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The Elephant House - Gourmet Tea & Coffee Shop

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by Lindsay Law (subscribe)
I'm a working mum writing about life in Edinburgh (and anywhere else we go) with two curious, adventurous, and imaginative children. Visit my blog at www.linzertortes.blogspot.co.uk. Follow me on Twitter: @LinzerLaw
Published December 21st 2012
Draw Elephants, Eat Bagels
Elephants and Bagels is a long-standing institution near the central University of Edinburgh campus. In my first year of university it was half-way between my flat and the lecture theatre, so I often stopped in on my way to or from studying. I have fond memories of its art-covered walls and its generously loaded bagels, smothered in cream cheese.

Elephants and Bagels
The exterior of Elephants and Bagels


I was pleased to find that it hadn't really changed at all.

The walls are still decorated with drawings of elephants.

Elephants and Bagels
I've contributed a few of these, over the years!


They've been made by staff, customers, and some professional artists over the years. One might even have been drawn by me! There doesn't seem to be an inch of room left, although there must be some kind of recycling going on.

Elephants and Bagels
An array of different kinds of bagels to choose from.


I had an old favourite: an onion bagel with cream cheese and bacon. I asked, on a whim, whether they had any iced tea. It's not my normal beverage for a chill, December day, but I was pleasantly surprised to be a offer a choice of flavours from a brand which doesn't contain added sugar, Daymer Bay Iced Tea. It's sweetened with a natural sweetener, and the lemon one was quite lovely.

Daymer Bay Iced Tea, Elephants and Bagels, Onion
A creame cheese and bacon bagel, with a Daymer Bay Lemon Iced Tea - all ready to be eaten.


Elephants and Bagels has always had its little quirks, but these just add to the character and make me feel like I am a student again. The food is served on paper plates, and it's a counter service rather than a waiter service.

Elephants and Bagels
Enjoyed your bagel? Then buy a t-shirt!


I think Elephants and Bagels found a winning formula years ago - tasty bagels, oodles of good quality locally sourced ingredients, reasonable prices - and they've stuck with it quite rightly, because it works.
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Why? Generously loaded bagels and a relaxed and friendly atmosphere
Phone: 0131 668 4404
Where: 37 Marshall Street (Nicholson Square), Edinburgh, EH8 9BJ
Your Comment
I love the idea of so many different people drawing elephants
by Oxford Explorer (score: 2|655) 1817 days ago
Can't stand bagels personally. Give me a good , old fashioned breakfast bap any day.
by jm-ro (score: 1|26) 1819 days ago
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