Valvona & Crolla Caffè Bar
- Telephone 0131 556 6066
- Seasonal times Festival: last orders Mon–Wed 7.30pm; Thu–Sat 9.30pm.
- Bar open Shop: Mon–Thu 8.30am–6pm; Fri/Sat 8am–6.30pm; Sun 10am–5pm.
- Food served Mon–Thu 8.30am–5.30pm; Fri/Sat 8am–6pm; Sun 10am–4.30pm.
- Average price £15.95 (set lunch); £17 (evening meal)
- Website www.valvonacrolla.co.uk
Scotland's oldest deli also has a café - a good spot for unhurried meals with quality ingredients, big Italian flavours and hand-picked wines.
The story of the Italian immigrant family who arrived in Edinburgh in 1934 then made an indelible stamp on the city’s food scene remains a classic for food fans – co-owner Mary Contini’s recipe book/memoir, Dear Francesca, will tell you more. Their success lies in a blend of empire-building business savvy and passion for the best ingredients; deliveries drop in weekly from Italy, and it’s survived as Scotland’s oldest delicatessen for good reason. Behind the deli counter and wine shop, there’s a relaxed dining room for meals at a gloriously unhurried, Italian pace. Panini, salty Italian sausage, fresh pastries and strong, excellent coffee are among the breakfast options, and at lunchtime there are pizzas from the V&C bakery, vegetarian frittatas, hearty soups or generous bowls of pasta (gluten free if you so desire) with a heap of memorably good James Dickson smoked salmon or garlicky tomato sugo. The caffè caters to a well-heeled, discerning crowd made up of older diners, family groups and tourists, and it’s a good place to catch up over an antipasti platter and special bottle of wine (buy a bottle from their shop, and they’ll add a corkage fee of £10). Leave space for an affogato – with ice-cream from another famous East Lothian Italian family, the Lucas.
- High point: Carefully chosen produce, and big flavours from Italy and Scotland
- Low point: Beware of over-ordering, the portions are sturdy
- Notable dish: Melanzane alla parmigiana
- Delivery: Free delievery on minimum £45 orders.
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Italian classics
- Live entertainment: During the Festival, they use a 70-seater room off the restaurant for live music etc. They had 57 shows in 2016.
- Capacity: 60
- Largest group: 80
- Open since: 1996
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 10
- House wine: £20 per bottle
Reviews & features
Christmas Food Q&A: Philip Contini – Valvona & Crolla17 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 parlour1 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-Cafés19 Jun 2008
Valvona & Crolla Caffè Bar, Grassroots Café and Herbie of Edinburgh.