What is a pizza pub? You are unlikely to be surprised to discover that it’s a pub which sells pizza.
In the case of One Canon in Canonmills, it’s two rooms, with tables for groups of friends, that have a proper pizza oven, and there you can buy beer, spirits, soft drinks or a pizza.
Ergo, please do not expect an Italian restaurant, a distillery or a rock music-themed cafe.
My first trip to One Canon was to celebrate my new job, and I was taken there by my new team, who knew the area well and knew One Canon as an excellent place to go. This was before the transformation to a pizza pub, when it was a good food pub, and I was impressed because it had good food and speedy and friendly service.
The pizza switch came later. I see the logic. It’s incredibly hard for small businesses right now, and by going exclusively, pizza One Canon can be cleverer with food and reduce wastage. The pizza oven was funded by a community project where you could buy £5 worth of pizza up front and claim that off your bill later. It was a success. I bought £50, aka 10 discounted pizzas, and only have a few left, so I know it well! Once I finish those £5 coupons, I shall keep coming back.
I like the community vibe and that it’s independent that picks drinks from local suppliers with matching ethics and ethos. I like the atmosphere, the display cases of Micro Machines on the wall and the supply of board games.
One Canon’s food and drink
There’s a regular menu of about (I didn’t count) 10 pizzas plus a special which rotates frequently. I would have sampled the entire menu by now and have dug aggressively into it, but I keep getting distracted by the specials. I’ll keep going until I do!
Suffice to say, I’ve not yet found an option that I don’t like. The choice scales from safe and sensible to a bit exciting. My tip is to add Edinburgh’s Leithal Sauce for a bit of kick and a step further into the exciting realm. See also what I mean about researching and stocking suitable Edinburgh suppliers.
I should have asked for measurements (rude!) but I think these are about 12″ pizzas – singles, for me, and I think most people. On Monday and Tuesdays evenings you can get 2-for-1. They’re your traditional thin pizza rather than your ‘pizza pie’ Chicago style.
And no, I don’t think One Canon is quite in the same style as the pizza boutiques, but they’re also about 33% cheaper than those. What’s crystal clear is that these pizzas are miles better than any other ‘pub pizza’ I’ve ever had.
Furthermore, comparing One Canon’s pizzas to hotel pizzas is easy; One Canon is twice as good for half the price. I’ve had pizzas from Italian restaurants that weren’t as good, and they’re certainly better than the discounted cardboard from the franchise chains that dominate the high street. I pop hotels into that comparison as I frequently search for pizza in the late evening when many pub kitchens have closed, and I’m pleased to say One Canon stays open later than most. In a former business life, late-night hotel pizza was once a recommended tip, and now it doesn’t seem very reasonable.
Furthermore, you can get One Canon’s pizzas and alcohol from Just Eat, which means they can arrive at your flat before that branded bike with a minimum wage driver gets there from those franchise chains too.
And, as an indie with good taste, the drink selection at One Canon is great. I admit, I’m not much of a drinker now, but that means when I do, I want it to be good. One Canon has a proper selection, not dominated by any one supplier, and a range for most wallets.
One Canon’s vibe
What do you want from a pub?
I want a certain vibe. I want comfortable chairs, worn tables (with service) and enough noise/music to add to the atmosphere without it being too loud to converse with your friends. One Canon is perfect.
The staff are fantastic. It’s a slim but agile and attentive team. You won’t have to wait for long, and you’ll be helped by someone who knows their stuff and will likely have spent a good while at the pub. You can tell a lot about a venue by how frequently, or not, staff churn and my visits to One Canon have meant familiar faces.
As a result, I think One Canon is the perfect venue for many occasions. I’d take my work team back here, and I think the pizza pub might even offer offers to support that. I’d consider that for lunch and post-work drinks, but I know the kitchen isn’t open for lunch on all days.
There’s no question of not taking friends here, it’s perfect for a gathering and I’d include a board games meet-up for that due to the snug/cosy room in the back. I might even stretch to a low-key game of D&D over drinks and pizza in the backroom.
A date? Well, I’m out of my comfort zone on that, but perhaps for a date when you’re well into a relationship and want to spend quality time in a feel-good regular place.
If you want indie drinks and good pizza, then where on Earth would you go? Okay, I can think of some places with deals with boutique pizza companies where you can deliver to your table, but I’ve waited hour+ for those, and One Canon is appropriately swift.
I rate One Canon very highly; for the pizza, the drinks and especially the great people and excellent vibe there.
There are some unethical pub chains (you know who) that can get in the sea and some good pubs that have corporate landlords to deal with, but One Canon is the best of all worlds as a true indie in a central Edinburgh location. The swift and excellent pizzas help take it into a league of its own.
A review of One Canon