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Edinburgh Eats


Hello people! I have been AWOL again. That’s what this Fringe mayhem does to you. I haven’t had time to put it into words; but you’ll be pleased to know that my second year at Edinburgh Festival Fringe has been a good one, food-wise. I’ve managed to look after myself slightly better than I did last year (food and booze-wise).

So, I’m re-posting last year’s fringe food post with a few additions.

I also wanted to do this blog justice as Edinburgh is a vegetarian haven. The quality of food is incredibly high.

From bagel-serving corner cafes to put your posh dress on posh nosh; you can eat really well on any vegetarian budget. So, here’s a list of where to eat if you’re a vegetarian in (or visiting) Edinburgh…

A few newbies added to my list this year are Three Birds (see previous review post) which is an off-the-beaten-track-but-worth-the-walk delight with interesting vegetarian choices.

David Bann – Top of my food to-do list is David Bann…it’s a higher-end vegetarian restaurant, with ace service and plenty of great choice. My new favourite main is the smoked tofu with tomato rice. I also recently tried the whiskey Panna cotta with mini meringues and it blew my mind.

Kalpna – this is well-modern Indian vegetarian cuisine that is totally delish. Plenty of old favourites like Dahl, as well as modern twists on paneer curries; always my favourite! I took my meat-eating friends here who were visiting from Cardiff during the festival and they loved it.

Ann Purna – some people love it; I don’t love it as much as I love Kalpna. It is a pure vegetarian Indian though; so worth a snoop.

Indaba – A fusion tapas restaurant owned by a South African dude and his Spanish wife. So bloody tasty. They have loads of vegetarian choice and you can complete the meal with a South African chocolate liquer that tastes like blancmange.

Rotato Potato – I got told off in here for not ordering the potatoes correctly. The potatoes have quirky names like “chicky pea” – this place isn’t vegetarian, but it has a couple of nice choices, including spiced chick peas with rocket and sour cream. The potatoes are cooked on a spit, so the are tasty as can be.

The Outsider – with stunning views of the castle, and a bottle of champagne given to us on my boyfriend’s birthday, this is a really special place to eat. I’ve had halloumi kebabs and delicious risottos followed by unbelievable baked figs to die for. Not a huge amount of vegetarian choice, but what they do offer, is great! They also have a highly entertaining wine-list.

Red Box – The best fast food in old town. Choose your noodles, choose your meat (or tofu), choose your veg, choose your sauce – add silly amounts of garlic and away we go. They also do sit down meals and delicious curry triangles, similar to samosas.

Ting Thai – a super-duper pop-up Thai place that only appeared during the festival. Crunchy vegetables, vegetarian Pad Thai; all for bargain prices.

George Square Gardens – only during the festival, plenty of choice here for veggies, including The Outsider and Spoon. Choose from potato wedges slathered in home-made Guacamole and Salsa, crepes filled with an array of vegetarian fillings, both sweet and savoury, squash curries with raw salads and falafel and halloumi galore. Wash these down with fresh juices and home-mad brownies.

Urban Angel – has the best veggie Haggis in Edinburgh (with leek and cream sauce, so you feel at home). Not veggie, but plenty of choice, and the breakfast menu also kicks ass.

Yes Sushi – the best Japanese food I found in Edinburgh and has a surprising amount of vegetarian options, including delicious hand rolls.

Caffe Centro – £3.50 for a huge tub of banging pasta or pizza on a lunch break. My favourite pasta dish was penne caprese – tomato, mozzarella and cream!

Hendersons – an Edinburgh institution. The menu is like the 70’s – in a great way! Gorgeous lentil lasagne, cheese and potato rissoles and fresh salads and scones.

Cafe Naps – a late night Edinburgh haunt (3am) with the biggest Italian menu on the planet and plenty of good quality choice for veggies, including Gnocchi. They even do half and half if you ask nicely (half pizza/half pasta).

Piece Box – a great place for a Sunday morning brunch with plenty of veggie choices, including a breakfast with traditional potato scones.

Spoon – stylish vintage cafe with good vegetarian options and a great veggie breakfast.

Chocolate Tree – everything chocolate in it. Vegan choices galore, as well as rich, soupy cups of chocolate lushness to dip your churros (a long Mexican doughnut) in to.

Frisky – fresh frozen probiotic yoghurt in many flavours (including Green Tea) with heaps of topping choices, including edible rose petals.

Santangelis – a deli that was directly opposite my apartment. Lots and lots of vegetarian choices including fresh dips, pre-packaged vegetarian choices, a deli counter and chocolate like you’ve never seen (who knew Lindt do a creme brulee chocolate bar???)

Late night pie and bread shops are a-plenty in Edinburgh. I discovered my favourite ever pie – A man n cheese pie! Who knew what magic could happen by filling a pastry full of carbs and cheese. The best was an un-named bakery at the end of Lothian Road that only seemed to open after midnight! I also discovered walnut bread from a late night bakery called Dough-re-mi, where dudes stay up all night listening to 90’s hip hop and baking up some of the best bread I’ve ever tasted. By the end of the festival, my colleagues were giving me bread orders on the way into work.

Jenners food hall – situated in a House of Fraser store, Valvona and Crolla have been feeding the people of Edinburgh for donkeys. Where you can buy local and world food stuff including numerous wonderful Scottish cheeses and veggie haggis, as well as the all-important vegetarian marshmallow – Tullocks. There is a whole wall of tullocks and they sell my favourite liqueor – Frangelico.

Bibi’s Bakery – cupcake heaven!

Bia Bistro – Spike and I visited this place on my last night in Edinburgh. I had a stuffed raw tomato, followed by fluffy potato gnocchi with cream, leeks and Corra Linn cheese. We ordered a side of the most melt in the mouth roasted carrots and rounded it off with a vanilla cheesecake. This really was one of my favourite meals of the summer; and Spike was happy with his posh steak and chips.

So…in a nutshell, I think I’ve covered most of my favourites. I’m sure I’ll remember more over the coming weeks and I’ll add to it as I do.

Right now, I’m going to go and discover what vegetarian delights Lisbon has to offer… This time tomorrow, I’ll be relaxing and cooking up a brunch feast with lots of fresh Portugese ingredients. If I can remember how to cook that is…

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