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.
  • Seasonal times Festival: open until 6pm
  • Average price £9 (lunch)
  • Email
  • Website www.leosbeanery.co.uk
Photo of Leo's Beanery
in association with
Birra Moretti

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

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2016/17 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.

This café lies on a sunny corner of the New Town and boasts heaps of charm and a commitment to good food. Leo’s is a family affair; a husband-and-wife team churn out Taste of Scotland award-winning cakes and brownies. The basement location is surprisingly bright and filled with delightful personal touches like old family photos on the walls and reclaimed sewing tables for dining atop. The breakfast menu features free-range eggs and Bowers meat, as well as comforting specials of peanut butter, banana, and cinnamon on chunky wholemeal toast. Lunch is just what you want; fresh soups, quiche, salads, and giant doorstop sandwiches filled with delectables like Blue Murder cheese, bacon, and pear chutney. Gluten-free bread, rolls and bagels are always on offer, as are glutenless cakes, and those two-star brownies.

  • High point: Gluten-free brownies leave you pondering the point of gluten
  • Low point: Finding room for cake after the giant sandwiches
  • Notable dish: Croque-mon-scone

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 22 covers
  • Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Outdoor tables, Live music, Free wi-fi
  • Music on stereo: Staff picks
  • Capacity: 52 (11 outdoors)
  • Largest group: 22
  • Open since: 2010

Reviews & features

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