Here is the 2019 Edinburgh Gluten Free Fringe Guide. Based on my life in the city and on recommendations and comments I have received over the last year.
This guide is easy to print out and is, effectively a very big list of places that should be good for coeliacs and the gluten intolerant. I have to emphasise that this list is not a substitute for reviews and I have not been to them all (yet!). Obviously, there are plenty more places not included on this list, so feel free to let me know of your own finds. I update this each year, keeping in the old favourites and adding some new.
In the interests of printing, this guide is picture-free so you can print it out and keep it in your bag for when touring Edinburgh, maybe visiting us for the festival period. For more information and details, use my site which is good for searching and discovering Edinburgh’s gluten free food, with plenty of details, reviews and handy little maps (if you click through to a review, there is a map link at the bottom). Where there is a review on the site, I have put a link back to it (because then you have my word that it is good for GF). The list is based initially on geographical areas and then there are some other categories which I am always being asked about.
I hope you enjoy your visit to Edinburgh – 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 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
Also in the Grassmarket, this wee place is great to drop by for gluten free treats, coffees, breakfasts and lunch. I haven’t visited this cute place yet, but they tell me there is plenty of GF choice.
29 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2HS – opens 8.30am
Edinburgh’s science centre, Dynamic Earth is a great place to visit if you are here with children. Fun and interactive, but also educational, this visitor attraction will amaze the younger ones about how our planet was formed – there is always a lot on during the summer too. There is even an iceberg! The café is mindful of gluten free eating and there is plenty of choice for the gluten challenged. Review
Dynamic Earth Holyrood Road EH8 8AS
An Edinburgh favourite and certainly one of mine, Loudons is the gluten free eater’s true friend. The choice is endless and they take the time to make excellent food, gluten free. The guys at Loudons have opened a new café at New Waverley which is bigger and brighter than the original (which is still on Fountainbridge, see later), though just as excellent. Their signature breakfast “Benny” comes gluten free as standard. There are plenty of cakes and meals to choose from and from the minute you pick up the menu, you know this place is gluten free friendly. Review
2 Sibbald Walk, New Waverley, Edinburgh, EH8 8FT
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 – and the whole menu is gluten free. You can sit at outdoor tables to eat and the owners are super friendly.
The Green Police Box, Middle Meadow Walk
EH3 9AU – www.tupiniquim.co.uk
The Hub is a former church converted into a super venue and the International Festival box office. It also has a great café serving breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. There are good GF choices and the staff are really clued up and friendly. They have recently added GF cakes and there are plenty of delicious salads, baked potatoes and soups, this is a good place to enjoy the Festival buzz. When the sun shines, there is also a terrific outdoor terrace! Review
Castlehill EH1 2NE – www.thehub-edinburgh.co.uk
MORE OF A MEAL
A downstairs pub-style brasserie, Monteiths is a good place to try out some Scottish drink and food. Just off the Royal Mile in one of the quirky closes, it is worth seeking out, but you’ll need to book as it’s popular. Quite meat-focused and a little bit touristy, but great for gluten free and tasty food. Review
61 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1SR www.monteithsrestaurant.co.uk 0131 557 0330
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 (including the local Bellfield, which you must try) and some excellent sweet potato fries – what’s not to like?
28-30 Grassmarket EH1 2JU – www.mammas.co.uk 0131 225 6464
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
Home to some great gluten free nut brownies and a brilliant place for breakfast, Edinburgh Larder is a special sort of café. Tucked away off the Royal Mile, you’ll need a map to find it, but you’ll be glad you did! Takeaway also available.
15 Blackfriars St EH1 1NB – www.edinburghlarger.co.uk
New place, Bertie’s, is run by the clever people from the Vittoria chain. Bertie’s is a big, bustling fish and chip restaurant where you won’t go wrong. There are fully gluten free fish and chips here for you to try! All cooked in their own fryer and totally delicious, this is a good spot on a bit of a dreich Edinburgh day.
Some people say that Victoria Street is the inspiration for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley. See what you think you walk down it.
9 Victoria St, Edinburgh EH1 2HE – 0131 322 1000
Set below George IV Bridge and close to the Greyfriars Bobby statue, Divino Enoteca is an upmarket Italian restaurant that is worth seeking out. Like everywhere, it gets really busy during August, so you may need to book, but it’s worth it. I recently had a terrific evening here. Review
5 Merchant St, Edinburgh EH1 2QD – 0131 225 1770
This pub on Cockburn Street, close to the station has a good range of drinks and food, but is the only place I know of in Edinburgh where you can sit in and eat gluten free haggis. If you want to try it, this is the place to go!
48 Cockburn Street, EH1 1PB 0131 220 1297 www.arcadepub.co.uk
Makars Gourmet Mash Bar
I haven’t tried the mash bar, but their food looks wonderful and the GF choice is really good. At the time of writing, I am checking about gluten free haggis. They do delicious (and GF!) takeaway bowls.
Makars Mound, 9 North Bank Street, EH1 2LP
Makars West End, 91 Shandwick Place, EH2 4SD
WOW – WONDERFUL!
Set into a mezzanine floor of the funky G&V hotel on the Royal Mile, this is Scottish seafood at its best. Fantastic service and simply delicious food and wine. You won’t be disappointed and you probably need to book. Review
2 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1AD www.ondinerestaurant.co.uk
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 – this is a long time favourite of mine. 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. The food and ambience is an experience. 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 with plenty of GF choice
Café Milk – on Market Street and great for a quick lunch or coffee + GF cakes and treats.
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
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.
Mother India’s Café – A delicious tapas-style indian restaurant with bustling service and some really fantastic dishes. You may want to book Review
The Balmoral Hotel – I haven’t tried it, but I am told the gluten free afternoon tea is good. The restaurants are all great too – you can’t go wrong here
The Grain Store – an old Edinburgh favourite on Victoria Street, I am told the GF choice is good.
Howies – also on Victoria Street offers good quality, good value dining with a great GF range. Review
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!) and went off and built a whole other half a city on the other side of the Mound. 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. Most 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. I go here often. Review
23A Howe Street (also in the Dovecot Studios on Infirmary Street) EH3 6TF – www.leosbeanery.co.uk 0131 556 8403
On the north side of Frederick Street, 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 if you are coeliac. 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 EH2 2HN 0131 225 6854
Coffee shop on York Place, where the coffee is good and the cakes are gluten free – baked by local producer Glutteny. Definitely worth a detour if you want something other than another GF brownie.
3C York Pl, Edinburgh EH1 3EB 0131 557 3063
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
Other good cafes to stop off: Cairngorm Coffee (will make GF to order)
Di Giorgio in Cannonmills
Costa – coffee chain with GF choices
Pret – all over town, this is great place for coffee and eat-in/takeaway
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. You can book a table for lunch, but for breakfast you may have to queue – it’s popular! 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 Wee Restaurant
Up stairs from Frederick Street, this little relaxed, but excellent restaurant is worth seeking out. Scottish seasonal food and a great atmosphere. The set lunch is terrific value and the wine is good too. Review
61 Frederick Street, Edinburgh EH2 1LH – 0131 225 7983
If you are staying or visiting the New Town, this is a great little bistro for the finest gluten free food. Good service, good great GF choice and certainly worth seeking out for something special. It can get busy, despite it’s out of the way location – it’s definitely worth a detour. Review
18 Eyre Pl, Edinburgh EH3 5EP – 0131 556 0006 www.newchapterrestaurant.co.uk
At the foot of Dundas Street in the New Town, this new wine cafe has excellent food and wine and lots of delicious cheese. It is a good spot for lunch or dinner and is beginning to build up a real buzz. Review
120 Dundas St, Edinburgh EH3 5DQ – 0131 556 1911
Run by the same lovely people as manage the Colonnades, these people cater well for gluten free dining 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. There is also a great gluten free afternoon tea, if you book in advance. Review
Scottish National Portrait Gallery 1 Queen Street, EH2 1JD 0131 624 6421 www.heritageportfolio.co.uk
The Educated Flea
This place is certainly worth a visit and is in town on Broughton Street. Part of the Three Birds family (see the Three Birds restaurant in Bruntsfield and The Apiary in Newington), pretty much the whole menu is gluten free and it’s really well marked up. 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. Review
31b Broughton Street, EH1 3SB – 0131 556 0892
Although Cote is a chain, it doesn’t feel like it: great service and really extensive choice on the gluten free menu, including chips! This is a good stop for lunch or dinner, you will be relaxed about the lack of contamination – just to prove they know what they are doing, each GF meal (and I am guessing, other allergens) comes with a flag in it! Delicious salads, steaks, roast chicken and fish, plus great looking breakfasts. They have GF bread and you can even have an Eggs Benedict… Review
51 Frederick St, Edinburgh EH2 1LH www.cote-restaurants.co.uk – 0131 202 6256
The Ivy on the Square
Fairly new, alongside a run of great places in St Andrew Square, The Ivy meals are just brilliant. The service is good and the atmosphere very Edinburgh. All due care and attention and you can’t go wrong. A starter of scallops on pureed peas, just yum. Review
6 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2BD www.theivyedinburgh.com/ 0131 526 4777
In the same run of restaurants on the south side of St Andrew Square, the Refinery is a bistro bar with bustling service. Popular with locals for a cup of coffee or quick lunch, this place has a London feel about it (at least to we provincial types…) and the service is good. A pretty comprehensive gluten free menu is handed to you and you just know you are in good hands. Review
5 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2BD www.drakeandmorgan.co.uk 0333 210 0017
Upstairs on Hanover Street, The Perch has very quickly become a lunchtime favourite for me. Light lunches, luscious dinners, great service and nice wines – all at a reasonable price. You may need to book for dinner, but it is worth seeking out. In fact, so many people have asked for gluten free, that the restaurant has now launched a gluten free menu. Review
110 Hanover St, Edinburgh EH2 1DR – 0131 220 1208
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! Review
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
Another new St Andrew Square venture is very meat-focused Gaucho. Meat brought all the way from Argentina and the flight is worth it! Steaks just sizzle and the flavours leap off the plate. This is bling and you’ll pay for it, but if you want something special that is GF and delicious, give it a go. Review
If the sun is shining, sit outside and watch the world go by while enjoying an excellent GF platter of meat, cheese, oatcakes, a glass of vino and a bowl of GF chips. Review
4a St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2BD www.gauchorestaurants.com 0131 278 3410
If it is meat you are after, you can also try the Chop House restaurants in town. Good quality meat and stylish décor. Review
Dishoom is styled as a Bombay Café. You cannot book, so be ready to wait (in the great, buzzing bar with some delicious drinks, so it’s ok) and then be delighted by the choice. The black lentil is amazing, as are the potatoes. This place is always jumping, and rightly so. Review
3 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2BD www.dishoom.com
Probably one of the best fine dining restaurants in Edinburgh, my dinner at Castle Terrace was totally stunning. Having warned them in advance about being coeliac, they brought specially made canapes, puddings and amuse bouches. Amazing service, lovely atmosphere and simply divine food. Review
33-35 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2EL www.castleterracerestaurant.com 0131 229 1222
Set in an old timber store, this restaurant delights again and again. All meals come in tasting menu format and are just packed full of light food and delicious flavours. The wine is good and the place has a bit of a buzz and a lovely woodburning stove to keep things warm. Check out my review to see how beautifully the food is presented and the range of GF choice. Review
10 Lady Lawson St, Edinburgh EH3 9DS – 0131 221 1222
Six by Nico
The concept of Six by Nico is brilliant: six set courses which change every six weeks. There is a full vegetarian set menu if you don’t want the meat and fish and you can swap between them. They are totally brilliant for GF and you forget you are different as the courses keep coming and keep delighting. This is fine dining in a brasserie setting as a surprisingly good price. You may find if you are here in August that all the Edinburgh residents have already booked Six by Nico out, but it might be worth a try! Review
97 Hanover St, Edinburgh EH2 1DJ – 0131 225 5050
Chains and other places to try:
Fazenda – a new George Street eatery offering good GF choices including salads, grilled meats and even a good choice of GF puds – I haven’t tried it yet, but a helpful reader has and gives it the thumbs up :o)
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, Waverley Station
Howies – a local institution with good quality food at great prices. Good service and wide GF choice
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, Review
Dine – fine dining with a tree and excellent champagnes
Chop Chop – if chinese is your thing, this colourful place near Haymarket Station has good gluten free options. Review
The Chaumer – a new bar and café on Queen Street which tell me they have good GF – it certainly looks good, but I haven’t tried it yet
Milk & Honey – a new café, also on Queen Street which has some pretty gorgeous looking food and they also say they have good GF.
RESTAURANTS AND CAFES AROUND EDINBURGH 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!
First stop on any GF tour of Edinburgh has to be this ALL GLUTEN FREE bakery! Run by a fab couple who have brought quality, guaranteed gluten free baking to the city, this is a great place to drop by for some real baking and good food. If you are vegan or dairy free, you will also find many of the treats work for you too! The décor is fun, the service is superb and the cakes are just brilliant, often with recreated old favourites now GF. The whole café is gluten free and you can have sandwiches, salads, soup and, of course, cakes and scones. Just go for the wonder of it!
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
Also near Haymarket Station, this sandwich shop/takeaway is FULLY gluten free – Edinburgh’s first fully GF takeaway – happy days! Cakes, soups, sandwiches and salads, it is a great place to pick up some good food, safe in the knowledge it’s GF.
37 Dalry Rd, Edinburgh EH11 2BU
While passing Haymarket Station, there is also Red Box Coffee on the forecourt. This usually has a GF sandwich option, other snacks and some of the great Cobb’s cakes which are also GF.
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
(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
Passorn Thai has opened another restaurant on Hanover Street, which I am sure is as wonderful.
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 -everything I have ever eaten here (including those sumptuous GF chips) has been thrilling. You will need to book, though you can drop into the busy pub area. Really worth a detour -love it. Soon opening another restaurant in Bruntsfield. Review
1 Comely Bank Road, EH4 1DT, 0131 332 6281
The sister restaurant of the Scran and Scallie, this brasserie in Bruntsfield is a good spot for a delicious lunch or dinner. It is also terrific for gluten free and the service is fantastic. You will not be disappointed! Review
14 – 17 Bruntsfield Pl, Edinburgh EH10 4HN – 0131 342 3333
A great little fine dining restaurant in Stockbridge and definitely worth a detour. Set lunch is good value, food is seasonal and Scottish and the service is relaxed and friendly. Review
1-3 Raeburn Pl, Edinburgh EH4 1HU, 0131 332 9977
Another little bit of gluten free heaven can be found at Loudon’s café. There are now two to choose from, since a new one opened close to Waverley Station in the Old Town.
The original café is a short walk from Lothian Road. 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
94B Fountainbridge EH3 9QA – www.loudons-cafe.co.uk 0131 228 9774
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. Everything is just DELICIOUS too!
7 Barony Street, EH3 6PD
Great GF sushi to take away. Out of town a bit, in Newington, but they deliver centrally and there is a WHOLE GF menu!
On the corner of Coburg Street in Leith is a 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 Review
Sheep Heid Inn – Duddingston Village, across Holyrood Park – homely pub with super food – Review
I always enjoy a trip to Portobello, particularly I now have a dog. It’s a brilliant place for an accessible beach wander and outdoor/seafront dining. It’s a short bus ride out of Ednburgh and has the charm of a faded victorian seaside town – it’s a bit 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. Another great place on the front for gluten free is Miro’s at the foot of Bath Street. A lovely brunch spot with tables outside and treats include a GF breakfast baguette, steak baguette and chips and some delicious looking, well covered GF cakes.
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
Check out my 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. Also 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.
Honeycomb & Co
An extremely good reason to go to Bruntsfield is to visit Honeycomb: its newest eatery. Fresh salads, fish, lunches and breakfasts, this place cooks everything from scratch and does it well. Puddings and cakes are gorgeous and they also have the delicious Bellfield GF beer. Review
1 Merchiston Pl, Edinburgh EH10 4NP www.honeycombandco.com
A popular brasserie in Bruntsfield with good quality food. They offer a good range of GF choices and as a quality focused place, much of the menu is naturally gluten free. Thanks to another kind reader who has tested out the Apartment
7-13 Barclay Place EH10 4HW www.apartmentrestaurant.com
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. NB, these are brilliant pizzas, but I have heard tales of contamination from using the same pizza stones. If you are coeliac, it is best avoided. I haven’t had a problem, but it sounds like they are sometimes a little careless….
NKD Pizza – very gluten free pizzas delivered. All baked in a separate part of the kitchen and really delicious GUARANTEED GLUTEN FREE and delivered. hooray. 0131 357 1653 Review
St Andrews Brewing Company, Potterow – nice pub with food. They serve the local GF brew, Bellfield + have GF options on the meals.
Di Giorgio, Cannonmills – great little local café/restaurant with good gluten free meals Review
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
Punjabi Junction – Leith. Curry café with great gluten free choices
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 and a gluten free pre-packaged cakes, but they cannot guarantee no contamination, so not a lunch destination
Water of Leith Cafe Bistro – close to the Botanics and with tons of choice and brilliant service. Worth seeking out – Review
The Little Chartroom – a new place in Leith which I haven’t yet tried, but am told it is good for GF
The Lodge Coffee House, Morningside – at the end of the Hermitage, they have great GF cakes and scones and it’s a good place after a walk. Review
Swanston Brasserie – beyond the bypass and set just below the Pentland Hills, this brasserie is part of the golf club. Not yet reviewed, but they have an extensive GF menu – looks good!
The Safari Lounge – in the Meadowbank area, this pub serves local Bellfield GF beer and a huge gluten free menu of goodies, including fish & chips and even chicken nuggets! Review
THE BEST PLACES FOR GLUTEN FREE BREAKFAST
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:
Breakfast at Dishoom is fast becoming a local’s favourite. For those who can eat them, the stuffed naans are exceptional, but there are other choices for GF. Fried eggs, fruit and yoghurt or a Bombay omelette.
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
2 Sibbald Walk, New Waverley, Edinburgh, EH8 8FT
94B Fountainbridge 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. 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! Review
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 Bow EH1 2JP – www.hulajuicebar.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
Pick up a chia seed pot or bowl of gluten free porridge – all delicious and largely vegan too. Opens 9am. Review
16 Grassmarket EH1 2HS
The Pret chain is upping its gluten free labelling, which is great. The breakfast options such as muesili, porridge and bowls of yoghurt and granola, are marked as GF. Some open 7am, others 8am
Hanover Street, Castle Street, Shandwick Place, North Bridge, Waverley Station
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 and other goodies.
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
Cote Brasserie – opens 8 am weekdays, 9 am weekends. Great GF breakfast choice – you can even have Eggs Benedict on GF bread. Review
GLUTEN FREE FISH AND CHIPS
If you want to try the great British favourite of fish & chips, but you need to know they are gluten free, here are some places around town that do them with a separate fryer. I have to say, I have only tried the ones at Safari Lounge, but others come recommended.
City Restaurant – 35 Nicolson St, Edinburgh EH8 9BE
The Chip Inn – 234 Oxgangs Terrace, Edinburgh EH13 9BQ (a long way out of town)
Scran & Scallie and Southside Scran (above)
St Andrews – 280-284 Portobello High St, Edinburgh EH15 2AT (in the Portobello suburb)
Bertie’s Fish & Chips – 9 Victoria St, Edinburgh EH1 2HE
A Room in Leith – 1A Dock Pl, Edinburgh EH6 6LU
Safari Lounge – 21 Cadzow Place, Edinburgh EH7 5SN
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). For the best choice near town, try the Tesco in Cannonmills – it has a huge free from aisle.
Real Foods: Brougham Place, Tolcross; Broughton Street. An utter joy! Lots of lovely GF treats including breads, granolas, cereal, biscuits and wholefoods too Review
Holland & Barrett: Rose Street; Princes Street (has a big range); Cameron Toll
Other places to try:
Sugar Daddy’s in Cannonmills/Bruntsfield – cakes and bread – oh yum!
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 (recently Archipelago has indicated they are uneasy selling the bread to coeliacs …)
181 Deli in Bruntsfield has a good range and also sells the Wheat Free Bakery Direct 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. Review
BUYING GLUTEN FREE BREAD
These shops sell good quality gluten free bread (ie not the supermarket stuff!). They are all listed elsewhere in this guide, so seek them out or buy some bread while you are wandering past:
Real Foods Broughton St / Brougham St
Edinburgh Farmers’ Market – Saturday morning on Castle Terrace
or try online for a delivery at: www.wheatfreebakerydirect.com