I’m not sure what to call Chums, but I can easily describe the cheerful little eatery.
Chums is the welcome neon lure on Henderson Street in Leith. Google Maps calls it a coffee shop. I’ve had their coffee and am happy to recommend it.
Chums is on the ethical delivery app Foodstuff where it’s called a pie shop. I’ve had their pies and gladly recommend them.
We’re not dealing with microwave supermarket stuff or greasy spoon food, and I think all their food is made elsewhere by specialists and boutique third parties, but I forgot to double-check. Indeed, some of it is, and that’s swell with me.
As the “about” section on Foodstuff says, we’re talking about pies, beans, and snacks like you might have got from grans.
I’ve never eaten in Chums. It’s tiny. There is a wee table by the window, but it’s been taken when I’ve been tempted. My solution has been to take my pie in a box across the road to Henderson Street park and eat it there on a bench.
Get me; pie on a bench, slurping roasted coffee and generally with a baked treat like a yum-yum to follow on.
Chicken pie, steak pie, or even vegan mince and tatties pie and a few more. Really, come here for pies and don’t expect anything else.
As it happens, even aside from the baked goodies, that’s not entirely true as you can get bacon rolls. By the way, you can get pie on a roll too.
In terms of baked goods, we’re talking about empire biscuits, Bakewell tarts, donuts and yum yums. Yum!
Why so few? Chums really is standing room only, and it’s perfect for a quick visit for a mini feast. This is the food I’d have to power me between meetings, and I imagine any office workers nearby, perhaps in the studios in Giles Street, know the venue well!
So, simple, but lovely.
Atmosphere and Service
Chums is the exception that proves the rule. This petite pie vendor is the only place in Edinburgh that’s ever attracted me in with neon. It’s such a contrast to the rest of the street!
It’s like a smile in a room full of grim faces.
And inside, the atmosphere is just as friendly. Chums lives up to its name. I’ve never once had a non-chummy encounter with the various team members behind the counter, and I can be pretty annoying as I faff around with mask, bag, phone or whatever else is distracting me.
You’ll be face to face with the helpful member of the staff, only a heated glass display of pies on the side to distract you, and there’s simply not much room for a queue. Ergo, service is quick and personal!
It’s weird. I recommend Chums and would gladly go back. Yet, I don’t carve out time out of my week to do so. I guess it’s all the rival things to do in Leith.
If I still worked and lived nearby, I suspect I’d be a Chums addict. I don’t, it’s a trek, and they’re now closed on Mondays, which makes visits even harder.
For you? In Leith? Need a pie-pick-me-up? Visit Chums! Need a friendly chat? Visit Chums! A quick coffee and a donut to go? Visit Chums!