We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Black Pudding, Chorizo, Butterbeans and Tomato-it works!”
Review of Union of Genius

Union of Genius
Ranked #372 of 2,554 Restaurants in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$4 - US$11
Cuisines: Soups
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast
Neighbourhood: Old Town
Description: Union of Genius is Scotland's first soup café serving 6 different soups every day offered with flavour-matched artisan breads, plus a range of healthy salads and our legendary vegan chilli. Guaranteed vegan and vegetarian options as well as exclusively gluten-free cakes and artisinal coffee and hot chocolate. By working with local producers and the use of recycled and compostable packaging with a recycling loyalty scheme, we aim to minimise our impact on the environment as well as produce great soup, fast. During the Edinburgh Fringe we're open 7 days a week until 9pm. Come and say hi.
Reviewed 30 April 2014

There were four "soups de jour" on offer from Dumbo at George Square on Monday 28th April with the above being the most unusual combination so I went for it! Served with a few slices of salt and black pepper fresh bread a spoon and a serviette it was the perfect tasty little picnic.
Dumbo being a Citroen H Van, me being a fan, and polite and friendly service, added to the pleasure!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank NewcastleFalcon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bruce M, Owner at Union of Genius, responded to this reviewResponded 16 May 2014

Thanks for the review. You're the first one to review Dumbo. We are very pleased with our classic, if slightly rickety, van. He's off the road for a refit for 3 weeks then will be away from George Square for summer festivals and events. If you're in Edinburgh June to July please come along to the cafe as Dumbo will be busy out in the country.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (188)
There are newer reviews for Union of Genius
See the most recent reviews
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

119 - 123 of 188 reviews

Reviewed 10 April 2014

Great selection of soups and lovely bread! The coffee is great and great value and the service is superb.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Satanatch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bruce M, Manager at Union of Genius, responded to this reviewResponded 14 April 2014

Thanks for the souper review! We're very proud to serve Artisan Roast coffee.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2014

Had lunch here on Friday after touring the Mammoths exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland, 2 minutes round the corner. This is a small cafe location in the heart of student-land right by the arts, social sciences and administrative bits of the University of Edinburgh.

There are 6 soups a day - 3 fixed for the week, 3 change daily. You can have small, medium or large including soup served in a bread bowl. Or, as I did, you can have a "soup flight" - a small portion of 3 of the 6 soups. Each soup comes with a selection of local artisan breads, oatcakes or rice cakes.

Service was laid back but efficient and exceptionally friendly. There's free wifi and some amazing sounding hot chocolates and other lovely locally made cakes, brownies and gluten free yummies.

So what did I eat? Curried chickpea; jambalaya; and arabian nights which was my favourite - a Middle Eastern concoction of lentils, rice and yummy spices. Served with onion bread and oatcakes.

My sister had a portion of Armenian honey cake - a perfect square of layered lusciousness. I was dubious as I don't like honey much and I thought in the chiller the cake looked dry. How wrong I was! It was caramelly, soft, creamy and utterly divine.

But no matter how amazing the cakes were (and they were) you go to this place for the soup. We asked them if they'd considered expanding, or franchising. As they source all their ingredients locally, and that they now supply lots of other restaurants and cafes in Edinburgh by carbon-neutral bicycle courier. Lovely, lovely soups. Delicious cakes. Just GO!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Heather J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bruce M, Owner at Union of Genius, responded to this reviewResponded 25 March 2014

Thanks for your lovely and detailed review. We are particularly proud of the Arabian Nights soup. It was one of our Great taste award winners last year and has nearly all of Elaine's favourite ingredients in one bowl. Thanks also for mentioning the cakes. Sometimes the rest of our menu gets overshadowed by our soups but we're huge fans of the honey cake.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2014

We had lebanese lentil and chorizo soups. Lots of flavour, nice bread to accompany, a lovely warming healthy choice before heading into the Scottish National Museum.
Staff seemed friendly enough. Well priced bearing in mind they're not a big chain, spot on for the portion size vs cost. Very limited seating, as it's tiny. Had a very studenty vibe.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Abigail S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bruce M, Owner at Union of Genius, responded to this reviewResponded 17 February 2014

Hi Abigail, thanks for the review. Glad you enjoyed the visit. We do get really, really busy and we are tiny but we hope everyone receives the same high-quality soupmongering. We are reasonably quiet before 12 and after 2 so there's usually a fair chance of seat. You're always welcome give us a call before hand too. Hope you enjoyed the museum too; it's one of my favourite museums in the universe. (Admittedly I've only been to museums on Earth.)

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2014

I'm not sure what all the fuss is about regarding this restaurant. I ordered the Butternut Squash soup with chunks of bacon and I was actually kind of disappointed - it was bland tasting. The only thing that saved it was the bacon for some much needed flavour. Perhaps I just ordered the wrong soup but that was my experience.

Don't eat in... there is very limited seating and what is there is so cramped you might as well be sitting on the guy's lap beside you.

Customer service was ok, not warm and friendly but matter of fact service that got the job done. I found they were more friendly with locals than myself a foreigner.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank unitedprovinces
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bruce M, Owner at Union of Genius, responded to this reviewResponded 31 January 2014

Hello thanks for visiting us and taking the time to write a review. It's a shame that you don't seem to have enjoyed us as much as you seem to have been expecting. The butternut and bacon soup is one of our customers' perennial favourites that we have been making from shortly after we opened but I appreciate that not every soup is for everyone. We're always happy to offer tastes before you buy.

You are right that seating is very limited. We are a take-away with just a small number of seats and only one table. This does mean that we have to encourage people to share space if they sit in over lunch time.

Thanks again for the review. We appreciate all responses, whatever their nature.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Union of Genius also viewed

Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh, Scotland
 
Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh, Scotland
 
Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh, Scotland
 

Been to Union of Genius? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing