally) kitsch homeware, piles of gorgeous vintage linens, a mismatched melée of china of the sort to which Cath Kidston owes her career, and a clothing section to compete with any vintage store.
Across the road, second-hand book and music store Elvis Shakespeare’s name alone defies you to walk by. Outside you’ll find boxes of 50p paperbacks, and inside rare vinyl, with punk and dance being specialities.
Down the street, Pat’s Chung Ying Chinese Supermarket has shopping for Oriental foodstuffs all sewn up, but aside from every variety of noodle known to man, you’ll also find Hello Kitty candies in deliciously garish packaging, Sea Coconut cough mixture, Iron Buddha tea, and a vast range of beautiful crockery starting at just 65p.
A stone’s throw from a post-shopping drink at The Shore on Bernard Street is Flux, which sells ethical gifts but is a thankfully hemp-free zone, where you can pick up Dr Hauschka skincare, fair-trade cotton baby clothes, ethical gold jewellery and even David Shrigley-designed plectrums.