Thistle Street, named after Scotland’s national flower is home to the very first property built in line with James Craig’s ambitious New Town plan in the late 18th Century. It is steeped in history and fascinating tales of days gone by. For example, not many folk are aware that number 28 Thistle Street was the site of the very first Madame Tussaud’s waxworks exhibition. You can read more about the history of Thistle Street on the Edinburgh World Heritage website by clicking here.
Bars & Restaurants
Nowadays, Thistle Street is home to a vibrant community of independent retailers. In fact, it is hard to think of another street in Edinburgh’s New Town which is as compact, yet has so much to offer visitors to Scotland’s capital city. Located parallel to and immediately north of George Street, Thistle Street has an eclectic mix of excellent quality restaurants showcasing Edinburgh’s diverse and cosmopolitan outlook. The range includes vegan, Thai, Mexican, Scottish seafood and not one, but two French restaurants – a nod to Scotland’s Auld Alliance with our Gallic neighbour across the channel.
Continuing with the food and drink theme, in addition to our own Thistle Street Bar, you will find our neighbour, The Bon Vivant, which offers relaxed European-style dining of a very high standard but, in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.
When it comes to retail therapy, Thistle Street is hard to beat with well-known independent boutiques such as Covet, Jane Davidson, Biscuit and Pam Jenkins. For the discerning gentleman there’s Craig Banks, Edinburgh’s exclusive men’s made-to-measure tailor.
If it’s a bespoke kilt in a unique style you’re looking for visit 21st Century Kilts, owned by Howie Nicholsby. Over the years Howie has ‘kilted out’ some well-known celebrities from the world of showbiz including actors Brian Cox, Vin Diesel, Alan Cumming and Sam Heughan (well known to fans of Outlander as Jamie Fraser). Howie also created Sir Billy Connolly’s tartan suit for his role as Marshall during the 2019 New York Tartan Week parade.
Take a wander with us now along the oldest street in the New Town and see what we have to offer; click on the images below to find out more. Better still, pay Thistle Street a visit and browse the finest independent shops and enjoy the warmest Scottish hospitality in Edinburgh.