There is so much to do at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. You could spend the entire month of August attending shows and discovering weird and wonderful venues and not even have scratched the surface. What is essential though, is making sure you stay well fed and watered. So, whether it’s planned dinner with friends after a show, or a quick bite to eat in-between rushing from one venue to another, here’s the low down on where to eat and drink this August…
Dram & Smoke
For a second year running, the cool and quirky pop-up restaurant, Dram & Smoke, will be taking up residency in The Biscuit Factory for the duration of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This year, you can expect an experience which will pull on your childhood heartstrings. The night will explore the nostalgia of an adventure by the campfire, where the culinary wonders of a fleeting Scottish summertime are celebrated. Like a Fringe show, you need to buy tickets (£40pp) and each night guests will take their seats at 7pm. Your ticket gets you a welcome drink, a 4 course tasting menu and live music and access to the after dinner bar.
The Wee Restaurant
CIS ‘Scottish Chef of the Year’ has opened a second restaurant on Hanover Street in Edinburgh. The original Wee Restaurant in North Queensferry was opened 10 years ago by Craig and Vicki Wood and really put Chef Craig on the map as one to watch. The Hanover Street restaurant is not quite as wee, about 40 covers, and offers simple, yet delicious delicious, using the very best local produce. The steak and lobster dishes are a must try.
Bonsai Bar Bistro
If you don’t want to stray too far from ‘festival land’ Bonsai is a perfect stop off. You won’t find much information on their website, but I can assure you they serve some of the best sushi in Edinburgh. You’ll find them at 46 West Richmond Street, and you can browse their menu here.
Ting Thai Caravan
Don’t be put off by the queue which is often out the door and around the corner, it moves quickly! As you can’t book, it’s perfect for an impromptu lunch or dinner in between shows. Located on Teviot Place in the heart of festival land, the menu has all the usual thai dishes on it and lots of street food favourites – I can vouch for the king prawn pad thai. The service is incredibly friendly, and with communal tables and usually quite a few students, it’s got a great buzz.
Mother India’s Cafe
If you’re keen on a good curry, Mother India is the place to head. The menu is an Indian take on tapas style dining – brilliant, as this means you can try more than one of their delicious, sometimes fiery, dishes. The butter chicken is melt in your mouth delicious and the saag aloo is divine. You will need to book, it’s always packed.
Owned by the team behind Bon Vivant and Devil’s Advocate, El Cartel is a fabulous new Mexican restaurant on Thistle Street. The space used to be home to Tex Mex, and couldn’t be more different. It’s Mexican street food and is, quite simply, delicious. From authentic fish tacos (from what I can gather from Mexican cooking shows and the latest Masterchef series anyway) to proper guacamole, topped with feta and pomegranate, I’ve yet to try a dish I haven’t wanted more of. You can’t book a table, but if you pop in and it’s busy, simply put your name for a table, hop across the cobbles to The Bon Vivant and enjoy a drink whilst you wait. Warning: the frozen margaritas are stronger than you think!
Le Di-Vin is tucked away in Edinburgh’s West End. As well as an outrageously good selection from France, Italy, Spain, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Chile, Argentina and Patagonia USA, you can also tuck into platters of cheese, charcuterie, smoked fish, terrines, and salads.