One of the difficult things on keto is eating out. There are ways to stay keto in restaurants and pubs, but fast food places are slightly trickier. Even though we meal prep and bring our own lunch almost every day, there are times when we eat out. And while there are a bunch of places to eat around Edinburgh Uni, not all of them give you keto options. However, there is one that not only offers keto stuff but provides a very big selection of food to choose from.
Picnic Basket is a sandwich place on West Nicolson Street in Edinburgh, so it’s super close to George Square Campus. It specialises in sandwiches and salads, and there is so much fillings to choose from. I usually go for a salad, and for only £4.50 you can stuff whatever you want into it (prawns and salmon will cost you £5 in total). You can choose two types of meat fillings (or just go double with one), a wide variety of fresh and pickled veggies, and cheese. There are no ‘pre-set’ salads, so you can build your own depending on what you feel like eating that day. I’ve never had sandwiches there (obviously) but everyone who did swears by their tastiness. You can get them toasted or not, with your choice of filling or with one of the combinations they have on offer every day. There are also daily specials, and I think the overall favourite is meatball Thursday.
On one of those meatball Thursdays we went to Picnic Basket for lunch. The husband and a couple of others got the meatball sandwich, and I was looking at getting my salad. That’s when I noticed the meatballs can also come with rice or on a baked potato. I decided to test my luck and asked for the meatballs on their own. I’m used to getting strange looks when I’m asking for stuff that’s a bit out of the restaurant’s comfort zone, but this was an exception. Without even batting an eyelid, the woman who was serving me just asked: “Do you want cheese with that?” Hell yeah I want cheese, and I added some rocket for good measure. Needles to say it was the best (and probably the only) meatball ‘salad’ I ever had.
Overall, Picnic Basket is one of the places that will be on my eating out list from now on, and I suggest you try it when you’re around Edinburgh Uni. The staff are extremely nice, and there is a selection of drinks, sweets and crisps as well!
Keto friendly: 5/5
Ambiance: 4/5 (there are only a couple of window seats so it’s mainly a take-away place)