Much of our travelling is planned around me ensuring that we have glorious food stops scheduled for lunch and dinner. Edinburgh was no different, and there were so many recommendations to trawl through while we were there, that I know we only scraped the surface of the culinary delights that the city has to offer.
But amongst our recommendations you will find lovely places to enjoy brunch, lunch, dinner, cake and cheese. Yes cheese.
Buckle up lovelies, you are in for a tasty roller coaster ride, here’s your Year of the Yes guide to eating out in Edinburgh…
We happened upon the Pantry by accident, when we were wandering from Stockbridge on our way back from Dean Village. It looked like a pretty trendy cafe, but we thought nothing of it until I was flicking through a foodie guide back at our Air BnB apartment and came across it there. It was highly recommended for its brunch options. So, easily swayed by a recommendation, we sauntered there for exactly that.
The menu has some traditional brunch fodder, like eggs benedict, but they also have some lesser known mid-mornig treats. I sampled the Breakfast Quesadilla, which came with guacamole and a poached egg. I cheekily asked to pimp my egg with some hollandaise sauce, and although it may sound an odd mix, the result was absolutely delicious.
The boy opted for Toledo Al’s Coddled Eggs, which wasn’t too dissimilar to our favourite brunch at home, dippy eggs.
Although we only sampled brunch here, I had my eye on some delicious sounding pulled pork on the lunch menu too…
Union of genius
As the queen of indecision, I love taster options when it comes to food. So when I came across the Union of Genius in my online research, a cute little soup cafe, and saw that they did a soup flight – I knew it would be right up my street.
A soup flight consists of three little pots of soup (of your choosing from the selection on the daily menu) and three accompanying slices of fresh bread.
We sampled Caldo Verde, a delicious chorizo, potato and kale concoction, Tomato, pepper and Harissa and Cock-a-leekie, a leek and potato soup with prunes. All three were thoroughly scrumptious, it was fantastic to taste an array of options. And it was certainly the perfect lunch to warm us between rain showers.
Be warned though, it is a tiny little cafe and seating is limited to a table and a small bench. We had a short wait for a seat, but even if you aren’t able to eat in – the soup is so good I would recommend grabbing some to go.
The Timberyard was actually our first meal in Edinburgh, an indulgent lunch on our first day. It was a recommendation left on a list by our Air BnB host. Emma recommended it for lunch, and as it was just around the corner and we were quite peckish, we decided to give it a go.
We were not disappointed. The Timberyard was achingly cool with, unsurprisingly, timber everywhere. There was also a log fire to make you feel nice and cosy as you dined.
Now, I said we were peckish, so much so in fact that we were lulled into the decadent effort of a four course feast.
The Timberyard runs a four course system, starting with a ‘bite’, the equivalent of an amuse-bouche. The boy had veal, sweetbread, smoked bone marrow, ale and grain, whilst I opted for a beetroot taster.
Next was a ‘small’, or a starter. I devoured plaice, brown butter, shrimp and herbs, and the boy had rabbit.
Our main courses (or ‘large’ as the Timberyard affectionately label it) continued the meat-fest with duck and beef making an appearance, and we both finished up the show with meadowsweet, blackberry, cobnut, chocolate and crowdie.
It was an utterly glorious meal. In fact the boy declared it the best meal he had ever had.
The best meal he had ever had, that is, until the next evening when we had dinner at Mark Greenaway.
Our reason for going to Edinburgh was actually for the boys birthday. So I was determined to go somewhere special for his birthday dinner on a Saturday night. We meticulously scoured menu after menu to find the right place. We were looking for culinary delight without it being too pretentious.
Don’t get me wrong, Mark Greenaway’s restaurant is certainly posh, but it is also welcoming. And the food was impeccable.
We knew we had made the right choice as soon as we sampled the complimentary amuse-bouche, a white bean whipped wonder that neither of us were sure about before we tried it, but we didn’t stop raving about it once we had.
From that point in we continued to be wowed. There were scollops that cooked before our very eyes in a delicious broth…
…Pork cooked three ways – belly pork, a pork cheek pie and a blackened fillet.
But the main event here really was the puddings. I sampled Mark’s chocolate wonder from the Great British Menu and it was dreamy. But it had nothing on the sticky toffee pudding soufflé. Genuinely the best pudding either of us have either had. It quite literally melted in the mouth.
If you are looking for somewhere special to eat out while you are in Edinburgh we would highly recommend booking a table at Mark Greenaway’s.
Lovecrumbs serves cake, and cake only. But it serves it in abundance and they come beautifully presented in vintage dressers.
It’s kookie, it’s cute, and the cake is mind-blowingly tasty. In fact, we opted for two each. Well, a brownie and a cake. But it was totally worth the cake coma that followed.
I had a caramel brownie and lavender cake, whilst the boy chose a cherry brownie and apple cake. The sponges were soft, the flavours delicate and the brownies were the right balance of gooeyness and decadence.
You have to go here for the ultimate holiday treat.
melLis cheese store
My other love, aside from cake, is cheese. So when I spied Mellis Cheese on our Air BnB host’s recommendation list, I knew I wanted to check it out.
Actually, in the end, we came across the shop by accident when we were wandering around the city.
The staff were super helpful and pointed us in the direction of a strong cheddar that would suit our tastes, and also sent us away with a sweet but salty gouda and some cheese crackers. All of which we devoured in the few short days of our stay.