City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

The Engine Shed

Average Rating:
Restaurant Photos
Engine Shed entrance
Restaurant profile
Edinburgh Area: 
Southside, Edinburgh
Serving times: 
Mon–Sat 10:00–16:00. Closed Sun.
0131 662 0040
Restaurant Established: 

Friendly, informal setting, in a tastefully renovated old building, for cheap veggie nosh supplied by members of the Garvald Centre, for people with learning difficulties. Good place for a nutritional feast before or after a visit to nearby Holyrood Park or after biking through the huge Innocent tunnel. 

As supplier of bakeries to some of the top notch delis in the city it has an array of organic breads - malted, wheat bread, sourdough spelt, oat bread, seed bread, rye, fruit malt, yeasted spelt, and more.

The Reviews


A worthy place to eat serving quality food at excellent value

Reviewed by Irene Brown

Monday, March 4, 2013 - 9:11pm

Tucked away (but well signposted) along St Leonards Lane in a former railway building that dates back to 1830, is the esoteric and aptly named eatery, The Engine Shed. Opened in 1989, The Engine Shed is an innovative training project for people with learning disabilities based on the principles of Rudolf Steiner.

The business model comprises a vegetarian café, organic bakery, organic tofu production and conference/catering facilities. The facility offers training as well as making a financial contribution that guarantees the enterprise’s sustainability.

The café is based on the first floor of the building and the tempting aromas of home cooking wafts from the servery that faces you at the end of the longish room as the door to this worthy establishment swings open.

There are bare stone walls on the window side of the room and cream painted pillars supporting the low ceiling. The other walls are decorated with art from the Gilmerton Art Group. There are wooden floors with pine chairs and tables, each with a lovely vase of fresh flowers. There is no intrusive music, only the noisy chatter and clatter of folk meeting and eating. High chairs are available for any wee baby diners.

The soup of the day was beetroot – a dream come true for me! It was bright (of course!) and with a sweet, velvet piquancy. It came with one of The Engine Shed’s delicious wholemeal rolls from their in- house bakery. I chose as my main one of the giant baked potatoes with two portions of salad – one green with a variety of lettuce and some shredded carrot and the other a tumbling colourful Greek with the twist of crunchy celery slices. This tray full of delights came to a mere £6.65.

My lunch companion (I.) was served the same two salad choices with what she described as “best quiche I have ever tasted.” This was a generous colourful triangle with crispy thin wholemeal pastry encasing the fresh and excellent filling. This ideal mix came to the modest sum of £5.10.

The range of cakes and sweetmeats on offer were just too tempting to miss. There was carrot and lemon cake, but I chose a generous slice of what turned out to be a light soft and utterly scrummy vegan chocolate cake. The crumbly oat date slice, rather than the apricot version also on offer, was I.’s choice and her verdict was that it was “just right”. Our custom made coffee of double espresso with a separate jug of warm milk brought the pudding bill to a mere £3.25 each. Even my dodgy arithmetic knows that means a very decent four course meal for £10, so EdinburghGuide’s £10 Challenge has won the day again!

The other choices on offer among gluten free and allergy considerate options on the day we were there was a gloriously hearty looking dish of macaroni cheese, potato wedges and a rather inviting fruit salad. There is a range of quality soft drinks for sale but jugs of water are also on offer. An impressive variety of breads from the in- house bakery, all certified by the Organic Food Federation, are available for sale.

This worthy establishment may be a bit off the beaten track, but The Engine Shed is a great value, quality place to eat, with polite and helpful staff. It is well worth the walk.


Wholesome veggie food at good price

Reviewed by edg

Saturday, August 8, 2009 - 11:00pm

Wholesome veggie food at a affordable prices in relaxed setting.