Eating good quality gluten free food, mainly in Edinburgh


Cafes and coffee shops

Are you visiting Edinburgh and fancy a cup of coffee and a gluten free cake? Or maybe a light lunch somewhere with lovely views an ambience. This quick round-up of ideas should help you:

Contini: Royal Mile Café

The Royal Mile Café, in the building just to the left of the entrance to the Esplanade of the Castle, is a wee gem. Pots of Edinburgh tea, quick bites and breakfasts. The morning porridge is, unfortunately, not gluten free, but there will always be something you can enjoy here. There is also a restaurant and gelataria within the building.

356 Castlehill
EH1 2NE –

Hula Juice Bar

Hula serves terrific breakfasts (opens at 8) and lunch: gluten free soups, bread and a great range of cakes. Plus smoothies which are, of course, gluten free. This is a good little stop for some lively banter and sympathetic catering. Hula Juice Bar was named Best Edinburgh Café by local guide, The Skinny, in 2013!

103-105 West Bow
EH1 2JP –
0131 220 1211


This little police box turned into a food outlet is on the edge of the Meadows, and is gluten free heaven! Brazilian inspired savoury and sweet wraps and crepes, spicy delights and fijoada on Saturdays (a sausage stew), this place is popular and friendly.

The Green Police Box, Middle Meadow Walk
EH3 9AU –

Cairngorm Mountain Café

Down some stairs on the north side of Frederick Street, this little place is great. Rustic interiors, but ipads set into some benches, so you can have a quick surf. The menu options don’t look very gluten free, but ask and they will make you up a salad. Coffee is good and this place has a nice vibe.

41A Frederick Street
EH2 1EP –

Leo’s Beanery

This terrific cafe is a great spot for lunch, breakfast or just to drop by. They have a good selection of delicious gluten free cakes, kept separately from the others, which is always a good sign. They also offer most of the menu with gluten free options, including burgers, bagels, sandwiches, breakfast eggs and even granola. The service is really friendly and the coffee is made beautifully. There is a real buzz about Leo’s and it receives consistently high reviews, so is worth a visit. When I reviewed recently (read it here), I had the most delicious cakes and tea on fun, decorative plates and was very impressed.

23A Howe Street
EH3 6TF –
0131 556 8403


Right next door to Cairngorm, your eye will be caught by the bright colours of Eteaket tearooms. A huge choice of teas (though if I am honest, I just like ordinary tea…) and some cakes and sandwiches, including gluten free bread and often a cake or two, this is a nice place for a good chat with friends.

41 Frederick Street
EH2 1EP –
0131 226 2982

Wellington Coffee

This tiny place on the corner of Hanover Street and George Street does some of the best coffee in Edinburgh. There is often a gluten free cake option, though they are close to the non-GF, so beware. But it is a great little place with a buzz and the tables spill out into the outside, so you might be lucky to get a seat, but don’t count on it!

33A George Street
0131 225 6854

Caffeine Drip

A busy place at the West End of the New Town and with great quality coffee and, of course, good cakes! There are good choices for gluten free eaters, including sandwiches, paninis and bagels, plus there is a wide range of vegan options too, if you are on the search. I just reviewed it here

10 Melville Place
EH3 7PR –


As a wholefood store and restaurant, there are good gluten free options, though it is all crammed into the buffet, so watch carefully. Upstairs is a little takeaway/deli which stocks GF biscuits and gluten free meals. Round the corner is a more formal restaurant.

94 Hanover St
EH2 1DR –
0131 225 2131

Café Portrait

Edinburgh’s art galleries have lovely cafes within them, making a destination in themselves. As well as the two modern art galleries on Belford Road (see Worth a Detour section), Heritage Portfolio also runs the café in the Portrait Gallery on Queen Street. These people cater for gluten free dining well and there are always good options and extremely good gluten free cakes. Lemon Polenta Cake, scones and superb salads, there is a great choice. You can drop by for morning coffee, a delightful lunch or a sumptuous afternoon tea (book in advance if you want GF and you won’t regret it). Café Portrait is where Edinburgh’s New Town residents call by for coffee and chat, so the people watching is good.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery
1 Queen Street, EH2 1JD
0131 624 6421


Another little bit of gluten free heaven can be found at Loudon’s café. Cakes, bread, pastries – it is all here and all delicious and gluten free. I had a superb quiche last time I was here. You can buy one of the GF loaves to take away – a lovely crumbly, scone-like bread. Great for a leisurely breakfast, coffee or lunch. I was blown away by the choice when I went in! Naturally, I then reviewed Loudons:

94B Fountainbridge
EH3 9QA –
0131 228 9774

Artisan Roast

Great coffee and ALL cakes are gluten free! There are three Artisan Roast cafes: two in the New Town fringes and one in Bruntsfield (a southern district, just across the Meadows and great area for pottering around shops and cafes) With good quality food and service, these cafes are definitely worth a detour.

57 Broughton Street / 138 Bruntsfield Place / 100a Raeburn Place

Cuckoo’s Bakery

In my year of gluten free eating, I have tried quite a few cakes around Edinburgh – and in my opinion, the cakes at Cuckoo’s Bakery are undoubtedly the best gluten free cakes in Edinburgh. You would not know the difference from ‘normal’ ones and the flavours and styles are innovative and just beautiful. I really love these two shops: the bespoke crockery, the decor and the friendliest welcome, make them totally worth a detour. The cakes come in lovely boxes too, so make a great gift for a gluten free friend!

150 Dundas Street / 116 Brunstsfield Place