Leo's Beanery

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed here is accurate, always check with the venue before attending (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic).
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.
  • 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 2019/20 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

In a cosy New Town basement lies a family owned café serving up fresh food with a commitment to independent and local producers. There’s bread from DoughReMi, Bower's butchery meat and free-range local eggs. Dietary requirements are well catered for with veggie and vegan options, and plenty of gluten-free cakes on offer too, including a densely gooey award-winning brownie (which is truly not to be missed). Menus change seasonally and specials weekly, with warming mains being replaced by colourful salads and the temperature rises. Substantial sandwiches of roast aubergine, peppers and artichokes with olive tapenade make for a filling lunch as does the croque-mon-scone, both served with salad and crisps. Breakfasts are worth waking early for, especially at weekends when tables can be hard to come by. Order up an eggs Benedict, wholesome granola bowl, or poached eggs on toast and get comfortable at one of the reclaimed wooden tables crafted from old church pews.

The List's rating






Rachel Kavish-Wheatley visited Leo's Beanery on 12 April 2019
  • High point: Brilliant gluten-free cakes and brownies
  • Low point: Trying to get a table at weekends - best book for breakfast
  • Notable dish: Croque-mon-scone: fresh, flaky cheese scone topped with melted mature cheddar
  • 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: Staff picks
  • Capacity: 52 (11 outdoors)
  • Largest group: 18
  • Open since: 2009

Reviews & features

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29 Mar 2012

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