Leo's Beanery

Leo's Beanery
23a Howe Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6TF
  • Telephone 0131 556 8403
  • Opening times Mon–Fri 8am–5pm; Sat 9am–5pm; Sun 10am–5pm.
  • Food served Mon–Thu 8am–4pm; Sat 9am–4.30pm; Sun 10am–4.30pm.
  • Average price £10 (lunch)
  • Email
  • Website www.leosbeanery.co.uk
Photo of Leo's Beanery

Friendly, cosy café serving award-winning cakes, wholesome lunches, and breakfasts worth getting out of bed for.

Eating & Drinking Guide

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

Even though Leo's is tucked away in a New Town basement, it's on the sunny side of the street so try and grab an outside table when it's warm. Inside is bright and spacious, with walls covered with old family photos and furniture handmade by co-owner Joe from old church pews. Breakfast includes poached free-range eggs, Bower’s bacon, Dough Re Me muffins, Bearded Baker bagels and porridge. Lunch focuses on homemade soup, sandwiches, salads, quiche and daily specials. Relax your table manners while tucking in to enormous Vietnamese rolls, which are (quite literally) bursting with aromatic flavours and textures. Gluten-free cakes are always available, such as almond, orange and polenta cake (also dairy-free) – providing a zesty and moist sponge to complement a creamy, yet full-bodied cappuccino.

  • High point: Generous portions without a sacrifice in quality
  • Low point: Leaving room for cake is a challenge
  • Notable dish: Vietnamese rice paper roll
  • Average price: £10 (lunch)

Tucked away in a New Town basement, Leo’s Beanery has bucketfuls of charm without ever trying too hard. The owners hand-crafted the counter, tables and furniture themselves out of reclaimed church pews and every picture and piece of bric-a-brac tells a tale. There’s a gentle nostalgia which rings nicely true for a change, in details like the menus featuring old sepia photos of their grandparents. When it comes to food, start with a fresh soup, meat and cheese platter or daily pâté such as duck’s liver, apricots and Cointreau. More substantial options include vegetarian quiche and a select burger such as wild boar and apple from Bowers of Stockbridge. The sandwiches come beautifully presented, piled atop a slate and embedded in green leaves and sun-blushed tomatoes. Traditional cakes like Victoria sponge, ginger loaf and lemon and poppy seed are made on the premises and sing their happy home-made hearts out. All this is backed up by fine tea and coffee, and shelves of board games, novels and cookbooks encourage you to relax and stay a while longer.

Text supplied by third party.

  • Private dining: Up to 18 covers
  • Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
  • Music on stereo: Mellow contemporary tunes
  • Capacity: 52 (11 outdoors)
  • Largest group: 18
  • Open since: 2010
  • BYOB: £4 corkage

Reviews & features

The best breakfasts in Edinburgh

29 Mar 2012

The finest cafes, bistros and restaurants in the capital for a morning meal

Broughton Delicatessen 7 Barony Street, 558 7111, broughton-deli.co.uk Breakfast served: Mon–Sat 8am–3pm; Sun 11am–3pm. What does this place not do well? A great deli, healthy lunches and superb, made-from-scratch breakfasts from morning until 3pm…