Even though it is my fourth Fringe festival, this is the first year where I have spent some time just being at the Fringe as a punter instead of volunteering. My mum wanted to see what the Fringe was all about, so I took some time off and spent a week seeing shows & eating out. As a volunteer food is provided, so I had very few recommendations of where to go to eat out when asked. The beautiful city of Edinburgh is home to so many incredible independent restaurants, bars and coffee shops – so there is absolutely too much choice – however the below places were my favourite and I definitely plan on returning next year. As Paradise Green is situated on and under George IV Bridge, my recommendations are all within Old Town.
Mary’s Milk Bar
I appreciate this does not constitute a meal, however I have to say that the queue to get ice-cream at Mary’s Milk Bar is worthwhile. Apart from milk & salted caramel, the flavours change daily, each flavour being unbelievably delicious. My ultimate favourites were: raspberry ripple, mango and cardamon, fresh mint and tea and jam.
Makars Gourmet Mash Bar
On the mound next to my favourite bar (Whiski Rooms) is Makars Gourmet Mash bar, who base their menus on the deliciousness that is the humble potato. Having switched up skins to rostis since last time I went, the menu here is delicious. I selected the aubergine rosti with classic mash and it was definitely an excellent lunchtime choice.
This beautiful Italian restaurant boasts a great lunch and dinner menu. We went for dinner and the staff couldn’t be more accommodating, finding us a table after we hadn’t booked and chatting through their very tasty menu. Vittoria have the great option to ‘go halves’ on pasta & pizza, dividing this across two plates for two people to share.
We selected the pear and walnut tortellini in a gorgonzola sauce alongside the burrata pizza and they were both delicious. The pasta was an ultimate favourite, but the richness of the sauce meant that the balance of half a pizza made it even more delicious. I thought the service was really wonderful and their amaretto ice-cream is excellent.
I came here last year and was really looking forward to returning. Their veggie selection is pretty good and we basically just ordered all of them as part of their multiples deal.
The favourites were the Ensalada Fresca de Mallorca salad which contained sweet potato, butterbeans and pomegranate and was so refreshing, the Queso de Cabra al Horno which was goats cheese served with Seville orange and chilli marmalade and finally, the Esparragos a la Parrilla which was asparagus topped with manchego cheese and lemon hollandaise.
The Hideout Cafe
Already popular in Leith, this cute cafe has recently opened by Edinburgh Castle. It is relatively secretive with only 3 tables, but the honey cake and avocado and feta sourdough were delicious. The coffee is excellent and it is in such a gorgeous location.
Please let me know if you have any Edinburgh recommendations as I would love to visit them last year!