En Route 2, En Croute
Ah, the 2. I used to get this bus from home to school on the very occasional days when the walk was somehow not possible (laziness, torrential rain etc.).
It takes a typically winding route from the Gyle Centre to the Jewel, via Haymarket, the Grassmarket and
Newington. I boarded at the truly horrid Gyle, which meant I could be quickly ferried away from the likes of Frankie & Benny’s, O’Brien’s, Chopstix and an array of dreadful coffee chains.
Once on its way towards town, it quickly encounters The Ritz, Naihas, the Premier Inn, and the dubious pleasures of Hermiston Gait’s Krispy Kreme and KFC.
It swings past the Edinburgh Beer Factory, before picking up the 1 route through Stenhouse Cross, Balgreen and Gorgie. I noticed the Gorgie branch of Bonnie Burrito which I’d missed last time on the 1.
The 2 then heads down Dalry Road instead of up Henderson Terrace. It speeds past B&D’s Kitchen, Dersim, Lazeez, Saltyard Cafe, Kebabish, The Clock, Chapter One, Shebeen, Locanda de Gusti, First Coast, 1926, RiverLife, Xiangbala Hotpot, Marmaris Grill, GF, a good Thai supermarket, Ali Baba, Troy, Sushiya, Hay Sushi, and the Verandah before stopping at Haymarket where I would board as a short-trousered youth.
You then head past Platform 5, the Station Takeaway, Go Ninja, Chizuru Tei, the Jolly Botanist, Mumbai Mansion, Chop Chop, Ignite, Rancho, the Haymarket Bar, Omar Khayyam, Magna Hungaria, Dimitri’s, the Golden Grill, Khukuri, the Mercat Bar, China Star, and Noir, then can spot China Town and Otro along the way, before the bus turns along Torphichen Street where you can spot The Mad Hatter and Bluerapa on the right.
On the left you have Zest & Co before you saunter up the hill past the old SSEB offices. Then you see the Honeycomb Tearoom, Rodi, Nana Flo’S Bakery, Miya, Rojava, Ishka, Klaris, Pronto, Lebowski’s, Shanghai, and Croma before crossing Lothian Road on to Bread Street where Bentoya, Home Taste, Fatty Owls, the Blue Blazer, the Fat Pony, Bread Street Brasserie and Tasty Buns await. Castle Terrace is visible on Spittal Street, before you take to West Port where Lovecrumbs, Peppers, the Coffee Mill, Dragonfly, L’Etoile and Yum Yum zip by.
The Grassmarket holds Mary’s Milk Bar, the Grassmarket market, Petit Paris, Hula Juice Cafe, Auld Jack’s Pie Shoppe, Let Me Eat, and La Barantine. The dreadful Bobby’s Kebab House and Merchant’s are best avoided around the Candlemaker Row area. Under the Stairs and Tang’s are much better. You pass Greyfriars Bobby and then briefly join the 41 route until turning on to Nicolson Square.
From there you pass Cheapshot, Maki Maki, Babylon, Café 1505, Palmyra, Pizza Posto, Baget Stuffed, the splendid Field, Usher’s, Machina, and the original Maki & Ramen, before B Burger, Café Turquaz, the excellent Soul Sushi, Greenmantle, Illegal Jack’s, Anteaques, Tea House, On Bap, Herbivore Kitchen, Kalpna, Tanjore, Kampong Ali, Marmaris, 10 to 10 in Delhi, Filament, Noodle and Dumplings, Rigatoni, Miller’s, Cafe de la Poste, the Southern, Bonnie Burrito, Dough, Souq, Diabolo Loco, Ephesus, Annakut, Strigicake, Verdo, The Apiary, Los Argentinos, and Cask & Barrel Southside go past in a blur.
The Salisbury Arms and a Chinese takeaway called New Garden Grove are at the top of the old Dalkeith Road which holds On a Roll, the outstanding Edinburgh Food Studio, and Bodrum Express further down.
There’s then another break before the Duddingston Fry and Coffee Drive round things out. The bus then terminates at the big Asda at the Jewel.
So, Lothian Buses route 2 is another grand journey across our fair city. It brought back many a childhood memory and showed me some roads I hadn’t travelled down in quite a while. Stay tuned for further bus route adventures as En Route, En Croute continues, this time next week.