Roots – warm and veggie on William Street

We were looking for somewhere to eat lunch on a chilly January Monday and found ourselves walking aimlessly around the West End. I spotted the sign for Roots and got excited: I had heard of this place, we should try it. In we went.

Avocado bagel: tasty as anything but dear at £10.

Avocado bagel: tasty as anything but dear at £10.

Roots is a relatively small lunch spot and café. It’s one of those narrow but deep units you find all over Edinburgh. We studied the cakes and salads at the front, then sat down at a table in the back. The offering is simple. Soups, salads, bagles and wraps fill you up, coffees and cakes sooth a stimulant-craving soul.

I went for the soup – parsnip – with a small salad side and Christopher decided to have an avocado bagel. My coffee was multo milky, his black as bitterness. Both of us were very happy with what we had. I’d been at home for a weekend of fancy dinners and was craving veg so the salads filled a very real need for greens and reds and lentils. The soup was warm, generously sized and soothing the way only root veg soup can be.

Vegan mango cheese cake. Totes delish.

Vegan mango cheese cake. Totes delish.

After finishing lunch, we decided to share a vegan mango cheese cake. It was very good: not too sweet, with a rich mango flavour. The base was crunchy, the topping creamy.

Service was friendly and informative, the food just what I wanted, and the coffee good – no wonder it gets busy. I have one reservation and that’s the cost of that avocado bagel. The take-away prices are reasonable, I think, but the sit in bagel retails at £10. Which we didn’t notice until the bill came. What did we learn? Make sure you look at the price of what you order. On the other hand, Roots is committed to sustainability, serve 70% vegan/vegetarian foods, sell re-usable and sustainable items such as bamboo toothbrushes, and generally try to do good. In today’s market, that still comes with a price tag.


18 William Street
Edinburgh EH3 7NH

Telephone: 0131 225 6376

Instagram: roots_edin | Twitter: @RootsEdin | Facebook: RootsEdin |

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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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