Olympia Cafe

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Musselburgh, Scotland

Olympia Cafe Musselburgh Reviews

sarahelaine sarahela…
651 reviews
Luca's Cafe/ Cafe Olympia Nov 07, 2009
If you had to guess where you would find the best ice-cream in the UK, I would imagine your first guess would be some five starred hotel in London or Manchester, or edgy bar in Glasgow. Perhaps a Michelin starred pub somewhere in the Cotswolds doing something exciting with fennel and dry ice. A tiny café in the windswept town of Musselborough, a place buffeted by the winds and otherwise famed for a racecourse and three swans, would not be top of your list. Oh, how wrong would you be!

Scotland has a surprisingly long history of Italian food, giving the world such unique delicacies as the macaroni pie (which is what happens if you move pasta into a country where Pie is such a central part of the diet). A waiter once told me that Edinburgh used to have the highest Italian population in Europe, except for Italy, and why would the waiter lie? This means that despite its frigid climate, there is good ice-cream in Scotland. And the best is in the Olympia café, commonly known as Luca’s, and the brand of ice-cream that is made here. Cafés throughout the east of Scotland will specify that they sell Luca’s as a mark of pride, and the café is still family owned and run.

The Olympia café also serves very good, very affordable main courses and snacks, including an excellent minestrone soup and roll for less than three quid. The jalapeño and cream cheese bites were excellent and the coffee is amongst the best coffee I’ve had in the UK.

The café itself is at the end of the high street furthest from the “Roman Bridge,” past the town hall on the way towards the race course. It looks tiny and nondescript, and slightly purple. The décor is lodged sometime a couple of decades ago. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a bad thing. There are Braille menus and large disabled toilets downstairs, and the service is good.

Getting to the Olympia itself means leaving Edinburgh on a bus, and the number 44 is better than the number 30. You can work off some of the food taking a little walk along the beach on the Firth of Forth. If, however, leaving Edinburgh is too much for you, then there is a Luca’s café in Morningside in the west of the city. Take the number 5 bus. I don’t know if they do savoury food there, but they definitely have the ice-cream
This is where you get the best Ice…
Walk past this to get there.
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photo by: sarahelaine