Earlier in the year I was thinking about ‘fika’, the Swedish tradition of cake, coffee and chat, and a few places around town to enjoy. Time has passed, walks have happened, coffees have been sampled and a few more places considered.
26 Morningside Road, EH10 4DA
Wondering back from Morningside, I was tempted into Mug’s Cafe by the window full of beautiful looking cakes and biscuits. Mug’s is a long thin Cafe, with lots of seats in the back. I sat by the window, to be close to the tasty looking cakes. The other food options looked interesting with a good mix of lunch options – soups, quiches, etc. I ordered an Americano and an slice of the orange drizzle cake. The coffee was pleasant, but the star of the show was the orange cake. Orangey, zesty and delightful. And, a generous portion. I was in heaven.
I will admit to concerns about the interior when I opened the door, but the I was completely won over the friendly staff and the excellent baking. One of the best in the area.
105 Fountainbridge, EH3 9QG | Website: www.fieldworkcafe.co.uk
Fieldwork is small and busy, with walls pared back to the stone and long tables with bench seating. Fieldwork is the kind of place where sharing a table is expected but it is worth it for their superb cakes and rich refreshing coffee. I arrived mid-morning and they were already busy with people crouched over their laptops, munching on small bites and sipping coffees and hot chocolates. While the lunch offerings sounded wonderful (and looked tasty as I tried to spy on other customer’s plates), I already had lunch plans. I requested a long black and a piece of the apple cake. The coffee was full bodied with only a slight bitterness – really tasty. The apple cake was a rich sponge (not too gooey) with a good hint of cinnamon – very rich but well balanced.
Fieldwork is an excellent cafe, well worth a visit when you are in the Tolcross or Fountainbridge neighbourhood. I am already planning my return for those lunch options.
Main Street Beanery
209 Fountainbridge, EH3 9RU
While enjoying a gentle walk along the Union canal, I took a stroll down the hill to have a nosey at the the development of the new Edinburgh Printworks building. I will be downloading the summer program soon and planning a proper visit. Across the narrow street is a small cafe I had visited in the autumn and had meant to write a short note on. 209 Fountainbridge is beautiful and sympathetic conversion of lovely old building. The cafe is light and welcoming with lots of high windows and around 20 seats. The menu focused on breakfast more than coffee but there were a number tasty looking cakes. The classic breakfast options are available (smashed avocado, eggs Benedict, etc.), but I am more about the coffee. I requested a long black and a slice of gingerbread with lemon icing. I received an Americano.
This is becoming a slight miff for me. I am happy to have my order to be corrected at the counter and be told that they don’t have a long black on the menu but can offer an alternative. The coffee was on the light side with a gentle nutty taste which managed to win the battle with my mouth’s memory of mouthwash. The gingerbread was also light, really more of a sponge cake than a ginger bread, and the ginger was well balanced and the icing had a good lemon hit.
I liked Main Street Beanery. It is a light space, with a good layout and good place to enjoy a coffee and look out on the passing world. Also, they had nice cups and plates. My only gripe is that I never know when or if they are open.
166 Fountainbridge, EH3 9R | Twitter: @cafe_edinburgh
Urban Cafe is in one of the new hotels being build at Fountainbridge, surrounded by new new developments and student flats. It has a light, clean and modern feel – more in keeping with the hotel above than the usual Edinburgh coffee shop. The menu is a simple mix of coffee, tea and smoothies with quick breakfast & lunch options (paninis, etc.). I wasn’t blown away with the look of the cakes, so opted for a old school Tunnucks Tea Cake and relived childhood memories. The teacake reminded me of olden days as I fought the urge to eat in in one go. The coffee was good, it was one of the Illy range, and was therefore sweet and smooth, with a slight chocolate hint. I have mixed fellings towards Urban cafe.
As an Edinburgh local, is is not the first place I would go to in the Fountainbridge area; however, if I were a traveller to town (or one of the students from the nearby high-rises) I would find it an excellent place to get out of my room, stop for a coffee and catch up on an email or two.