REVIEW : Cold Town House, Edinburgh

Mention the Grassmarket in Edinburgh and I automatically think of Stag and Hen parties, noise and an association with mardi gras and festival-ness (there is always a stage or market or something happening in the Grassmarket).

But now the Grassmarket has gone upmarket with the opening of Cold Town House which has brought a touch of sophistication to the area.

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Cold Town House has 3 floors dedicated to bringing you craft food and drink. First floor - 8 x 500l tanks of Cold Town Beer, a fire pit, great food and the best spot for live music, comedy and sports.

The second floor is for Prosecco and Pizza, yes bubbles and cheese, with the distillery visible around the room; and then there is the top floor.

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The open air rooftop seating area with one of the most spectacular views of Edinburgh Castle.

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We popped in for lunch and although the sun was shining it wasn’t warm enough to warrant us sitting upstairs, outside on the rooftop.

When we seen Cream Soda on the menu, we got a little bit excited by the thought of the ‘green’ stuff bubbling in our glasses (cream soda in South Africa is green). We ordered it with high hopes, but it wasn’t green at all, it was brown and tasted like sweet caramel. A long way away from the creamy vanilla notes of the green stuff.

The menu is simple with pizza and hanging grills seemingly the most popular. We wanted nibbles and chose most of the dishes on the Beer Bites menu.


Skin on fries with truffle butter and parmesan.

The truffle oil and cheese were layered throughout the heap of fries although most of the oil had gathered at the bottom formed into salty pools of warmed through oil combined with the melted cheese, ideal for scooping up with the remainder of the fries.


Crispy Doughballs with mozzarella, tomato sugo and garlic butter dips.

If you want to get your cheese on, order these doughballs. They have the texture of a ‘vetkoek’ a South African savoury dough crossed with hot freshly baked bread. They are crispy on the outside and light and fluffy in the centre, slightly salty and scrumptious. You’ll most certainly want to keep dipping.

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Halloumi Fries with beetroot ketchup.

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Large thick fingers of halloumi in a really great batter. Fried to perfection without an ounce of grease. The beetroot ketchup was a triumph and should be served with everything.

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Proper Sausage Roll of fennel and chilli pork sausage, Parmesan and tomato sauce.

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I couldn’t fault the sausage roll. Portion size was spot on and its already sliced for ease of eating. The fennel and chilli make a lovely combo, a slight heat from the chilli but deeply savoury.

If you live local, visit the Cold Town House as soon as you can because come August, you’ll never get a seat - its going to be a popular venue.

Service is good, staff are friendly and helpful. Food is great, I think they’ve nailed it when it comes to the size of the menu and what they can deliver within a short time frame and the drinks are substantial.

Cold Town House, 4 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2JU. Tel : 0131 3572865

My Spoon Award : Silver Spoon 8/10