Recently opened on the Grassmarket, Zaza is a tidy little café that is largely unremarkable, aside from boasting an absolutely tremendous view of Edinburgh Castle.


I visited today in the gusting wind, with the intention of grabbing a quick soup and sandwich takeout. From the two soups on offer, I chose lentil over tomato, then chose to match it with a veggie wrap.

The smiley counter man was soon about his business, with the minimum of fuss. I sat for a moment, to take in my surroundings.


As is increasingly the case, artwork bedecked the walls. It reminded me strongly of the slightly incongruous feel that the artwork in Auld Jock’s Pie Shoppe has. The stuff was fair, touristy work, but didn’t seem particularly at home in this setting.

What also didn’t seem entirely at home were the fairly random selection of other “gifts” such as tea sets. It all seemed a little strange. Looming large from the window, the majestic castle swept away these minor concerns, giving a solid reason why you would wish to linger and sit-in.


With items in hand, and the reasonable fee of £4 charged, I was on my way back out into the windy wilds.

Upon returning to my place of business, I examined my items. My lentil soup had a deep hue to it, and looked nicely rustic. It proved to be pretty good, without causing too much pulse-quickening.

The wrap was similarly decent. There was a good blend of textures, with melty cheese, crisp red onion, and soft peppers and tomatoes. The flavours were wholesome and fresh, without being fantastically memorable.

So overall, Zaza was fine. It’s just at the start of its tenure in the Grassmarket, so has an opportunity to bed-in and improve, over the coming weeks and months. I think it has some work to do to carve out a niche, beyond offering a great view of the castle, but I see no reason why it can’t do that.

Blythe scores Zaza
3/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
3/5 for service
giving an overall 12.5/20

Today’s quester was: Blythe

I ate: lentil soup; veggie wrap

I drank: nowt

I wore: tweeds

Total bill: £4

Zaza on Urbanspoon

Written by BKR