La Barantine Victoria
Bite-sized Grassmarket patisserie and coffee stop serving authentically beautiful French pastries and tarts.
Vive la France! These two petite cafes in Bruntsfield and Victoria Street showcase some truly excellent French baking, and prove their popularity by always being so packed it can be hard to find room to swing a baguette. A selection of sandwiches encompass the ham, cheese and salad fillings that you'd expect from a French cafe, elevated by La Barantine's own superbly crisp, chewy bread. In addition there's a homemade soup of the day, some quiches and a croque or two, all of which serve as a filling lunch or mid-afternoon snack. But the real draw here must be the gorgeous patisserie, all of which are made in house by supremely talented owner/baker Vincent Alpincourt and his crew. Pretty, jewel-like macarons vie for attention next to eclairs filled with chocolate or vanilla crème patissiere, luscious fruit tarts and puffy meringues. Combine any of the above with a cafe au lait or chocolat chaud and imagine you're in Paris for an hour or so.
- High point: Exquisite cakes
- Low point: You'll be lucky to get a seat
- Notable dish: Chocolate eclair
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Outdoor tables
- Music on stereo: Contemporary, chilled
- Capacity: 15
- Open since: 2014