There is a new kid on the block here in Edinburgh, offering up sourdough pizzas, hand crafted burgers, and sharing platters for the hungry student masses. Foundry 39 on Queensferry Street, just minutes from everyone’s favourite shopping district, is the perfect place to catch up with old friends or make a date with new ones this Welcome Week. Whether you come in for dinner to escape your usual Pollock Halls meal or for a boozy brunch to cure your Potterrow hangover with more alcohol, Foundry 39 will become your new weekend hangout.
I visited Foundry 39 on a Thursday night pre-Welcome week and while the restaurant itself was fairly quiet, the bar was absolutely buzzing – a good sign of the tasty cocktails to come. Foundry 39 certainly appeals to a younger crowd with its low lighting and industrial Art Deco furniture. But do not be put off by the restaurant’s ‘cool’ ambience – the friendly staff are sure to give you a warm welcome.
Foundry 39’s cocktail menu is worth more than a quick glance. Peruse the list of inventive mixed drinks and you will find more than just your average Margarita or Manhattan. With surprising flavour combinations such as rhubarb and rosemary or saffron and honey, you are sure to spot something that will excite your tastebuds. Always an adventurer, I opted for the Pink Duchess, enticed by the promise of strawberry balsamic vinegar in a gin cocktail. While it was subtler than I expected with its herby undertones, I was delighted by the little caviar-like orbs of vinegar that topped my drink.
Thoroughly impressed by our creative cocktails, my friend and I were eager to dig into a sharing plate of caramel and chilli chicken wings. The appropriately sticky wings were delectable in every sense. Drenched in an addictively sweet and spicy sauce, these are just the thing to nibble on (or devour) whether you are sipping on a cocktail or having a beer.
Made-to-order sourdough pizza and hefty burgers are mainstays on Foundry 39’s menu. With toppings such as jerk chicken and beef ragu, these pizzas are far from an ordinary take-away. But even with the temptation of posh pizza, both my friend and I took the burger route with the maple-glazed bacon version. If beef burgers are not your thing, then do not worry – there is a a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich to try as well as a vegetarian portobello mushroom option.
Edinburgh certainly has a lot of competition when it comes to the burger scene. And while Foundry 39’s burgers are topped to perfection with crispy bacon and gooey cheese, the patties themselves leave a bit to be desired on the juicyness front. A side of sweet potato fries, however, will surely make up for it. They are crunchy on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside – what more could you want?
With a short but sweet dessert menu, Foundry 39 focuses on turning classic indulgences into new favourites. Intrigued by the thought of pizza for dessert, my friend and I ended our meal with the salted ricotta and nutella pizza bites. Despite being called “bites,” these carb-heavy balls of pizza dough are more of a two-bite job. Do not forget to swirl them in the silky Nutella sauce for the ultimate chocolate experience.
Foundry 39 may be new in town, but it seems to know how to draw in a crowd. From £5 cocktails of the week specials, to two-for-one pizza nights, there is always a reason to stop by. So this Welcome Week put Foundry 39 at the top of your list of new, Instagram-able places to try. It is sure to impress your new flatmates.
[Image: Hayley Russell ]