Café Portrait

Café Portrait
Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JD
  • Telephone 0131 624 6421
  • Seasonal times August: Mon–Thu 10am–5.30pm
  • Bar open Sun 12.30–4.30pm.
  • Food served Fri–Wed 10am–4.30pm; Thu 10am–6.30pm. Lunch noon–3pm, cakes & snacks at other times.
  • Average price £7.50 soup and sandwich (set lunch); (evening meal)
  • Email
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Photo of Café Portrait
in association with
Birra Moretti
Café Portrait

Food that nourishes the body in a location that nourishes the mind

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.

Such is the demand for Café Portrait’s pretty sweet treats that, at time of going to press, the gallery gift shop is being ousted to accommodate a new coffee station and more seating. Counter service is friendly and efficient; you’re back to your table before you have a chance to think ‘canteen’ and even among the great and good looking down from the surrounding walls, the food takes centre stage. Arched gothic windows and high ceilings create a light, bright atmosphere to enjoy a hearty sweet potato and chilli soup, or a healthy summer salad of courgette, feta, pea and mint with rocket-lemon dressing. The daily selection of soups, salads, sandwiches and mains (made in-house) are wholesome and imaginative, while afternoon tea involves indulging in the likes of well-balanced spiced berry scones, passion fruit éclairs and bold salted caramel brownies – making climbing the gallery stairs afterwards a bit of a challenge.

  • High point: Classic sweets with a twist
  • Low point: No guarantee of a table at busy times
  • Private dining: Up to 35 covers
  • Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Free wi-fi
  • Music on stereo: Nothing
  • Live entertainment: Occasional music events, bands on Thursdays, events during festival
  • Capacity: 190
  • Largest group: 35 in snug, 2 meeting rooms, one 30, one 45
  • Open since: Dec 2011
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 6
  • House wine: £23 per bottle