Last week I gave you my list of coffee and cake serving cafes I’ve found to be good for taking small (i.e. not highchairable yet) babies in a pushchair in. Today’s list is places that serve food. Of course, it’s not a cut and dried division, most the places I’m talking about today would be happy to have you for coffee and cake, and many of the cafés from last week serve savoury food as well.
Joseph Pearces. This is one of four Swedish themed pubs, and probably the single most popular meet up place for ante natal groups (at least on the leith side of town. We used to live just round the corner from it. Anyway, I digress). There’s a huge area (probably about half the pub) for kids/parents until 5pm every day. They have a microwave, plastic crockery, and a big play area and buggy space. I went there one time with the other baby massage mums and there was about ten buggies parked (though that was a bit ridiculous, it’s not always this bad)! The food is vaguely swedish themed (meatballs, herring etc) and pretty healthy. there’s cooked meals, sandwiches, omelettes and salads, but no chips! Also, amazingly good value weekday lunch: i often have the mushrooms on toast, with a drink AND a coffee for £3.50!
23 Elm Row * website
Hemma. This is the other of the Swedish pubs that is child friendly. Unlike the other three, which are old traditional pubs, this is a modern building, it’s very light and kind of has a living room feel. Same daytime kids corner idea as Pearce’s, and similar menu. The clientele is less mama-based than JP, there’s always plenty of people from the Parliament and the nearby offices having lunch. I often go there after a walk in Holyrood Park.
75 Holyrood Road * website
Porto and Fi on the Mound. This is where I’ve met up a few times with out of towners who wanted to stay really central. Right between the Royal Mile and Princes Street, does burgers, quiches etc and also a few more bistro-ey things. Plenty of space between tables, which is unusual in this part of town and lovely staff.
9 North Bank Street, EH1 2LP * website
Earthy Foods. This is a café attached to a large wholefoods/organic veg shop. It does super nice (though pretty pricey) salads, sandwiches and quiches (also great cake selection). Blocky, park bench style tables that you can easily slot a buggy next to on both ends. They’ve also just opened a lovely back garden full of the plants they also sell, I think it might be a summer only thing.
33-41 Ratcliffe Terrace, EH9 1SX * website
Woodland Creatures on Leith Walk. This used to be a pretty dodgy Leith pub, and it still doesn’t look too inspiring from the outside, as they’ve kept the tiny windows. Inside it’s a whole different story though, it’s been gutted and refitted completely, with lots of wood, exposed bricks, etc. The explicitly market themselves as child and dog friendly. The food is really good value and there’s loads of vegan stuff, which is not that common (that does mean margarine in the mashed potato which makes me sad. I’d rather have nothing if I can’t have butter). They also have a miniscule ‘secret’ garden/outside space you get in through a wardrobe. Wouldn’t be able to get in with a buggy of course…
260–262 Leith Walk, EH6 5EL * facebook page
The Water of Leith Bistro. We had our wedding lunch in there, they are amazing. Fairly small menu of things like croque monsieur, Cullen Skink etc, and only open during the day, but the chef used to work in fine dining restaurants and it shows. In actual fact, I’d advise you to forget the permanent menu and go with the excellent value daily menu, which has one meat, one fish and one veggie option. I wish I could go there every day. Cake selection also fabulous.
52 Coburg Street, EH6 6HJ * website
Café Metropole. This has got great sandwiches and light meals and excellent veggie options. Tha halloumi with roasted peppers and tzatziki sandwich is my favourite. They also a do a great Sunday lunch, it gets really busy then. Slightly faded art deco interior, but loads of space, great artisan roast coffee and very nice cakes.
33 Newington Road, EH9 1QR * website
Once again, please let me know any other recommendations!
Illustration by hyoin min is clickable for source