St Giles' Cathedral Café
This friendly sanctuary from the tourist hubbub of the High Street serves up soup, sandwiches, sweets and succour.
The medieval steeple of St Giles’ Cathedral on the Royal Mile is one of the most familiar features of the Edinburgh skyline, and if you’re a friend to beauty, take a look inside to see the building's dazzling stained-glass windows. Eyes boggling, head to the crypt for the wholesome pleasures of its café, which serves a daily selection of fresh salads, soups, filled rolls, hot meals and baking. A bowl of traditional stovies is rib-sticking, liberally smothered with spicy haggis to fortify you against the Edinburgh cold. Altogether more mellow is a broccoli, mozzarella and tomato tart, with its wobbly cheesy filling and a crumbly shortcrust pastry Mary Berry would wax lyrical over. Baking stands out – buttery fruit scones crumble and make you go all Proustian for nana’s baking, while the sweetness of Victoria sponge is leavened with a tangy lemon buttercream. The clientele bear all the hallmarks of being regulars and there’s a gentle bonhomie to the post Sunday service crowd. Go in peace.
- High point: Victoria sponge
- Low point: Salvation doesn't come cheap – these are Royal Mile prices
- Private dining: Up to 40 covers
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Outdoor tables
- Music on stereo: Nothing
- Capacity: 70–80
- Largest group: 50
- Open since: 2008