Restaurant review: Cafe Lucia, Edinburgh

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WHILE the constant barrage of rain against your window might understandably leave you feeling that summer will never come to Edinburgh, the wheels of the city’s infamous festival are already turning. With graduates and proud parents overtaking the university district, my friend and I escaped into Cafe Lucia.

Ideally nestled under the Festival Theatre, it is a bright and spacious little cafe with plenty of quick bites and hot food on offer. The hot main courses looked fresh yet comforting, ranging from a hot dish of the day to a broccoli and blue cheese tart to pan fried chicken escalope (all under £8). While a fellow diner recommended the lasagne, apparently comparable with her Italian mother’s, we instead opted for light bites menu.

I chose a classic summer salad (£4.95) and was presented with an enormous offering of mixed leaves and spinach, topped with a pleasingly huge round of goat’s cheese, caramelised onions and a sweet, tart balsamic glaze. A perfect “summer” lunch.

My mummy friend had big afternoon plans at the playgroup and chose the three egg omelette to get her through. With a choice of two fillings, there was happily a good cheese selection here too – brie, cheddar and, of course, the mammoth goat’s cheese (£4.95). For those who are not quite as much of a tyrophile, the standard tomato, ham spinach and mushroom options are there also.

Cafe Lucia’s service was friendly and fast, and the relaxed atmosphere and simple fare make this Nicolson Street venue a good choice for a little respite from the rain, or, come August, the festival throng. 

Cafe Lucia, Festival Theatre, 13-29 Nicolson Street, 0131-662 1112.