Marcella’s Italian Bakery
20A Brougham Place
Tollcross
EH3 9JU
Tel: 0131 622 5781

Why is the food in here so cheap? Why is there never more than a single table occupied? Why the hell are there six CCTV cameras protecting a premises that takes in less than £100 a day? Oh, and where exactly does the owner disappear to when he pops through the back?

The answer is that we don’t know and we don’t want to know. In fact we couldn’t care less if the spag bol is made from the carved up cadavers of Mob victims. All that matters is that Marcella’s is quick, cheap and ridiculously tasty. In spite of its unassuming exterior, this quiet caff-cum-bakery is a must-eat for anyone on a budget. Run by a rotund, balding Italian (Mrs Marcella, perhaps?), this quaint eatery sells a selection of Italian cakes, ambient groceries and main meals (available hot or cold) as well as providing cover for around 20 diners. With staple dishes such as spaghetti carbonara costing less than £4 a pop and tasting significantly better than their supermarket ready-meal equivalent, there’s really no excuse not to make eating out the new eating in (which of course used to be the old eating out, before the advent of the credit crunch.)

While the savoury dishes are accomplished, Marcalla’s cakes are to die for. Quite literally, if you were to dare steal one. Incidentally, we’re not suggesting that there’s actually any impropriety surrounding the Italian bakery – to do so would be like expressing a desire to go swimming with the fishes while wearing a set of concrete boots. We were merely using the foregoing Mob analogies to illustrate how curious the business model of this establishment must be. Financially, Marcella’s is the food equivalent of Primark – your conscience daren’t ask how it’s so cheap, but your wallet daren’t shop anywhere else

Sample prices:

garlic bread: £1.50

spaghetti bolognese: £3.50

1/2 margherita pizza: £2

Try: The cakes. All of them.

Avoid: Slandering the owner in your review of his establishment.

Food served: Mon–Sat noon–10pm; Sun 5–11pm
Also offers: Vegetarian options