Café Portrait

Café Portrait
Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JD
  • Telephone 0131 624 6421
  • Bar open Mon–Sun 10am–5pm.
  • Food served Mon–Sun 10am–4.30pm.
  • Email
  • Website…
Photo of Café Portrait
Café Portrait

A large and well-loved cafe in a stunningly palatial national gallery.

Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2019 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

A visit to this spectacular gallery happily brings the excuse for coffee at the café and one of their ever-popular scones. Lentil soup with bread baked in-house tempts visiting art buffs, parents with buggies in tow and tourists, while the food has enough cachet to bring in regulars from local offices for a takeaway croissant or panini without even the pretence of art appreciation. Perhaps most alluring is a regularly changing selection of salads with creative seeds and pulses mixed through alongside herbs and oils, though the tray bakes give them a run for their money and an unconventionally plump Florentine is pleasingly chewy. It’s a popular spot, which can at times feel a little frenetic, but efficient staff know their stuff and keep the queues moving, while the light and airy space is big enough that a table usually becomes available when needed.

The List's rating






Hannah Jefferson visited Café Portrait on 22 January 2019
  • High point: Freshly made salads and cakes in a stuning location
  • Low point: Accoustics can make busy lunch times noisy
  • Notable dish: Scones
  • Average price: £12 (lunch)
  • Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Free wi-fi
  • Live entertainment: Gallery events and cooking masterclasses.
  • Capacity: 200
  • Largest group: 30 (afternoon tea only)
  • Open since: Dec 2011
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 5
  • House wine: £27 per bottle