To be helpful to our visiting friends, here to sample the joys of the Festival City, we thought we’d put together a bumper blast of likely lunch spots, to help you out when hunger strikes.
These are the collated thoughts of some of our readers, based on their experiences over recent times. Full reviews of a couple of these places will appear on the site, over the next couple of months.
Here’s a brilliant recommendation from Raqui – The Baked Potato Shop, in Cockburn Street. Raqui, a friend from Israel (we’re keen for the Huerta sisters to get Cake Quest: Jerusalem up and running!), says that it does excellent kosher vegan haggis. And, MJ vouches for it as well! She used to grab a ‘small’ potato on her way to the station to catch the train south. What more can I add to that!
We’ve always enjoyed Chez Jules on Hanover Street. We went there for a truly epic Christmas lobster feast, last year, and we were there for Bastille Day, this year. It offers excellent value, well-executed dishes, in a really friendly atmosphere.
Frauke extols the virtues of Harvey Nichols’ Forth Floor, which promises stunning views across the city and the River Forth, and food that never disappoints.
Mel is a fan of the Buffalo Grill on Chapel Street, which offers a small, affordable lunchtime menu, always served to a high standard.
Peter’s Yard is a perennial favourite with our merry little band of creative types. I have to admit that I’ve not yet managed to get along to it, but I hear it offers sumptuous soups, excellent coffee and cakes, and delicious crispbread aplenty. MJ swears by the place – it’s one of her go-to places to eat if she is anywhere near the university…or not. She has been known to travel across the city to buy a loaf of freshly baked bread from their selection.
Our Cake Quest chum Sarah, upon reading our Mosque Kitchen review, wished to highlight the charms of nearby Kebab Mahal It’s not a million miles away from the Mosque, both in terms of location and culinary approach, and has been a favourite for many a year.
Mina and Emir recommend The Bonham. We have eaten there on countless occasions, and keep going back for more. Their risotto is a particular favourite, but their overall consistency of extremely high quality is to be relied upon.
No list like this would be complete without a mention of The King’s Wark on The Shore. If you’re looking for a top quality meal in an informal, homely pub setting, this is the place to go. I ate mushroom and brown bread soup there once, and I don’t think I’ve been served a better bowl of soup since. Their mussels are always a winner, too.
Two Thin Laddies is recognizable by its bright yellow exterior right on the main junction in Tollcross. Also a perennial favourite of MJ and friends, this café offers freshly made sandwiches, baked potatoes, delicious soups, salads, and daily changing specials like mac and cheese and chorizo pasta dishes. And, they do a mean brunch too.
One cannot forget the lovely Earthy Foods in Newington. Not only do they do a fantastic selection of locally grown produce, fresh baked goods, plants, holistic household items, and gardening supplies, they recently installed a butcher upstairs and have extended the café downstairs. MJ regularly pays homage, and each time the food is just as good as she remembered. Wholesome salads, quiches, interesting sandwiches and an array of teas and coffees make this a café/shop worth the trip out to EH9.