The Royale Cafe, on the Canongate, has never filled me with a particular sense of “must visit immediately”, but after a little trip to the Parliament, I was in need of a quick feed so stopped in for a bite.
The cafe is in quite a smart property with nice light-fittings and simple cornicing. There are rather too many tables in the space, though, giving it a rather cramped feel. Given its location it was unsurprising to see it populated mainly by tourists.
The menu is hugely broad with all-day breakfast dishes, burgers, sandwiches, pies and various main courses. It has a bit of a “jack of all trades, master of none” feel which suggested that careful ordering would be required.
Accordingly I ordered the lentil soup and added a falafel salad from the friendly and attentive waitress.
The soup soon arrived looking pretty routine and accompanied by uninspiring bread. It proved surprisingly good with plenty of punchy lentil flavour and a light smokiness to it. I really rather enjoyed it.
The falafel were pretty good, also, with the salad crisp and fresh. The accompanying hummus was decent, too.
So overall, the Royale Cafe provided an unexpectedly solid food offering with rather good soup and an enjoyable falafel dish. It would benefit from just a couple fewer tables to make the space feel a bit less pressured, but otherwise this is a tourist-oriented business doing perfectly acceptable work.
Blythe the Royale Cafe
3.5/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 13/20
I ate: lentil soup, falafel wrap
I drank: water
I wore: pinstripes
Total bill: £9.74
Address: 274 Canongate, Royal Mile, Old Town, Edinburgh EH8 8AA