Find the best gluten free food in Edinburgh
The local knowledge …
Do you want to find the best gluten free cafes and restaurants in Edinburgh? I live here and know the great little places you can seek out while staying in the city.
This gluten free fringe guide is designed for you to print out and take with you on your visit to Edinburgh. For more information and details, use my site which is good for searching and discovering Edinburgh’s gluten free food, with plenty of details and reviews. Where there is a review on the site, I have put a link back to it. I hope you enjoy your visit – and do let me know of any great finds: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hula Juice Bar
The Grassmarket is a great location for gluten free. Try the buzzing Hula Juice Bar, which is a terrific little spot and caters well for allergies. They serve some of the best gluten free breakfasts in Edinburgh. Opens 8 am! Review
103-105 West Bow
EH1 2JP – www.hulajuicebar.co.uk
0131 220 1211
Another Grassmarket favourite, Pumpkin Brown is a new café/coffee place, serving vegan, free-from and just delicious takeaway and eat in food. Gorgeous place and people! read here
EH2 2HS – www.pumpkinbrown.com
While not strictly in the Old Town and a bit of a hike from the Royal Mile, this little police box turned into a food outlet, is definitely worth a detour. Brazilian inspired savoury and sweet wraps and crepes. You can sit at outdoor tables to eat.
The Green Police Box, Middle Meadow Walk
EH3 9AU – www.tupiniquim.co.uk
MORE OF A MEAL
David Bann is Edinburgh’s best vegetarian restaurant, delighting vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters alike. Fine dining in a lovely relaxed couple of rooms, without the flounce. Great gluten free choices – you will need to book. Review
56-58 St Mary’s Street
EH1 1SX – www.davidbann.com
0131 556 5888
Mamma’s is a bit of an Edinburgh institution: well packed tables, well priced and speedy service. Italian pizza, gluten free beers – what’s not to like?
I love this place! A little Italian restaurant on a quiet street. Tables outside, lots of good gluten free and wonderful service. The pasta comes with a gluten free option and all the cakes are gluten free! Review
61 Cockburn Street
EH1 1BS – @lalocanda61
0131 622 7447
Set inside the five star Scotch Whisky Experience, Amber is a must for visitors as the menu offers a true taste of Scottish quality food. You can also drop by for coffee (or a dram!) or a quick whisky tasting. Just down from the Castle, this is a good place to learn more about Scotland’s food and drink.
EH1 2NE – www.amber-restaurant.co.uk
0131 477 8477
WOW – WONDERFUL!
Angels with Bagpipes
A really lovely top-of-the-range restaurant on the Royal Mile, right opposite Parliament Square, Angels with Bagpipes is a real treat. They cater really well for dietary requirements and much of the food is naturally gluten free. Review
343 High Street, Royal Mile
EH1 1PW – www.angelswithbagpipes.co.uk
0131 220 1111
This delightful small restaurant on Canongate really is in the top league and is a terrific place for a lovely dinner or the good value set lunch. Most of the food is gluten free and they will bring you your own bread and dipping oil. Marvellous. Review
267 Canongate, Royal Mile
EH8 8BQ – www.wedgewoodtherestaurant.co.uk
Colonnades, Signet Library
If you are after THE most glamorous setting for a light lunch or sumptuous afternoon tea, this is the place for it. Formerly a law library and still packed with old books, lots of gold leaf, pillars and oil paintings, this is an Edinburgh institution. Tea is seriously impressive and is undoubtedly the finest fully gluten free afternoon tea you will find in Edinburgh and Scotland. Make sure you book and drink champagne! Review
Parliament Square, Royal Mile
EH1 1RF – www.thesignetlibrary.co.uk
0131 226 1064
Chains and other places to try:
Zizzi’s – 1 Roxburghe Court, EH1 1PG + elsewhere in town – good Italian chain
Pizza Express – George IV Bridge / North Bridge + elsewhere – great GF pizza!
Costa – Royal Mile / North Bridge – good coffee chain, GF cake option + GF sandwich
The Elephant House – George IV Bridge – ‘The birthplace of Harry Potter’ – good selection of foods (do not be tempted by the place next door!)
Vittoria – George IV Bridge – good Italian
Divino Enoteca – Merchant Street beneath Vittoria– very good quality Italian
Under the Stairs – quirky bar, good for evening drinks
Nandos – this really is not my thing, but they tell me that much of the menu and the fries (hooray!) are gluten free. So if you want to fill your GF teenagers (mine love it), it might be worth a try – but don’t blame me!
Mother India’s Café – and actually most Indian food is pretty much gluten free
TOWN CENTRE / NEW TOWN
Edinburgh is divided very distinctly into the Old Town and the New Town, from the days when the city’s finest had had enough of the Old Town stench (now gone!). By Town Centre, I mean the area of the New Town around Princes Street, George Street and anything as far north as Queen Street.
CAFÉ / BUDGET
This is a delightful café and teashop area so there are quite a few to choose from. They are not all GF friendly, but here are some good ones:
There are two Cuckoo’s – in the New Town on Dundas Street and in Bruntsfield. They make the most amazing cakes and the gluten free ones are the best I have had. Good for a light lunch and then cake, lots of cake. Review
150 Dundas Street, EH3 5DQ – 0131 556 6224
116 Bruntsfield Place
This terrific cafe is a great spot for lunch, breakfast or just to drop by. All cakes are gluten free! 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. Review
23A Howe Street
EH3 6TF – www.leosbeanery.co.uk
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 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 – www.eteaket.co.uk
0131 226 2982
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
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, including breakfast. Review
10 Melville Place
EH3 7PR – www.thecaffeinedrip.co.uk
A canteen style veggie eatery which feels like a 70s throwback, but which serves good wholesome food in large portions, Henderson’s is a good stop-off for filling up on gluten free food Upstairs is a little takeaway/deli which stocks GF biscuits and gluten free meals.
94 Hanover St
EH2 1DR – www.hendersonsofedinburgh.co.uk
0131 225 2131
MORE OF A MEAL
At the corner of Hanover Street and Queen Street, this is one of the best gluten free restaurants in the city and really is worth a visit (if you can get a table!). Friendly service and a superb range of cakes, breads and meals – pretty much all gluten free –this is a good spot for breakfast or lunch. Review
121 Hanover St
EH2 1DJ – www.urban-angel.co.uk
0131 225 6215
On the corner of St Andrew Square, this is a good and trendy Italian with lots of gluten free options including pasta, risotto etc.
12-13 St Andrew Square
EH2 2AF – www.amaronerestaurant.co.uk
0131 523 1171
Contini / The Scottish Café and Restaurant
The Contini chain is great. Their menus are clearly marked with GF symbols, the food is good and the service is excellent.
Contini Cannonball: 356 Castlehill, beside the Castle – 0131 225 1550
Contini Restorante: 103 George Street, EH2 3ES – 0131 225 1550
The Scottish Café is in Princes Street Gardens beneath the Art Galleries at the foot of the Mound. EH2 2EL – 0131 225 1550
The Roamin’ Nose
If you are staying or visiting the New Town, this is a great little bistro for the finest gluten free food. Good service, good cakes and certainly worth seeking out for something special. I often review it because I love it.
14 Eyre Pl, Edinburgh EH3 5EP – 0131 629 3135
These people cater for gluten free dining well and there are always good options and extremely good gluten free cakes. You can enjoy some people watching here too, as it is where Edinburgh’s New Town residents like to meet for chat.
Scottish National Portrait Gallery
1 Queen Street, EH2 1JD
0131 624 6421
The Educated Flea
New, and certainly worth a visit, is the Educated Flea on Broughton Street. Part of the Three Birds family (see restaurant in Bruntsfield and The Apiary in Newington), the menu is gluten free unless it says it is not. These places really get GF eating and the food is delicious, while the vibe is relaxed. You may need to book, and it is worth seeking out.
31b Broughton Street, EH1 3SB – 0131 556 0892
WOW – WONDERFUL!
Harvey Nichols Forth Floor Restaurant
Harvey Nichols is a designer store which is recognised the world over for its stylish shopping. At the top of the store is a great five star brasserie and restaurant with a terrace looking out over the city. Very glamorous and they cater well for the gluten free diner. Definitely worth it!
There is also a Yo Sushi bar here, which is also good for gluten free.
30-34 St Andrew Square
EH2 2AD – www.harveynichols.com
One of Edinburgh’s finest chefs, Mark Greenway produces consistently good food. At the top of the tree, gluten free diners will be well catered for. Be prepared to pay… unless you go for the good value set lunch.
69 North Castle Street
EH2 3LJ – www.markgreenway.com
0131 226 1155
Chains and other places to try:
Café St Honore – an Edinburgh institution serving French/Scottish food – Thistle Street Lane
Pret – a good high street great quality fast food chain with soups and salads. Their GF choice is brilliant and there is a good choice of GF breakfasts: Castle St, Hanover St, Shandwick Place
Iris– a cute little restaurant on Thistle Street that is thoughtful towards food allergies
Mussel Inn – you won’t get any bread, but the Mussels are good
Costa – a nice Costa with wonderful views of the Castle at the corner of Hanover Street and Princes Street. They will have a GF wrap and one or two cakes
Gusto – good mid-range Italian with good GF options – review
Zizzi – Italian chain in Ocean Terminal Leith, Queensferry St and Roxburghe Court
Castle Terrace – five star wonders
Timberyard – award winning dining in interesting surroundings with a good vibe
The Huxley – Hotel-based restaurant at the West End with a new and extensive gluten free menu
Chop Chop – if chinese is your thing, this colourful place near Haymarket Station has good gluten free options. Review
RESTAURANTS AND CAFES WORTH A DETOUR
Edinburgh doesn’t fall neatly into Old Town/New Town and on the fringes of these there are some brilliant places worth a taxi ride or good walk to reach. If they are mentioned below it is because they are worth the effort!
Halfway down Leith Walk is the bustling and really friendly, Origano. They make one of the best gluten free pizzas I have had – big and crispy and very tasty. Gets busy at the weekend. Review
236 Leith Walk, EH6 8PD
0131 554 6639
Opposite Haymarket Station is a great little place which is fully gluten free, vegan and free of refined sugar. Cakes, sandwiches, hot health boxes. Great place for breakfast. Opens 8 am
16 Clifton Terrace, EH12 5JZ – 0131 337 3599
Oh goodness me, this place is wonderful! The most kindly and beautiful service you will ever receive, delivering the most delicious and well presented food you will ever taste and see. A meal here is an utter treat. Slightly off the tourist beaten track as it is in Tollcross, beside the Meadows, but you will be so glad you went. Review
Passorn Thai has opened another restaurant on Hanover Street, which I am sure is as wonderful.
(Good to know, it is opposite Real Foods on Brougham St – one of the best places to buy gluten free food in Edinburgh. See my shopping section!)
23-23a Brougham Place
EH3 9JU – www.passornthai.com
0131 229 1537
Scran and Scallie
A fantastic pub/restaurant that serves excellent quality food in relaxed surroundings. Packed full of gluten free options, you will be spoilt for choice. You will need to book, though you can drop into the busy pub area. Really worth a detour -love it. Review
1 Comely Bank Road, EH4 1DT, 0131 332 6281
Another little bit of gluten free heaven can be found at Loudon’s café, a short walk from Lothian Road, but a bit more of a walk from the Old Town. Again, this is a journey worth making as Loudon’s almost has more gluten free food than not. Cakes, bread, pastries – it is all here and all delicious. Good for breakfast – and you can take a loaf of their homemade GF bread away. Review
EH3 9QA – www.loudons-cafe.co.uk
0131 228 9774
Leo and Ted
If you are heading out of town, then Leo and Ted is a good spot in the Tollcross area. Sister (brother?) to Leo’s Beanery, the coffee is good and cakes all gluten free. Nice décor. There is also another branch in the Dovecot Studios – close to the Festival Theatre, Museum etc
Leo and Ted – 36 Leven Street EH3 9LJ
Leo’s at the Dovecot– 10 Infirmary Street EH1 1LT
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 – see below) With good quality food and service, these cafes are definitely worth a detour.
57 Broughton Street / 138 Bruntsfield Place / 100a Raeburn Place
If you are in the Broughton Street area, look no further than the small Broughton Deli, just around the corner on Barony Street. Lots of gluten free options, all local and seasonal, this is a great place for a quick lunch.
7 Barony Street, EH3 6PD
This craft beer and curry bar is definitely worth seeking out. They serve gluten free beers, including local Bellfield Brewery, and the focus is on small sharing plates. The food is largely gluten free, as with much Indian, and really high quality – just don’t let your friends dip that nan bread….
60 Henderson Street, Leith EH6 6DE – 0131 563 5293
On the corner of Coburg Street in Leith is a new cafe called Ostara. There are great gluten free choices, plus GF bread available too. Breakfasts include rosti with poached egg, spinach and mushrooms and food is locally and seasonally sourced. Let me know if you go as I have heard it is terrific, but just not tried it myself yet….
52 Coburg Street, Leith, EH6 6HJ – 0131 261 5441
This funky tex mex diner in St Patrick Square is a bit of a walk from the Royal Mile, but close to much of the Fringe activity. The menu is pretty much gluten free so long as you avoid the flour tortillas – and there is plenty of choice. Nachos, Tacos and chilli bowls – what’s not to love? And you can order a Daura gluten free beer on the side too!
44-45 St Patrick Square – EH8 9ET – 0131 629 2722
The Three Birds
This little local restaurant in Bruntsfield deserves a detour simply for the delight of a menu that marks things that are NOT gluten free! The chips (oh yes, gluten free!) come in paper bags and boards piled with meat and seafish add to the fun and friendly dining. It is really hard to get into this restaurant, so book ahead. Though the newer, sister restaurants, The Apiary and The Educated Flea, are bigger and have the same ethos, so try one of those too or if you cannot get into the Three Birds. Review
The Three Birds: 3-5 Viewforth EH10 4JD – www.threebirds.co.uk
0131 229 3252
The Apiary: 33 Newington Street EH9 1QR – www.apiaryrestaurant.co.uk
0131 668 4999
The Educated Flea: 31B Broughton Street, EH1 3SB – 0131 556 0892 – www.educatedflea.co.uk
This is my wild card gluten free Fringe choice! Four miles outside Edinburgh you will find the faded victorian seaside town of Portobello – it’s like being on holiday. You can either go to the Beach House Café where you will LOVE the gluten free cake cabinet, or further along the prom, you will find the Little Green Van – which has a selection of gluten free cakes you can eat on the beach and some really friendly owners.
Also in Portobello you will find the Skylark Café – good gluten free selections and lots of gluten free beer; the Mousehole Deli; and Findlay’s Butchers – makers of gluten free haggis!
Worth an afternoon away from Festival madness? Probably. Review
I recently did a round-up of Bruntsfield, as it is a great little district for gluten free eating and shopping. There is Cuckoo’s Bakery, Artisan Cheescakes and the gorgeous Chocolate Tree for sweet treats. Two delis/cafes close to each other are Moon & Hare and 121 Deli, and for shopping, try Dig-In which has a gluten free section through the back. And, of course, the great Three Birds (above) is in this area too.
Chains and other places to try:
As above, Zizzi, Pizza Express, Costa – all have good gluten free options
Vittoria Group Italian restaurants and pizza delivery: www.vittoriagroup.co.uk (La Favorita pizzas are the best takeaway gluten free pizza I have eaten)
Di Giorgio, Cannonmills – great little local café/restaurant with good gluten free meals
Cafes in the Modern Art Galleries: Café Modern One / Café Modern Two – www.heritageportfolio.co.uk
Burger 94a Fountainbridge – Eco fast food joint w gluten free options
Sugar Daddy’s – an ALL GLUTEN FREE bakery! 5 Rodney Street, EH7 4EA (makes grand GF cakes to order, also sells cakes, breads and coffee and is also pretty vegan). Review here.
Punjabi Junction – Leith. Curry café with great gluten free choices
Oxgangs Chip Shop – gluten free fish and chips!
Leith Depot – a live venue/bar with a restaurant style menu and good GF choices
The Boardwalk Beach Hut in Cramond – tea by the sea plus a RANGE of gluten free cakes
The Firth of Froth (not a typo!). Coffee shop on Broughton Street which has GF cakes
Water of Leith Cafe Bistro – close to the Botanics and with tons of choice and brilliant service. Worth seeking out – review
BEST GLUTEN FREE BREAKFASTS
It is sometimes a great treat to go out for breakfast, but the gluten free eater can be short changed because of lack of choice. These places will serve you well:
With their homemade gluten free bread, breakfast is a great experience here. Scrambled eggs on toast, bacon, the full works, eggs benedict. Opens 8am. Review
EH3 9QA – www.loudons-cafe.co.uk
0131 228 9774
Leo’s has a good selection of cakes and does a great range of gluten free breakfasts. They have bagels, breakfast eggs and even gluten free granola with greek yoghurt and fruit compote. Try a smoked salmon bagel or poached eggs and bacon on gluten free toast. The service is really friendly and the coffee is made beautifully. Opens 8.30am. Here is my review
23A Howe Street
EH3 6TF – www.leosbeanery.co.uk
0131 556 8403
As the gluten free bread comes from the terrific Archipelago Bakery, you know this is going to be a good breakfast. Poached eggs, smoked mackerel with kale, Arbroath smokies (a bit like a kipper, but more northern). Opens 9am, so it is billed as an All Day Brunch, which is really popular!
121 Hanover St EH2 1DJ
0131 225 6215 – www.urban-angel.co.uk
Hula Juice Bar
In the Grassmarket, Hula Juice Bar has a lovely relaxed vibe about it, with some super healthy smoothies. Gluten free Granola with yoghurt and fruit is a brilliant way to kick start your sightseeing and really fills you up – love it. Opens 8am. Review
103-105 West BowEH1 2JP – www.hulajuicebar.co.uk
The Huxley – Rutland Hotel
The hotel-based restaurant has just launched a “Nae Gluten” menu – and it is a whole, proper menu! The list of breakfasts on offer is seriously impressive. Smashed avocado, kippers, eggs benedict and a full Scottish – all gluten free. This is a great breakfast spot! Opens 8am.
1 Rutland Street, – EH1 2AE – 0131 229 3402 www.thehuxley.co.uk
The Edinburgh Larder
A lovely café for breakfast, but also lunch, the Edinburgh Larder does a good hearty breakfast with healthy options. They also have gluten free options, so you are in good company here. Opens 8am (7 am during August!)
15 Blackfriars Street EH1 1NB – www.edinburghlarder.co.uk
0131 556 6922
Also has a bistro at 1A Alva Street
Pick up a chia seed pot or bowl of gluten free porridge – all delicious and largely vegan too. Opens 9am.
16 Grassmarket EH1 2HS
The Pret chain is upping its gluten free labelling, which is great. The breakfast options such as muesili and bowls of yoghurt and granola, are marked as GF. Some open 7am, others 8am
Hanover Street, Castle Street, Shandwick Place, North Bridge
Union of Genius – Forrest Road – NEW gluten free granola now served. Opens 8.30am
BBL – 65 Pleasance (opp Pleasance Courtyard) – great takeaway place, serves its own gluten free sausages
La Locanda – on Cockburn St – I am reliably informed they do a great breakfast
Broughton Deli – Barony Street. Opens 9 am, has great range of homemade breakfasts
Caffeine Drip – opens at 7.30 am during the week! Good gluten free options, see under New Town Cafes and a review here
Here are some good places for buying quality gluten free food in Edinburgh:
The supermarkets have good Free From ranges and you will find small local, or bigger stores all over town: Sainsburys, Tesco, Morrisons, Asda, Waitrose (only two Waitrose – Morningside, Comely Bank).
Real Foods: Brougham Place, Tolcross; Broughton Street
Earthy: Cannonmills; Causewayside; Portobello – also sells Findlaters GF bread
Holland & Barrett: Rose Street; Princes Street (has a big range); Cameron Toll
Other places to try:
Dig-in Bruntsfield has a selection at the back of the shop
Archipelago on Dundas Street and Loudons on Fountainbridge sell superb GF loaves to take away
121 Deli in Bruntsfield has a good range and also sells the Findlaters GF bread range
Cranachan & Crowdie on the Royal Mile (Canongate) is a wonderful place and sells a selection of quality Scottish products – including the Findlays gluten free haggis and black puddings. Recent review