Michelle is an MSc student at The University of Edinburgh. She is an aspiring freelance writer who has lived in Edinburgh for the past 4 years, and is very familiar with the city. Visit her blog https://meanderingmichelle.wordpress.com/ for more.
Published February 26th 2017
Check out Checkpoint for your next cup of coffee or lunch
Checkpoint is a hip independent cafe and restaurant close to the University of Edinburgh, and unlike many of the other cafes in the area, it has plenty of seating space. They opened their doors in the summer of 2015, and their website boasts that it was included on The Times list of "25 coolest restaurants in Britain" that year. The staff are attentive and friendly, and outside of the fringe festival and the daily lunch rush, a seat is more or less guaranteed. Plus, there is plenty of space for larger groups if you book in advance.
It is open from 9am to 1am, and it has an inclusive menu which covers breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as some dessert options, or 'treats' as they are labelled on the menu. Plus, they serve their breakfast options until 5pm, which is great for some cheaper options. The beer options on the menu are impressive, and they also serve wine and cocktails in the evenings. Some of the options on the 'daybreak' menu include: pancakes with maple syrup and bacon, subs which are served with sweet potato fries, six different salads, mixed lentil and coriander soup, burgers, and chicken wings with hot sauce. In the evening, there are plenty of fish and meat options, such as the fennel and dill sea bass fillet, the slow roast duck leg, or the ox cheek with creamed potatoes and cavolo nero with red onion jus. There are also plenty of both vegetarian and vegan options on the menu.
I had one of their 'Philfy Rolls' for lunch, which is a basically a brioche roll served with various toppings. The one I chose had the fillings of poached egg, smoked salmon, smashed avocado, toasted seeds and hollandaise sauce. It came served in a small roasting tin, and it was very nice. However, the toasted seeds did not add anything but colour, and seemed like an unnecessary addition to the dish.
There is a rustic feel to Checkpoint, and the large space even accommodates a shipping container which has been converted to fit some dining tables. Although the large open space means that it can be quite noisy, the front windows let in plenty of natural daylight during the day. They also serve amazing coffee, which makes it a great place to study.