Three Edinburgh Restaurant Reviews

Being a food-writer would definitely be at the top of my list for dream jobs. I love trying out new restaurants and telling all my friends about them. What could be more perfect?

These past few weeks, I've actually had to chance to play food-critic a bit for my University's newspaper, The Student. In an amazing feat of human writing strength, I managed to write two reviews in two weeks (each within a 24 hour period if that makes me seem even more impressive). Most importantly, I ate at two really wonderful restaurants and tasted some delicious food all in the name of journalism.

So I thought that in the spirit of my newfound talent for food-writing, I would share some more informal reviews of the two restaurants I hit up thanks to The Student, as well as an extra find just for good measure. I'll also link to my "formal" reviews if you want a sampling of what my writing sounds like off the blog (or if you just want to read more about food).

Foundry 39 ~ West End // If you know anything about Edinburgh's food scene, you'll know that it's all about burgers at the moment. From casual independent joints to smaller chains straight out of Glasgow to fancy schmancy sit-down restaurants, everyone in Edinburgh is loving gourmet burgers. Foundry 39 sits somewhere in between on the burger spectrum- not exactly a hole in the wall, but not quite a formal restaurant either. It's the kind of place you'd go with a big group of friends for a special-ish occasion (like moving into your flat), with it's bar perfectly outfitted for a celebration. The cocktails are carefully concocted and that effort definitely shines through in the taste- try the Pink Duchess if you're feeling adventurous!

 Photo Credit: Hayley Russell

If you order one thing at Foundry 39, make it a plate of caramel chili chicken wings- sticky, salty, and sweet they're everything you could ask for in a starter! I was truly addicted from the first bite. Unfortunately, however, the burgers weren't so much to write home about. While their flavor combinations were a recipe for indulgence (think maple glazed bacon or black pudding and cheese), their actual patties weren't up to par. I guess I'll just have to go back to try their pizza! (anything for another round of those chicken wings...)

Photo Credit: Hayley Russell

By the way, I visited Foundry 39 with my good blogging gal pal Hayley who just happened to post her review of the restaurant on her blog today. You can read it here. You can also find my formal review of Foundry 39 here

Salt Cafe ~ Morningside // Salt Cafe was one of those places that I always saw on popular Edinburgh food instagram pages (let's be real- we all search for restaurants on insta before going!). But it actually wasn't my first choice when it came to a Sunday brunch. My boyfriend Ben and I had originally planned on going to our old favorite Montpellier's to try out their brunch menu, but there was a 45 minute wait for a table (serves us right for not booking ahead!) We wandered down through Bruntsfield and into Morningside and happened upon Salt Cafe- a hip, industrial-looking coffee house and restaurant.

Our stomachs rumbling for some good brunch food, we settled for a bar-seat at the window to watch the world stroll by. We started with coffee- a flat white for Ben and an iced coffee for me of course. Their iced coffee was less American and more Italian in its thickness, but boy was it strong. They are truly coffee connoisseurs at Salt Cafe. With an extensive egg-based menu (but not much else brunch-wise) an eggs florentine was definitely on the cards. And while I consider myself more of a pancakes- for-brunch kind of girl (blame my sweet tooth), I was thoroughly pleased with my eggs. From the truffle sauce to the freshly baked bread, it was sheer perfection on a plate. I didn't miss the pancakes one bit.

The Queen's Arms ~ New Town // There's nothing quite like some good ol' pub food. At least, that's what the Brits tell me. Now I may not have grown up seeing meat pies and roast dinners as classic "comfort foods," but I do enjoy them on a cold, rainy evening. However, the evening that Ben and I rocked up to the Queen's Arms was neither cold nor rainy- but it may as well have been because it was absolutely packed. Even so, the buzz of chatty pub goers on an ordinary Thursday night made the darkened space all the more intimate and cozy.

Pub food is easy to come by in a city like Edinburgh. But good pub food is a bit harder to find. The Queen's Arms keeps things interesting with it's playful takes on classics, like haggis lollipops. Now I know that many people fear the haggis, but trust me- when it's all fried up and paired with a sweet sauce, you'll immediately become a fan. And if you haven't had quite enough haggis in one night you can also try out one of the Queen's Arms famous sharing pies for two. Ours just happened to be haggis and steak, but the fillings change daily (does that mean I get to go every day?). Everything about this pie, from it's flaky puff pastry crust to the creamy gravy, was flawless. You'll want to lap up every bite. And if you're still feeling a bit peckish after the pie, there's always some pudding to fill you up. The chocolate and stout cake served as the perfect, heavenly end to the meal.

You can read my formal review of The Queen's Arms here.

So have I convinced you to try out some new restaurants around Edinburgh? I don't know about you, but I'm thinking of going back for seconds...

Thank you to Foundry 39 and the Queen's Arms for hosting me in exchange for a review. 


  1. Brava, Leda! What fun, and you have virtually fattened me! - Liz Seacord (from The Wentworth dinner!)


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