REVIEW :: Zenobia


14 South Bridge, Old Town, Edinburgh, EH1 1LL

After ripping Iggs a new one in my previous review, It’s good to be able to write about a positive dining experience- even if it is just a kebab shop.

For years the people of Edinburgh have relied on Palmyra Pizza on Nicolson Street for their falafel fix, and rightly so. The cafe is in prime position for festival goers and students alike, and I’ve often found myself in there cradling a baba ganoush wrap after a night out (or when I’m simply craving some carby goodness).

But I reckon there’s a new contender for best falafel: Zenobia (although they are owned by the same folk as Palmyra: thanks for that tip, Mario!)

Located at the bottom of North Bridge near Hunter Square, Zenobia is in an iffy location. Within ten seconds you could be at a Greggs, a Subway, and a chip shop.  It’s also within walking distance of Palmyra. For the lunchtime (or drunken) crowd these other more established choices might just win out. This could have led to the demise of Quizno’s Sub, the previous tenant of Zenobia’s building.

I popped in one lunchtime as I really fancied a falafel but, working on Princes Street, couldn’t justify a walk all the way to Palmyra.

The restaurant  (or cafe, I’m not sure) had a very relaxed atmosphere. There were only a few tables occupied, but I think it comes alive at night. I have walked past in the evening to see crowds of Middle-Eastern folk having a munch and that’s a good enough endorsement for me.

My dining partner and I both ordered a small falafel flatbread, with hummus. The kitchen is open plan so as we waited I could watch the Middle-Eastern chef carefully and diligently put our sandwiches together.


The bread was toasted perfectly, with the right amount of crunch and bite giving way to a refreshing cabbage salad. The bread was wrapped tightly around it’s contents and there was a perfect wet to dry ratio (so I didn’t end up with chilli sauce and hummus running down my arm, but didn’t have to reach for the Coke too much either).

ZenobiaI find it funny too that I got better service in a kebab shop than I did in an AA rosette award winning restaurant, but maybe that’s just me.

If you’re in Edinburgh this August and find yourself fancying a falafel, give Zenobia a go. They might not be breaking any new ground here but they’re just as good (if not better) than Palmyra. If you’re a festival reveller hanging out on the Royal Mile it’s a shorter walk, and also a lot cheaper than the nearby tourist traps.


6 Replies to “REVIEW :: Zenobia”

  1. Had food tonight, average food but poor service. Not asked what sauce or salad and the large kebab was debatable. Wouldn’t go to again!!

  2. I was there with my wife and daughter on Sunday 6/12/2015 at around 6 pm. The place was very quite and my daughter was very hungry so we chose the first available place to get her some meal. I usually eat chicken or lamb shawarma, however meats they offered was horribly old and dry so I choose falafel sandwich, my wife ordered cheeseburger and falafel and we ordered one chicken tawouk with chips only for my daughter as she is very fussy eater. The person who prepare food was playing videos in his phone, then he started to prepare food without washing his hands. When we got our food falafel was horrible dry and tasteless. Hamburger looks so bad that despite hunger in our stomach my wife couldn’t touch it. When my daughter,s meal arrived we saw dried shawarma chicken with salad and sauce. We complained that we only wanted few potatoes in it and not shawarma but chicken cubes tawouk. After preparing another sandwich we received lamb cubes. When we tried to clarify our order again the person who works behind counter accused us of not knowing what we eat, ( I am Lebanese and as they believe, they make Lebanese food, ) and he started to be verbally agressive and ordered us to pay for all food ( including 2 sandwiches that we didn’t order) we left the table with only one bite of sandwich. He didn’t even bother that his customers are not happy. What he only asked was about money. The worse experience ever. Never again and avoid it!

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