Filmhouse Café Bar

Independent cinema The Filmhouse on Lothian Road has become a cult classic on the Edinburgh cinema scene, in part rising to stardom as the set for the annual Edinburgh International Film Festival. It could also be down to its screening of American Pastoral, Ewan McGregor’s debut movie as a director. Or because of McGregor’s attendance at the Scottish premier of said debut. Or for hosting stars such as Russell Crowe, Sean Connery and Tom Stoppard at various films and events over the years. But, while The Filmhouse is perhaps better known for screening pop movies along with arthouse indies, the supporting act is its café and bar. While larger movie chains may serve a limited selection of popcorn, slushies and soda, the cute wee eatery is independent in itself: the menu features, for instance, shawarmas, nachos, baked potatoes and salads – including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. So, while it makes sense to go for a pre- or post-movie drink and dinner, it’s perfectly possible to wander in for lunch one Saturday afternoon, as a friend and I did rather recently. Switching the longed-for falafel burger for a more diet-friendly Greek salad (and the boozy chocolate milkshake with Cointreau for an Edinburgh G and slimline T) turned out to be a delicious choice (even though I’ll absolutely save my calories for something more decadent next time).

While the decor is in keeping with a cinema from the 70s (The Filmhouse was a former church in its previous life, with its first film screening in 1978), it’s a relaxed atmosphere with quick service and food options atypical (in the best possible way) of a movie menu.

All done, we say go for a chilli con carne and glass of red, and maybe stop by for an indie film or the latest release while you’re there.

And for the show-stoppers … ● Take your glass of wine into the movie with you (although remember to ask for a plastic glass). ● Stop by for the £3.95 breakfast special if you’re in the area (coffee and breakfast roll for the win). ● If you’re a student and join as a member, you could get a drink and dinner for £8 (here’s what you need to know before ordering). ● Turn your evening into a home movie experience with a takeaway (order online). More info on Filmhouse Café Bar at filmhousecinema.com, 0131 228 2688 or 88 Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH3 9BZ.

Filmhouse Café Bar