Café Modern One

Café Modern One
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art One, 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR
  • Telephone 0131 332 8600
  • Seasonal times Open till 5.30pm in August
  • Food served Mon–Sun noon–2.30pm. [Coffee & cakes: Mon–Fri 9am–4.30pm; Sat/Sun: 10am–4.30pm]
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Photo of Café Modern One

Bustling, big, bright self-service cafe offering superb lunch staples and sublime bakes.

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2017/18 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

Bright, light, and airy, Café Modern One is the type of contemporary, open space where you can indulge in artistic daydreams while nursing a good, strong coffee. As part of the Heritage Portfolio group, who provide in-house cafés to many of Edinburgh's cultural attractions, Café Modern One typifies the organisation, offering innovative, hearty meals with a minimum of fuss. A daily rotation of soups, salads, mains and filled rolls, featuring big flavours and healthy ingredients, are served canteen style. Miso roasted chicken smacks with umami flavours, the bird juicy and tender, while a coleslaw of cabbage, carrot and celeriac is vibrant and crunchy. A beetroot and brie pancake provides a fulsome vegetarian option, vivid pink and oozing cheese. You can eat outdoors when weather allows, and overlook the gorgeous kitchen garden, the yield of which wends its way into the cooking whenever possible. Save room for pudding – there’s nary a dud option. A dark chocolate orange slice is smooth with a delightful citrus tang, like a right posh Terry’s chocolate orange.

  • High point: Bountiful salads make for lush, filling sides
  • Low point: Negotiating the throngs at the till is a bit fraught
  • Notable dish: Miso and ginger roast chicken
  • Average price: £15 (lunch)
  • Private dining: 100 (can hire whole space)
  • Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
  • Music on stereo: No music
  • Capacity: 100 (150 in summer)
  • Largest group: 50 sit down/100 drinks/canapes
  • Open since: 1987 (or possibly 1983 - no-one was certain)
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 7
  • House wine: £18.50 per bottle