Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Guest Post: Deli-cious food spots in Edinburgh

It's been an age since I last posted, but I've decided it's time to clamber back onto the blogging wagon. I'm easing myself in very gently though and am delighted to introduce my first guest blogger - none other than my padre, Ian Sommerville, who also writes an Edinburgh food blog (and much more regularly I might add). My parents are Aberdeen-based, but have owned a flat in Edinburgh for 10 years and know their way blindfolded around the local deli spots in Tollcross and Bruntsfield. So without further ado, I'll hand over to my dad to impart some pearls of deli wisdom for the supermarket shy (please don't embarrass me).

Deli and local food shopping in Tollcross and Bruntsfield
Most visitors to Edinburgh stay around the centre and spend their time in the Old and New Towns. There are great restaurants there but if you want to shop for great food and cook for yourself, try venturing south up Lothian Road or across the Meadows to Tollcross and Bruntsfield for a wonderful selection of food shops.

Old hippies will love Real Foods of Brougham Street – since the 1970s, they’ve been the best source of wholefoods in Edinburgh. As well as brown rice and lentils, you can also get baking ingredients, organic alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and a great selection of chocolate.

Doug - the 'Hat Man'
Lupe Pintos
Round the corner in Home Street, you get to my favourite Edinburgh deli – Lupe Pintos. This is not your run of the mill deli with the usual selection of cold meats and expensive pickles – rather, it specializes in American, Mexican and Spanish ingredients. Their chorizos (try the spicy ones) and guacamole are outstanding and they have 30+ varieties of different chillis. Doug (the Hat Man) is an expert on Spanish wine and if the shop is not busy, he’ll chat to you for hours about it. My recommendation is the Con Class Sauvignon Blanc – but all the wines are great value for money.

Saundersons is a highly regarded butcher’s shop just up the road from Lupe Pintos which has a good reputation but my favourite butchers is in Bruntsfield. Wm Christie has been a family butchers since 1889 and the current owners have been there since 1967. They really know their stuff, sell great quality meat and I think make the best sausages in Edinburgh. Try the Cumberland sausages or the pork and black pudding sausages for a real treat.

The best sausages in Edinburgh in Wm Christie.
For bread and pastry lovers, Bruntsfield is the place to go. Falko is a German ‘Konditormeister’ which means ‘expert pastry chef’ and his shop in Bruntsfield sells fantastic German breads and pastries. If you prefer La Belle France, La Barentine specializes in French breads and patisserie – their fruit tarts are wonderful. Falko’s and La Barentine are both also coffee shops so grab a table if you can and try their pastries.

You can also indulge your sweet tooth in Coco of Bruntsfield – an artisan chocolate shop. Their chocolate creations look and taste wonderful and they also have a small counter serving thick and rich hot chocolate – there’s nothing to beat this as a winter warmer on a windy Edinburgh winter’s day.

Peckhams is a deli chain that started in Glasgow but their Bruntsfield branch has been an Edinburgh institution for 15 years. They have an eclectic selection of ingredients from around the world, good cheese, excellent wine and a very wide selection of Scottish and international beer. Sadly, there are rumours of a Sainsbury's takeover but hopefully that won't happen.

I’m running out of space but Tollcross and Bruntsfield also have a traditional fish shop, a greengrocers, a Thai market, and a French deli. There are shops selling running gear and bicycles and a small bookshop as well as numerous gift shops restaurants and cafes.