Credit: The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society
Sneek-a-Peek

Black Medicine - A Perfect Cure

The hot chocolate is delicious and definitely not just a Cadbury’s instant: the chocolate is slightly bitter giving it a deeper and richer flavour without any overpowering sickly sweetness.

Coffee shops are everywhere in Edinburgh, but few are as good as Black Medicine - and luckily for us its not just one cafe but two. Both offer the same delicious, distinctive coffee, tasty snacks and heartier lunches and are ideally situated for many Fringe events.

The Black Medicine Cafe on Nicholson Street has long been one of our regular spots and recently we discovered its sister café just off the Meadows. Tucked away, this Black Medicine has a much quieter atmosphere and you’re nearly always guaranteed a seat. It is the perfect place for buckling down with a book or the Fringe booklet: you’re unlikely to be disturbed and everyone around you is probably doing the same.

Stepping inside is like walking into a woodsman’s hut: wood benches, wood signs, wooden paneling and even a low, (you’ve guessed it, wooden) curving staircase up to a mezzanine floor. The layout is full of nooks and crannies, meaning all the seating is tucked away in separate areas giving it an intimate but private feel. There is the choice between gnarly wooden tables or cushion lined booths making it perfect for whatever you are doing. The snug wooden setting, mixed with the smell of warm soup and coffee means Black Medicine is only an open fire away from being one of the cosiest places in Edinburgh.

Food wise Black Medicine has everything you would expect and more, from a small lunch time cafe: there are smoothies, bagels, paninis, homemade soup and cakes. Even before you start to eat, the smell of freshly ground coffee is a treat in itself.

After navigating our way to a cosy back seat I decide on the soup of the day a, sweet tomato and chickpea, and my flatmate goes for the spicy chicken panini. To drink I get a hot chocolate and Liv a coffee. The hot chocolate is delicious and definitely not just a Cadbury’s instant as in so many cafes. The chocolate is slightly bitter giving it a deeper and richer flavour without any overpowering sickly sweetness. The biscuit on the side is, as always, welcome.

The soup is also delicious and warming; it too is served in a cup and the portion is small but filling. On the side is crusty, lightly toasted bread which with plenty of butter is almost as good as the soup. The soup here changes everyday and perhaps my favourite was the pea and potato one I had in the middle of exam panic last year - I've tried to recreate it several times but always fail miserably. My flatmate's panini is also delicious; it is packed full of tasty filling even spilling out onto the plate, a nice change from a Starbuck's panini which always seems to be 90% bread, 10% filling. The bagels from Black Medicine are also a definite recommend: they are slightly lighter, reasonable and always delicious.

Surrounded by wood, delicious, fresh food and warmth Black Medicine is the ideal hibernation spot for any rainy summer's day, and on the off chance that Edinburgh gets some sun this August, Black Medicine smoothies are the perfect way too cool down.


Best Bits
  • Delicious soup which changes daily
  • Some of the best coffee in Edinburgh
  • Tasty cakes to complete your coffee
  • Bagels and paninis packed with tempting fillings
  • Unusual seating tucked away in quirky layout


7
Barcley Terrace
Bruntsfield Place
Edinburgh EH10 4HP


Eat & Drink