• Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

The Hidden Gems of Edinburgh: Immigrant-Owned Businesses

ByAli Lakhany

Nov 30, 2023

Our city is teeming with rich history, diverse culture, and a vibrant community that spans borders. Amidst the iconic landmarks and historic sites, there lies a tapestry of immigrant-owned businesses, each telling a unique story of perseverance, entrepreneurship, and the fusion of cultures.

Café Nawaz – Leith

Nestled in the lively neighbourhood of Leith, Café Nawaz is a culinary haven run by a family with roots in Pakistan. Step into this cosy eatery, and you’ll be greeted by the tantalizing aroma of spices and the warm smiles of the Nawaz family. From aromatic biryanis to flavourful curries, every dish is a testament to their passion for sharing the authentic taste of Pakistan with the people of Edinburgh.

Vintage Wool Rugs – Newington

Situated on a quaint street in Edinburgh, Vintage Wool Rugs, run by a group of Persian gentlemen, offers a delightful escape into the world of Persian craftsmanship. As you enter, you’re greeted by an array of beautifully woven Persian rugs, each telling a story of tradition and artistry. The owners, affable and knowledgeable, are more than eager to share insights into the cultural significance of the rugs. It’s not just a store; it’s an invitation to leisurely browse through the patterns and textures, appreciating the meticulous workmanship behind each piece. Whether you’re in the market for a rug or simply looking to immerse yourself in the elegance of Persian design, a visit to Vintage Wool Rugs promises a serene and enlightening experience in the heart of Edinburgh.

The Mosque Café – Old Town

The Mosque Cafe stands as more than just a culinary destination; it’s a cultural touchstone that enriches the city’s tapestry. Managed by a community dedicated to fostering inclusivity, this cafe serves as a bridge between cultures, providing a space where locals and visitors alike can connect over shared experiences. This is a great spot to visit whether you want to snag a pakora between lectures or have a curry to reward a day in the library!

Edinburgh’s immigrant-owned businesses are not just places to shop or dine; they are living embodiments of the city’s cultural mosaic. These hidden gems contribute not only to the local economy but also to the diverse and inclusive spirit that defines Edinburgh as a welcoming home for all. So, the next time you explore the meander to George Square, venture off the beaten path, ditch City Mapper, and discover the stories behind these establishments, where the true essence of Edinburgh’s global community comes to life.

Detail, Persian Carpet” by A.Davey is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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