SWYF Find: The Edinburgh Larder

Perhaps November is not the best time to travel to the UK, but you can manage to avoid huge crowds of tourists and come across some amazing food. London was a bit overwhelming, and, although the restaurants were good, Edinburgh has impressed me thus far.

Edinburgh's historic castles, chapels, closes (or alleyways) and cobblestone streets are enough reasons for you to visit. But, you'll find a few food gems like The Edinburgh Larder that make you appreciate Scotland's local food flavors.

Located just off the famed stretch The Royal Mile, The Edinburgh Larder provides a rustic and delightfully refreshing menu. The cafe prides itself on sourcing as many local ingredients as it can, including beer from two of Edinburgh's breweries - Belhaven and Falkrik Tryst. Flavor combinations of local cheeses, meats, seasonal or canned produce, along with homemade breads, and daily soup and sandwich options leave you anything but bored with the menu.

The prices are extremely reasonable, especially for good, local food. You can get half a sandwich and a bowl of soup - which I had - for around $8. If cheese isn't your thing, there are vegan options on the menu as well that all looked tasty.  (One of the things I've noticed about the UK, on its menus at restaurants and labels on food packaging, is that "V" doesn't necessarily mean "vegan," but almost always "vegetarian." If you love dairy, you'll love these countries...)

The cafe itself is cozy, without being hippy-dippy or cluttered. It's airy and its decor is simple, displaying art from local photographers and painters, gifts and take-away options.

If you're ever in the Edinburgh area, I strongly suggest the Edinburgh Larder for omnivores, vegetarians/vegans or anyone who likes, what the proprietors call, "good mood food."

**THE EDINBURGH LARDER: 15 Blackfriars St., Edinburgh. Open Monday-Saturday (8-5); Sunday (9-5). Visit its site for more information and to view the online store.