Bundits lives up to the hype. I remember being confused as to why, back in dark COVID season, people were queuing on Constitution Street. Discovering it was a newcomer into that awkward spot that specialised in bao didn’t help.
I thought I knew hype when I walked past it.
Then I went.
It was a small leaving do, we sat outside, and despite it being all about someone running to a new job, all we talked about was the food.
And that’s telling, right?
When I say Bundits is in an awkward spot, businesses there have struggled. It was a big-screen sports bar from the people who ran Cafe Tartine and the Constitution Bar before.
Inside, it’s substantial, and there are three separate areas; an area by the bar, the secret room behind the bar (I don’t know if Bundits allow guests in there) and adjoined corner “main” restaurant.
There’s the generous outside area as well.
I bet the tram works are a right pain now, but I can imagine summers where tourists pile off, spying this hub of food, and flock in.
Bao buns Edinburgh! Who knew that this would become a thing, but it has, and I welcome these parcels of food as our new overlords.
Sweater than dumplings, bao are steamed buns of flour, milk, yeast and other faff free ingredients. Sadly, they’re not free of allergy triggers like gluten and lactose.
While they cannot, the Bundits team strike me as the type of people who would try and meet all of your dietary needs if they could. They accommodated me when I awkwardly turned up with Save Constitution Street ItIsOn vouchers. But! Their hands are tied when it comes to food intolerances. They sell boa and bao are bao. . If there are clever substitutes available then they’re currently out of reach.
So, while I gladly recommend Bundits, please check the menu before you go, as they may well not be able to cater to allergy needs.
I recommend Bundits because the buns here are always light and clever. The combinations of fillings are exciting, memorable and that they work with bao is impressive. Each one is a “guess what I had for lunch!” story-bragged to friends with some of my experiences here.
Despite being bold and adventurous, I’m yet to find a combination I didn’t like.
Get messy. Oh, there’s no wrong way to eat, and stuff your face in a bowl of spaghetti or use a knife and fork on an apple if you want. That said, I’ve tested different ways to nom bao, and those scientific forrays have led me to conclude I enjoy the food more when I care less about the etiquette. Bundits give napkins, after all.
For one person with a stomach the size of their large head, I think two buns and a side (fries) is good. Depending on the day, I fear three might be too much for lunch, and one bao is certainly too little.
The cost, understandably, adds up as you add food to your order. Bundits charges what they need to charge. The indie is not a discounter made profitable by cutting staff or ingredients costs. I’m okay with that, but I’d be further along with my roaming the menu if the buns had been a little cheaper.
I really like the atmosphere here. I like the café culture vibe of the area outside, I like the sit-down and eat vibe of the main restaurant, and I like the vibrant gastro pub vibe of the site by the bar.
Bundits pairs well with Leith.
Lunch between meetings? Bundits suits! Meeting a friend or date? Bundits suits and might even impress. After-work party? Guess what, it’ll be more expensive than piling into one of the remaining old Leith pubs, but Bundits is a good choice.
The bar, in part, is to thank for this. It’s as well-stocked and as cosmopolitan as you’d like. As is my way, I go for an Americano for lunch, and Bundits nails that too.
In a much bigger part, the staff are also to thank for why Bundits is such a good destination. The crew craft the atmosphere and do it well.
I’m noting when venues and menus are good for people eating alone in Edinburgh. With the critical disclaimer that I’ve never been in Bundits during a wild Friday or Saturday (it was a pandemic opening, after all, and such raucousness is not my vibe), I think Bundits passes muster.
There’s table service and plenty of space to put bags or corners to fade into. Furthermore, you can be as messy as you want if you’re eating alone. No one will see that fresh bun disgorge its fillings as you chomp into it.
Yes, oh yes.
Unless you will never ever like bao or have allergies and intolerances. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
Bundits is a vibrant venue. Customers are looked after by the capable and friendly staff, while original classics impress on the plate. They’re on Uber Eats.
Check it out.