As well as having the highest restaurant density in the UK, Edinburgh has no shortage of truly excellent bakeries, delis, ice cream shops and independent grocers - because as much as we’d love to, we can’t eat out for every meal. Whether you’re looking to fill the fridge or secure an enviable train picnic, we've rounded up some of the best.


There are few better ways to start your day than with a superlative pastry, and Edinburgh certainly has no shortage to choose from. Our favourite has to be the bakery at The Palmerston, open from 9am Tuesday to Sunday for bread and pastries using Wildfarmed flour and Edinburgh Butter Co. cultured butter - the daily-changing bakes fly off the counter, so we’d recommend getting in there early to avoid missing out. You’ll find Twelve Triangles dotted around the city, where the focus is on slow fermented sourdough and pastries, from the fan-favourite kimchi and cheddar swirl to baklava buns studded with pistachio nibs. There’s also Babyfaced Baker for OTT brownies, cruffins and traybakes on Leith Walk and The Bearded Baker for brilliant buns - including many a vegan option, if you’re so inclined.


Scotland’s affinity for ice cream runs deep and Edinburgh offers up some of the best. On Grassmarket, Mary’s Milk Bar is renowned for its outside-the-box flavour combinations, from gorgonzola, pear and honey to pickled bramble sorbet, while Holyrood’s Moo Pie has gained a cult following thanks to its small batch gelato and soft serve cookie sandwiches. If you’re not feeling quite brave enough for ice cream in Edinburgh’s decidedly changeable climate, head to Kilted Donut for weekly-changing flavours (also available as adorable ‘kilties’, aka doughnuts in miniature), or to city stalwart Sicilian Pastry Shop which has been serving up exceptional cannoli for over four decades.

Delis and groceries

A relative newcomer, The Bear’s Larder sits just off Holy Corner and champions small scale, independent producers across Scotland and beyond, making it our go-to for stocking fillers during the festive season (we’re looking at you, Bear Bones). Then there’s Lupe Pintos, the Mexican-Spanish deli that’s our go-to for when we want to feel like we’re kind of at Decimo and the iconic Valvona & Crolla, Scotland's oldest delicatessen and Italian wine merchant, where tumbles of fresh handmade pappardelle sit in abundance next to trays of ravioli and cappelletti. For Scottish cheese and general picnickkery, it has to be I.J Mellis, where you’d be hard pressed to leave without a wedge of Clava Brie and a couple of sausage rolls for the road.