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Band Of Hipsters In Edinburgh | © City.and.Colour / Flickr
Band Of Hipsters In Edinburgh | © City.and.Colour / Flickr

A Hipster's Guide To Edinburgh

Picture of Tori Chalmers
Updated: 5 April 2017
With many insisting that the hipster is a withering breed — bold rimmed glasses, beard, portable vinyl player and all — it seems that there still exists a subsection of society dedicated to protecting the eternal countercultural flame. Whether self-confessed hipster, against the grain aficionado or too hip to pigeonhole yourself into a socially constructed archetype, consult our hipster’s guide to Edinburgh. Cue hipster playlist and a surplus of intellectual pontifications.

Stock Up On Untrendy Trends At Armstrongs

And definitely thick rimmed glasses with clear frames. Don’t worry, no one will ever know about your 20/20 vision and that you previously considered a career as a pilot. A vintage empire of endless sartorial possibilities, Armstrongs is riddled with floods of flannel shirts, denim jackets, stripy crew necks, chukka boots and no-name tees essential for the (meticulously contrived) effortless hipster look. If you’re going to play the part, you may as well dress the part.

Armstrongs, 81-83 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland, +44 131 220 5557

Armstrongs | Courtesy Of Tori Chalmers

Armstrongs | Courtesy Of Tori Chalmers

Tend To That Enviable Beard At Ruffians Barbershop

A mandatory hipster must-have, the beard is exalted upon high and cannot be criticised. However, tending to such a sculptural work of art takes a team with prowess. Whether a purist with a penchant for a manicured beard or rough around the edges twirly mustache kind of hipster, the crew at Ruffians, a barbershop with flair, exceeds all expectations. And yes, there is whisky, artisanal coffee, an integrated vacuum system (so long stray hairs caressing your back like a bad date) iPads to feed the boredom that ensues while waiting, and undeniably cool men’s toiletries that would look the part on your Scandi minimalist bathroom shelf.

Ruffians, 23 Queensferry St, Edinburgh, Scotland +44 131 225 8962

Beard Trim | Courtesy Of Ruffians
Beard Trim | Courtesy Of Ruffians

Have A Countercultural Cocktail At Hoot The Redeemer

Entering into Hoot The Redeemer (if you’re lucky enough to locate its hidden entrance) is like falling down the rabbit hole then waking up and realising it’s not a dream. A delightfully sensory experience, this trendy drinking institution is less of a bar and more of a funfair. After all, it does mirror 1950s New Orleans. A magnet for hipsters and bearded wonders alike, expect time warp cocktails, a claw crane machine, ice cream cone selfie spots, crafty alcoholic slushies and ice cream (yes, it’s alcoholic too) as desirable as the hip, unpretentious interior. Welcome to hipster paradise.

Hoot The Redeemer, 7 Hanover St, Edinburgh, Scotland +44 131 220 0310

Stock Up On Vinyl Records From Your Fave Bands That No One Has Ever Heard Of

Embrace the hipster stereotype and play the role of soulful music master. Perfect for those so cool they listen to bands with no name, Vinyl Villains stocks a killer selection of vinyl to keep you entertained for years. Between Velvet Underground and Tom Waits, to Otis Redding and The Beatles, this record hinterland is a torrent of classic rock vinyl waiting to be rediscovered and appreciated. Like the hipster trend, this ‘fine renegade record store’ has taken a few hits. Thankfully, in the end, justice prevails.

Vinyl Villains, 5 Elm Row, Edinburgh, Scotland +44 131 558 1170

Drink Bottomless Cups of Coffee At Artisan Roast And Write Your Future Screenplay

When in need of a caffeine infused IV or urban cool surrounds, Artisan Roast is the place to be. Unashamedly hip and covered with wood, this dynamite roastery and café empire — take your pick from the Broughton St, Stockbridge, and Bruntsfield locations  — deserve a standing ovation for crafting the don of all coffee concoctions. Seriously. The flavours of the bespoke beans and accompanying knock out tastes do the talking, complimenting the cerebral social atmosphere.

Artisan Roast, 57 Broughton St, Edinburgh, Scotland, +44 7858 884756

Get Lost In Literature (So People Can See) At Armchair Books

Armchair Books is a hazy maze of unexpected wonder. The kind of place to induce a smile to even the most sinister of souls, this literature lair holds the key to every bookworm’s heart with an enviable selection of riveting reads. From poetry and non-fiction, to philosophy and literary fiction, the floor-to-ceiling shelves are stocked to the brim with affordable finds and extend upwards to the skies like a towering staircase to the subconscious. The antique assortment is second to none.

Armchair Books, 72-74 West Port, Edinburgh, Scotland +44 131 229 5927

Get Your Organic Foodie Fix At Hendersons Shop & Deli

Unaltered and earthy, eating green plays a significant spiritual role in the hipster subculture. When craving all things organic and vegan, consider Hendersons Shop & Deli — an Edinburgh fixture since 1962. Expect a smorgasbord of greens, fruit, fancy deli eats and vegan delights guaranteed to fulfill all hipster foodie wishes. When it comes to Hendersons, the food is humbled by the providence of the locally sourced ingredients. Let’s face it — you’re not a real hipster if the thought of kale doesn’t get you going!

Hendersons Shop & Deli, 67 Holyrood Rd, Edinburgh, Scotland +44 131 557 1606