The Grassmarket and Cowgate are always buzzing with people, but even more so during the Fringe. However, if you’re looking to escape the hectic, cobbled streets of Edinburgh for a sit down meal in the Grassmarket, I thoroughly recommend Mamma’s. It’s an American pizza restaurant but has a good selection on their menu; a big, sit down meal is the perfect option for a busy day of show watching and beer drinking.
56 North has become my new favourite bar this summer! Located not far from George Square it’s the perfect place to dash into when the weather doesn’t allow for sitting outside in the Udderbelly venue. As well as serving the most amount of gin’s I have ever seen (which you can ask to taste), I also had a fantastic meal here. Whether you want to share a few items to nibble on, enjoy a light salad or fill up on a burger, there is something for everyone!
Umami Spice Girl
I have seen this funky food truck at different events but only finally managed to try it out during the Fringe. The truck is parked near to the Assembly venue at George Square and is surrounded by other street vendors, but still manages to stand out. I opted for the Thai Chicken Satay and couldn’t recommend it enough; the chicken was spicy and the coconut rice sweet, which made for the perfect combination! It’s the ideal dish to grab on the go, whilst not having to settle for an average burger and chips.
Paradise Palms is situated in the buzz of all of the Fringe madness. Beside Potterow is this fun, beach style bar. The décor and record collection allow for a relaxing and enjoyable meal, whilst still being beside the Fringe venues. My favourite is the rice bowls, which again provide a brilliant mixture of spicy and sweet. Also on offer are Ninja Buns, which are delicious and fluffy steamed buns with a filling. The portions aren’t huge, but they are the perfect choice if you are looking to grab a seat and have a quick bite with a few drinks.
Ting Thai Caravan
I have to admit that this one only just made it onto this list. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastic restaurant and I love the food, but the problem is so does everyone else! Ting Thai Caravan is a very popular spot, often with a queue, so when the population of Edinburgh grows so intensely in August you can imagine how long the queue can get. However, if you happen to pass by when the queues are small then I highly recommend popping inside! The Pad Thai is delicious, but they have a very extensive menu, which I’m sure is all incredibly tasty.
Barnacles & Bones
St Andrew’s Square has a lot of different food and drink options for festivalgoers, but if you venture to the Caorunn Artist’s Garden, just beside St Andrew’s Square, you’ll find my preferred choice of Fringe food on this side of town. Barnacles & Bones specialises in crab and lobster served with tarragon-salted fries. The crab and sweetcorn fritters are an extra treat that you can’t miss out on and a fruity Caorunn cocktail is the ideal way to wash down you tasty crab.
The EICC hosts a number of fantastic shows and is close to Lothian Road where there is a great choice of restaurants to choose from. But I recommend not going as far as Lothian Road, and instead heading across the street from the EICC to the Turkish BBQ restaurant Rodi. If you are in a group looking to share a few meze dishes or as a couple indulging in their bountiful main menu, you will not be disappointed!