Sweets of Edinburgh: My Birthday Milkshake Crawl

Milkshakes are fabulous, aren’t they?

I loved them when I was little but as I got older and moved to Edinburgh, my love for them has grown into an unhealthy obsession. My friends seem somewhat amused by my fascination, as it seems to be recognised as a big part of my personality to them. So much so that for my birthday, my friend Nani promised to buy me the three best milkshakes that Edinburgh has to offer, according to the internet. They can be found at:

  1. Mary’s Milk Bar
  2. Burgers and Beers
  3. Artisan Cheesecakes

We unintentionally worked our way from the bottom of the list to the top just because of what was closest to us at the time. Yesterday we visited Mary’s Milk Bar which therefore concluded our mini milkshake tour. There are of course plenty more places in Edinburgh to get a fabulous milkshake, a lot of which I have been to but I’m just focusing on these three for just now and the others will appear on my blog and no doubt Instagram (@beccamarriner) in the future.

Artisan Cheesecakes have three locations in Scotland but Nani and I visited the one in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh. We had been to a flat viewing in the morning which hadn’t gone as well as we had potentially hoped so a milkshake was the perfect pick-me-up. The variety of cheesecakes to choose from was mouth-watering. I was particularly taken by the Triple Chocolate, Kinder Bueno and Sticky Toffee Pudding cheesecakes but ended up going for the latter as it meant I would be having a dessert-themed dessert milkshake. A slice of cheesecake is put in a blender with some ice cream to create the milkshake and served in a mason jar (my favourite) with whipped cream.

It’s a small shop with only two or three tables to sit at but as we visited fairly early on in the day we had the choice of where to sit. We seated ourselves at the table next to the window because it meant that we had a nice view over Bruntsfield Links and admire all of the dogs that we saw walking past. As well as my own milkshake I tried some of Nani’s, made from a Malteser cheesecake, it was also delicious.

The next place we went to from the list was Burgers and Beers on the Royal Mile. We had two attempts visiting because the first time we turned up they were closed to do some maintenance so we rescheduled for another time. Burgers and Beers don’t just sell milkshakes, they sell freakshakes so I opted for a ‘Golden Crunch Freakshake,’ as it features some of my favourite chocolate, Crunchies and Magic Stars. Nani had the ‘Smores’ freakshake which looked pretty good but as I don’t like marshmallows I obviously didn’t choose it for myself. Freakshakes that I have had in the past have been topped with whipped cream, however, at Burgers and Beers they were topped with Mr Whippy ice cream, a great addition in my eyes.

One thing I loved about Burgers and Beers was the aesthetic inside and of course the neon light that was on the wall above us. I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts that I’m a huge fan of them and I’ll probably bring it up at every other convenient point I possibly can.

Last but not least was Mary’s Milk Bar, perhaps the most famous ice cream parlour in Edinburgh. I am ashamed to say it was my first time visiting even though I have wanted to go for around two years. A piece of advice for visiting Mary’s Milk Bar is to not go on a warm, sunny day. It can get so busy, especially during the Fringe, that there are markings on the pavement outside the door, showing where to queue.

Mary’s Milk Bar doesn’t have such a conventional set of ice cream flavours to choose from. Instead of the usual vanilla, strawberry and chocolate, there was Rose & Spicy Jalapeno Sorbet, Dark Chocolate or Olive Oil & Chocolate Chip with Salted Seeds. The last one particularly tickled my fancy, I love olive oil and chocolate and together they created an intriguing combination. Though when I asked for it as a milkshake the staff told me it was best to pick something else as the salted seeds weren’t best for the blender. I was completely okay with this because I had been struggling to choose between two flavours so I went with my second option instead, Walnut & Chocolate Chip.

In general, I don’t really like nuts so I was hoping that the walnut would work with chocolate in a similar way that hazelnut does, not disguising the flavour but turning it into something that I like. This didn’t completely happen as the taste of the walnut was still noticeable but I thought it tasted incredible. As Mary’s Milk Bar is located on Grassmarket, my friends and I sat on the hill beneath the castle and enjoyed our milkshakes and ice cream. Nani tried the Dark Chocolate gelato for her milkshake which worked really well as it wasn’t as bitter as dark chocolate is known to be whilst our friend Sarah had Salted Caramel gelato which she raved about. I would love to go back and try lots of other flavours. Looking on their Instagram there are many I want to try as well as the Olive Oil & Chocolate Chip such as; Rice Pudding, Milk Chocolate & Lavender and Blackcurrant & White Chocolate Chip. I’ll probably end up going to treat myself even though I’ll likely to have done minimal studying for my exam.

Flavour wise I think Artisan Cheesecakes was my favourite because it tasted exactly like a Sticky Toffee Pudding Cheesecake in a milkshake which was as amazing as it sounds. Following that is Mary’s Milk Bar with a special mention for the sheer multitude and craziness of the gelatos that were on offer. I still loved the taste of my freakshake at Burgers and Beers but without the toppings, it was essentially just a plain chocolate milkshake.

However, if we look at the presentation, Burgers and Beers is top with the extravagant amount of decoration piled on top of the milkshake. Next is Artisan Cheesecakes because it was also in a mason jar but less crazy (and lots of toffee sauce) which worked in their favour because it truly was all about the flavour. Therefore Mary’s Milk Bar is third but because I had my milkshake take-away instead of sit-in, I’m not sure if it really is a fair contest. What is worth mentioning is the use of paper straws at Mary’s Milk Bar whilst the others only had plastic ones.

The three milkshakes I have mentioned in this post are only a fraction of the number I have had since moving to Edinburgh. I’m currently planning a post dedicated to the milkshakes at Scoopz, potentially my favourite place to go. No matter when that comes out you can still picture me dreaming of my next shake instead of focusing on the revision that I probably should be doing.

Also a big thank you to Nani for spoiling me and taking me on this, ‘Milkshake Crawl.’ It was utterly delicious and I’m already dying to do it all over again.

Nani’s Instagram: @nani_music

Artisan Cheesecakes Instagram: @artisancheesecakes

Burgers and Beers Instagram: @burgersnbeers

Mary’s Milk Bar Instagram: @marysmilkbar

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