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Reds: Relax, Enjoy, Dine in Style

The new child friendly licensed bistro and restaurant. Breakfast, lunch, tea, coffee, snacks and evening meals.

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Opening Times (Oct only)

Sun-Thurs 1030am-3pm

Fri-Sat 1030am-6pm

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First of all thanks to our many satisfied customers who have supported and voted Reds number one family restaurant in Scotland.  Having children of our own and running Reds really makes us appreciate those of you who have taken the time out of your busy work and family lives to recommend us either through the media or to family and friends.  Thank you all.  Below are all the reviews that we know of, both good and bad.

Please let us know if you have come across a review of Reds as we are often unaware we have been in the press, or indeed on other websites, until a customer mentions it to us!

Located one street away from the Portobello seafront, Reds is that most enlightened of places; a cafe that positively welcomes children. Varnished wood, subtle shades of oatmeal and coffee, and leather sofas, create a comfy haven after a blustery beach walk, and, with a buggy park and high chairs, you can eat well while your little darlings join you or entertain themselves in the soft play area, which is visible from every seat in the cafe via close circuit TV. All the staples are on offer here: nachos, jacket spuds, salads and every flavour of sandwich (all available in mini portions on the children's menu), and with meat sourced from Pentland Produce and the fruit and veg from the grocer up the road, there's an encouraging local bent to the place. The burgers are lean and tender, while the Cullen skink is thick with smoky fish and new potatoes. A side order of thick, hand-cut chips is unmissable. For afters, moist carrot cake with just a hint of ginger really hits the spot, and if you want to feel like you've died and gone to heaven, indulge in sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce. Month by month and for special occassions, the chef, Iain Smith, stretches his legs with a more sophisticated evening menu, but phone ahead to check availability. Everything is well thought through at Reds, and you simply don't have to compromise on quality because you have children. The List 2009/10.


Families Edinburgh Issue 49Reds (Relax, Enjoy, Dine inStyle) describes itself as a child friendly Bistro and Restaurant.  This was very true of a recent dining experience for our family.  Established in January 2007,  Reds was inspired by the fact that the owners, Louise and Derek, have 4 young children.  Already The Scotsman has awarded it the title of "No.1 Family Restaurant in Scotland".  It's a wonderful place respecting the taste buds of both adults and children.  Louise, quite rightly, promotes the use of fresh, healthy and, where possible, locally sourced produce.  It is also a pleasure to witness the belief that a children's menu can be a smaller portion of the adults (restricting the addition of salt).  Delights on offer suit carnivores or vegetarians at decent prices.  Our 8 year old devoured his freshly battered fish, house chips and peas.  Meanwhile our 2 year old was more than happy to share my tuna melt panini as well as tasting some of his dad's gorgeous Pentland Lamb Burger with nachos and salad.  There's plenty of space for buggies and high chairs are provided. There are comfy sofas to relax in as well as more formal tables and chairs in a clean, modern, light interior.  It really is a place where a gathering, no matter how big or small can relax, enjoy and dine in style together.  the added bonus of soft play enhances the experience.  Our evening was rounded off with a sunny walk on the beach - a perfect ending.  Families, Edinburgh Issue 49 July/August 2008.

The List 2008/9 For parents and toddlers there are many soft play areas with cafe facilities, but Reds goes one better, as a cafe with soft play facilities.  Being able to eat without constant interruption is a luxury that is so far only available to Portobello parents, although there is another venue in the planning process.  Reds is spacious and simply decorated with white walls, pine tables and a few leather sofas.  The back room is dominated by the red soft play frame, smaller than those found in many soft play centres, but just as intoxicating for the children.  Here, what's good for the goose is good for the gander as the children's menu is simply a paired-down version of what's provided for the adults.  During the day there are dishes such as macaroni cheese, steak pie, fish and chips and nachos - not much originality perhaps but good quality, freshly made for all the family.  In the evening, the menu changes to restaurant-style dishes of steak, seafood, or spaghetti, but still the kids are welcome.  For parents who can at times feel like dining out is little more than an ordeal to be overcome, Reds is a breath of fresh air.  The List 2008/9.

The List  Whether you're dodging the three-wheeled pushchairs on the promenade or overhearing the shrieks from the swimming baths, it's clear that Portobello is a family-friendly suburb.  Where more appropriate, then, to see one of Edinburgh's first family oriented bistro-restaurant, which opened on Portobello High Street early in 2007?  The main room at the front of Reds could be a simple, contemporary bistro anywhere, until you notice that the plasma screen is tuned not to 24 hour news, but a CCTV stream of the rear area, where a large, well-padded climbing frame (or 'soft-play area', to use the lingo) has been installed for the distraction of little 'uns.  Fairly regulation bistro-fare such as fish and chips and burgers and jacket potatoes are enhanced by the fact they're freshly prepared and that it's the same food on the kid's menu, along with options such as fresh fruit, non-fizzy drinks, and even servings of baby mush made in the kitchen rather than tipped out of a jar.  Reds is open in the evenings with a simple, but attractive, menu offering dishes such as oven-baked salmon on egg noodles with red pesto dressing or free range chicken breast sourced from the local butcher. + Mums and dads can have their cake and eat it too.  - Kids can be right messy, particularly if they aren't yours.  The List 2007/8.

The Evening News The Guide 01022008 "I was at a Burns night at Reds in Portobello and had a wonderful time.  The food was fantastic and very good considering the price.  You got three delicious courses of traditional Scottish food for £15.  The restaurant has a lovely family oriented atmosphere where all ages are welcome."  John Daniels, 38, Investment banker, Portobello.  The Evening News, The Guide, Friday February 1st 2008.

The Evening News The Guide 21092007 "I had a delicious sausage and hash brown roll at Reds Portobello.  They have a breakfast menu and you can get rolls with loads of different fillings, which made it hard to decide what to get.  I definitely made the right choice though - it was delicious."  Gemma Cairns, 22, HR Administrator, Portobello.  The Evening News, The Guide, Friday September 21st 2007.

The Guide 08062007 Reds is without a doubt the best place for eating in Portobello.  It's a bit more upmarket than all the others and you can tell the food is of high quality.  I had a chicken tikka salad the last time I was there and it was delicious - something a bit different, healthy and tasty.  Kim Quin, 33, teacher, Portobello.  The Evening News, The Guide, Friday June 8th 2007.

The Guide 25052007 "I went to Reds on Portobello High Street with a friend.  We both had a ciabatta with home-made tortilla chips but it wasn't nice at all.  The tortilla chips tasted like old pastry and there was hardly any chicken in the ciabatta.  When I told the waitress about the tortilla chips she didin't care and just shrugged her shoulders."  Gillian Brown, 42, nursery nurse, Portobello.  The Evening News, The Guide, Friday May 25th 2007.

The Scotsman 09052007 Family run and family friendly, and a great place to have a meal with children.  Describes itself as a "an enjoyable mix of coffee shop, restaurant and playground".  There's a bistro menu and fine dining evening menu for grown ups (BYOB at the moment) and plenty of healthy options on the childrens menu - including home-made baby food.  Soft play for toddlers, indoor climbing frame and a retro game machine keep hungry kids occupied until the food arrives.  And there's CCTV so parents can keep an eye on what they're up to.  Voted number one family restaurant in Scotland by the readers of the Scotsman.  The Scotsman Wednesday 9th May 2007.

The Scotsman 09052007 Tried out Reds and it was really good - excellent food, excellent service and superb value.  I'm no relation to the owners.  It's just a lovely place.  Edi Steve.  The Scotsman Wednesday 9th May 2007.

The Guide 08062007 "I have been to Reds on Portobello High Street a few times and have never been disappointed.  The restaurant is very family oriented and parents are able to sit at the front of the restaurant while the kids play in the back.  They also offer a healthy menu for kids, and the food is all locally sourced which is great.  Jane Haddon, 40, teacher, Portobello.  The Evening News, The Guide, Friday April 27th 2007.

The Daily Record 10022006 Reds is a new family restaurant that is popular with Portobello's parents.  With four kids, the Wallace's knew what family-friendy really meant when it came to designing a place to eat so Reds boasts buggy parking, baby changing rooms, a two storey playframeand and more CCTV than Fort Knox.  The children's menu runs from home-made baby food to spag bol, fruit salads and fresh fruit juices.  Adults can choose from a bistro menu of snack and light meals or the night menus for the restaurant.  Everything on the bistro menu from filled baked spuds and nachos to a full cooked breakfast is under a fiver.  The restaurant evening menu is more fantoosh with starters such as cullen skink at £3.95 to main courses of grilled sirloins with all the trimmings at £12.95 to free range chicken breasts stuffed with spicy Asian haggis at £9.95.  The Daily Record, Saturday 10th February 2007.

The Guide 09022007 "It's great to be able to go somewhere in Portobello and not have to worry about the kids.  At Reds I was able to relax with my partner while my children played in the soft play area.  the food and service were great and the whole place was family orientated."  Natalie Neilson, 33, marketing manager, Joppa.  The Evening News, The Guide, Friday February 9th 2007.

The Metro 07022007 "Reds, a Portobello bistro and restaurant designed for families, stands for Relax, Enjoy, Dine in style.  Bistro and restaurant menus are tailored for kids and adults, while play areas and buggy parking spaces make life easy for all ages.  Light meals on the bistro menu come in at under a fiver, while the evening restaurant menu steps up a gear with dishes such as Parma ham parcels of baked monkfish.  The Metro, Wednesday February 7th 2007.

The Sunday Herald Magazine 21012007 Reds, which opened in Edinburgh at the beginning of the month on Portobello's High Street, describes itself as a 'child-friendly bistro and restaurant'.  Family owned and run, it aims to attract those with young families with a large soft-play area in a rear section and thoughtful, freshly prepared kids' options on the menu.  Children are welcome at all times, though the food for adults is serious - with suppliers including Findlay's.  For now BYOB operates and it's open seven days.  The Sunday Herald, Sunday 21st January 2007.