FOODIES GUIDE EDINBURGH
You’ve just landed in the cultural capital of Scotland! And some of us think it’s the foodie capital too….it is, it REALLY IS. So you may want to read this ‘Foodies Guide Edinburgh’ which we think captures the best bits, and then some.
The Easyjet inflight mag told you a wee bit but it didn’t really tell you about the cool spots, the inside secrets, the places you would only know about if you had some inside info (or very good friends who live, breathe and EAT Edinburgh) did it?
You’re about to have the most amazing weekend in Edinburgh so are going to need fuel. And that’s where we come in. If you want to know where to eat, drink, get your caffeine fix, drink the finest whisky, wine, beers, and want to know where the locals hang out then stick with us. Here is your foodies guide Edinburgh! Most of these can be covered in a weekend but don’t overdo it, make sure you have plenty of chill out time, we’ve got plenty of green spaces/beer gardens too, natch! ENJOY.
We guess it’s not much of a secret if you know Edinburgh street food vans but the Big Blu Van doesn’t show up that often in the city which is why it’s made this list. The new and brilliant Pitt Street market in Leith has found all the best street food vans around and brings them together once a month (the last Saturday of the month) and the Big Blu Pizza van from Dunbar is one of them. Authentic, fresh, thin, hot, crispy pizza with a hint of wood smoke, pretty much the perfect pizzas. Keeping ingredients simple quite often brings the best results. The street food market is a great way to while away a few hours on a Saturday, it runs from noon until 10pm and is becoming a real hot spot of local food talent, don’t miss it. From 17th June 2016 the street food market will run weekly until the end of July, whoop whoop!
EATING GYOZA AT STOCKBRIDGE MARKET
The weekly Stockbridge Market is a must visit while in Edinburgh. Every Sunday the stalls are set up from 9am until 5pm and offer everything from coffee to cheese to artisan bread, street food, marshmallows, jams, chutneys, scotch eggs, gin, smoked salmon. The list goes on. One of the highlights is the pop up by Harajuku Kitchen, a restaurant based in Bruntsfield who do a roaring trade at the weekly market. Serving gyoza, noodles and more there is inevitably a queue. The dipping sauce alone is worth queuing for! Go to the cash point first as one box of gyoza will never be enough. And if you miss the market then jump on a bus up to Bruntsfield and eat at the restaurant, a brilliant neighbourhood vibe, you’ll love it.
CHEESE TOASTIES AT IAN MELLIS CHEESEMONGERS
Another Sunday tip is to buy a cheese toastie from outside Ian Mellis Cheesemongers in Stockbridge. Every Sunday they do cheese sampling for passers by and have recently put up a table and toastie machine outside to make cheese toasties to order! Fantastic ingredients, a Mellis cheese of their choice, artisan bread from the Bostock Bakery in North Berwick and a different chutney each week. Simplicity is key yet again, it’s mouth watering stuff. Buy one of these then head down to the market for a coffee from Steampunk’s VW campervan and that’s you set for a morning wandering around. You’re also in the right place to take a walk along the Water of Leith from Stockbridge to the Modern Art Gallery.
DOUGHNUTS AND COFFEE AT TWELVE TRIANGLES
The lady bakers who brought Lovecrumbs to the city, an artisan cake shop in Westport near the Edinburgh Art School have now spread their wings and are baking bread and doughnuts for virtually the whole of Edinburgh. Head direct to the source and enjoy a great cup of coffee and one of their spectacular doughnuts at their very wee cafe ‘Twelve Triangles’ just off Leith Walk. It’s tiny with just a few tables, but if the sun is out you can sit outside.
TEA AND CAKE AT THE SECRET HERB GARDEN
If you’ve time to venture out of the city then not too far out of Edinburgh but far enough to be away from the buzz is the Secret Herb Garden , a perfect haven of tranquility created by Hamish and Liberty Martin. A specialist herb nursery with a great cafe, a few bits of vintage furniture, plants and herbs for sale and plenty of open spaces to walk around and take in the fresh air and views of the beautiful Pentland Hills. This is the perfect place if you need a quiet cup of tea and a slice of cake to contemplate life, chill out, have some R&R.
The Secret Herb Garden is also a boutique wedding venue and has some really exciting events planned over the Summer too such as the Full Moon Dinners with chefs including Brian Grigor (Balmoral Number One), Neil Forbes (Cafe St Honore) and Ben Radford (Timberyard).
POACHED EGGS AT THE PANTRY
Discovering the poached eggs at The Pantry in Stockbridge is a revelation. They are the ultimate poached eggs. If you have ever been disappointed cutting into a poached egg that isn’t runny then you won’t be if you order eggs at the Pantry. Every Sunday there is a huge demand for their brunch menu which runs all day. Eggs benedict, smashed avocado dishes, smoothie bowls, the food is healthy, clean and delicious. You can’t reserve a table at the weekend so take some patience along with you, it’s worth the wait and if it’s a sunny day just join the queue and watch the hustle and bustle of Stockbridge pass you by.
LUNCH AT NEW CHAPTER
New Chapter has only been open for a couple of months but is doing a roaring trade as the food is fantastic. Not far from the Canonmills area of the city the restaurant’s mission statement of “serving quality, fresh, innovative Scottish and modern European food, always with a twist” appears to be pretty much on the money. Make sure you book before you arrive in Edinburgh. The lunch menu is great value for money. Top tip.
THE TASTING MENU AT AIZLE
It’s not quite as well known (yet) as some of the other restaurants in Edinburgh but Aizle should be. Stuart Ralston and his wife Krystal Goff have created one of the ‘must go to’ restaurants in the city. Only open for dinner (Wednesday to Sunday) with a menu based on monthly seasonal ingredients you pay a set price for a 5 course tasting menu. Ingredients are drawn up on a blackboard in a list, you don’t know what the dishes are going to be but they will include all of the ingredients. Great fun. And some of the best food you’ll taste in Edinburgh without a doubt.
SOURDOUGH PIZZA AT SODERBERG
Having recently contributed to some of the Edinburgh entries in ‘Where to Eat Pizza’, the new Phaidon book, I’d like to think I know my pizza. One of the best pizzas in town is the thin, yeasty sourdough pizza created at the Swedish bakery, Soderberg. Toppings are simple, anchovies, tomato, salami, and all pizzas are served with a side of palate cleansing slaw. While you’re there you can’t leave the bakery without a cardamom bun, a Soderberg classic. And with a beautiful location up at Quartermile you’re right next to the Meadows so you can take a post pizza stroll to loosen off your belts.
THE WINDOW AT ARMSTRONG’S FISHMONGERS
Not somewhere to go and eat but somewhere to go and look. Armstrong’s fishmongers in Stockbridge has one of the finest window displays in the city. Every type of fish imaginable can be seen in their window. Crabs, langoustines, lobsters, scallops, mussels, sea bass, monkfish, plaice, haddock, lemon sole, turbot, smoked salmon, you name it, they’ve usually got it. The shop opened in 1942 and is a hive of activity particularly on a Friday which is traditionally known as ‘fish Friday’ when most families have fish and chips for tea, or a fish supper as we say in Scotland.
TACOS AT EL CARTEL
Unfortunately you can’t book a table but don’t be put off as El Cartel is one of the best Edinburgh dining experiences you can have. Serving fresh zingy tacos, a cracking guacamole, great ceviche and a huge selection of mezcal this place is always buzzing. Turn up early(ish), around 6pm, put your name on the waiting list and go and have a drink at Bon Vivant across the road. When your table is ready they’ll come over and get you. Staff are super friendly and if you need any help with the mezcal menu they know their stuff. Totally recommend.
Time for a little road trip into the countryside while you’re in Edinburgh? Then head north to Perthshire, just past Callander along to Balquhidder and you’ll find the home of the ‘budget’ motel Mhor84. Rooms are around £80 per night but food is of the highest quality and served in the dining room and bar all day. Great breakfast, lunch, cakes and dinner. Locally caught fish, locally produced cheese, meat, dairy, all of the food miles are minimal. Chef Tom Lewis who runs Mhor84 alongside his flagship Monachyle Mhor is an inspiration. Go see for yourselves. Views to DIE FOR!
FOODIES GUIDE EDINBURGH? DONE!