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“a lovely little cafe”

The Real Food Cafe and Restaurant
Ranked #8 of 36 Restaurants in Kirkwall
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$3 - US$17
Cuisines: Cafe, British, Healthy, Soups
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Cheap Eats, Kids, Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Brunch, After-hours, Lunch, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Buffet, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Our Real Food Cafe/'Restaurant is situated in the Judith Glue Shop opposite St Magnus Cathedral in the heart of Kirkwall, Orkney's main town. We are open Monday-Saturday 9am - 10pm and Sundays 10am - 6pm during June, July and August. The rest of the year we are open Mon -Sat 9am -6pm and Sunday 11am - 5pm We specialize in home cooked local Orkney Produce cooked in front of you in our open kitchen, our restaurant has a very relaxed atmosphere and welcomes all ages. We are licenced and offer a good selection of wines,spirits, local beers and whiskies. Children are very welcome at any time of the day and table reservations are accepted in the evenings after 5.30Pm. Our shop is also open at the same time so there is a chance to browse and shop till you drop as well. Join our Facebook page or visit our website to find out all about us!
2 reviews
“a lovely little cafe”
Reviewed 21 April 2012

Hidden in the back of the Judith Glue shop in Kirkwall me and my friends found the Real Food Cafe. The staff were all very friendly and were able to adjust items on the menu for one of my friends who is gluten intolerant (they were even happy to give us some advice on things to see and do on Orkney!) The food was delicious. Some of us shared the 'orkney smoragsbord' which was a little taste of different local foods - AMAZING! Another had the seafood salad which came with bare bannock which was a local bread which was still warm cause the girls in the cafe had actually just made it! Very impressed! There was a little bit of a wait before the food came but that was understandable because all the tables were full. Sadly we only discovered the Real Food Cafe on our last day so we couldn't go back!

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Hannah C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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378 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“13 Palace Rd. Kirkwall, Orkney.”
Reviewed 20 April 2012

Great shop with exquisite woolen goods. Fine cafe in the back with home grown produce. Very reasonably priced.

Visited April 2012
Thank Ron L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
135 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
“Real Food”
Reviewed 20 April 2012

Good variety of food and I was able to get just want I wanted - although not exactly on the menus , a great quality white wine as well - brilliant !

Visited April 2012
Thank Trinitraveller963
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kenilworth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
65 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Disappointingly not what it claims”
Reviewed 11 April 2012

We went to The Judith Glue Kitchen Cafe (the Real Food Cafe, as it called itself) after reading about it in The Islander, a free paper for visitors to Orkney. It was rather ironic that a place that advertises itself as ‘real’ should have supplied a meal that bore very little resemblance to the description on the menu.

The fish pie turned out to be a really quite small bowl of overly potatoey fish pie filling without any crust or topping of any kind, and so not a pie by my definition. The fish was overcooked to the point of chewiness (and I hope that the prawns were locally sourced, but I doubt it - they looked like the standard Vietnamese kind - my bad if they were in fact local). To be fair, it tasted good, what there was of it. The 'bere bannock' (ie a kind of bread made with local barley) that was meant to accompany the pie turned out to be three tiny oatcakes. Being new to the area I only realised on my way out that this was not what bannock was meant to look like. Upon making a complaint to the lad behind the counter, he said that they had run out of bannocks - something that none of those serving had bothered to mention in the 25 minutes that I was sitting waiting for the food only 2 yards away. The very long wait for our food would not have been quite so exasperating if the waitress had not said that it would be only ten minutes (and reassured us, when bringing a cup of tea after fifteen, that the food was just coming). If we hadn’t already paid, we would have left and gone to the nice community centre cafe next door, which is very cheap and bustling with locals. The main reason I'd ordered the fish pie was to try the bere bannock, which was something that had been mentioned as a speciality of Orkney and has apparently been known there since the neolithic (witness the hundreds of neolithic sites there!), but I left without getting any, nor any offer of money back for not having got what I'd ordered. We also had a beef lasagne with garlic bread, which were both fine, but again the lasagne was in a really quite small bowl, and for almost £9 felt very bad value. The best thing about the food was the little salads they came with, which included fresh fennel tops and which were excellent but far too small.

This cafe's biggest problem might be that it wants to be something that it doesn't live up to, and its staff are too busy dealing with walk-in take-away orders to spend time on the poor sods sitting and waiting almost half and hour for their food. This is exactly the sort of place that Trip Advisor was meant for - somewhere that depends on one-time visitors and does not bother to treat them properly because it thinks it does not need to. I wish I had looked at the other reviews before going!

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3 Thank LinJie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OrkneyJudith, Owner at The Real Food Cafe and Restaurant, responded to this review, 12 June 2012
l am sorry you were dissappointed with your visit. l have been in business for 35 years and take pride in how much return business l get from locals and visitors. l do hope you will also pay us a return visit and please dont hesitate to ask for me if you have any problems at all.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
28 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Nothing to write home about”
Reviewed 11 March 2012

Peedie bites but overpriced when compared with what you get from the specials board. A brownie that was nothing more than a very dry sponge cake with chocolate on top. Bottle of water at 50% more than other cafe's in Kirkwall. The principles of using locally produced food are good and service was fine but we shan't be rushing back!

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Viking59Orkney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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