Popping up for some street food
We discover some of the best new food pop-ups at this year’s festival
This article is from 2015.
The movement of Underbelly’s big purple cow from Bristo Square to George Square and their circus tent incursion onto the Meadows has shifted the hub of Fringe activity a little further south this year to the area surrounding Middle Meadow Walk. Even though you might stroll past it numerous times a day, though, you might still need to be told about one of this year’s Edinburgh Festival pop-ups we’re most excited about.
Brought to the Fringe by some of the team behind Checkpoint Charlie on Bristo Place a few years back, Holy Garage (George Square Lane, daily 10am–3am) is a bar, café and ad hoc events venue in an old lock-up where George Square meets the Meadows. With a canopied exterior space and an arts roster including cinema, music and other Fringe acts, it’ll be serving absinthe, Barney’s beer, coffee, Twelve Triangles’ fantastic doughnuts, toast and croissants from morning until early (next) morning.
Another Edinburgh old-stager is also back with a new pop-up in the heart of the city. Known as the former proprietor of Oloroso and for his television work, Tony Singh has brought his food stand to the Fringe for the last couple of years, but this time he’s got a temporary sit-down restaurant Road Trip (Apex International Hotel, 31–35 Grassmarket, 300 3456, daily noon–midnight). Reflecting his wide taste in styles, Singh’s low-priced menu will feature everything from a good old Scottish single fish to Vietnamese pho and his signature haggis pakora.
Elsewhere, there are more local favourites. Tollcross coffee geek’s paradise Machina Espresso (5 Victoria Street, Sun–Thu 8am–8pm, Fri/Sat 8am–3am) has set up in town for the month, with coffee from top roasteries the Barn in Berlin and Clifton in Bristol, sandwiches, soups from Union of Genius, pastries from La Petite Francais, beer from Williams Bros and a range of wine. There will also be art and photography exhibitions and live bands and DJs later at night on the weekend.
Since it became partly pedestrianised, George Street has become abuzz with what you might call permanent pop-up food areas, although one we’re particularly excited about is just there for the festival. Sited outside the Dome, the Lobster Shack (outside 14 George Street, 0748 112 4987) is the travelling incarnation of North Berwick’s well-known seafood supplier, and is serving up a wide range of informal crustacean snacks and meals in a seated outdoor spot. Not far away at the Scottish National Gallery on the Mound, meanwhile, Gallery Suppers (225 1550, 12, 26 Aug), offers a prosecco reception, an evening guided tour of the gallery and a seasonal three-course supper in Victor and Carini Contini’s Scottish Restaurant downstairs. Note that bookings must be made in advance.