Valvona & Crolla Caffè Bar

Valvona & Crolla Caffè Bar
19 Elm Row, Leith Walk, Edinburgh, EH7 4AA
  • Telephone 0131 556 6066
  • Seasonal times Festival: Mon–Wed open until 7.30pm; Thu–Sat open until 9.30pm.
  • Bar open Shop: Mon–Thu 8.30am–6pm; Fri/Sat 8am–9.15pm; Sun 10am–5pm.
  • Food served Mon–Thu 8.30am–5.30pm; Fri/Sat 8am–9pm; Sun 10am–4.30pm.
  • Pre-theatre times Fri/Sat 3–6.30pm
  • Pre-theatre price £16
  • Email
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Photo of Valvona & Crolla Caffè Bar

Scotland's oldest deli also has a caffè - a good spot for unhurried meals with quality ingredients, big Italian flavours and hand-picked wines.

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2018/19 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £7.95 (+p&p).

Established since 1934, Valvona & Crolla is very much part of Edinburgh’s gourmet landscape. Recently refurbished, the caffè behind the delectable deli boasts new flooring, tables and toilets in a welcome uplift. For lunch, antipasti of verdure alla piastra is a substantial starter of delicate mozzarella di bufala, delicious olives and intensely sweet roasted veg. For mains, pollo saltimbocca is chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto di Parma and sage with tangy lemon, with roasted potatoes soaking up ample juices and charred courgette offering welcome greenery. Dessert brings sticky, moist polenta cake infused with orange. They do know how to bake. The space is evidently all things to all people: a young lady sits contentedly with a simple slice of chocolate cake, an elderly couple split a slice with coffee. Now open on Friday and Saturday for dinner, expect a changing specials menu plus à la carte featuring dishes like fresh octopus salad antipasti, or Scottish venison with berries and roasted pumpkin chips. There is also an excellent BYOB policy: just £4 corkage for wine purchased from the deli and a new pre-theatre menu which seems eminently sensible given their proximity to the Playhouse. All in, this is a good spot for simple, classic Italian flavours with no pretentious frills and worth seeking out for their cake alone.

The List's rating






Tara Klein visited Valvona & Crolla Caffè Bar
  • High point: All-round authenticity
  • Low point: Execution of some dishes could be refined
  • Notable dish: The baking!
  • Average price: £17 (lunch); £22 (dinner)
  • Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Pre-theatre menu, Free wi-fi
  • Music on stereo: Italian classics
  • Capacity: 60
  • Largest group: 80
  • Open since: 1996
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 10
  • House wine: £14 per bottle
  • BYOB: £4 corkage (£4 corkage on any wine from the shop)

Reviews & features

Christmas Food Q&A: Philip Contini – Valvona & Crolla

17 Nov 2015

Valvona & Crolla's head honcho discusses his favourite seasonal treats

I'm planning a Christmas meal and want to offer a couple of unusual twists. What would you suggest? A panettone warmed in the oven and served with homemade crème Anglaise (or thin custard) with a bottle of ice-cold, slightly fizzy Moscato d’Asti.

Ice cream days: growing up in an old school ice cream parlour

1 May 2009

Mary Contini of Valvonna & Crolla describes her enviable upbringing

It took two men, my father and Tommy Dougal, to lift up each milk churn and tip it into the stainless-steel vat. It could be four or five churns at a time – even more in July and August when the factory was working at full capacity. Once the 20-gallon…

Take Three: Delis-cum-Cafés

19 Jun 2008

Valvona & Crolla Caffè Bar, Grassroots Café and Herbie of Edinburgh.