Travellers are introduced to a whole new breakfast vernacular in Scotland. Butteries, tattie scones, square sausage and haggis are national morning delicacies. Edinburgh’s hipster eateries and cafes provide plenty of vegan and gluten-free alternatives, with regional organic and climate-friendly products featuring heavily on breakfast menus.
The city promises scrumptious feasts for a range of budgets and tastes. Speedy refuels, hearty fry ups and leisurely boozy brunches are all part of the Auld Reekie epicurean experience. It’s the most important meal of the day, so make it memorable. Here are the top places to enjoy authentic Scottish breakfasts across the capital.
With an unassuming frontage just off the buzzing Leith Walk, Word of Mouth Cafe is a locally renowned gem. This hip, urban neighbourhood cafe serves great value, tasty food in understated style. There’s an earthy steampunk vibe, with funky tunes, friendly staff and an animated ambience. Seating is limited in the compact venue, with a few pavement tables in addition to the indoor ones. A substantial full Scottish is affordable and served all day long.
This converted waterside warehouse in Leith has a cosy, traditional feel and a large al fresco terrace. ‘Teuchter’ is a wry word used to describe a Highlander and gives a clue to the uber-Scottish theme at this local chain. Try Aberdeen butteries (Scotland’s answer to the croissant) with Newhaven smoked salmon, David Stoddart’s organic eggs, Stornoway black pudding and Ayrshire bacon. Or opt for a bowl of house kedgeree risotto washed down with a fiery Bloody Scotsman made with Sheepdip Whisky.
BBL, as it’s more commonly known, is a modern cafe on The Pleasance – an area that’s a hive of Fringe Festival activity in August and student land for the rest of the year. The decade-old eatery serves great-value Scottish rolls and fry-ups complete with haggis, Lorne (square) sausage and tattie scones. The cafe’s owner, Mandy White, launched signature vegan versions of these national specialities which have proved immensely popular.
Take the healthy route and indulge in another Scots’ breakfast staple, porridge. Brochan is a contemporary hand-rolled oats and grains cafe in the hip young neighbourhood of Marchmont, just a short stroll from the centre. Refined sugar is off the menu, but porridge bowls are made using ingredients such as high-quality honey, cacao, coconut cream, nut butter, creme fraiche and bee pollen – with flavours like sweet banoffee, pear crumble and lemon meringue pie. Porridge and grain bowls cost between £5 and £8.