Earthy: have lunch, get your shopping

Dunsyre blue and grilled vegetables sandwich at Yum

Dunsyre blue and grilled vegetables sandwich at Yum

Edinburgh foodies know about Earthy. I knew about it too, I just hadn’t been there until last weekend. Last weekend a friend took me to Earthy for a pudding tasting. (What else are weekends for, if not pudding tastings?) We tasted Burtree Puddings puddings, shopped for those things you can’t find in the local supermarket and finished the visit off with lunch at the in-store café, Yum. And what a lunch that was.

Earthy is a shop, a farm shop in the city. It is tucked away in Newington, a couple of blocks down from the National Library. It was a glorious, sunny day that we went to Earthy, the sun blasting the life-size model of a cow outside the shop and making the parking lot look quite cheery. On the outside, Earthy looks like a large shed, an over-sized garage. On the inside, it is more like Alibaba’s cave, full of edible (and imbibable) treasures.

I was delighted to find a jar of Baharat Spice Blend from Trees Can’t Dance. I love this stuff. It is perfect with lamb and adds great flavour to popcorn. Yup. Popcorn. I’m not a great fan but with this spice blend on them, those papery exploded kernels of corn become really tasty.

Lunch at Yum

Earthy’s café, Yum, has seating spaces in the shop, or down stairs. Upstairs the seating is wooden tables and chairs, down stairs there’s a selection of tables and sofas. Sofa’s aren’t the most convenient for eating in, but very comfortable. We learned this. It’s useful to know.

The Earthy salad bowl is a bowl and a half.

The Earthy salad bowl is a bowl and a half.

I had the Earthy salad bowl. It combined cold soba noodles with pomegranate seeds and olive oil, roast butternut squash, green salad and a bunch of other things, soft and crunchy. It was good and filling. And it turned me on to cold soba noodles. I’m not usually a cold pasta kind of girl: pasta salads leave me cold and clammy. But this worked.

My colleagues-in-shopping tried the burger, a Dunsyre Blue and vegetable sandwich and a rather delectable brie melt that used kale for greens. We were all surprised that the kale was tasty since we all like it but have had kale cooking nightmares. It reacts much better than we thought to the simple process of being heated gently between two hot steel plates. It’s nice to get a proper green vegetable in a panini.

I really enjoyed Earthy and hope to go back another Saturday for more home-made, plentiful and tasty lunches. And I want another look at the cakes…

Update May 2011: It’s all change – in a good way – as Earthy has re-structured the floor space to open up the downstairs as a dedicated café. The space upstairs where the café used to be is now a butchers. Yum has more seats, the kitchen closer to the customers and more delicious cakes than ever.

Update July 2013: More change! Earthy’s market café is so popular, they had to expand the space. In the summer, you can sit outside at the back, where tables are surrounded by plants and flowers. The food is still brilliant – I love the tarts, whatever they are, and the salad bowls are just wonderful.


Shop and Market Café
33-41 Ratcliffe Terrace
Edinburgh, Midlothian EH9 1SX
Tel: 0131 667 2967

Shop, deli, café
1-6 Canonmills Bridge
Tel: 0131 556 9696

19 Windsor Place
EH15 2AJ
Tel: 0131 344 7930

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About Caroline von Schmalensee

Cooking, eating and drinking is fun as well as necessary. I do food for fun and I write for a living. Good food makes the world a more delicious and satisfying place. Good writing, meanwhile, can make the world a less confusing place.


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