Festival season is hectic enough with having to find good shows and sorting accommodation, then you remember that you have to be fed and watered whilst you’re there and that adds a whole new dimension to your worries.
Fear not, weary Fringe-goer. WOW247 can simplify this final quandary by giving you a list of ten places to chow down between shows in Edinburgh this festival season.
The Hanging Bat
A local favourite since its establishment in late 2012, The Hanging Bat is a perfect spot for those looking for a quick bite to eat. Never a venue worried about being conventional, the Bat offers a selection of North American style dishes such as pulled pork, nachos and a fine selection of hot dogs. All this tasty food can be washed down with a selection of craft beers.
The Hanging Bat’s décor is wall-to-wall timber with some charming glass windows which show the inner workings of their backroom brewery. Great atmosphere, good food and interesting beers… what more could you want?
133 Lothian Road, EH3 9AB, more info
A great for choice for a cup of coffee and some breakfast/brunch to start a long day of festival plundering. Project Coffee is not short on competition in terms of fashionable Bruntsfield coffee shops, but its welcoming atmosphere makes it a definite stand-out. The breakfast sandwiches are a top tip from a regular buyer.
196 Bruntsfield Place, EH10 4DF, more info
Red Box Noodle Bar
No-nonsense from this quick stop noodle shop. You simply pick your noodle, meat, vegetables and sauce and the Red Box team put it together right in front of you. Before handing it over in (you guessed it) a neat little red box. The right choice if you’re in a rush between Fringe gigs in the Southside and you’re looking for a filling meal at a reasonable price.
51 West Nicholson Street, EH8 9DB, more info
Tuk Tuk Street Food
If we could hand over a big shiny trophy for ‘Best wall clock’ then Tuk Tuk would be the hands-down winner, but we’ll have to leave that particular feature for you to see when you’re there.
Tuk Tuk is an Indian restaurant but not in the typical sense. Taking the influence of the roadside and railway station food stops in India and bringing them to a restaurant setting, diners are encouraged to get 3-4 dishes each which they can share and try.
The bright orange entrance and Bollywood movie posters make for interesting viewing and the staff are always extremely pleasant. Tuk Tuk is how Indian food should be and you should be checking it out.
1 Leven Street, EH3 9LH, more info
Burritos, fajitas, quesadillas and tacos. A full selection of Mexican style food is available in this tiny venue on Leith Walk which combines big portions with reasonable prices. If you’re seeing any shows away from the normal Fringe hubs or you’re just looking to explore Leith, then this is a perfect pit-stop mid journey.
281 Leith Walk, EH6 8PD, more info
Offering great food with the ‘relaxed attitude’ ethic of The Dude himself, Lebowskis’ dishes may cost a little extra but definitely give you more for that money. It’s a great place to relax after a long day on the Fringe trail, to eat and maybe wash down the food with one of their signature White Russians. The dude abides.
18 Morrison Sreet, EH3 8EA, UK, more info
Never running the risk of being a stuffy establishment – Mosque Kitchen feels more like a rough and ready community canteen. The kitchen is an institution of Edinburgh’s Newington area, offering generously sized dishes of tasty Indian food with no frills or pretension. A perfect choice if you’re around Bristo Square and you’re looking for a more reasonable alternative to the Fringe food vans.
33 Nicolson Sreet, EH8 9BX, more info
Sourcing the best local produce to make some of the tastiest local burgers. Burger manages to get it’s tone totally right – being far removed from a fast food restaurant without becoming so upmarket that you wouldn’t feel comfortable stopping by.
If you’re interested in getting good quality burgers at a reasonable price then the clue is definitely in the name.
94a Fountainbridge, Edinburgh. EH3 9QA, more info
More notorious for cocktails than food selection but still offering some good honest grub to tuck into whilst you peruse the drinks menu.
Kohl’s location is a stones throw from the big tourist areas, but the cool modern decor and relaxed attitude of the staff mean it feels more like a bar transplanted from Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Worth a visit if you’re looking for a break from novelty See U Jimmy hats and castle magnets.
54 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EJ, more info
Ting Thai Caravan
Started as a temporary street venue at last year’s festival – Ting Thai was so popular that they decided to stick around. If you’re looking for friendly service and great Thai-style street food then look no further. Ting Thai’s interior is minimal at its finest and the music on the playlist is always good – a very important trait when picking where to eat.
8-9 Teviot Place, EH1 2RA, more info
La Favorita’s restaurant on Leith Walk is definitely one of Edinburgh’s best spots for pizza and Italian food, and thankfully they also have their own van slam-bang in the middle of the Royal Mile (outside the Tron Kirk) – perfect for Fringe-lovers who are short on time and craving a substantial snack.
Pizza slices are reasonably priced and better than average, but again you can expect queues, especially at peak times.
325 Leith Walk, EH6 8SA, more info
It may not be near the main venues, but it’s worth taking a detour to Lothian Road to sample Illegal Jack’s quality Tex-Mex fare. Whether it’s burritos, tacos, quesadillas or fajitas you’re after, it’s a simple, predictable menu but each option is customisable and the service is also very speedy.
With a good choice of beers and soft drinks to accompany the meal, and a laid-back atmosphere, Jack’s is the ideal place to get well-fed and watered. Prices are reasonable, although perhaps slightly over-priced given the bare bones service.
113-117 Lothian Rd, EH3 9AN, more info
For simple but wholesome veggie food, Henderson’s is hard to beat. One of the first vegetarian restaurants to open in the UK, it has gone from strength to strength, with a restaurant, shop and bistro on Hanover Street, and a café at St John’s church at the corner of Princes St and Lothian Road, the site of the West End Fair during August.
The Hanover Street restaurant, downstairs from the shop, is another canteen-style affair. It gets busy but there’s plenty of tables, and the food is filling and reasonably priced – expect to pay around a tenner per main meal. Their bistro has table service and their menu is a little fancier but booking is advisable.
94 Hanover St / 3 Lothian Road, more info
Other options for quick bites are two late-night refuges for the hungry and weary; Cappadocia Kebab House on Forrest Road and the infamous Cafe Piccante at the top of Broughton Street, surely one of the only fish and chip shops to have a resident DJ.
If it’s a café you’re after, Loudon’s and Peter’s Yard come highly recommended (see our Edinburgh Foody Guide to Eating Out) and Porto & Fi’s and Brewlab were the top tips included in our guide to spending 24 hours at the Fringe. Also worth a look is our guide to the best Indian restaurants in Edinburgh.