WHETHER YOU’VE SPENT the previous night stumbling down Rose Street, swanning around George Street or staggering down to the Grassmarket, chances are that come Sunday morning there will be one thought on your mind – food. And lots of it.
Luckily, Edinburgh will deliver cozy pubs, good, strong coffee, log fires and roast lunches that make you feel like you’re back at home again, being looked after by Mum. Here’s some of the best.
Snax, 118 Buccleuch Street, Newington
Strong, strong coffee is the first thing that hits you as you walk into this little cafe just off the Meadows. The second is the hand-written menu on a chalk board above the counter which gives you the following options; the big breakfast, bigger breakfast or, for those feeling brave and strong stomached, the biggest breakfast. All are served with a huge mug of something sugary and caffeinated.
The chatty, friendly staff are content to pass the morning laughing at each other’s self inflicted hungover pain and a good listener will hear quite a few stories from the night before. Big wooden tables and chairs and free papers make you feel like you’re having breakfast in your own kitchen.
Look out for: Those still wearing their tuxedos.
The Sheep Heid Inn, 43-45 The Causeway, Duddingston
The Sheep Heid is in the pretty little village of Duddingston, just behind Arthurs Seat. They pride themselves on the fact that they have fed and watered people here for 600 years and continue doing so today.
The home-made burger, locally sourced sausage and mash, and traditional haggis with neeps and tatties are good choices, all served in generous portions. The Traditional Sunday Roast starts with an enormous Yorkshire pudding with everything else piled on top until the plate is almost overflowing. Not surprisingly, the roast is always in high demand and runs out quickly, so book ahead if possible.
Look out for: The old fashioned skittles alley in the back room is a great way to waste away an afternoon.
The Links, 4 Alvanley Terrace, Bruntsfield
The Links will sort out a male hangover, with huge, cheap burgers served under equally large wide screen TV’s showing the weekend’s rugby and football matches. Sink into a sofa or huddle around one of the wooden tables and work out what happened the night before. There’s also a 9 hole pitch and putt course just outside on the Links.
Look out for: Girls. They’re pretty hard to spot here on a Sunday in this testosterone filled environment.
56 North, 2-8 West Crosscauseway, Newington
Whilst the Links is helping out the boys, 56 North deals with the girls. The modern, stylish interior has comfy booths, sofas covered in big cushions and low seats to curl up on whilst the food is reasonably priced and a bit more healthy than the usual hangover stodge.
The flatbreads are covered in salad, then topped with a variety of meats, cheeses and dressings. The bacon and cheese topped wedges served with sweet chilli sauce and sour cream make an indulgent Sunday lunch side dish to anything you are having.
Look out for: Moustaches in November. The staff support the Movember campaign that raises awareness for men’s health and there are some quite impressive displays of facial hair by the end of the month.
The Cambridge Bar, 20 Young Street, New Town
Although there is lots of competition, this is arguably Edinburgh’s best independent gourmet burger pub. They use only homemade and locally sourced ingredients for their burgers, toppings and relishes. There’s a wide and varied range of additional extras, including pineapple and guacamole to help you create your fantasy gourmet burger. The most expensive is £8.50 so it won’t break the bank either.
Look out for: Bankers in suits. You’re in the New Town now, daaarling.
Caffe Lucano, 37 George IV Bridge, Old Town
Skip dessert and come here for half price cakes after 3pm and proper Italian coffee. This traditional little cafe is simply decorated with a counter filled with everything a sweet tooth desires and the high bar seating along the window is a great spot for people watching.
Look out for: Harry Potter’s birthplace. J K Rowling started writing in The Elephant House; another cafe just across the road which is now usually filled with other budding writers scribbling away.