Posts Tagged ‘nanu maps’

Nanu Maps: Beer Gardens


It’s the weekend, it’s 20 degrees and everybody’s having a beautiful time. In this unprecedented summer heat, a beer garden is in high demand so here at Nanu we’ve had a poke around some of the best pubs in Edinburgh and found the finest beer gardens for your al-fresco drinking pleasure.

57 Blackfriars Street
Tues, Wed, Thurs 16:00- late, Fri, Sat: 12:00- late, Sun: 12:30-late.

Formerly known as Bo’s, Blackfriars reopened a couple of months ago with a new lick of paint and new bar snacks. The neon blue Bo’s sign still remains as does one of the most inconspicuous beer gardens in town. To get there you have to pretend you’re going to the toilets, which is odd, but once you get out the back it’s a lovely wee nook to while away a few hours with a cold pint of Tenants. More like your mates’ back garden than a pub, Blackfriars’ beer garden definitely does get sunshine for at least a bit of the day. But maybe pack a cardi just in case.

The Beehive Inn
18-20 Grassmarket
Mon-Sat 9:00- 1:00, Sun: 12:30- 1:00.

The Beehive Inn is a bit of a winter pub on the inside but it manages to hide a lovely beer garden out back as well. It’s one of the bigger ones in the city with loads of tables sat up the sloping garden and there’s a lovely view of Edinburgh Castle too. And if it starts raining in the middle of August, which it inevitably will, the Beehive Inn is also a Fringe venue and hosts a wide programme of (indoor) comedy events throughout the month.

The Peartree
34 West Nicholson Street
Mon- Thur 11:00 – 0:00, Fri- Sat 11:00- 1:00, Sun 12:30- 0:00.

The Peartree is Edinburgh’s go-to al fresco drinking location and will most likely be heaving on a warm summer’s day. Its beer garden is a much loved part of Edinburgh in the summer months as it’s just stumbling distance from the university and often hosts barbeques when the weather demands it. The beer’s not the cheapest in the city but it’s worth a few pennies more on a sunny day.


Nanu also likes…

The Hanging Bat, a fake grassed beer garden for daytime drinking…The Spylaw Tavern, to fit in during a stroll down Colinton way…The Links, not just for loo breaks sitting on the Meadows…and The Flotterstone Inn, in the heart of the beautiful Pentlands.

Nanu Maps: Breakfast


Hi Nanu Friends. Sorry for the hiatus. We’ve been searching the city for the best breakfast joints around and there’s only so many fry ups one can eat all at once. But never fear, Ellie, Elyse and new Nanu Maps contributor, Morgan have found the best places to grab breakfast in Edinburgh when you don’t really fancy an Egg McMuffin.

View Nanu Maps: Breakfast in a larger map


118 Buccleuch Street /15 West Register Street
Mon-Fri 07:00-16:00, Sat 07:00-18:00, Sun 08:00-18:00

Just a stone’s throw away from George Square library, Snax is usually occupied by bleary eyed students soothing their hangovers. And with full breakfasts starting at a mere £2.50 it’s hard not to see the appeal. Snax is a classic greasy spoon with big portions, small prices and actually really good food. Tea comes in big mugs and staff are friendly and fast. Buccleuch Street is much more likely to find you a table, but there’s another small branch just behind Princes Street, perfect for a bacon roll between shopping. Snax is also open really, really early so you can grab some cheap and delicious fuel for the day first thing. The comfort food extends to lunchtime with burgers, chips, baked potatoes and chilli; also very, very cheap and delicious. Snax is probably the only place I can abide which uses a quirky letter ‘x’ in its name.


146 Marchmont Road
Mon-Sat 10:00-22:00, Sun 10:00-17:00

Ideal for a sophisticated Sunday brunch, Toast even makes its own baked beans. It’s a friendly wee café located in the heart of Marchmont, slightly more expensive than your average but it makes up for it in quality and originality. The traditional fry up is given a bit of TLC and its these little differences which make brunch a little bit special. There are good veggie options available, a whole alternative fry up is on offer which includes haggis! And if you don’t fancy the full fry up, there’s filled croissants, French toast and scrambled eggs. Weekend Brunch is also particularly popular as it has a few extras like Eggs Benedict and open sandwiches on offer. A great place to take your mum or meet your pals. If you’re going at the weekend, I’d arrive early or reserve a table. It’s a popular wee establishment and the best in the area.

The Abbey

65 South Clerk Street
Mon-Sat: 10am-1am; Sun 10.30am-1am

Nanu has previously recommended the Abbey as a top location for real beer in Edinburgh, but when you’ve had quite a few ales the night before, the Abbey also functions as one of the best places to go for a cheap and cheerful fry up the morning after. Open from 10am with a cosy atmosphere, welcoming smell and a few locals nursing an early Tenants over the Daily Sport, their prize deal is a cooked “Big Breakfast” with a pot of tea or coffee for just £3.99. Also on offer is a Scottish breakfast – effectively your classic full breakfast with added haggis and white pudding. For those who want a little less grease in the morning, there are also rolls, omelettes and waffles on offer, each with a selection of fillings and toppings. The perfect way to deal with a hangover.

The Haven

8/9 Anchorfield
Mon-Fri 8.00-17.00, Sat-Sun 9.00-17.00

At 8/9 Anchorfield, Edinburgh, you’ll find the Haven. With bright coloured walls and knick-knackery hanging above and sitting on shelves it sounds like somewhere your granny might go but the Haven is not over cluttered or blinding, it just welcomes you in and cheers you up. Offering a simple but substantial breakfast menu it has the regular fry ups and rolls but, importantly, an added delight to the classic breakfast is the colourful and mismatching pretty cups, saucers and plates of Victorian style. If the traditional breakfast isn’t what you’re looking for then the array of delicious cakes might take your fancy even in the morning. A little out the way from Leith Walk and unless you’re a huge walking enthusiast, a bus is definitely necessary from Edinburgh but well worth it – it really is quite the haven from buzz of the city where you can enjoy a long, peaceful breakfast.


126 Nicolson Street
Mon-Fri 7.30-8.30, Sat-Sun 8.00-8.00

Kilimanjaro is situated in the centre of Newington in Edinburgh. At lunchtime Kilimanjaro is heaving with students making the morning a perhaps forgotten alternative when visiting the café. Yet it offers a range of breakfast delights including the fry up and eggs benedict which challenges the lunchtime favourite, the sweet chilli chicken Panini. Milkshakes and fruit juice are also on the menu at price which is keeping with the area. The large glass window brings natural light into the café even on the dreariest Edinburgh day but it also allows you to people watch and relax whilst eating. Open early Kilimanjaro is the perfect meeting place for having breakfast with friends but you would never feel out of place if choosing to visit alone. Kilimanjaro offers a casual atmosphere with friendly staff always on the go and after eating there once it is likely you become a regular.

Nanu Maps: Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate this one

In this week’s Nanu Maps, sweet-toothed duo Fin and Ellie go in search of the best hot chocolates in town. It’s a little bit luxurious, totally delicious and the ultimate way to warm your cockles. Here are the best places to enjoy a mug of hot chocolate, definitely not out of a packet, in Edinburgh.

View Nanu Maps: Hot Chocolate in a larger map

Artisan Roast

57 Broughton Street and 138 Bruntsfield Place

Not that it needed it but Artisan Roast has recently been voted the best café in the UK by Qype. Edinburgh residents already know that it’s one of the best places around for great coffee, but Artisan Roast is less well known for its mean hot chocolates. A more bitter chocolaty taste is complemented by chili, lavender and lemongrass. Not together. The chili hot chocolate, a particular highlight, kicks at the last moment and adds real depth of flavour and heat to the traditional taste. Artisan Roast is also just a great place to be. Low-hanging lights

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and colourful comfy cushions let you slump around the place and sink into the relaxed ambiance.


Centotre Italian Restaurant

103 George Street

There’s good hot chocolate and there’s good hot chocolate. Approach Centotre with caution because once you’ve gone Italian, you won’t go back. Unfortunately, the delicious hot chocolate that you think you know will seem a bit…rubbish in comparison to this. Italian hot chocolate is more like a pudding than a drink, cioccolata calda is rich, thick and silky and Centotre’s comes with a tiny disk of chocolate balancing on its dense surface. Far too decadent for everyday luxury but utter, utter pleasure once in a while. Centotre ruined hot chocolate for me. But I can’t stay mad at it.


The Chocolate Tree

123 Bruntsfield Place

The chocolatiers behind The Chocolate Tree in Bruntsfield started out touring British festivals with their handcrafted luxury delights. Now settled in Edinburgh these handcrafted luxury delights are complemented by a vast menu of hot chocolates. The Basic with cream and marshmallows is indulgent enough but the addition of several single origin options turns the hot chocolate drinking experience into something a-kin to a wine bar. What’s more, the counter stacked with a vast array of cakes, chocolates and ice cream is verging on food porn. Come for the hot chocolate but the cosy atmosphere and the friendly staff make visiting this café a treat on a cold winter evening.


Vin Café

11 Multrees Walk

Another example of that most intense of hot chocolate of experiences, Valvona and Crolla’s Vin Café serves some of the best hot chocolate to be found in Edinburgh. Enjoy your Italian hot chocolate in this wonderful café or after a meal in the upstairs restaurant, though the hot chocolate being a meal in itself this may be a rather decadent option. Those familiar with Valvona and Crolla, either through their food store on Elm Row or at the Castle Street farmers market, will be aware that is more to Vin Café than just hot chocolate. I would highly recommend the pastries on offer in the ground floor café and if Christmas shopping is stressing you out why not have a look at the wine list. Tis the season.

Nanu Maps: Record Shops


Nanu Maps: Record Shops

In this edition of Nanu: Maps, Ellie and Elyse map the best places to pick up a milk crate of vinyl in Edinburgh.

Tune in to Nanu: Live on on Wednesday at 7pm to hear us chat a bit more about our favourite record shops and the vinyl revival.

View Nanu Maps: Record Shops in a larger map

21 St Stephen Street
Wed-Fri: 12.00-17.00, Sat: 10.30-17.00, Sun: 12.00-16.00

VoxBox is a wonderful shop. It looks great, both outside and in: tidy rows of vinyl divided into all sorts of categories (“Bowie/T-Rex/Glam” a favourite). Some of the best records are to be found among the “Just In” selection: there are many reasonably priced classics to be snapped up here before they’ve even been categorised. Delve a little deeper into the back room and flick through a huge assortment of LPs and singles for £1.50 (or seven for £10!). This may, understandably, fill you with dread and expectations of old country B-sides. Thankfully, this is not the case and there are gems to be found in every box. A special mention must be given to VoxBox’s owners, George and Darren (who we interview here). Clearly serious music enthusiasts, both are incredibly helpful and friendly – even approving Ellie’s purchase of “The Best Disco Album in the World”. Now that’s what I call service.

Vinyl Villains
5 Elm Row
Mon-Sat: 10.00- 18.00, Sun: 12.00-16.00

Not too far down Elm Row, Vinyl Villains has an enormous selection of music – particularly CDs, but the vinyl rows are nonetheless tightly packed. This has to be one of the best value record shops in Edinburgh. Although there didn’t seem to be any bulk buy deals, their average record price is far below £10, and often below £5. This is especially relevant here in that Vinyl Villains’ selection of classic records, albums which should be considered essential by any collector, is second to none – and these are often pricey. For new releases, Vinyl Villains probably won’t hit the spot. However, new music enthusiasts need to give themselves a little history lesson now and again, and this shop provides a great resource for that very purpose.

Oxfam Music Shop
64 Raeburn Place
Mon-Wed, Fri-Sat: 10.00- 17.30, Thur: 10.00- 20.00, Sun: 13.00- 17.00

Giving money to charity by buying great music? Everyone’s a winner. Having a branch of Oxfam dedicated solely to music is unusual, and something that Stockbridge should be proud of. It does feel like any other second-hand record shop, with approachable and knowledgeable volunteers staffing its floors. The actual quality of vinyl in here is possibly slightly lower than other shops in the Edinburgh market, but their grading system is sufficient to ensure there are no surprises when you get your purchase home. Cheap and cheerful, the musical selection itself is fairly pop-based, and there will be plenty of things you’ve never heard of (and nor would you want to). However, it’s worth a rake through, all for a good cause, and at prices mainly ranging from £1.99-

£4.99 some of the unfamiliar material could be worth a gamble.

Record Shak
69 Clerk Street
Mon & Thur-Sat: 11.30-18.00, Tues: 14.00-18.00

Record Shak is a great place to go for a browse, with a wide range of music in across many genres. There’s a small selection of CDs available, but it’s the sheer quantity of vinyl that makes Record Shak stand out. Focusing mainly on more specialist material, this isn’t the place to go for new releases or big pop numbers, but it excels in managing to find rarities that the real collectors go for. For this reason, Record Shak’s prices are a little higher than you might find in some of Edinburgh’s other record shops – but once you find that impossible-to-track-down-limited-edition-one-off press, it’s going to be very much worth it.

Elvis Shakespeare
347 Leith Walk
Mon-Sat: 10.00-18.00

It’s all in the name really. Elvis Shakespeare is the place to be if you’re after really great sounds and really great words. Deep drawers line the Leith shop and are chock-a-block full of all kinds of vinyl from punk and indie, to hip hop and dance. It’s a good place to go if you’re looking for inexpensive classics or after something rare and particular. Glance upwards and you’ll find an organised jumble of literature lining the walls. Books mostly range from cheap to very cheap. There’s even a selection of cassettes for the car, comic books, and a box of “reasonably good videos”.

Underground Solu’shn
9 Cockburn Street
Mon-Wed: 10.00-18.00, Thurs: 10.00-19.00, Fri-Sat: 10.00-18.00, Sun: 12.00-18.00

Underground Solu’shn began literally as an underground shop in 1995 and has survived since then as the sole independent record shop in Edinburgh specialising in dance and electronica. As a bit of a serious DJ shop, the predominantly vinyl stock is in top quality condition and a load of top quality stuff to play it on is available in store too. Mixed in with its underground specialities is a healthy collection of disco, classic rock, pop and new indie releases. Prices are top end but perhaps that’s because there isn’t a floppy, scratched vinyl in sight.


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can watch out interview with the store for Record Store Day 2013 over on youtube.


3-15 Rose Street
Mon-Sat: 9.00-21.00, Sun: 11.00-18.00

Owned by HMV, Fopp straddles the gap between high street music retailer and independent music store. Most shop space is taken up by DVDs, CDs and books but there is a steadily increasing vinyl selection upstairs as interest in newly released 180g vinyl grows. Records are shelved rather than boxed with album art on display making a really inviting section to browse in. As well as new releases, re-released classic albums from little known artists The Beatles and The Smiths are available, as are bargain secondhand records for a mere £2.

Avalanche Records
5 Grassmarket
Mon-Sat: 11.00-18.00, Sun: 12.00-18.00

Last week Avalanche Records announced that they will be closing their doors on 6th January next year. In a statement on the website’s blog, the store’s owner explained the reasons behind the closure;

“The biggest loss has been in selling local and Scottish bands. While our reputation has grown, our sales have plummeted.”

Avalanche has been seen as a platform for new Scottish music and unsigned talent but has been the subject of criticism. Perhaps a revised and revitalised shop would work for Avalanche in the future. In the meantime, there are hopes that Avalanche will return as an online presence and keep promoting Scottish talent.

Update: the shop remains open, you can check out an interview we did with store owner Kevin Buckle here.


Nanu Maps: Comic Book Shops

Deadhead Comics

If you are new to the world of comic book collecting then you may be unaware that there are a number of destinations around Edinburgh that cater to this very small market. Well I am here to tell you that you no longer have to put up with the very limited range of graphic novels on sale at your local Waterstones.

View Nanu Maps – Comic Book Shops in a larger map

Forbidden Planet

40 -41 Southbridge

Forbidden Planet is Edinburgh’s comic book superstore. You will find all the latest releases and a huge variety of graphic novels on the shelves. If you are looking for something specific, and current, this is by far your best option. Also on sale are a variety of collectibles

Deadhead Comics

27 Candlemaker Row

Walk into Deadhead and you feel like you are on the set of an American slacker film vertureplica from the 1990s, which is the shop”s biggest draw. This laidback indie feel is embodied in the owner Gav. Deadhead has a very impressive selection of back issues, with long boxes with covering the shop hours could be spent navigating the stock. The shop also stocks all the latest releases and a selection of graphic novel, and anything they don’t have that is currently being published can easily be ordered to arrive with the next week’s shipment.

Oxfam Bookshop

116 Nicolson Street

This charity bookshop is filled with a wonderful changing selection of books. You won’t always find a massive selection of comic books but it is worth checking back regularly for some rare and interesting finds. There are also regular comic book events held in the store.

Elvis Shakespeare

347 Leith Walk

This shop may not specialise in comic books but it has a good selection of second hand comics alongside a vast collection of books and records. For fans of vintage and second hand entertainment this store is a haven.

Heroes & Idols @ Games Hub

101 Lauriston Place and

A new destination for Edinburgh based nerds Games Hub has joined up with Edinburgh based online retailer Heroes & Idols to offer some comic book merchandise. This café and gaming environment is evolving into something quite brilliant for all those interested in table top gaming and now with the addition of comic books and collectibles

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hard core collectors should be checking this place out. Perhaps not the best place if you are just starting out.

Nanu Maps: Tea Rooms


Hello, is it tea you’re looking for?

In this edition of Nanu: Maps, Ellie and Elyse go in search of Edinburgh’s finest tea rooms. From the quaint and traditional to the modern and chic, Edinburgh does tea rooms very well. Unlike coffee shops which adorn the streets of Edinburgh in quantity, tea shops are much more sparse in the city, but uncompromising in variety and quality. Tea is a staple of the British diet and can be enjoyed to the maximum in the following establishments.

View Nanu Maps: Tea Shops in a larger map


Mon – Sat 08:30-16:30; Sun 09:30-16:30

Clarinda’s is a proper tea room. Antique china plates adorn the walls, doilies abound, and there’s a cake trolley laden with the day’s fresh homebakes, made on the premises. The instant you open the door there’s a welcoming whiff of thick soup, and the homely atmosphere continues with the small, “granny’s kitchen” style tables – which you will often find yourself sharing with other customers. Compared to many Royal Mile cafes, Clarinda’s is reasonably priced – only 90p for a cup of tea! There are a few specialist tea options, as well as a wide array of sandwiches (served with a handful of crisps, of course) and baked tatties. A lovely, quaint little establishment, which is popular with tourists and older locals alike – though due to its popularity, don’t expect to be able to hang out long after you’ve finished your cake.

Frederick Street
Mon-Tue 08:00-17:00; Wed-Fri 08:00-19:00; Sat-Sun 10:00-19:00

If you’re looking for a modern, sleek version of the traditional tearoom, head straight to Eteaket. The décor is lovely, with bold pink and blue detailing as well as some kitsch accessories. There’s a substantial sandwich menu and a glorious selection of homebakes (a word of warning – their portions of cake are literally slabs). However, the stars of the show here are certainly the teas: from the classic English and Scottish breakfast teas to an exotic cranberry rose chai tea latte or milkshake, with a whole spectrum of black, green, rooibos, herbal and “speciali-“teas in between. If you prefer your cuppa to be a builder’s brew with a bacon roll for a couple of quid, Eteaket is not for you – but for an elegant afternoon tea, it can’t be faulted.

Loopy Lorna’s Tea House
Mon-Thur, Sun 10:00-18:00; Fri-Sat 9:00-18:00

With a specialty tea menu as long as your arm and a groaning table of homemade cakes, traybakes and cupcakes to ponder, it’s no surprise Loopy Lorna’s has been voted the best tearoom and coffee shop in Edinburgh. Located in Church Hill theatre, it’s a cosy little place with mismatched china, friendly staff and whimsical tea cosies. A wee bit more pricey than your average, but you do get what you pay for in quality and quantity. It’s also well worth the extra stroll into Morningside. You’ll be glad of it after you’ve polished off a slab of Lorna’s chocolate cake. Get onto the website for tea facts, tea essays and tea poems.

Clerk Street
Fri-Sun 11:00-19:00

Walking into Anteaques on Clerk Street is like walking back in time. A mustachioed waiter, clad in 1900s attire, welcomes you into the shop and maneuvers around customers to show you to a tasting table. The tea menu is a comprehensive read, with all kinds of teas on offer, as well as the traditional accompaniments of scones and cakes. Old-fashioned brewing paraphernalia, antiques and curios are squeezed into the tiny space of Anteaques and create a unique and memorable atmosphere, unlike any other tea shop in Edinburgh. The slight snag is that it’s only open three days a week; Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And be prepared for a very polite waiter to ask you back in half an hour when a table is free. It’s worth the wait.