St Giles' Cathedral Café
This friendly sanctuary from the tourist hubbub of the High Street serves up soup, sandwiches, sweets and succour.
This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.
The camaraderie of St Giles’ Cathedral, its surrounding courtyard and the wonderful Signet Library, forms an architectural and historic treasure of which Edinburghers are rightly proud. To be able to enjoy a pleasant bite to eat, tucked away in this sanctuary from the Royal Mile, is a bonus. On warm days consider outside dining, but otherwise wander into the crypt level space where kind and welcoming staff present a delicious range of salads, fresh soups, hot dishes and enticing home baking. A display case hosts up to eight daily-made salads, bursting with flavour. A chipper green salad of softened leeks, spinach, dill and roast tomato is lightly herby with pesto. Another of mushrooms, red peppers and onions is coated in a mellow, sweet dressing of balsamic vinegar and honey. If the quiche of the day is leek, ham and rosemary, grab it before it disappears. Bakes are well-crafted and avoid being overly sweet – the carrot cake is studded with fruit, while the pecan tarts are nutty and crunchy without the typical sticky gloop. This is a café worth seeking out.
- High point: Delicious, inventive salads
- Low point: Indoor seating a bit institutional
- Notable dish: Quiche with ham, leeks and rosemary
- 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