For the last 17 years my adopted home has been in one of the most stunning and compelling cities in the world, Edinburgh. This fabulous city has so much to offer everyone from our renowned festivals and history through to the vibrant cafe culture, mouth-watering restaurants and social scene. Turns out that Auld Reekie is very Fifi Friendly with an abundance of places to eat gluten free, vegan, locally sourced and healthy food options. There is so much to love about Scotland’s capital but here is my Edinburgh Edit of 5 food and drink places that I love.
When did I realise that Bon Vivant had a special place in my heart? Hmm ….. probably when I was in the Old Town and my friend said she fancied a great glass of red wine …. So I frogmarched her on a 25 minute mini tour of Edinburgh until we reached this great venue on Thistle Street. Bon Vivant has a charming atmosphere with its candlelit tables and laid back vibe. This place does not just sell a whole heap of delectable wines by the glass, carafe and bottle, it also has some of the best bar and waiting staff in Edinburgh who have introduced me to some brilliant new wine choices and outstanding cocktails. Seriously, I would come here just for the staff …. or the drinks …. or the food, but the whole package makes this one of my favourite places.
The food, yes the do an inviting bistro-esque menu which includes bites, middles, mains and desserts. I love this frequently changing menu and the use of locally sourced and regional food. For those of you who are just there for wine and cocktails, I can highly recommend the bites ….. especially the chips and homemade style mayonnaise …. just in case you decide to stay for a carafe or three. www.bonvivantedinburgh.co.uk
The Huxley is nestled in the West End of Princes Street and has staked its claim as a firm favourite of the Fifi Friendly family. It can easily be described as a watch the world go by bar that is great for any occasion. The Huxley also has a stellar food menu to keep everyone very happy, think American style fare but with a Scottish seasonality to it. I have lost count how often we have tried, tested and approved their menu for birthday dinners, mid-afternoon cocktails, breakfast and evening drinks.
The food …. Fifi’s Favourites ……Well I could be here all day. They don’t just do food here, they properly DO super tasty and mouth wateringly good food. Their eggs royale at breakfast, piggy dog hotdog, board of Scottish charcuterie and their variety of hand cut fries are delicious, but their Huxley 100% Aberdeen Angus burgers are my favourites!! Big shout out to their really excellent and extensive gluten free menu too. For those of you who want to eat a little lighter, try out their fabulous new range of healthy eating dishes including superfood bowls that are under 500 calories.
For me, as a parent, they have struck gold when it comes to really looking after families. Their kids menu is spot on and they helpfully have kids packs on hand to keep your little treasures very happy.
Given that we spend every birthday meal at The Huxley, I have had the wonderful task of trying out their cocktail list on a few occasions. The Rhubarbarian and Pink Fizz are a couple of the standouts. To see the menus or to find out more check out www.thehuxley.co.uk
With 6 outlets in Edinburgh, the fabulous goods from Soderberg and Peter’s Yard will never be too far away. This Swedish Bakery will remain a favourite long after the Hygge trend has dimmed. One of my favourite outposts to visit is the Soderberg Pavillion which is at Quartermile. Coffee drinkers will coo at the coffee perfection …. my favourite coffee in Edinburgh and you can also request for it to come with oat milk if you are on a cow dairy free diet. Captivating your attention towards the centre of this fabulous eatery is the large pizza oven, which not only used for the superb sourdough and white pizzas but also to heat up your artisan Swedish baked goods.
I really love the natural light that the floor to ceiling glass windows provide. If you want to enjoy the fresh air you can grab a sheepskin rug and take a seat at one of the outdoor tables and watch the world go by. Soderberg Pavillion’s relaxed and atmospheric vibe is popular with a varied clientele including families, coffee seekers, professionals and students.
The food is unashamedly Scandi and utterly enticing. The brunch baskets, stone oven omelette, granola, brunch pizzas, salad of the day, smorrebrod and nibbles are some of my highlights from the menu. My kids love to choose a fresh artisan baked good from the rack and the cardamom bun, chocolate balls and parsnip cake …. have all gone down very well with their fresh smoothies or oat milk hot chocolate. www.soderberg.uk
As Scotland’s first juice company that is raw, 100% cold pressed and certified organic, Juice Warrior have been delivering amazing juice cleanses for a good number of years. However, last year they opened up their flagship shop in Edinburgh’s New Waverley Arches on East Market Street, were you can drop in to pick up a variety of brunch, lunch and sweet treats that are naturally nutrient dense, vegan and super tasty. I never really considered many vegan or clean eating options until I visited Juice Warrior and these healthy snacks may look small but are in fact extremely satisfying and filling.
Everything on the nutrient dense menu is made from 100% certified organic fruit and vegetables and is highly recommended by Fifi Friendly. If you are stuck for choice just ask the super helpful and knowledgable staff. Their juices and mylks are epically good. I also have a weakness for the breakfast bowl, this was the first vegan food that my kids tried and adored. I tried to replicate it at home, but was told fairly quickly that my version was substandard in comparison. My daughter has also just asked me to mention the raw chocolate fo-nuts ….. delicious and will cause arguments as to who gets the last one. If you are not in Edinburgh, Juice Warrior delivers cleanses across the UK and free to those in Edinburgh and Glasgow. www.juicewarrior.co.uk
Yeni Meze Bar
My family has been enjoying the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean style mezes of the Nargile Restaurants in Aberdeen for three decades. This love is continued at the fabulous Yeni Meze Bar on Hanover Street in Edinburgh, which is owned by the daughter of the Nargile restaurant dynasty. Everything I loved about these family run restaurants is still there in Yeni. For relaxed dining, friendly atmosphere and superbly fresh and well presented food with a contemporary twist, Yeni is a must visit. The nature of the flavoursome meze menu means that Yeni clearly label dishes that are suitable for those on a gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, halal or nut free diet! Great gluten free pitta breads too!
I love the well presented menu which allows for any appetite whether it be a quick bite of leisurely taste sensation feast…. we invariable go for the later. In terms of our favourites ….I really love to share the meze selection in the Yeni Sofrasi. I also recently discovered their fresh mint tea which is the perfect way to end the meal ….. along with their seriously good home-made baklava. My kids adore Yeni too and my son would eat portion upon portion of the calamari and falafel. My daughter on the other hand slathers the family recipe hummus on her pittas with great delight …. and sometimes just eats it with her spoon it is that good. Yeni is excellently location just off George Street makes it a great place for lunch, pre-theatre dinner or dinner out. www.yenirestaurant.com
This list could have gone on …. I found out that you become very hungry doing this type of post and that I need to do a part two. To be continued…..