Scotland’s unpredictable weather may not lend itself to al fresco dining. Yet Edinburgh has a burgeoning street food scene with vendors, weekly markets and monthly events popping up in all corners of the city. What’s more, it is the perfect option in August when you are rushing between shows at the Fringe and the city’s restaurants are jam-packed. Here, we highlight a few of the delectable delights the capital has to offer.
Organisers Hal Prescott and Scott Kirkham have found a simple yet winning formula with the pitt: good food and drinks with live music thrown in. Unassumingly nestled between Leith and Newhaven in a partly covered industrial yard, the pitt has been a runaway success since it launched last December. The event welcomes local traders from across Edinburgh and Scotland on the last Saturday of each month (and every Saturday in July). Visitors can enjoy the likes of Barney’s Beer, barnacles & bones, which serves shellfish and obscure cuts of meat, and Umami Spice Girl, who is renowned for her fiery curry kits. Visit www.thepitt.co.uk for the latest info on dates and who is trading.
Tupiniquim at the Meadows
A familiar sight at the top of Middle Meadow Walk, Edinburgh’s colourful ‘Brazil-in-a-Box’ has become an institution, with a loyal customer base that once saved the business from closure by supporting a Kickstarter campaign to help the owners buy the premises. Open most days until 6 o’clock, the small but perfectly formed police box sells fresh juices and an assortment of sweet and savoury gluten free crepes with fillings including steak, roasted butternut squash and goat’s cheese. Another highlight is one of Brazil’s most popular dishes, Feijoada – a black bean stew with pork ribs and sausages. Visit tupiniquim.co.uk for opening hours.
Edinburgh’s street food is never short on international flavours and Alplings is no exception. The brainchild of a South Tyrol native, the travelling pop-up offers alpine-inspired cuisine from the region of Italy. Choose from an array of vegetarian bread-based dumplings topped with Italian garnishes like Parmesan, followed by apple strudel for dessert. Visit Alplings on Twitter @alplings for the latest news on their pop-up locations, which often includes the Old Town Street Food Festival at the Three Sisters.
Street Food Fridays at Fountainbridge
Get the Friday feeling at one of Edinburgh’s newest players on the street food scene. From the people behind the well-established Stockbridge and Leith Markets (see below), Street Food Fridays at Fountainbridge caters to ravenous lunchtime and early evening crowds, with vendors dishing out high-quality fare from 11am to 7pm at the Union Canal. Foodies can enjoy curries from Babu Bombay Kitchen, expertly brewed coffee from the Bearded Barista, and stuffed arepas from Orinoco Latin Food. Check www.stockbridgemarket.com/fountainbridge.html for a list of who is trading each Friday.
Stockbridge and Leith Markets
Every Saturday and Sunday producers and food vendors descend on Leith and Stockbridge, respectively. Running all-year-round from 10am to 5pm, the markets showcase the very best in Scottish produce and attract locals from across the city. Leith’s market is ideally situated at Dock Place next to the Water of Leith, which has lots of seating and grassy areas for when the sun is shining. The first Saturday of the month also plays host to a vegan quarter. On Sunday, Stockbridge Market exhibits original artwork and creative crafts from small independent traders. Visit www.stockbridgemarket.com for more information.
And when the weather is typically Scottish ...
There are plenty of places to experience street food in Edinburgh without depending on the weather. At Tollcross, Tuk Tuk brings customers authentic tapas-style Indian cuisine, while Taquito overloads giant burritos with spicy pork and guacamole. Nearby, Harajuku Kitchen, which is named after a district in Tokyo, creates beautifully presented sushi, ramen and gyoza dumplings. In the Old Town, Ting Thai Caravan serves up Pad Thai and other tasty dishes in cardboard boxes. Or, if you have a penchant for pizza, Civerinos offers slices made with sourdough bases, san marzano sugo and fresh toppings.