Union of Genius

Union of Genius
8 Forrest Road, Edinburgh, EH1 2QN
  • Telephone 0131 226 4436
  • Opening times Mon–Fri 8.30am–4pm; Sat noon–4pm. Closed Sun.
  • Seasonal times During the Fringe: Mon–Fri 8.30am–9pm; Sat & Sun 11.30am–9pm.
  • Food served Mon–Fri 9am–4pm; Sat noon–4pm Sat.
  • Average price £6 (lunch)
  • Email
  • Website www.unionofgenius.com
Union of Genius

Don’t tell your mum, but Edinburgh’s first soup café takes locally sourced ingredients to create wholesome, comforting, better-than-homemade soups.

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2016 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.

Like the Stone Soup story where everyone contributes to the pot, Union of Genius is part of the community. They’ve been crowdfunded twice, donate 200 litres of soup monthly to a local charity, offer free soup for returning their compostable takeaway pots, and will happily share recipes with you. The café is small with a few bar stools and a large wooden table to share as a steady stream of takeaway customers come and go. There are two fresh salads and six soups on the menu: three change daily, two monthly, and the caldo verde - kale, chorizo and potato – is always on. Can't decide between Armenian lentil and Ghanaian chicken? Have the soup flight with your choice of three soups and Dough-Re-Mi bread. There are veggie, vegan, and gluten free options, while a continually expanding wholesale business means you can now find Union of Genius soups in 30 cafés across Edinburgh.

  • High point: Soups for most dietary requirements
  • Low point: Vegan chilli rarely on offer at the café - get it from the George Square van
  • Notable dish: Soup

Union of Genius is Scotland's first soup café, providing six different home-made soups with matching artisan breads every day. The soup can be taken away or eaten in and all packaging is recycled and compostable.

Guaranteed minimum of one vegan soup every day and usually at least half of the soups are vegetarian or vegan. Nearly all soups are gluten-free (never thickened with flour or corn starch) and there are various gluten-free alternatives to bread available.

Also offered is coffee from Artisan Roast, gluten-free and vegan cakes from Love Pure Cakes, artisnal bread from Dough Re Mi, gourmet hot chocolates from Coco and Chocolate Tree and a wide-range of other snacks and drinks including bottled water from Belu Water which provides all profits to Water Aid. All packaging is compostable and recycled packaging and a recycling loyalty scheme is in operation that rewards customers for bringing back their packaging.

Text supplied by third party.

  • Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's portions, Wheelchair access, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
  • Music on stereo: Staff picks
  • Capacity: 10
  • Largest group: 6
  • Open since: 2011

Reviews & features

Halloween recipe: make your own Devilled Pumpkin Soup

15 Oct 2013

Elaine Mason, head soupmonger at Union of Genius, offers a warm way to spice up your autumn

I usually use Crown Prince pumpkins, or the little bright orange winter squash called Uchiki Kuri. If the only pumpkin you can find is the big ones people buy for carving, I'd suggest mixing that pumpkin with butternut squash 50:50 – those biggies have…