Looking for lunch in Edinburgh’s West End?

Did I tell you I work in an office now?

For five years I worked at home. I admit I loved it: the commute was 30 seconds, the dress code was casual to say the least, I didn’t have to wear shoes and lunch was always home made. but things change and now I work in an office in the West End of Edinburgh. The change is good for me in many ways and I’m having fun exploring the lunch options in my immediate area. Here are some of my favourites.

Spelt, goats cheese, butternut squash and orange salad from Soderberg.

Spelt, goats cheese, butternut squash and orange salad with parsnips and rocket from Soderberg. Filling and flavourful.

I’m not big on sandwiches. To me, a sandwich is a snack (albeit one that can be very filling indeed), and my lunch preference is ‘real’ food, maybe something warm, like soup or yesterday’s leftovers, or a good salad. If I have bread, I want either it or the filling to be excellent. Edinburgh’s West End, where I work, is densely populated with lunch places, both sit in and take away. Today, I list my favourite take away places so far. And yes, I’ve eaten and enjoyed sandwiches from these places. I expect that I’ll discover further gems as I explore. If you have a fave lunch place in the West End, let me know and I ‘ll make sure to try them out.


Peter Yard’s bakery service has a shop not far from my office. I almost exploded with excitement when I realised. Not only do they do amazing bread and baked goods (cinnamon rolls on tap) but they also do great lunch rolls, foccaccias and salad boxes. My first lunch from Söderberg was a fennel salami roll with egg, pickled fennel and a Dijon mustard. The bread was great and the filling lovely. Refraining from adding a cardamom roll or maybe a cheeky chocolate ball to my lunch is difficult, but I am proud to say that I can say no. A few weeks ago I had a spelt salad, also very good, and I am planning to try the soup before too long.

Roll: £4.50

Soderberg's fennel salami roll is great, and so is the aubergine, harissa and hummus roll.

Soderberg’s fennel salami roll is great, and so is the aubergine, harissa and hummus roll. Very, very nice indeed.

Social Bite

I tried out the Social Bite Rose Street shop a while back. The West End shop, which I can see from my window, is just as good. I have several loyalty cards since I never find one when I’m in and enjoy getting a star or a heart on them. I’m a fan of Social Bite’s soups – hearty and good – and have a special fondness for the avocado and Parmesan wrap. There are also salads, noodles and sandwiches on offer, as well as cakes and tray bakes that look really nice. I’m intrigued by the lemon drizzle cake which I think has rosemary in it.

Soup, wrap and piece of fruit (meal deal): £4.50

Patisserie Maxime

As you know, we like French bread at Edinburgh Foody, and French patisseries too. Over Easter, I sat in at Patisserie Maxime and enjoyed croque monsieur, café au lait and Paris-Brest. It was great! I’ve bought and enjoyed their macarons and, more on the topic of this post, baguettes too. Maxime’s baguette is fresh and chewy, a great container for classical fillings like ham and cheese, or terrine. Maxime’s cake is very tempting and macarons offer the chance to take away something small and luscious.

Baguette: £4.50

Patissier Maxine makes earthy, hearty terrine baguettes.`

Patissier Maxine makes earthy, hearty terrine baguettes. In the back, you can see a box of Italian licorice from Studio One. I love licorice and am delighted to have a source of it nearby.

Patisserie Maxime

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Bakery shop: 31 Queensferry Street
Edinburgh EH2

Social Bite

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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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