- Telephone 0131 226 2230
- Seasonal times Extended in the Edinburgh Festival
- Food served Mon–Fri noon–3pm, 6–10pm; Sat noon–10pm; Sun noon–3pm, 6–10pm.
- Average price £10.90 (set lunch); £18.80 (evening meal)
- Website www.cafemarlayne.com
Buzzing little restaurant with casual French style just off the beaten track.
Though just a few paces from the hurly-burly of George Street, the relative calm of Thistle Street's cobbles could be a world away. Up a couple of steps sits Café Marlayne, with its quirky décor and compact L-shaped dining area for around 30 customers. It bustles with life: whether it's lunchtime diners drawn in by a great value deal, or evening guests enjoying simple, hearty food at a reasonable price. The menu is traditionally French, with a few original flourishes. Starters feature a flavour-packed boudin noir with crispy bacon and sautéed apples. There's a tender ribeye for main, raised a notch with horseradish cream and Bovril onions, or a succulent lamb rump accompanied by salsa verde and polenta. To finish, a slab of warm chocolate and almond cake hits the spot. With wines by the glass that won’t blow the budget, as well as a decent range of beers, Café Marlayne is a welcome haven just a few steps off the beaten track.
- High point: Good value comfort food and buzzing atmosphere
- Low point: Small tables become crowded when side dishes arrive
- Notable dish: Boudin noir with sautéed apples and crispy bacon
- Provides: Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Quiet background music
- Capacity: 30
- Largest group: 30
- Open since: 2000
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 11
- House wine: £18 per bottle