Whenever something awful happens, it always seems to be the wee guys who step up to the plate first.
Edinburgh’s independent cafes, restaurants and food businesses are a good case in point.
We’re only a few days into the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and they’re already finding ways to help, whether that’s through donations, collections or raising funds with cake. Here are a few of our favourites.
All of these bagel shop branches, in Bruntsfield, Portobello, Stockbridge, Leith and the new one in St James Quarter, are currently offering colourful bagels that are striped with the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag. Choose one of these when you order your filled bagel and all profits will go to Red Cross Ukraine. Larah Bross is also flagging up that you can drop off donations at the Ukranian Club at 14 Royal Terrace on Friday afternoons from 2-6pm and Mondays from 10-1pm. They’re looking for toiletries, non-perishable food, clothing, shoes, and sanitary products, among other things.
As an alternative to a red meat based Sunday roast, this excellent seafood restaurant is holding its first ever Ocean Roast on Sunday March 20. The team will be volunteering their time and all takings that day being donated to the Ukrainian Red Cross. The four course menu costs £50pp and includes dishes such as toast monkfish au poivre, peppercorn sauce, crushed Jersey royals, buttered asparagus and Yorkshire pudding and a dessert of white chocolate tart with new season berries.
2 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh (0131 226 1888, www.ondinerestaurants.co.uk)
This restaurant, along with other excellent venues including Cannonball, Wedgwood, The Wee Restaurant, 21212 and The Apiary have put meals at their venues up for auction, in order to raise funds for the Disasters Emergency Committee. To bid, follow the link on their Instagram @leftfieldedinburgh biog.
This family-friendly Italian restaurant offers dishes including ravioli cacio and pepe, classic lasagne, arancini and saltimbocca. However, throughout March, if you order one of their Roman-style pizzas, pinsa, they’ll donate £1 for each sold to the UNICEF Ukraine appeal. Choose from toppings including tomato, fior de latte mozzarella, salami Milano, sunblush tomatoes and scamorza smoked cheese, or the new Pinsa Bianca topped with fior di latte mozzarella, gorgonzola, pancetta and walnuts.
208 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh (0131 221 1777, www.mytempoperso.com)
WEIGH TO GO
While getting your refills of muesli, rice, almonds, peanut butter, Williams & Johnson and Artisan Roast coffee, and all the other goods from this refillery, add a slice of their special honey cake to your shop. This sweet treat, otherwise known as medovik, is one of Ukraine's national dishes, and features around five layers of sponge and honey-laced icing. Olga Loza, who is from the Ukraine, makes the cake and it’s yours for £4 per slice, with any money made being matched by this Leith business and all of it going to humanitarian charities.
27 Crichton Place, Edinburgh, www.weightogo.co.uk
The Polish owners of this brilliant business, where you can find Gingerbread Spiced Honey, Scottish Heather Honey and Hot Toddy Whisky Infused Honey, are donating £1 for every kilo jar sold to the Polska Akcja Humanitarna (PAH) charity, who will provide shelter, food, water and access to education for those seeking refuge in neighbouring Poland.
178 Easter Road, Edinburgh (0131 629 5437, www.miod.co)
When war broke out, the team at this lovely cafe decided to donate all their weekend tips to Ukrainian charities, and they’ve been taking donations of clothing and essentials. Unfortunately, they’re full up now, though watch their social media feed for any updates. Or just go there and order one of their magnificent cakes anyway, since they’ve been such good eggs.
155 West Port, Edinburgh (0131 629 0626, www.lovecrumbs.co.uk)
Order focaccia, sourdough, baguettes, pretzels and pastries direct to your door, courtesy of the delivery service from this well established bakery, with branches in Leith, Morningside and a new cafe on Broughton Street. They’ll drop off their goodies to most Edinburgh addresses daily, but they also do weekly Friday deliveries to Musselburgh, Penicuik, Balerno, Currie and Juniper Green. Throughout March, they’ll be donating 10 per cent of the value of all home delivery orders to the Red Cross Ukraine.
We love this small but perfectly formed restaurant, where they do a weekend lunch menu for £30pp for four courses, or a six-course tasting menu on Thursday to Monday evenings, for £60pp, with vibrant dishes including venison, smoked bread sauce, lemon, salsify and leek powder. They’re donating all proceeds from their Sunday March 6 service to humanitarian charity British-Ukranian Aid.
187 Great Junction Street, Edinburgh, www.auroraedinburgh.co.uk
It’s always cake o’clock at this Bruntsfield cafe. Instead of swithering over which to choose, maybe you should try their gluten-free raspberry and lemon polenta loaf, which is topped with icing, lemon and fresh raspberry. It’s one of their most popular cakes and is on the menu everyday. Order it before the end of the month, and they’ll donate 50 per cent of the £3.50 price to UNICEF.
1 Merchiston Place, Edinburgh (0131 228 4641, www.honeycombandco.com)
This restaurant group is donating 100 per cent of the day’s takings for food and beverage, lunch and dinner at The Kitchin, The Scran & Scallie and The Bonnie Badger in Gullane on Friday March 4. They’re also asking their friends, regulars and suppliers to donate directly to their Just Giving page, which will be open until midnight that day and will be added to the funds.
IT’S ALL GOOD
This cafe, which serves “nutritious food prepared with love, recently donated 10 per cent of their daily takings to UNICEF Ukraine and they’re taking donations for refugees, including warm clothing for adults and children and sanitary products, until March 6.
127 Easter Road, Leith, www.itsallgoodedinburgh.com