En route 1, en croute
I’ve long been a big fan of the Lothian Buses 1 route. And that was before I took up residence not far from its Easter Road terminus. It had been a long time since I’d ridden it all the way across the city, but that’s exactly what I did just a few short days ago.
Happy Rice is a decent Chinese takeaway and the occasionally brilliant Al Dente is just across the road.
I take morning coffee at Mo Beans pretty regularly and just as often pop into the excellent Polentoni for northern Italian delights.
The Mash Tun is a friendly pub with a good food menu, the Turkish Carry Out will serve you a montrously good wrap, Happy Bean Cafe and Tiramisu are good for a quick bite, Manna House is an enduring classic, there’s the drinks shop excellence of Cornelius, then the splendid curry goodness of Shapla and that’s all just on Easter Road!
Century General Store brings greatness to Abbeyhill, where you can also find Cherry’s Cafe, the Safari Lounge, Verona, Art & Vintage, and Red Kite.
There’s a little gap when you can enjoy great views over the city from Regent Road before Howie’s, Pep & Fodder, Rabbie’s, and Martone welcome you to Princes Street.
Princes Street is a mixed bag with Hadrian’s, Twenty Princes St, the Scottish Cafe and Restaurant, Cafe W, Hoot the Redeemer, Castello, and Galvin at the Caledonian the pick of the bunch.
As you turn up Lothian Road, you can just catch sight of Maison Bleue at Home, and Patisserie Maxime before Lothian Road brings a number of places to peruse. Wagamama, the Caley Picture House, the new Brewdog, Red Squirrel, McNamara’s, Coletti & Co, and One Square are all in the first part of the street.
You can also catch a glimpse of the Saturday Farmers’ Market on Castle Terrace if you time it right.
Then you have the Filmhouse Cafe, Bread Meats Bread, Frizzante, Bar Italia, the Hanging Bat, Croma, and Shebeen before the bus turns on to Fountainbridge.
City Kebab, Rapid Rolls, Cross Town, Maki & Ramen, Crusts, Loudons, Burger., Piece by Piece, Fieldwork, and Topkapi all come in quick succession before Akva, Badabing, Hank’s, and Fabi’s Kitchen complete the first stretch of businesses.
There’s a new place called the Urban Cafe at the Hilton which I’ve never tried and the same goes for Rosie’s (which used to be Lime) and a big Korean/Japanese place on the Dundee Street parade.
The bus turns down Henderson Terrace at the Diggers so you narrowly miss the Caley Sample Rooms. There’s a Snax on the corner before you whizz past the Gorgie Farm Cafe, Cafe Caledonia, a Baguette Express, and a really diverse range of food shops covering cuisines from most of Asian, eastern Europe and many places besides.
I always enjoy Cafe Presko and have a soft spot for the Balgreen Fryer, which is still home to the best munchy box in the city.
At Stenhouse Cross you have the Sitooterie, John Bain’s, and the Stenhouse Takeaway, before Saughton Road North brings McArthur’s, Ferry Good Food, and an intriguing sounding place called Chomp & Grind.
It’s ages since I’ve eaten at the Corstorphine Inn but I imagine it still does reliable enough pub grub. The Chinese Manor House and Fabio’s are ones I’ve never explored. We then hit the Spice Lounge Kitchen, which is excellent, before things dry up towards the terminus in Clermiston with just a Scotmid, a Chinese and Thai takeaway called Anna, before you saunter past the Drumbrae Library community hub which is just before the terminus.
The 1 is a very diverse route which blends a familiar city centre path with trips to both Leith and Gorgie. It’s a route I both use and enjoy, so look forward to stopping off at a couple of the new discoveries it showed me in the near future.