Ardfern, Edinburgh

The latest spot from The Little Chartroom team may well serve the best breakfast in Edinburgh; here's what makes it so great

Feature by Peter Simpson | 24 Jun 2024
  • Ardfern

POV: You’ve had a bumper weekend in Edinburgh, the Athens of the North, the one with all the cobbles and hills and bars and parties and music and comedy and folk with magic wands. It was a big weekend though, and you want one last treat before returning to the day job: a really, really, really good breakfast.

Ardfern is the place to go. The latest spot from the team behind The Little Chartroom fits right in the cool, ‘faintly Nordic’ bracket with its clean white walls and wooden everything else, and the food follows Chartroom’s standard gambit of big flavours and interesting combos. The hash browns are topped with a mushroom ketchup and a massive pile of pecorino; the doughnuts are simultaneously filled with jam and custard. But the breakfast, oh my Christ, the breakfast.

A photograph of a breakfast served on a patterned plate, with a pint of Guinness next to the plate.

‘Venison lorne sausage’ were the words that shook us out of our seats and sent us Leith-ward; when combined with the thick slab of pork belly bacon, this is very much the upscale version of that breakfast from Studio Ghibli classic Howl’s Moving Castle (minus the talking fire). Perfect poached eggs; homemade beans that hit all the classic marks but with more bite and less sugariness; crispy, fluffy toast – this is identifiably a full Scottish breakfast, just done very very well.

The veggie options are also exciting (oyster mushroom and hispi cabbage, yum yum yum), the Bloody Mary is visually simple but with flavours that are both a big hug and a friendly slap in the face, and the energy of the whole place is great. Come back in the evening for an enormous wine list or a big ol’ plate of charcuterie, but for now, enjoy your breakfast. If this won’t haste ye back, we don’t know what will.

This article is part of the 2024 edition of The Skinny Guide to Edinburgh – pick up your free copy at venues across Scotland from 28 June

Ardfern, 10-12 Bonnington Rd; Mon-Sun, 9am-11pm (kitchen open 9am-2.30pm and 5-8.30pm) / @ardfern_edinburgh on Instagram